How to have a good day

How to have a good day

We’ve all had those days at work when nothing goes right: Your boss is in a wicked mood, your computer contracts a virus and there’s a two-hour traffic snarl on your commute home. It’s easy to dismiss days like these as the inevitable by-product of a modern workplace. But a new book by executive coach and former McKinsey partner Caroline Webb, How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life, makes a compelling case that you have far more control over your workday than you might realize.

One of the most thoroughly researched and practical personal management books I’ve read in a long time, Have a Good Day doesn’t just explain why we behave the way we do. Webb shows how small tweaks in your behavior can ensure that the good days will outnumber the bad.

Before sharing my favorite Webb tips, let me clarify what she means by a “good” day. It doesn’t mean a day free of distractions, stresses or challenges (as lovely as that sounds). Rather, Webb says, a good day is when you can answer three key questions in the affirmative:

  • Did you spend your time and attention on things that matter?
  • Do you feel that you did a good job and had the support of others?

  • Did the day leave you feeling more energized than depleted?
  • 5 Tactics to Have a Good Day

    If you want to improve your productivity and joie de vivre, I suggest you read Have a Good Day soon. (You can download a free chapter at CarolineWebb.co.) But in the meantime, here are five key tactics from it that you can put to good use immediately:

    1. Set intentions for your day: Have you noticed that when you’re shopping for a new car, it suddenly seems that every vehicle you see is the exact model you’re considering? That’s because your brain can only actually consciously perceive part of what’s going on around you at any time. What you notice is whatever matches things that are already top-of-mind. It’s a phenomenon researchers call “selective attention” and it’s why Webb suggests you become more deliberate about setting your intentions for the day.

    Also on Forbes:

    For example, say you’ll have an important meeting with a difficult co-worker. Normally, when you focus on the fact that he or she tends to be a bit of a jerk, you’ll quickly find evidence confirming your expectations (e.g. an irritating smirk) while filtering out all else (a smile or conciliatory tone). Your fixation on the negative means the conversation is likely doomed before it starts.

    Instead, Webb says, if you consciously try to notice the positive cues (as few as they might be) before going into the meeting, you’re more likely to enjoy a cordial discussion.

    Here’s the daily intention-setting routine Webb recommends to start your day:

    • Get clear on your goal by asking, “What really matters most in making this a success?
    • Acknowledge the concerns dominating your thoughts and ask, “Do these attitudes and assumptions help me achieve my real aim, and if not, can I set them aside for now?”
    • Ask, “Given my real priorities, where should I focus my attention? What do I most want to look out for?”

    Practicing this strategy will help ensure you pick up on cues that foster the kind of outcomes you want, as opposed to those you don’t.

    2. Practice distancing. No matter how skilled you become at setting intentions, you can’t always avoid life’s frustrations and challenges. To paraphrase a popular bumper sticker, “Stuff happens.”

    Distancing is a deceptively simple technique that allows you to gain needed perspective during those “Take me away, Calgon” moments. Two distancing tactics from Webb:

    First, ask yourself: “What will I think about this a month or a year from now?” It’s a powerful question that can help shift your thinking when frustration threatens to get the best of you.

    Second, pretend you’re advising a friend. Most people find it much easier to help a friend than to solve their own problems. So the next time you’re grappling with a thorny issue, ask yourself: “What would I say if I were giving advice on this same situation to a friend? You’ll be amazed how much easier it will be to think clearly once you remove yourself from the equation.

    3. Plan strategic downtime. Webb says the research overwhelmingly shows that we make better decisions when we give our brains a break. So while this might sound counterintuitive, you’ll be more productive when you carve out small break periods during the day.

    Ideally you’ll break every 90 minutes: Take a brief nap, go for a quick walk or simply get up and stretch your legs. Your brain — and your co-workers — will thank you.

    4. Focus on one task at a time. Here again, notes Webb, the research is clear: Multitasking makes us less, rather than more, productive. When we constantly juggle, error rates increase and output decreases. Two of Webb’s important tips:

    Rather than responding to email all day long, check your electronic mailbox just twice a day. That way you can hone in on the most important work without constant interruption.

    Also, plan a block of uninterrupted thinking time to work on your most complex task and batch similar tasks together.

    5. Practice gratitude. Ultimately, much of what makes our day good or bad, says Webb, is our mindset. When you make a point to note the good things (however small), your brain gets into the habit of scanning for positive things and your mood impro

    So make it a habit to actively notice the good around you.

    At the beginning of each day, try to notice three good things. For example: Your coffee was hot, someone held the door open for you and the train came on time. Then at the end of the day, think about the three best things that happened and write them down or tell your partner about them.

    The more you practice gratitude, says Webb, the happier and more productive you’ll likely be.

    How to have a good day

    We’ve all had those days at work when nothing goes right: Your boss is in a wicked mood, your computer contracts a virus and there’s a two-hour traffic snarl on your commute home. It’s easy to dismiss days like these as the inevitable by-product of a modern workplace. But a new book by executive coach and former McKinsey partner Caroline Webb, How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life, makes a compelling case that you have far more control over your workday than you might realize.

    One of the most thoroughly researched and practical personal management books I’ve read in a long time, Have a Good Day doesn’t just explain why we behave the way we do. Webb shows how small tweaks in your behavior can ensure that the good days will outnumber the bad.

    Before sharing my favorite Webb tips, let me clarify what she means by a “good” day. It doesn’t mean a day free of distractions, stresses or challenges (as lovely as that sounds). Rather, Webb says, a good day is when you can answer three key questions in the affirmative:

    • Did you spend your time and attention on things that matter?
    • Do you feel that you did a good job and had the support of others?

  • Did the day leave you feeling more energized than depleted?
  • 5 Tactics to Have a Good Day

    If you want to improve your productivity and joie de vivre, I suggest you read Have a Good Day soon. (You can download a free chapter at CarolineWebb.co.) But in the meantime, here are five key tactics from it that you can put to good use immediately:

    1. Set intentions for your day: Have you noticed that when you’re shopping for a new car, it suddenly seems that every vehicle you see is the exact model you’re considering? That’s because your brain can only actually consciously perceive part of what’s going on around you at any time. What you notice is whatever matches things that are already top-of-mind. It’s a phenomenon researchers call “selective attention” and it’s why Webb suggests you become more deliberate about setting your intentions for the day.

    Also on Forbes:

    For example, say you’ll have an important meeting with a difficult co-worker. Normally, when you focus on the fact that he or she tends to be a bit of a jerk, you’ll quickly find evidence confirming your expectations (e.g. an irritating smirk) while filtering out all else (a smile or conciliatory tone). Your fixation on the negative means the conversation is likely doomed before it starts.

    Instead, Webb says, if you consciously try to notice the positive cues (as few as they might be) before going into the meeting, you’re more likely to enjoy a cordial discussion.

    Here’s the daily intention-setting routine Webb recommends to start your day:

    • Get clear on your goal by asking, “What really matters most in making this a success?
    • Acknowledge the concerns dominating your thoughts and ask, “Do these attitudes and assumptions help me achieve my real aim, and if not, can I set them aside for now?”
    • Ask, “Given my real priorities, where should I focus my attention? What do I most want to look out for?”

    Practicing this strategy will help ensure you pick up on cues that foster the kind of outcomes you want, as opposed to those you don’t.

    2. Practice distancing. No matter how skilled you become at setting intentions, you can’t always avoid life’s frustrations and challenges. To paraphrase a popular bumper sticker, “Stuff happens.”

    Distancing is a deceptively simple technique that allows you to gain needed perspective during those “Take me away, Calgon” moments. Two distancing tactics from Webb:

    First, ask yourself: “What will I think about this a month or a year from now?” It’s a powerful question that can help shift your thinking when frustration threatens to get the best of you.

    Second, pretend you’re advising a friend. Most people find it much easier to help a friend than to solve their own problems. So the next time you’re grappling with a thorny issue, ask yourself: “What would I say if I were giving advice on this same situation to a friend? You’ll be amazed how much easier it will be to think clearly once you remove yourself from the equation.

    3. Plan strategic downtime. Webb says the research overwhelmingly shows that we make better decisions when we give our brains a break. So while this might sound counterintuitive, you’ll be more productive when you carve out small break periods during the day.

    Ideally you’ll break every 90 minutes: Take a brief nap, go for a quick walk or simply get up and stretch your legs. Your brain — and your co-workers — will thank you.

    4. Focus on one task at a time. Here again, notes Webb, the research is clear: Multitasking makes us less, rather than more, productive. When we constantly juggle, error rates increase and output decreases. Two of Webb’s important tips:

    Rather than responding to email all day long, check your electronic mailbox just twice a day. That way you can hone in on the most important work without constant interruption.

    Also, plan a block of uninterrupted thinking time to work on your most complex task and batch similar tasks together.

    5. Practice gratitude. Ultimately, much of what makes our day good or bad, says Webb, is our mindset. When you make a point to note the good things (however small), your brain gets into the habit of scanning for positive things and your mood impro

    So make it a habit to actively notice the good around you.

    At the beginning of each day, try to notice three good things. For example: Your coffee was hot, someone held the door open for you and the train came on time. Then at the end of the day, think about the three best things that happened and write them down or tell your partner about them.

    The more you practice gratitude, says Webb, the happier and more productive you’ll likely be.

    How To Have A Good Day

    Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life

    How to have a good day

    In How to Have a Good Day, economist and former McKinsey partner Caroline Webb shows readers how to use recent findings from behavioral economics, psychology and neuroscience to transform the quality of our everyday lives – at work and beyond.

    Advances in the behavioral sciences are giving us an ever-better understanding of how our brains work, why we make the choices we do, and what it takes for us to be at our best. But it hasn’t always been easy to see how to apply these insights in real life – until now. In How to Have a Good Day, Caroline Webb translates three big scientific ideas into step-by-step guidance that enables us to make every day feel more like our best days, by showing us how to: set better priorities, make our time go further, ace every interaction, be our smartest selves, strengthen our personal impact, be resilient to setbacks, and boost our energy and enjoyment. In short: she shows us how to take more control over the quality of our days – whether the “day job” sees us in an office, a studio, outdoors or at home.

    How to Have a Good Day was hailed by Forbes as a “must-read business book,” described by Fortune as one of their top “self-improvement through data” books, and listed by Inc as one of the best 15 leadership and personal development books of the past five years. Written in an accessible, engaging style for anyone with an interest in evidence-based self-improvement, the book has been widely lauded in the media, winning plaudits from publications as diverse as the Financial Times, TIME magazine, and Cosmopolitan. It’s been described by Susan Cain as “extraordinary”, Cass Sunstein as “wise and humane,” Tom Peters as “magisterial,” and Dan Pink as “smart, thorough, and eminently practical.” (You can read more endorsements below.) How to Have a Good Day has so far been published in 14 languages and more than 60 countries.

    We help people be at their best at work, using techniques that blend rigorous science with deep practicality.

    “ How we spend our days is,
    of course,
    the way we spend our lives. ”

    Small steps,
    big difference

    We show people how to apply simple insights from behavioral science (behavioral economics, psychology, neuroscience) to make lasting improvements in their professional performance, productivity and sense of wellbeing. And we help leaders use these techniques to build the kind of organizational culture that everyone wants to be part of.

    How to have a good day

    Our workshop participants practice applying the techniques we teach to real situations they’re dealing with. This deep learning-by-doing makes the concepts truly stick, and people get immediate value from attending our sessions.

    Explained by science

    We’ve found people are far more likely to embrace and remember a technique if they understand why it works. This deeper understanding also makes it easier for people to share the techniques with their colleagues.

    Tailored to you

    Our material is tried-and-tested, but we don’t do “off the shelf” work because no two organizations are the same. So, we immerse ourselves in your context and then design our sessions to make sure we’re focusing on what’s truly most important to you.

    We help people be at their best at work, using techniques that blend rigorous science with deep practicality.

    “ How we spend our days is,
    of course,
    the way we spend our lives. ”

    Small steps,
    big difference

    We show people how to apply simple insights from behavioral science (behavioral economics, psychology, neuroscience) to make lasting improvements in their professional performance, productivity and sense of wellbeing. And we help leaders use these techniques to build the kind of organizational culture that everyone wants to be part of.

    How to have a good day

    Our workshop participants practice applying the techniques we teach to real situations they’re dealing with. This deep learning-by-doing makes the concepts truly stick, and people get immediate value from attending our sessions.

    Explained by science

    We’ve found people are far more likely to embrace and remember a technique if they understand why it works. This deeper understanding also makes it easier for people to share the techniques with their colleagues.

    Tailored to you

    Our material is tried-and-tested, but we don’t do “off the shelf” work because no two organizations are the same. So, we immerse ourselves in your context and then design our sessions to make sure we’re focusing on what’s truly most important to you.

    Have you ever noticed that it doesn’t matter if your kids are in kindergarten or high school, getting out the door in the morning and on to school is never an easy task? In fact, its one of the most frustrating routines in most families and can cause a lot of disconnect. With anxiety high, worry looming, and everyone rushing, sometimes even the best intentions come out wrong and we leave our kids with words that might not be the most encouraging to start their day. More often than not we are stumbling for words and we mutter a “Have a Good Day” as our children stumble out away from us. However, what if we had a list of encouraging alternatives to Have a Good Day that set our kids up for the best they can be?

    How to have a good day

    * This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. Click here for my full disclosure.

    Just the other day in our sensory support group, someone asked “What words do you say to your child with SPD, as you send them off to school each day?” Immediately, I started following the thread, because can’t we all use encouraging phrases to say to your child before school each day? I know, I can!

    In fact, I can vividly remember the days of my son with SPD in public school. Saying “Have a good day” never seemed to cut it. The truth is, some days just weren’t very good.

    With the permission of the members of my sensory support group, I have gathered some of these simple encouraging phrases and made a list that is easy for you to use, hang on your fridge or keep in your car. Whether you homeschool or traditional school, we all can use a little encouragement each morning. Goodness, I could stand to hear these myself.

    30 Encouraging Phrases to Say to Your Child Instead of “Have a Great Day”

    “You are awesome”
    “You can handle it”
    “I’m so proud of you.”
    “I love you”
    “Today’s going to be a great day! I can feel it!”

    “Don’t stop, never give up, hold your head high and reach the top! ”
    “You’re gonna rock it in your school shoes (thanks to this book )”
    “I’m excited to see you tackle __________ today!”
    “You are an awesome kid.”
    “I believe in you.”

    “You are my pride and joy.”
    “Have fun and learn lots.”
    “Have a safe day”
    “Make good choices.”
    “Mama always comes back (from this book )”

    “Have a great day… but if you don’t… that’s okay too!”
    “See you later, alligator.”
    “You are strong, smart, and capable.”
    “Have a rock n’ roll day!”
    “Enjoy your new day.”

    “Be yourself.”
    “Whatever will be will be, the future is not ours to see.”
    “You make me proud.”
    “Close your eyes and picture your day.”
    “I know you will do your best.”

    “You don’t have to be perfect to have a great day!”
    “You’ve got this.”
    “See you soon”
    “Today is a new day.”

    How to have a good day

    Finally, every single day I send my son off to public school, I give him a big hug, smile and say “Remember, what’s the number one rule?”

    He always looks at me, winks and says… “I know Mom, have fun and do my best!”

    Now, you know just as much as I do that some times even the right words won’t make for a perfect day. Especially if you have a child who struggles with sensory processing, anxiety, anger, or emotional regulation. In that case, you might want a few more phrases to add to your arsenal!
    I would recommend checking out the following resources for helpful phrases to use with your struggling child that will allow them to feel both successful and connected to you!

    Print the 30 Encouraging Alternatives to “Have a Good Day”

    This post comes with a free printable to share with friends or to hang on your fridge as a good reminder of what we go through every single day.

    I have made a simple printable for you that has the entire list in a simple and easy to display format. Place it on the fridge, in a frame or even hand it to your best friend the next time they ask for a play date. Don’t get caught struggling to find the words to describe your child.

    The seven choices that determine your day.

    How to have a good day

    Aug 5, 2017 · 5 min read

    When we have a bad day, it’s usually our own fault.

    Because while some things happen that are out of our control, the quality of most days is determined by how we choose to approach them.

    A bad day is often the result of bad choices we make about what we invite into it. The better we select our “inputs,” the better our day becomes.

    Our inputs — the things we consume, interact with, or experience in a given day — are largely in our control.

    We can’t guara n tee ourselves a great day, but we can stack the deck in our favor by pursuing positive inputs and limiting negative ones.

    Here are a few places to start…A

    According to a 2015 study, if you expose yourself to three minutes of negative news first thing in the morning, you’re 27% more likely to declare you’ve had a bad day six-to-eight hours later.

    The content you consume — news, music, podcasts, TV, etc.— has a HUGE impact on how your day goes.

    One of the simplest things you can do to have a good day is consume media that inspires, motivates, and energizes you and limit media that makes you angry, anxious, or depressed.

    It’s important to be informed, but if you know the latest political madness is going to raise your blood pressure, there’s no reason you need to consume it first thing in the morning.

    Some people love a full daily calendar and think time flies when they’re busy.

    Others consider that their worst nightmare and prefer the bliss of starting their day with an empty calendar.

    It doesn’t matter which you prefer, what matters is that you actively optimize your day for whichever makes you feel good.

    Doing so drastically increases the odds you’ll have a good day.

    And while you will have some commitments you can’t re-arrange, you probably have more control of your calendar than you exercise.

    This is where you might expect me to tell you how important it is to eat healthy, how doing so will give you more energy, and how you’re more likely to have a better day if you eat kale than a cheeseburger.

    I’m not going to tell you that because anyone who’s had a cheeseburger knows it will likely make you WAY happier than kale ever could.

    Instead, I suggest you make your food choices based on what you enjoy— there’s value to eating a slice of pizza if you love it and there’s value to eating healthy because it makes you feel good.

    Look for ways to incorporate foods that make you feel good — not guilty, gross, or unsatisfied — into your day.

    Don’t eat crap because you’re too lazy to eat healthy when you know eating healthy makes you feel better.

    And don’t go on a juice fast because you think it’s good for you even though it makes you miserable.

    Whatever it is you love to do, do it. Every day.

    If it’s something you can’t do every day — like skiing when you don’t live near the slopes — find a way to incorporate it into your every day routine. Watch ski videos, chat on a ski-fan message board, plan your next ski trip, whatever.

    Life’s too short to not do what you love on a daily basis.

    There are people in your world who radiate positivity and there are others who, well…not so much.

    Focus on interacting with the people who make you feel better about the world as opposed to those who do the opposite.

    Just because a co-worker likes to spend 20 minutes a day complaining about how stupid the company is, that doesn’t mean you have to give them 20 minutes of your time.

    Choose to spend that 20 minutes talking to another co-worker who’s excited about the project they’re working on, eager to learn from you, or happy to mentor you.

    Pay attention to the conversations you find yourself in and the people you have them with — if they’re overly negative, find some new ones.

    Besides changing your bad phone habits, you can also improve your day by being intentional with how you use social media.

    When you check Facebook, does it make you feel good or bad? Does it help you have a good day or prevent you from having one?

    It’s not just about the time you spend on social media, but also how you use it.

    Does posting content to your account make you feel better than commenting or liking other people’s posts? Or does it make you feel more anxious?

    Does Instagram make you feel happy and creative, but Twitter makes you feel like you’re in the apocalypse?

    Social media isn’t inherently bad — a lot of good can come from it — but you must be selective with when and how you use it.

    The more you do that online, the more likely you’ll have a good day offline.

    If you only do one thing after reading (and hopefully sharing!) this post, let it be this:

    Consider whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert and plan your day accordingly.

    If you’re an introvert, it’s going to be more difficult to have a great day if you’ve packed it with crowds of people and social situations.

    And if you’re an extrovert, your recipe for a good day probably needs to include more than just time spent at a secluded beach by yourself.

    The key to a great day is to take into account what makes you happy, curate your inputs to emphasize those elements, and limit your exposure to the things that drag you down.

    Doing that won’t guarantee you a great day, but it sure gives you a great shot at one.

    Start small, grow slow

    How to have a good day

    The Daily Stoic for May 7th. “How to have a good day”.

    “God laid down this law, saying: if you want some good, get it from yourself.”
    —EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 1.29.4

    I think we all can agree on our disagreement of “what’s a good day”. The definition varies wildly from person to person. Of course, a good day is not necessarily a perfect day… It’s just a day that ends with a sense of fulfillment and joy.

    How To Have A Good Day?

    In my case, there’s a series of things that help.

    Set The Most Important Task For The Day, And Complete It

    One of the most important things to end my day with a smile on my face is being able to finish a task that’s significant enough. I think it was The 4-Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferris, that mentions how you should set an important task and focus on finishing just that task to consider your day productive.

    I have always struggled with that. As both a solopreneur and a workaholic, saying “no” or delegating tasks has not been easy for me. In fact, only recently I have learned to focus on one, and only one project. Ok, maybe two if you count this blog.

    Setting a realistic task you can complete every day will allow you to end it with a feeling of closure, and will boost your confidence in your skills. On the contrary, overwhelming yourself with lots of different tasks will only make you think you never have enough time.

    Cut to the chase.

    Do Some Exercise, Or Go For A Walk

    Today I had a lot of work and was not able to go to the gym. I try to go at least every weekday. Exercise not only helps you focus, it generates endorphins -the hormone of happiness- and gives you more energy to face the day, especially if you train or exercise early in the morning.

    Thus, after finishing work, I felt constrained by the walls of my apartment. I decided to go for a walk and then find a café to write the daily stoic post of the day.

    That short walk through Riga, and getting my eyes away from the screen for some time, has been enough to help me relax and focus on my writing.

    Do Something Good For Someone

    And this is where I completely agree with today’s stoic excerpt. Doing something good for someone is the best way I know to make you feel happier. In fact, I think every good deed we do propagates exponentially to people around at that very moment.

    This small gesture need not be elaborate. You don’t need to chase old ladies to help them cross the street. Saying “I love you” to the person you love, or inviting one of your colleagues at work for a good cup of coffee will do the trick.

    Conclusion

    Today’s Daily Stoic, “How to have a good day”, discusses that in order to have a good day, one must do good things. That’s definitely one of the three things that are guaranteed to cheer up my day too. The other two being finishing the most important task of the day, and doing some exercise, a walk or any other outside activity.

    ❤️ Did you enjoy this article?

    If you found this content useful, consider showing your appreciation by buying me a coffee using the button below 👇.

    10 Simple, Sure-fire Ways to Make Today Your Best Day Ever

    I shut my eyes so I can see. – artist Paul Gauguin

    By Leo Babauta.

    This morning as I took my kids to school, I was feeling rushed and harried. Stress levels high, my face wore a permanent frown, my mind was in a million different places, and my two youngest kids (3 year old, and 20 months) were quiet in their car seats.

    Then I realized: while my mind is elsewhere, I’m missing some prime moments with my kids. And not really enjoying my day.

    And so I changed the moment, and in doing so changed my day: we began singing some of our favorite children’s songs. Itsy-bitsy spider, twinkle twinkle, wheels on the bus, ABCDs, I’ve been working on the railroad, the ants go marching two by two … all of the oldies.

    Instead of thinking about all the things I had to do today, I brought myself into the present moment. And when we got to school, I took a few minutes to spend time with them. Be present with them. It was truly lovely.

    This little incident not only brought warmth and joy into my heart … it brought a realization into my mind: I can either have a stressed, difficult day … or I can have an amazing, wonderful day.

    I chose the amazing day.

    The rest of the day, I did things to ensure that my day was the best ever. And it was. I had the greatest day … all from simple little things that don’t seem like much, but make all the difference in the world.

    Do you have to follow these things step-by-step? Not at all. Find your own methods, or pick and choose a few of these. Main thing, though: take steps to make today your best day ever.

    1. Be present. Instead of having your mind elsewhere, bring yourself back to now, in this moment, focused on where you are and what you’re doing and who you’re with. We cannot change things that have already happened, and obsessing over them does nothing to help us now. We cannot predict the future, so worrying about it does nothing to help you either. Instead, focus on now … if something is worrying you, take action … but even better, just be in the moment, and live as if now is all there is. Because it is.

    2. Do less. Have a full schedule today? Cut it in half. You don’t need to do everything on that list. I took a few items on my list and moved them to next week. Do less (but focus on the important — not urgent — stuff) and you’ll be less stressed out. If you cut your list down and do only half the things you want to do for today, you’ll have a much better day. You’ll thank me.

    3. Get one important thing done. As I said in the previous point, do less but do more important things. When I say important, I mean things that will have a huge impact on your life (personally or career wise) over the long run. Not things that need to be done today or else. Here’s why: If you get something important done, something that will help you in the long run (even if it’s only a step towards a major accomplishment, it’s important), you will feel great! You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. That makes any day a great day.

    4. Plan your perfect life. What would your life be like if you had no restrictions? I’m not talking about living in a McMansion or flying around in jet planes, but what would make you happy. A good step: pick the 4-5 most important things in your life, and build your perfect life around those things, eliminating most of the rest if possible. Plan that perfect life, and then plan the first few steps you need to take to get there. Now schedule those first steps over the next week, including one today. It feels amazing to start taking action on making your life the way you want it to be.

    5. Declutter. Even if it’s just a little space — say a drawer or a shelf — decluttering an area of your life can have a wonderful effect on your mood and happiness level. I know it gives my day a boost. When things start to get cluttered (and let’s face it, even the best declutterers among us face clutter creep), I take a few minutes to clear it out. Clearing your desk (at least the surface of it) can be a great way to start.

    6. Go for a walk. I was going to write “exercise” but I’m afraid that many readers will just skip over this one. So instead, just go for a walk. That movement, and the fresh outdoor air, will have a great effect on your day. And even better: take a few minutes to enjoy the nature around you as you go for your walk. Clear your head. Calm yourself during a busy time of your day. Think to yourself: “How lucky I am to be alive! How wonderful a world I’m in! What opportunities and possibilities lie before me!”

    7. Focus on 3 projects. I wrote about this recently, but you’ll probably hear me repeat it a few times just because of the terrific effect it can have on your productivity and your life: choose only your three most important projects, and focus on them exclusively. Focus on getting them to completion, to the exclusion of all other projects. Do that today. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll accomplish. I only started doing it recently, but I’m getting so much done that I feel like I was sitting on my hands before this. It feels wonder-tastic!

    8. Listen to great music. When I was in the car, after I dropped the kids, an oldie came on the radio: Tommy James and the Shondells singing Hanky Panky. “I saw her walking on down the line (yeah) … you know I saw her for the very first time …” Well, I love songs like that (call me old if you like) and I started dancing in my seat. You might be turned on by hipper songs (or is “hipper” not a trendy word anymore?) but whatever music gets you going, jam it on your iPod or car radio. Or while you work. It’s a great time! “Hey, pretty baby, can I take you home!”

    9. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Trite? Yes, definitely. But does it work? Yes, definitely. I took the time to enjoy the sunset on my way home today. Mmmmm. It was lovely. It just fills me with warmth. Sunrises are even more beautifuller!

    10. Spend time with a loved one. Another obvious one, perhaps, but there’s nothing better, really. When I spent even just a few minutes with my two babies this morning, it filled me with a joy unequaled anywhere else in life. Then I spent some time with my wife, after work, and let me just say that’s about as good as it gets too. Even if you don’t have a spouse or kids, there’s someone in your life that you value … make time out of your day today to spend time with them … and not just to watch TV, but to actually be with them, talk with them, bond with them. It works.