3 Ways to Win Tomorrow by Working Today

College football legend Nick Saban once said something that perked up my ears. Addressing the media during the offseason, a time when a lot of coaches could rest and recharge, Saban shared his philosophy on not missing any available moments. “All of us are a little bit addicted to tomorrow. I’ll quit smoking tomorrow. I’ll go on a diet tomorrow. I’ll lose weight tomorrow. I’ll start studying tomorrow, but really, making it happen today is the way you improve,” he said, talking about his Alabama Crimson Tide football players. “That’s the way we will get better. That’s the way you create more value for yourself and that will really help our team get a lot better as well.”

He’s so right. We all want to be winners, but it doesn’t happen by accident. Winners work, they don’t procrastinate. Here are 3 ways to win tomorrow by working today.

1. Don’t put anything off.

We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Not as husbands. Not as dads. Not as athletes. I watched so many teammates suffer career-ending injuries during my days on the football field. It’s sad every time it happens. It also reminds us that we must take advantage of every breath we’re blessed to take. We only get right now, so don’t procrastinate. Living, preparing, and working today will benefit us if we get to tomorrow. This strategy will pay off because consistency is often the enemy of complacency.

2. Don’t take a day off.

Rest is natural, necessary, and beneficial, but it’s meant to be a slight interruption to your routine, not the focus. Too much rest leads to rust. Don’t take a day off when you could be working. That old social media hashtag #riseandgrind is a real thing, and when we attack each day with enthusiasm, the result is usually progress toward a goal. Think of your goal as something at the top of the downward-moving escalator. If you stop hustling, you’ll start sliding away from your goal. Tomorrow will thank you for taking extra steps today.

3. Don’t accept a drop-off.

The greatest thing about top-tier athletes is they do not accept failure as the norm. If Arnold Palmer scored four bogies in a round, he’d come back the next day determined to birdie those same holes instead. How? Part determination, but also part work. He also spent hours on the driving range making minor adjustments to make the next round better than his last. Improving is a process, so don’t skip steps, and don’t back down from a challenge. Keep pushing yourself by doing a series of positive things each day as dad, spouse, employee, and friend.

Sound off: What is one way you can start talking, working, or acting like a winner?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you think it takes to be a winner?”