A new book says “Win the day” to achieve all your resolutions

I have long been fascinated by time and productivity. In fact, I’ve already spent an entire year interviewing billionaires, Olympians, freshmen, and over 200 Silicon Valley entrepreneurs while writing a book that revealed their secrets to doing more, with less. of stress.

And it’s a consistent theme throughout New York Times the new book by bestselling author Mark Batterson, Win the day: 7 daily habits to help you stress less and accomplish more. Batterson is the founder and senior pastor of National Community Church in Washington DC, which has been recognized as one of America’s most innovative churches.

“I think people overestimate what you can do in a year or two, but underestimate what you can accomplish in 10 or 20 years just by putting your head down and doing the right thing day in and day out,” said Batterson. “This is really the heart of Win the day. “

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Batterson about miracle marathon running, his approach to achieving his goals, and the habits that fueled his prolific career as a writer.

This interview has been edited slightly for length and clarity.

Kruse: As in all your books, you tell a lot of stories in Win the day, especially on miracles or gigantic goals that have been achieved in one way or another. One of them is how you went from a severe asthma condition to a Chicago Marathon race, and I quote, “without running out of steam”. How did you do it?

Batterson: I have had severe asthma for 40 years. I probably spent a total of 90 to 120 days in hospitals growing up with asthma attacks. Not a week would go by without me taking several puffs of a rescue inhaler. I recognize that people have different worldviews, but I would call what happened to me a miracle because it followed a courageous prayer. Doctors would call it spontaneous remission. The last time I touched an inhaler was July 2, 2016. To celebrate, I decided to do something I had never done before and signed up for the Chicago Marathon. But I didn’t just go out and run 26.2 miles. I followed a training plan consisting of 475 miles over 72 training runs. Then, and only then, I was able to succeed in the marathon. This is one of the examples in the book that hopefully encourages people, because no matter what goal you are pursuing or what habit you are trying to break or build, it will happen little by little. You win the day one day at a time.

Kruse: Something you talk about in the book is the distinction between minutes and moments. How about is the difference?

Batterson: Time is measured in minutes; life is measured in moments. Too often we live in the wrong time zone. We get stuck in the past or focus on the future. These mentalities prevent us from living the only moment available to us: the present. I try to approach life understanding that every day is the first and the last day of my life. The present moment never existed and never will be. It might sound like a Jedi mind trick, but it’s a philosophy of life that allows me to approach each day for what it is. And living my life that way takes a measure of discipline, creativity, and effort. But in the long run, it pays off.

Kruse: I have found that sometimes people have “tunnel vision” when it comes to goal setting and neglect other areas of life to achieve their goal. I have personally seen the benefits of having big business goals, but achieving them has come at the cost of my family and my health.

Batterson: My goals underwent a drastic transformation in my late 30s as almost all of them were a little selfish. They were all over me, myself and me. And so I started to add a relational component to my goals. So rather than aiming to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, why not aim to kiss my wife at the top of the Eiffel Tower? If I want to run a triathlon or swim to get away from Alcatraz, why not do it with my son or daughter?

But I would say you won’t accomplish 100 percent of the goals you didn’t set for yourself. That said, 75% of New Years resolutions will fail in the first month. So maybe we need to approach the goals differently. I think the key is to make a game plan to understand the little pre-decisions we need to make or the daily rituals we need to start to help us get there over time. For example, in Jewish tradition, the day does not begin with sunrise, it begins with sunset the day before. If your goal is to start waking up earlier, you may need an evening ritual to get ready for the next day.

Kruse: You are quite prolific in your writing and your books are very successful. What habits have influenced your writing process?

Batterson: I didn’t write a book until I was 35. I wanted to write a book at 22, but I’m thankful I didn’t, because I should have written a book at 23 to come back to what I said at 22. But I found that I have to give me a deadline. Parkinson’s Law which says if you have two weeks to do something, it will take two weeks. If you have two months, it will take two months. So now I have what I call “writing season”. My birthday in early November is the start line and February Super Bowl Sunday is the finish line. During this time, I don’t take outside meetings beyond our staff and talk a lot less. I will usually do a front end and back end writing retreat, and on the intervening days I sometimes write from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. And when all is said and done, I usually come out of “writing season” with a decent manuscript to give to an editor to work its magic. After all, good writing is bad writing well edited.

Kruse: I mentioned earlier that your books have so many great stories. How to follow them all?

Batterson: I read anything and everything that I can get my hands on. I read 3000 books before I wrote one because I love to read. I’m old school, so I read physical books in the trees, and I never read without a pen in my hand. I have a five-level note-taking system that involves underlines, asterisks, circles, and dog-eared pages. I don’t remember all the details of the books I read, but I almost always remember, 20 years later, where I read a certain story or heard about a certain study. So I don’t have a good memory for the details, but I have a good memory for my own internal Dewey decimal system.

Kruse: What is one thing you want your readers to take away from Win the day?

Batterson: I want to inspire readers to ask the question “How do I live each day like it’s the first and last day of my life?” Because when you start doing that, those days are going to add up to amazing weeks, months, and years.

Kevin Kruse is the Founder + CEO of LEADx, a platform that adapts and maintains leadership habits across an organization. Kevin is also a New York Times bestselling author of Great leaders don’t have rules, 15 secrets successful people know about time management and Employee engagement 2.0.

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