5 principles to change your life. Shift your focus to 'Day One' not 'one day' thinking.

Words by Craig Hankridge

When we strive for goals, aspire to achieve something great or create a vision of what our life will hold in the future often we think we have time. 

We are often happy to wait until:

- the time is right

- we have enough money 

- we have enough experience

- we have had enough mentoring

- we have read enough books or listened to enough podcasts

In reality, none of these things occur. Enough is never enough. Time is a finite resource, a resource that you continue to lose a portion of each day you choose not to act. 

There will always seem like a better time, a more secure financial foundation or a better grasp of the concepts you need to know to get started. This may be true, but what if there isn't and you never actually get started?

To turn ideas into reality you need to take action. You need to remove 'one day' from your vocabulary and replace it with 'day one'. 

Day One = today/now/this moment. 

Day One thinking is a mental shift, it involves a series of choices that you make each and every day. They may seem small but they compound and build off one another leveraging your efforts over time. 

It doesn't matter what your specific goal is, each of these principles will help to get you there. 

Keen to get stuck in? Here are five principles of Day One thinking that you can action today. 

1. Get up early

This doesn't necessarily mean 5am, it just means getting up earlier than what you currently do. If you normally rise at 7am, set an alarm for 6.30am. If it's typically an 8am wake up, make it 7.30am. This 30 minute block won't ruin your day, your sleeping cycle won't combust, it won't cause jet lag or lead to uncontrollable napping by 3pm. Conversely it will allow you to start your day on purpose. With this extra time you won't need to rush, you have time to start your day with specific actions. A morning coffee, a short workout or run, or even a healthy breakfast. By choosing to control the day you remove yourself from a reactive mindset (more on this in the coming days). Give it a try for three weeks and see how you feel at the end of each day.

*spoiler alert - great things tend to start happneing.

2. Get comfortable being uncomfortable

This is a classic quote, mantra and cliche that most are familiar with. But it cuts through for a reason. Life really does begin at the end of your comfort zone. Ice T, not known for his philosophical offerings puts it simply in this vid (note - not PG rated) :


The moral of the story here is to push yourself. Make the call, back yourself, get in over your head and see if you have what it takes. 

Most people play it safe in life. Most people follow the norm and are happy to live within the perceived boundaries of what life should be. 

You aren't most people. Take the chance. You will either win or you will learn. 

3. Stop sweating the small stuff, think big picture.

How often are people rude to shop assistants? How often do they curse and yell in traffic? Are they really that annoyed that they only got a medium fries instead of the large they ordered? Not likely (although fries are phenomenal). What is more likely is that the frustrations and limitations they experience at work or at home translate into their behaviour elsewhere. 

Choose to take a second and truly assess if what you're about to get angry or stressed about is worth it. Stress can be healthy (when  you're pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone) or unhealthy (worrying about things that you can't influence). Focus on what you can control, we only have so much time and energy to put towards what matters to us. It doesn't matter what car your friend drives, who bought a house bigger than yours (obviously not a smashed avo fan) or what other think you should be doing. Focus on your vision, your goals, your race against yourself. Create a life instead of living someone else's.

4. Think. Act. Repeat. 

All you have to do is follow those three words, literally. Focus on what you want, act before you think you are ready. If it works, awesome, if it doesn't, repeat. As science grads we are all familiar with experimental design. Constant iteration and fine tuning via trial and error to find success.. Apply that same principle to your life. Want to start your own clinic or create an alternate, ideal working week? Think it through, do your research but instead of delaying make moves and ACT on your findings to make it happen. Start small, find ways to test your ideas and then follow through and crush it. Plenty of great ideas, companies, experiences and lives have been lost due to inaction. Let's stop yours from becoming one of them. 

5.  Never stop learning. 

This sounds basic but is often the difference between a world class practitioner and those who merely check in and check out each day. Each day presents new research, clinical findings and constant feedback from the patients that are seen. Building on this clinical foundation is where we can also focus on the soft skills of communication, rapport building, mindset and emotional intelligence. All of the above skills require work and dedication to maximise. So how do you fit learning into each and every day? 30 minutes in the morning can be a great opportunity. Podcasts on your commute, instagram pages of other clinics and practitioners as well as semi-regular events and workshops all help to flex your brain to maximise your skills. The next level is to not limit yourself to your own industry. Curiosity may have killed the cat but it is a serious advantage to becoming the best version of you. 

What now? Treat these principles as you would expect a patient to treat their management plan. Don't pick one or two things to do, commit to them all, give yourself a 14 day trial and see how quickly your life starts to progress. 

Interested in maximising your skills? We can help! Check out our tailored programs that take practitioners from good to world-class.