We’ve all said it or typed it: “Have a great day!” We mean well. The intent is to show positive support for one another and, of course, none of us can know when a day may be filled with challenges, disappointments – even excuses.
Sometimes, it helps to have a little inspiration. But to actually make great days happen, also requires action. I’ve decided to employ a little creativity, and change my thinking from that of ‘how to make a day great’ to ‘how to build a great day.’ Starting from the very beginning of each day, I have found an easy way to build on the positives for the best day ever. It’s a choice that I’m making and one that I have to continually work at. But the rewards are worth it!
Here’s how you can take advantage of every opportunity and B.U.I.L.D. great days, personally and professionally, with a few simple strategies.
BEGIN YOUR DAY WELL: You’re probably aware that whatever happens early in the day usually affects the rest of your day. Choose to begin your day well. Read, meditate, exercise – however that looks for you, the key is to be sure to allow time each morning to prepare yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for the day ahead. It’s such a better start to the day than frantically running out the front door unprepared.
UNPLUG: Close your door when you feel the need for some clarity. At lunch time, take a brisk ten-minute walk outside. Research shows that when people move faster, their metabolism speeds up, and the activity and sunlight are good for your focus, your mood, and the retention of information. Taking a few minutes to unplug can clear some valuable physical and mental space – energizing you to tackle more with ease. And remember, when you feel less stressed, you help the people around you to feel better too.
INVEST IN YOURSELF: One of the most important ingredients in building a great day is to do something special for you. Order that book you’ve been wanting to read or plan a special weekend excursion. Having fun on a regular basis is a pillar of happiness, and anticipation is an important part of that pleasure. Involve friends or family, as well; people enjoy almost all activities more when they’re with other people than when they’re alone.
And here’s a cost-free way to invest in yourself. Make a list of your tasks for the day and choose to tackle the most urgent, pressing, or possibly annoying chores first. Answering a difficult email, for instance, is quickly rewarded with the feeling of accomplishment and the rush of optimism enjoyed as you cross it off your list. The day just seems easier when you invest in eliminating inner resistance.
LIFT YOUR MOOD: People who listen to music or watch entertaining musical programs have a tendency to join in. They may mouth the words, clap their hands, or move to the beat. Build a more positive and energized day by listening to your favorite music at some point. Studies show that listening to music is one of the most effective ways to lift your mood (second only to exercise). In fact, in one study, 92% of people felt happier when they listened to music they liked. Can’t always listen to music? Lift your mood by reading a brief, inspirational thought each day.
DO A GOOD DEED. So it’s not your day to make the coffee or supply the doughnuts… do it anyway and watch the smiles appear on other’s faces! At the very least, the person whose turn it was will notice, and that can be more than enough to set a positive tone for the day. So many little things are in need of attention during a day. Be the first to act on those and see how it encourages others to follow your lead. Don’t wait to be asked. Do a good deed whenever and wherever.
Each day is a gift. Build on the good things. Be present in every moment and enjoy the moment you’re in – NOW.