How do you know if you’re having a good day?
On the surface, this sounds like a simple question, but a lot of people have no idea how to answer. It’s not something they spend a lot of time analyzing.
As an entrepreneur, it’s essential to have a very clear answer.
When you’re your own boss, no one is going to define success or acknowledge when you reach a goal unless you do that for yourself. Also, as any entrepreneur knows, it can be so easy to get caught up in the endless cycle of doing more because there are always opportunities for that. The drive to build and improve is part of the reason why you might have become an entrepreneur in the first place. But, that forward-looking mindset doesn’t exactly lend itself to acknowledging success in the present or looking back on accomplishments.
That’s why recognizing small wins -- like when you’ve had a good day -- is critical. It will help give you the fuel to keep pushing forward and help you take a moment and smell the roses (something we don’t tend to be all that good at).
The components of a good day will vary from person to person, of course. But as an example, I’d like to offer mine. It wasn’t until I begrudgingly tried yoga, after getting very sick with a thyroid condition following the birth of my second son, that I got serious about creating balance in my life and started a mindfulness practice.
Related: 15 Habits of Mentally Tough People
So for many entrepreneurs, I think my version of a good day might be unexpected. Very little of it relates directly to work or my business. It’s not that those things aren’t important to me, but on a good day, I set myself up to perform extremely well and be present at work and at home. A good day means that the three B’s are in order: business is on track, my life feels in balance, and I have bliss, the things that help me sustain happiness.
So here are the essential elements of what a good day means for me:
- It starts with waking up well-rested. Sleep is critical, as Arianna Huffington, an intrepid entrepreneur, will tell you.
- The morning will include a good workout of hot yoga, spin, running or weight training, depending on the day. This gets my energy up and clears my head before I walk into a business situation.
- Some quality family time. I’m not one of those entrepreneurs who sees working late into the evening as a badge of honor. I always try to set clear boundaries on when my work day ends (sometimes, I’ll schedule time on my yoga mat to ensure I am done working by a certain time).
- Conclude with some time to decompress. My way of doing this may sound simple, but I personally like to end each day with hot tea and a little bit of dark chocolate. It’s my personal joy.
- Celebrate the wins. Overall, I know I’ve had a good day if I am able to take just a little bit of time to cherish the present moment and notice some level of success I’ve had throughout the day -- even if it’s a small thing or just to appreciate what went well or recognize when something happened as I expected. This is a mindset that can really nurture you amidst all the entrepreneurial uncertainty and keep you energized to stay the course.
The key to all of this really starts with identifying what’s important to you and where your values lie. After all, if you can name it, you can tame it. Of course, values and expectations shift during different stages of our lives, so it’s good to periodically revisit because your definition of a good day might change.