Book Review - 'The Perfect Day Formula: How To Own The Day and Control Your Life' by Craig Ballentyne

While my 'Perfect Day Formula' would involve touring around in the countryside in France - I was in Provence in the photo : ), that will have to wait - at least until???

Do you have your idea of a perfect work day? A perfect weekend day? A perfect holiday day?

I read a great book recently that taught me how to set up my perfect day - every day!

I bump in to many health care professionals online and in my work with my few clients. I’m often asked what I read and who I follow as I push my business forward. I thought I’d post a variety of book reviews from time to time to keep me reading consistently and send out some ideas for your next page turner …

I really enjoyed 'The Perfect Day Formula: How To Own The Day And Control Your Life' by Craig Ballantyne. Craig wrote this in 2015, but I just picked it up recently. I’ve been on a kick to shake up my daily routine and this book spoke to me!

I had a chance to meet Craig when he was speaking at a conference I attended in Toronto  - Lori Kennedy's 'Wellness Business Summit' - and I brought my book to get it signed!

In the book, Craig talks about successful days being set up the night before. So true!

What he means by this is that you need to be able to get a refreshing night’s sleep so that you can be at your best the next day. He is a real believer in going to bed early and rising early. Craig’s message is to get to work as soon as possible on your priority task for the day.

You know what the most important thing is – it’s probably the thing you’ve been ignoring, putting off, and procrastinating about! Did you know your willpower dissolves over the course of the day? We only have a particular amount each day (optimized with a great diet and a good night's sleep!) so anything left to the end of the day will not get our best attention.

Craig says that getting to your most important thing as your first thing in the day will assure you incremental success day after day. We know this right? We hear it All The Time. By setting up simple habits every day you Will move forward – you have no choice! 

 

Here are the biggest takeaways from the book for me. Craig refers to these seven points as the Habits of Steel:

  1. Figure out what matters…. and focus on it
  2. Identify steps to success and rules for your life
  3. Create a checklist for new habits
  4. Prepare the night before
  5. Remove all obstacles
  6. Take massive action
  7. Learn and improve

 

The points that resonated the most for me were numbers 2, 3, and 5.

2. I had never thought about setting official rules for my life! I will do – these things… and I won’t do – these things. Now they are set – and you can let them guide your actions! Imagine saying,‘Sorry, I’ve set this rule for myself about …’ Simple really.

3. Every new habit seems huge. But if you set up the events that need to happen both before and after a new habit – the habit just sort of happens now right? Because everything has been arranged for success! Seems so clear doesn’t it??

5. When you constantly see (or invent!) things that are in your way, you can’t find your way forward. Think clearly about what causes you daily irritation, excuses, or failures to follow through. Now get creative. Do you need a coach or a mentor? A housekeeper? Grocery or meal delivery? A partner to amuse the kids and the dog for a while? Do it.

Another great tactic for success that Craig discusses in his book is called

‘The 10-3-2-1-0 Goodnight Formula’:

  • 10 hours before bed – no caffeine
  • 3 hours before bed – no more food or alcohol
  • 2 hours before bed – no more work
  • 1 hour before bed – no more screens – tvs, phones, or computers!
  • 0 – the number of times you’ll hit the snooze button each morning …

 

Craig refers often to the Five Pillars:

1) Planning and Preparation - Set yourself and your environment up for maximum productivity - get rid of temptations and maximize your willpower by getting to work early in the morning

2) Professional accountability, or the power of a pro - Hire a coach or a mentor to help you get where you need to go - on a timeline!

3) Social support, or how to harness the power of other people - Recruit a network of healthy relationships - friends, family, employees/employer, business partners, personal assistants and mentors

4) An incentive, or treat yourself to big victories - Delay gratification - but not too much! Have incremental treats for yourself along the way towards your goal. This may be at the end of each week or each month for example. It could be a movie, a manicure, a new book, a day off in front of the TV ...

5) The big deadline, or the most important pillar of them all! Keep your eyes on prize -  the biggest prize (and you've got to make this Big) is reserved for a special celebration when you hit your large goal!

This reward could be a trip with family, a large purchase, a yoga retreat in some exotic place (oh wait - that's my prize!), a weekend away with someone special - you'll know what you really really want to look forward to!

Craig's book was enjoyable. It had easy to read, practical advice that is very simple to start to incorporate, it focused on making simple changes, and was delivered by someone whose has truly lived by designing his own Perfect Day Formula. I recommend!

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