Some days I feel like a superwoman. I wake up with eyes wide open and I have a ton of energy. I can make a list of things to get done that day and get them all checked off (and then some) before lunch. It’s like I’m the most productive person on the planet. I feel amazing.
Other days I feel like a complete slug. I wake up exhausted and don’t want to get out of bed. I make a list of things to get done that day and nothing gets accomplished.
For a long time I felt guilty on the days that nothing got accomplished. I would feel heavy and stressed because I knew that my list would double with things to do the next day.
After years of the ups and downs, I figured out two simple things that helped me have more good days and get more done.
#1: Attitude Is Everything
Seriously. It’s all about attitude.
It takes a little more effort on the lazy days but you can consistently have a positive attitude.
Keep it simple. Take it one day at a time. Begin today.
Today: Make a conscious effort to think happy thoughts. Make a list of things that make you happy. Here’s a few of mine (in no particular order):
- The beach
- The woods
- An upcoming event or trip
- My husband
- My unborn son
- My family and friends
- My dog
- My business
- The possibility of winning the lottery
Every time a negative thought pops into your head, refer back to your happy list and concentrate on those things. Allow yourself to think happy thoughts consistently and you can have a positive attitude.
Day After Tomorrow: Repeat
I think you get the point. Stay consistent and remember to take it one day at a time.
I’ve read many books and articles on habit formation. Everyone seems to have a different point of view on how long it takes to do something consistently before it becomes a habit. I doubt there is one timeframe for everyone in every situation that allows something to become second nature. I truly believe that if you stay consistent and fight to keep a positive attitude that over time it will become a habit. Your entire personality can alter to be happier and more productive.
Check out this short article that Forbes published called Habit Formation: The 21-Day Myth that describes what they call the 3 phases of habit formation. They break it down into The Honeymoon, The Fight Thru, and The Second Nature. Once you reach The Second Nature phase you still have to work a little to stay in that phase but you can do it!
#2: Give Yourself A Break
We all need to have lazy days every now and then. Let yourself relax and enjoy. Stop thinking about your list. Your list doesn’t exist today. Doesn’t that feel nice?
If you start to feel guilty, the solution is simple, just refer back to your happy list. (Man, that list really comes in handy).
Our bodies and our minds need rest and relaxation in order to be our best selves. You know it’s true.
But if you are taking a day off and you stress about your to-do-list then you aren’t really giving yourself the rest you need.
Let it go. If you can’t, maybe you should physically go to your happy place. Read one of my previous posts called Gotta Get Away for a simple reminder about how lovely it is to get away.