Today I wanted to post an article about how to have a good day – even if it hasn’t been so good up until now. Well, I couldn’t find one that didn’t preach somebody’s religion or smack you in the face with platitudes, so let’s do this together. Take a moment to think about what would make your day better, maybe even make it great. What would that be? Seeing the face of someone you love and who loves you back? Hearing your favorite music? Knowing you have purpose to your day and to your life? A smile? Money left over after the bills are paid? A pat on the back from your boss? The skies clear and the sun shines? What?
Think about the small things as well as the big things that would blend together to make your day great.Me? I listen to a little Bach, hear my grandson’s giggle (even if it’s in my mind), take a deep breath and I’m good to go.
Some things that work most of the time for many of us include:
1. Visualize success and then drop your expectations. You have a plan, or a “to do” list, or an idea of what you need to accomplish today. You have visualized yourself having great success every step of the way. Now drop you expectations of the outcome – just for today. If everything gets changed and nothing goes the way it was planned, you can deal with it if you haven’t hung everything on rigid expectations. For example, you have a big project that you have just completed and will present to the boss this morning. You have given it your very best shot. Now drop your expectations of the outcome. Either way it goes you will not be disappointed. If it’s praise you receive, bask in it. If it is criticism, the way to fall isn’t as far as it is from the pinnacle of high expectation and it’s easier to accept suggestions for revision.If she cancels your meeting, you know it will happen later. Dropping expectations now and then makes it possible to enjoy whatever happens or at least to adjust more easily.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying never to have expectations. Sometimes anticipating a good time is what keeps you going. I’m saying don’t always predict the outcome. Do the best you can and let what happens happen.
2. Spend some time with yourself. Take a few minutes of “quiet time.” You are the best possible company you can keep so spend some time getting to know you better. You can use the time to meditate or write in your journal. You can think about all those things you appreciate, the people you love, the kindnesses you have been shown. You can think about your strengths and consider different ways you can use these strengths to improve you life or the lives of others. You can use the time to think about what you really want in life or in this day. Your day will go better if you spend some time with you.
3. Think as positively as you can – just for today. Unless your job depends on it, don’t watch the news today and instead read about something good, uplifting, new and creative or watch something on YouTube that is inspiring or so funny it makes you laugh out loud all by yourself. Just for one day, don’t compare yourself with anyone else or criticize yourself in the mirror. Be aware of words that contain can’t, won’t, don’t, could, would, should and drop them out of your vocabulary.
4. Sing. It doesn’t matter if you sound like a cat with it’s tail caught in the door – sing. It does something wonderful for the soul and lifts your spirits like nothing else can do. If you sound worse than the cat or are always in a group of people, sing inside your head. Try to stay away from the “somebody done me wrong song” or any other music that brings you down. Pick something you like and sing.
5. Breathe. Yes, I know you’re already breathing but are you thinking about it? Take a deep breath – as deep as you can get it – hold it while you think about all that fresh oxygen that’s going in to your system. Breath is life. Think about how fantastic it is that your body does it without you having to direct it to do so. Now let it out and think about how you’ve just let go of what no longer serves you. Take another conscious, deep breath. Three of those does wonders to relax and refresh you. Without breath you wouldn’t have a day at all, much less a good one. Enjoy the breath.
6. Smile. Even if you don’t mean it right now. Smile. Your face won’t crack. Really. Smile even if there isn’t anyone around to see it. And be sure to smile at the next three people you see – give each one a big dazzling smile and see what happens.
So there’s six things to help you have a better day. I know none of them are new ideas – just the same old stuff. But it’s old stuff that works. Try one of them or all of them and see what a difference it makes.
Now go out with a smile and enjoy the day.