Over the last 10 years or so, my mantra has been: “Make Everyday Count”. While I never say it flippantly I do sometimes wonder if the importance of these words is only taken at face value and the deeper meaning is missed. Therefore, I am offering this article to dive deeper into this phrase and what it truly means to me.
Beginning the statement with “make” signifies the approach to what happens in a given day. There are many other words commonly used here by most of the population such as “let” or “watch” even perhaps “observe”. One might also say “experience” is a word that describes a positive action as you get to take in the fullness of the day. While this sounds and feels good, it is certainly not as impactful as the verb MAKE.
Webster’s dictionary defines make as: “to begin or seem to begin (an action) <made to go>.” The key word here is ACTION. Action doesn’t just happen, it is YOU doing something. Note that it also is not just allowing things to happen but initiating and following through on intentions.
Okay, okay, you get it, you need to DO something. That’s not too bad you think, and then explain this validation: “my Uncle Bobby once ran a marathon after only training for a month, if he can do that, I can work towards my goals”. However what you don’t mention to describe how Uncle Bobby now is 40lbs overweight and hasn’t exercised since then. It’s not necessarily the intensity of the effort but rather the CONSISTENCY.
Remember the children’s book “The Tortoise and the Hare”? Who wins in the end, is it the bounding hare or the steadfast tortoise? You see, it’s not huge leaps and bounds that make a difference. Rather, it is the small steps done CONSISTENTLY over time that makes the HUGE impact. Making it real, this is you doing something DAILY. If you want to reach your goals, or your “whys”, this needs to be a daily, ongoing occurrence, not just when you feel motivated.
To quote Steve Jobs, Co-Founder and CEO of Apple, he said to ask yourself the following question: “If today is the last day of your life, is what I’m about to do what I want to do. If not, then change something.”
The last part of this mantra is admittedly a bit subjective. Some days you just know you hit a homerun and it is obvious you made the day count. Perhaps you aced a test, finished a huge project, hit a personal record in an event. Other days however on the surface, look like nothing special, this is when you need to live intentionally and have a plan in place.
In order to do this, you need to spend some time creating such plan. The exercise I use is a multiple step process that in the end provides you with 16 to 32 action items to achieve the big “whys” in your life. Achieving these (or the preliminary steps to these larger items) counts. That being said, absolutely there are other areas and events that count, this includes moments with your family and friends along with moments in life that you can’t plan, predict or anticipate but when you participate, you know it counted.
“Make Everyday Count” is a lifelong action item, which can start at any age and in any walk of life. Don’t worry, there will be days you fall down or don’t nail it, and that’s okay. However, if you start the day with the mindset of living each day as if it were your last, I can promise that you will be a lot closer and successful in the long run.