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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

What Do Your Habits Say About You?

Victor Hugo wrote, “He who every morning plans the transactions

of the day and follows out that plan carries a thread that

will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life. The

orderly arrangement of his time is like a ray of light which darts

itself through all his occupations. But where there is no plan,

where the disposal of time is surrendered to the chance incidents,

chaos will soon reign.”

If you look back on the past ninety days, some days were

better than others. There were probably some great days, a lot

of fairly average days, and perhaps some bad days. What caused

the great days? Was each one just happenstance, completely out

of your control, nothing to do with you? Or are there certain

things that you did that predisposed that day to being a great


Let’s break it down a little further. How do your best days

begin? When I ask this question in my seminars I get many

different answers: working out; having breakfast with my

children; taking some quiet time for prayer, reflection, planning;

getting to bed early the night before; waking up rested;

giving myself enough time to get ready without rushing. The

thing is, most people have never thought of it. It’s a simple

thing but true evidence of how little strategy there is to our


You see, my own experience tells me this: if a day doesn’t

start as a great day, it is very, very, very unlikely to end as a

great day. Once a day gets away from us, we tend to go into

survival mode. Consciously or subconsciously we tend to start

thinking to ourselves, “Alright, let’s just get through this day!”

Also, once a day gets away from you, it is very difficult to alter

its momentum; it takes a lot of energy and attention to shift

the energy of a day that has already gotten away from you. All

this leads to the conclusion that it is best to take some time to

set up a day. In doing so we give that day the best chance it has

to be a great day.

Examining the best way to start your day is a great way to

start living strategically. I did this for a long time, but then I

started to examine my day on a deeper level. I started asking

myself what components guaranteed (barring any disaster) that

I would have a really good day. I came up with five things, and

I call these core habits. Each year I reassess my core habits.

Sometimes they change and sometimes they don’t. But I know

that if I do these five things on any given day the chances of me

not having a really good day are pretty slim.

Matthew Kelly

From Off Balance

Click Here to get your copy

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