Well hello there.
I did something this morning that changed my entire day.
It’s kind of like a to-do list, except really, it’s the opposite of a to-do list. I like it much more. Much much more.
Here’s the inspiration:
My dad, most nights, before he goes to bed, will smile and say: “Today was a good day.”
Then, he’ll list the good things that happened that day, smiling the whole time. “I did some work in the yard, I played basketball, I listened to a great audiobook, I had dinner with my wonderful wife and daughters. Today…was a good day.”
I love it when he does that. It makes me appreciate life so much.
This morning, I was feeling particularly unmotivated to do anything. Do you get like that? Some days I feel hyper-motivated and others, no way. In the winter, especially. I just wanna stay put and curl into a blanket.
But I thought about the “today was a good day” practice — and I began to think about what I’d like to say at the end of the day, after “today was a good day.”
Today was a good day. I _________ and _________ and ________.
What would I love to say at the end of today?
My boyfriend lives across the country from me, and we often have nightly check-ins and tell each other about the day. Would I feel better and smile later tonight, if I said, “Today was a good day. I went for a run, cleaned up my apartment, donated a couple of bags of clothing to salvation army, wrote a blog and made an awesome green smoothie.” Yeah. Yeah! That feels GREAT.
Picturing myself at the end of my day, saying those things and smiling, felt so much more powerful than writing a to-do list of obligations (that I wouldn’t feel like doing).
I could see myself saying it, and the thought and getting into the feeling of saying it (while smiling) made me excited. I put on my running outfit and went out for an AWESOME run, and I did all the rest of those things, too, keeping my smiling future self in my mind.
I decided that this can be a powerful morning practice, instead of a traditional “to do list,” which often makes me want to rebel because it feels like things I “have to” do. But picturing myself saying “today was a good day” at the end of the day, and then listing out all the things I would say about my day…now that’s exciting to me and feels more forward-moving and joy-driven.
I’m going to do it tomorrow, too.
Now, we know that humans aren’t always motivated to delay gratification, which is why sometimes long-term goals don’t stick. Our future self that will reap the benefits of whatever our goal is seems too far away. But with this, we’re just talking about how we want to feel TONIGHT. Not exactly long term. One day at a time, my friends. I think it’s the key to building habits.
I know it’s a subtle shift, but I think it’s powerful. Will you try it?
In the morning, picture yourself at the end of the day, smiling and feeling content. If you were to say, “Today was a good day,” what would you list as the things you did that made the day so good?
Let that feeling of picturing yourself smiling and content and at peace lead you naturally into those activities.
Don’t forget to leave room for some surprises, too…