This article originally published on March 15, 2016.
Despite popular belief, it is possible to have the best day ever every single day. Achieving such a feat is accomplished by reevaluating the way you react to your environment and the ways you organize your day. Through these seven methods, you can go to bed each night knowing you’ve just had the best day ever -- and that tomorrow will be the best day ever, too!
1. Place emphasis on your needs and wants.
Helping friends, family and your community is a great way to achieve a charitable, feel-good conscience, but in order to formulate the best day possible every day of the week, you’ll have to be relatively liberal in assessing your own needs and wants. What are you looking to achieve today? What would cause you to feel the most accomplished and fulfilled?
Explore the things that make you happy and the things that benefit you long-term. If helping others become happier, healthier or more accomplished individuals helps you too, great! At first, it may feel unfamiliar to place so much focus on yourself over others, but since you are the one attempting to achieve the best day ever, you’ll have to give yourself some extra love.
2. Practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing on every moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations. In the hustle-bustle of today’s society, it’s easy to become caught up in what needs to happen next, what happened yesterday and how it affects you today and how you can multitask to be as productive as possible right now.
However, refusing to place significant focus on the present moment prevents you from wholly enjoying life as it occurs. Practice mindfulness on a daily basis by regularly accepting your feelings, thoughts and environment without judgment.
As you eat, pay attention to the colors of your food, the flavors on your tongue, and the nutrients your body will begin to absorb after your meal. Avoid over-stimulating yourself during work or family time by putting away your tech devices and fully considering your surroundings, the people you’re with and the task at hand.
In an age when mindfulness has become so vitally important, there are an abundance of apps and websites that can help you practice mindfulness until you’re an expert at focusing on the present. Try Mindfulness Bell to help remind you to check-in to your emotions and bodily sensations at preset intervals, or Conscious to provide you with one mindfulness exercise daily.
Calm, a mindful meditation app, walks beginners through the process of bringing more “clarity, joy and peace of mind into life, at work or at home,” while Headspace helps strengthen users’ ability to achieve a healthier and happier mind through daily meditation and mindfulness techniques.
3. Identify one thing that excites you each morning.
Every day is a brand-new opportunity to accomplish things and experience happiness -- get excited about it! When you wake up every morning, try to identify at least one thing about that day that excites you.
It can be big or small. Perhaps you’re planning on cooking a delicious meal with your family that evening, or maybe you’re launching an experimental marketing campaign for your business. No matter what it is, that one part of your day will motivate you to push through the parts of your day that are a little less than exciting.
4. Take care of your body.
A healthy body and a happy mind go hand-in-hand. It’s been proven time and time again that physical exercise can improve long-term memory, sharpen one’s focus and increase levels of productivity. Sweating on a trail or at the gym can also help to get rid of stress, which makes you a happier -- and more outwardly pleasant -- person.
Maintaining a balanced diet may strengthen your brain as well. Consuming the necessary nutrients on a daily basis can improve mental development, help to prevent depression and Alzheimer’s and simply cause one to feel better about his or her body, therefore increasing confidence and boosting productivity. Next time you’re feeling a bit foggy or want to ensure you’ll have a productive day, try going for a jog, hiking with a friend or even doing a couple office-friendly exercises behind your desk.
5. Cultivate a growth mindset.
Those who think everything must be perfect are more likely to become discouraged when things... well, aren’t. Especially when attempting to accomplish something entirely new to you, you should maintain a mindset open to educational failure and change. Remind yourself daily that it’s okay to make mistakes, so long as you acknowledge and learn from each mistake before getting up and moving on.
If you struggle to find the positive in a negative situation, try writing down the goal you were working toward, the mistake you made when trying to achieve it, and how the lesson you learned from the mistake could possibly benefit you -- or someone you know -- in the future. An optimistic eagerness to learn will help you progress personally and professionally far more than a perfectionist attitude.
6. Challenge yourself.
“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough,” says Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, current President of Liberia. And she hit the nail on the head: You cannot impress yourself and achieve the best day ever by only doing things that are routine.
Next time you come up with a “crazy” idea, or even one that’s just a little bit out of your box, don’t automatically shut it out. Consider why it appeals to you, and weigh the risks and benefits. It’s healthy to try new things and progress as a person. Remind yourself it’s okay to be a little experimental every now and then, even if doing so is challenging -- or it freaks you out!
7. Celebrate others and their best-ever days.
Put positive energy out into the world, and it will come back to you. By celebrating the efforts and achievements of those around you, you’ll not only improve your interpersonal relationships, but you’ll also gradually fortify your own sense of strength and positivity.
Applaud others’ progress without jealousy or reservation. Be honest in your praise, and acknowledge that even small accomplishments in your eyes may be large ones to others. In turn, those around you will be more likely to support your good deeds, encourage the growth and stimulation of your abilities and celebrate your achievements.
Devising the best day ever is only a matter of optimism, uninterrupted focus and positive growth. Surrounding yourself with a network of confident, congratulatory people will help you pick up on their positivity and learn from their progress as well.
How have you managed to achieve the best day ever?