Ask Yourself These 5 Questions For A Successful Day

Successful day

Reaching Your Goals Starts In The Morning

Nothing comes easy. Opportunity is actually a lot of hard work. It’s easy to think that for successful people it all boiled down to good ‘luck’ – when they actually invested years and years of sweat and tears!

Not only does hard work pay off, finally achieving success because of hard work feels amazing.

To really be successful you need to break your big visions into bite-sizes chunks: a good day-to-day routine serves your long term goals. More and more successful days lead to successful weeks, months and eventually successful years!

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself each morning for a successful day:


Tools: To Do List
Time To Spend: 5 minutes

This can be a project you want to finish or a difficult conversation you need to have with a friend. Make a to-do list and write down everything you want to accomplish today.

Many successful people start their day with a to-do list and with good reason! Doing so will give you a clear overview of your tasks, as well as the first ideas on how to achieve those goals.

But be realistic: you can’t fix everything in one day (unfortunately a day only has 24 hours). Setting too many goals for yourself will only cause stress and “cloud” your plans.


Tools: Plan A + Step-by-Step
Time To Spend: 10 minutes

Once you’ve set up your realistic to-do list for the day, think of the steps you need to take to achieve your tasks.

If you need to finish that project: make a schedule on when you do what, and how many time you expect to be spending on those steps. Once you’ve done this, you can stop yourself when you’re spending too much time on each of the steps.

Or in case you want to prepare yourself for that difficult conversation with your friend then write down or think about what you need to mention, questions you have and how you’re going to react to certain responses.

Make sure not to spend too much time on this. If you don’t get these steps worked out perfectly, that’s fine! It’s just meant as an easy guide to have a successful day.

Work and time invested in a task and trying to execute it as perfectly as possible is something you need to learn to balance out in order to be successful:

The quality of output in projects grows exponentially on a time line. The closer you’ll get to the finish line, the less of a quality difference your efforts will make. If you spend an equal amount of time on getting to “90% perfect” as on getting the remaining 10% to get to 100, I can assure you that 90% is all you need to aim for. Believe me, it’s enough!

Think of all the extra things you could get done if you let go of that remaining 10%-perfectionism. You’ll be able to handle so much more on your plate and gain more experience, which in itself already teaches you to get closer to 100% just by doing it more often.

Bottomline: If you aim for 90% quality, you’ll get twice as much done in a day, and you’ll be more successful at what you do.



Tools: Colleagues, friends, family, etcetera.
Time To Spend: 5 minutes

This is actually part of the “how”. Almost every task/goal you set yourself needs input from others. You have to work with your colleagues on the project, and you can’t have a conversation with yourself. So, who do you need to ask what?

Set up your contacts: the design guy for the presentation, the copywriter for that article, someone in your department for a final check… Communication is key! Making a clear overview on who you need to contact makes things a lot easier.

And maybe it’s an idea to call one of your other friends for some advise if you want that difficult conversation to turn out successful.


Tools: Plan B
Time To Spend: 2 minutes

Thinking of a Plan B before anything goes wrong isn’t just reassuring, it also helps you to think of options you didn’t realize where there when you were setting up Plan A!

Making a Plan B not only provides you security, but looks amazing towards others as well. “So, we’re going to do this and that to finish the project, if that doesn’t work, we should consider…”. Think about it: these are the kind of things successful people say!

This also works for that convo you need to have. Not getting the reaction you were hoping for: you anticipated that! Now you can immediately (but friendly) oppose a different strategy on how to solve the problems between you and the other person.


Tools: Evaluation
Time To Spend: 5 minutes

This one’s about the goals you set the day before. Evaluating this helps you do an even better job next time.

So you didn’t manage to reach your goal. Now don’t go into a negative thinking spiral about what went wrong, but quickly review the problem, let it go and focus on how you can reach it today/asap. Using too much energy thinking about what you could’ve done does NOT help you to figure out what you SHOULD do.

If you did achieve your goals, take some time to realise what you did that made you so successful and apply this in the future.

Within the half hour you’re now completely set up to have a successful day. Sounds almost too easy doesn’t it? Well, it IS easy! Following these 5 simple steps every day will give you that fertile ground for success in your career and personal life.

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Photo Credit © Shutterstock


  • Lionell says:

    Great post! Good to see other people know the simple keys in life to being productive! I actually wrote a post on my own blog about blog workflow, time management and how I manage to be productive, probably a bit more harsh for other people to read with my outspoken opinion… :-) It can be found on this link

  • Amy Riedeman Amy Riedeman says:

    Hi Lionell, happy to hear you like it! Productivity is an art, but something everyone can learn:) It’s nice to see you are interested in this and wrote about it as well. Thanks!

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