One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that there are two sides of fundraising.
There’s the outside part where all the “how to” stuff lives. Do this, don’t do that, love your donors, etc.
Then there’s the inside part where it’s all about how you think and what you feel. Really, it’s mindset. And it’s more important than you might think.
Your mindset about fundraising will largely determine your success.
If you think you can be successful, you will.
If you think your organization is small, your community too rural or too poor, or that there’s too much competition, you’ll struggle.
Mindset is made up of all your experiences and your feelings about those experiences. It colors everything you do and accounts for most of your success or failure in life.
Seems like it would be a good idea to work on your mindset every day, huh?
Believe it or not, keeping a positive mindset has a lot to do with how you take care of yourself. If you have healthy daily routines, you’re more likely to have a positive mindset.
Trust me on this one. This is something I’ve been working on for myself for quite some time now.
In fact, about a year ago, I was feeling beat up, burned out, and overwhelmed. In talking with some friends, they suggested some changes to my daily routines. Not all of them worked, but many did. Today, I feel like a completely different person. My business is growing (no surprise there!), my health is better, and I’m happier.
I’ve tried lots of different morning routines to get my day started off right, and I want to share what I’ve pieced together over the last year. There’s a specific purpose to each part of the routine.
Sandy’s Daily Personal Success Plan
First thing when I wake up, before I get up, I ask myself
What am I excited about today?
And I come up with something. Some days are harder than others, but I find that having something to look forward to gets me focused in the right direction.
Next, I ask myself
What am I grateful for today?
And I mentally list everything I can think of. This puts me in a place of gratitude where lots of things are possible.
Next, I grab my journal and write for about 5 minutes. I brain dump what I’m thinking and what I’m feeling. Essentially, I pour my worries on the page so I don’t have to carry them around in my head. It’s quite freeing!
After that, I feed my horses, dogs, and cats, then plop down on the floor to stretch for 5 minutes. Some days I do a full blown workout, but at a minimum I get my body moving and ready for the day by stretching. I’m finding it really helpful to get my creaky knees moving this way!
Next up I shower, get dressed, and eat something – usually a green smoothie.
Right before I head out the door, I sit down and breathe for 2 minutes. I set the timer on my phone, I clear my mind and breathe in and out. Seems like a simple thing, but it really clears my head and prepares me for the day. I always feel more calm, centered, and grounded after this part.
When those 2 minutes are up, I do 2 more minutes of visualizing how I want the day to go. I imagine the successes I want to experience and the things I want to accomplish. This puts my brain to work anticipating how things will go.
Finally, I do 2 more minutes of how I want to feel about my successes and accomplishments. I imagine them happening and I let myself feel the joy and bliss of the success. If you know anything about metaphysics, you know this part is really important and gets your subconscious brain working on making it happen.
The combination of all these things puts my head in a place of positive anticipation and gratitude, and grounds my energy. I feel ready for whatever the day will bring.
Confession time! I don’t get through this entire routine every day. Some days, I do half of it, some days all of it and other days something in between. And then there are those days when I barely make it through 1 or 2 items. Life is a work in progress. I don’t beat myself up over ‘failure to complete.’ I just recommit to doing the best I can the next day.
Here’s a recap:
- “What am I excited about today?”
- “What am I grateful for today?”
- Journal for 5 minutes
- Stretch for 5 minutes
- Shower/Get ready
- 2 minutes of breathing/meditation
- 2 minutes of visualizing a successful day
- 2 minutes of feeling how great it will feel
These 16 minutes or so get me started on the right foot every day. And it’s not really that much time.
I encourage you to be purposeful about how you start your day – it really does matter. You can try my routine or come up with one of your own – your Personal Success Plan. The point is to do something that gets your head in the right space so you can take on your day with as much strength as possible.
What about email?
Did you notice that I don’t check email first thing? I don’t look at my phone to see what’s come in?
Email is basically other people’s agenda in your inbox. Don’t start your day by dealing with what someone else wants from you. It can put you in a place of dread, overwhelm, fear, or anxiety, and that’s not a good way to start your day.
Whatever is in your inbox can wait until later, and honestly, you may want to skip it until mid morning. Work on YOUR agenda first, then check email later.
Here’s another sample morning routine to help you think about what you want yours to look like: http://mymorningroutine.com/
My friend Whitney Bishop offers this: http://www.whitneybishop.com/posts/make3changesmondaymission1/
Want more ideas for things you can do to make a difference in yourself? Here’s a great article: https://medium.com/life-learning/50-ways-happier-healthier-and-more-successful-people-live-on-their-own-terms-30280c7d5e44#.2yp8705lk
Here’s a great de-stressing list from the folks at Classy:http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/190333/Misc_Resources/destress-checklist/classy-destress-checklist.pdf?utm_campaign=q116_blog&utm_content=blue-button&utm_medium=destress-tips-post&utm_source=blog
What things do YOU do that make a difference in your day? Have you found it to help you be a better fundraiser? Inquiring minds want to know – leave a comment on the blog.