May is motherhood memoir month

Top 10 for a Great Day?

Do you ever wonder why some days end on a high and others end in defeat? Today was a great day, but why?

What makes for a great day? In an attempt to quantify it I made a list of my top ten elements. All are actions I can take to push my day in the right direction. If my actions are good then every day can conceivably be good, if not downright great, right?

Before you look at my list you might want to jot down your own.

In no particular order-

  1. Drinking enough water; 6-8 glasses at least
  2. Doing Yoga, ideally 30-45 minutes, but 10 is ok
  3. Writing. And more writing.
  4. Accomplishing something on a project I want to finish
  5. Not overeating or drinking/numbing emotions with food or drink
  6. Getting outdoors for 30+ min. strenuous exercise, or at least a walk
  7. Being kind, and showing it with a smile
  8. Not getting carried away by negative thoughts; just noticing them
  9. Expressing love & gratitude with my hub and kid(s)
  10. Reading and relaxing

I know some look like two but they go together for me. And some things are so ingrained they’re left off the list, like a morning routine of stretching in the infrared sauna, making coffee, and doing Soul Space, a meditation app.

Checklists help us make things habitual by checking up on ourselves. They remind us what we thought was important enough to write down.

I’ve been thinking of rating each day with a star or a number on my calendar. Some people find that motivating, keeping track of their progress. I don’t think stars work for me; I forget to use them, but intentionally building in both challenge and comfort in terms of this list of elements goes far toward making each day the best I can. Even mental checkmarks help me track how I’m doing and hold me accountable to myself, offering a sense of accomplishment linked to joy at the end or middle of each day. At 60, I realize the number of my days is quite limited and I want to count each one. My list brings out loud focus.

Notice I haven’t dealt with circumstances. Some misfortune may come my way, so I may end up thinking it was a hard day. However, by not chucking my list, and being aware of my thoughts, not letting myself get carried away with negativity or worry about things I can’t change, I just might upgrade the outcome of some days.

For example, if I receive sad news, then write about my sadness, allowing myself to feel, instead of numbing my emotions with food or drink, my day, while still feeling sad, is better than when I allow sadness to throw me in the wrong ditch, a place I’ll have to dig myself out of the next day.

So those are just my thoughts. What are yours?

Write them down. Then make your own list if you haven’t already, and see how you can affect the quality of the days you have left.

teach us to number

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