Before you get too deep into this article, look at your calendar for the day. Get an idea for the flow of your day. Maybe it’s back-to-back meetings, an oil change for the car, an appointment with your doctor, visiting a friend or family member, meeting at your child’s school, or dinner/happy hour with co-workers. Regardless, it’s probably busy because you know your schedule doesn’t factor for the unexpected. Why would I have you start there? Believe it or not, you own the key to your well-being and the ability to achieve your goals; do you control it?

My philosophy for coaching is wrapped around knowledge of direction and purpose, intentional action, and ownership. When clients come tome, they usually have some problem they’re trying to solve or some behavior they want to improve; some don’t know specifically what they want but they know something could be better.

Let’s start with time management. Are you spending your time in meetings that prevent you from having a block of time for planning or focused work? Have you asked yourself your role in those meetings, and if it’s not critical, challenging why you’re attending? Maybe the company default for meetings is 60 minutes; can you challenge that it be done in less time? You may not have control over the meetings you’re invited to, but you certainly have authority to ask some of these questions. There are many other simple tools and techniques to explore when it comes to “time management” that gives you more control, not just time. 

When we are more in control, we are more confident and resilient. Reflect on your day. How many of the activities that you do in a day are moving you intentionally toward success? If that causes you pause to ask how you define success, you’re not alone. Many people don’t know what this simple seven-letter word means to them. My experience over the years has taught me that those earlier in their career have an incredible drive to try many new things personally and professionally and are not very risk averse. Those who have been in the workforce longer tend to manage risks and become aware of career limits and endpoints. There’s a desire to understand what comes next, but not knowing where to start. These differences in perspective don’t impact the result which is your purpose. With that in mind, I’ve created a simple assessment that gives all ages the ability to create a roadmap tailored to how you see success.

How is this the key? By defining how you see success, and identifying your legacy, you can become intentional in your activities, focusing your efforts on those things that directly or indirectly move you toward your goals. Realize that this changes over time. I use the above assessment with my kids that graduate high school and tell them we will revisit in four to five years to see how things have changed.

Having purpose gives you direction; with control, or at least understanding why you are doing something, you build confidence. This creates a foundation to build yourself according to your values and aspirations.

Ask yourself, Did the day bring you closer to your success?