We are 5 days into the new year. If you are a resolution person, you may be going strong…or you may have gotten off to a faulty start…or you may have already “messed it up.” If you aren’t a resolution person, you may be good and irritated by all the resolution hysteria that seems to take over the last week of December and the first week of January.
Regardless of which camp you fall into, this little strategy can help you have a better day. Notice I didn’t say happier, happiness can be contingent on a lot of things that may seem out of your control.
This can help you have a better day, more fulfilling, or productive, or meaningful or peaceful. These emotions can bolster you up, despite whatever obstacles you may come at you today.
So instead of focusing on the big picture, on the end result, on the accomplishment of a goal 6 months or a year from now, how can we start with where we are, right now, today?
It’s pretty simple. I’m sure you already have a mental to do list but before you get all caught up in that, just answer these 2 questions.
How do I want to feel today? Get creative, there are a lot of emotions available. If we stick with just “happy” then anything short of that is discouraging. Here’s a list if you need some inspiration (I didn’t include all the negative emotions- I am assuming you don’t want to feel those.)
Calm Purposeful Brave
Caring Relaxed Empowered
Content Compassionate Determined
Productive Grateful Committed
Satisfied Loving Bold
Accomplished In control Peaceful
Resilient Cheerful Passionate
Kind Appreciative Confident
Connected Strong Sufficient
Tenacious Optimistic Energetic
Empathetic Enthusiastic Complete
Aren’t these much more fun, and less polarizing, than happy/sad?
Once you have the emotion picked out, from that mindset ask: what will make today meaningful? Not what will make the next month meaningful, or the next year, or my whole life, just today. What will make today meaningful?
You may be surprised with what you come up with if you actually take the time to answer that question.
It can give you clarity on what you want to prioritize today and how you want to prioritize it. Maybe there is a project you want to complete, maybe there is a project you want to save for another day so you can go to bed early or spend time with your family. Both are ok.
It will most likely change from day to day.
When I did this exact exercise this morning, I decided that what would make today meaningful would be to get outside and be active. I didn’t set a time, distance, or speed goal. I didn’t put all sorts of constraints on it, I didn’t even put on a sports bra :)
All those things would make it feel like an obligation or a hardship. I mentally framed it as creating meaning in my life, and because of that I was able to make it happen.
I dropped my daughter off at an appointment and put off finishing this post to take a quick hike before picking her up.
And here’s the amazing part. If you are working toward a big goal, this WILL move you closer to it each day, it will allow you to take the necessary steps to keep moving forward..
If you aren’t working on a big goal, it can bring peace and contentment to the life you are living, regardless of what crazy circumstances may be going on.
We don’t have to default to the feelings and the to do list that we wake up with in the morning. We get to choose, but it takes intention (and those 2 questions).
Try it, you won’t be mad that you did.
If these strategies give you a little bit of hope that things can be ok, even when life seems overwhelming, join my free monthly Community Coaching for nurses.
First Thursday of every month for all of 2024, 7pm EST.
Totally free and totally easy (we meet on zoom so get comfy). No obligation to come to all of the events, this is here to support you for the times you can come.
Discovering strategies that can help you feel fulfilled and not totally drained by your work (so you have energy for other things too).
Interactive discussion and coaching so you can get help with your specific situation and start to feel better now. Let's restore and tap into our own self-efficacy.
Register here for the next event on Thursday, February 8th. I can't wait to connect with you there.