Your day is about to get better.
I’ve previously written about how to have a great day tomorrow and how a Great List can change your life in 30 days, but today I want to zoom in and talk about this moment.
If you don’t love how your day is going, there are five simple things you can do to turn it around.
(Ok, maybe after you finish reading and sharing this post!)
If you do one of them, you’ll see an immediate improvement.
And if you do all five? Well, then enjoy your newfound great day!
1. Do one impactful thing you can complete today.
Most things people do to improve their lives take a lot of time to pay dividends.
You can’t get in shape in a day, write a novel in a weekend, or master a craft in a month.
It’s important to have a long-term mindset and develop positive habits over time, but not all life improvement requires a lifetime to unlock.
There are things you can complete in a single day (or even better, a single hour), that will have an immediate and lasting impact on your life.
It may be as simple as learning something valuable from a YouTube video, painting something, or cleaning up your closet.
Completing something in the time you have available — as opposed to just starting something — will leave you feeling accomplished, satisfied, and happy when you’re done.
And if you choose wisely, it will have an impact that lasts beyond just the day you do it.
What you learn from watching that video may improve your work for years to come, your painting may give you joy every time you see it on your wall, and your clean closet may start every day with a sense of calm instead of chaos.
2. Do one thing you regret not doing yesterday.
There are opportunities to be found in your regrets.
A sure-fire way to make today good is to learn from the mistakes you made yesterday.
Think about what you wish you did differently yesterday and adjust accordingly.
Doing so will make you feel better about today and wipe out the negative feelings you carried over from the previous day.
On the flip side, if you don’t do today what you wished you had done yesterday you’ll likely regret it again — and the next day, and the day after that.
It’s easy to fall into a cycle where regrets compound and make it progressively harder to accomplish what you wanted to do in the first place.
So nip it in the bud and do today what you wish you’d done yesterday before it carries over to tomorrow.
3. Do one thing to pleasantly surprise somebody.
It feels good to make other people feel good — here’s your excuse to do so.
Come up with a way to pleasantly surprise somebody you care about and do it.
This doesn’t have to be complicated.
Call a friend who hasn’t heard from you in a while, surprise a co-worker with their favorite coffee, or post something on social media recommending people check out your friend’s amazing store.
It doesn’t take much time, effort, or money to surprise somebody and will inevitably improve your day and theirs.
It’s the highest return on investment you’ll ever get.
4. Do one thing you’ve avoided.
We avoid things because we fear them. But the fear is always worse than the thing itself.
Pick one of the the many things you’ve avoided for a while (we’ve all got plenty to choose from) and make today the day you do it.
While you may not be eager to tackle it, embracing this concept may help you trick yourself into finally taking it on.
It allows you to reframe the question from, “Do I want to do this thing today?” into the more productive question, “Of the things I’ve been avoiding, which one am I going to do today?”
When you do something you’ve avoided, two things happen that will help improve your day.
First, you realize the thing you feared wasn’t nearly as bad as you anticipated it to be. And second, you get a jolt of pride, relief, and accomplishment that you’ve slayed the dragon.
Remember: A day you do a thing you’ve avoided will always be better than a day you don’t.
5. Do one selfish thing.
Being selfish gets a bad rap.
It’s important to be considerate of the needs and feelings of other people, but it’s every bit as important to take care of your own.
Too often people put themselves last and that’s a recipe for a bad day.
To improve your day, do at least one thing that’s just for you. One thing that makes YOU happy, even if it’s at the expense of others.
If you enjoy getting away from work or family to go for a walk and have some time alone, then do that.
If you enjoy watching a terrible reality TV show that your spouse hates, then do that.
Stake claim to your time and do what you want with it.
Because if you don’t choose to set aside time to do what makes you happy, the chances are you won’t be.
BONUS: One more way to make your day better…
One of the best ways to figure out how to have a better day is to learn from how others do it.
And I’ve got a secret weapon for you when it comes to that — my For The Interested newsletter.
Every Sunday I share 10 ideas (similar to the one you just read in this post) about how to get better at your life, work, and art.
It’s a cheat sheet to help you get what you want out of life.
Sign up below to check it out: