8 Ways To Let Go of Anger

Photo by Wil Stewart

Photo by Wil Stewart

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha

There are lots of frustrations in life to deal with, many of which ignite angry feelings and a desire for retribution or revenge. Some inconsiderate driver cuts you off in traffic. The woman in front of you in line at the coffee shop gets the last pastry – the one you had your eye on. Your co-worker takes credit for the report you researched and wrote. Neighborhood kids smashed your car with rocks, causing extensive damage.

You seethe with anger, wanting to lash out at the perpetrator, giving them their just desserts. But will this do anything to change what happened? Or, will it only result in you feeling more miserable as you can’t escape the fire of your anger?

No one would ever pick up a hot coal with their unprotected hands. That’s the action of a fool. Fire burns. Yet, when it comes to powerful emotions such as anger, that’s exactly what we sometimes do: We hold onto it. Expecting a different outcome than us getting burned is the definition of insanity.

If the better way to deal with anger is to let it go, how do we go about doing that? Here are some suggestions:

  • Walk away. Putting some distance between you and the situation or people that prompted the angry feelings to begin with is a logical first step. If you aren’t in proximity to the source of your anger, you’re less likely to lash out and do or say something that will cause harm to another. In addition, by walking away you’ll allow yourself time to cool off, so that you can think about what happened in a more rational way.

 

  • Identify why you’re angry. Take the inconsiderate driver that cut you off. This happens all the time. Why is today any different than another day? What is it about being cut off that makes you so angry now? Is it that you’re already late for work? Is it just another in a string of things that went wrong today and this is the last straw? Are you upset with yourself for failing to complete a task or due to an argument you had with your spouse, child, or co-worker? By identifying what’s underneath your anger, you’ll be better able to get past it.

 

  • Let it out. Instead of bottling up your anger and holding it inside like a captive coal that continues to burn, find a place where you can let it out with a scream, a vigorous physical workout, a good cry. Letting go of the anger before you decide to confront the person that prompted the negative feelings will allow you to behave in a more constructive and proactive manner.

 

  • Figure out what to change. Realize that you have three options when dealing with anger: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it. Once you decide that there’s something you can do to change the situation, act on that. It will help you let go of the anger and move on.

 

  • Own responsibility. Secretly, you might be the one who prompted the situation that made you angry. Instead of trying to shift the blame and punish others, take responsibility for your part in what happened. Even if you only acknowledge this to yourself, it’s a huge step. Then, focus on what you could have done differently so that the next time something like this occurs, you’ll act in a more responsible way.

 

  • Calmly talk with the offender. You’ll need to use the walk away technique before you confront the offender about what made you angry. When you’ve put some time and distance between you and the person and situation, you’re better able to tell that person how you feel about what happened. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that you’re not going to be able to control how that person reacts. The only thing you can do is express your feelings kindly and calmly. This will help you let go of the anger.

 

  • See the anger melting away. The anger you feel doesn’t affect the other person as much as it does you. Knowing this, why hold onto it? Instead, visualize the anger as ice that’s melting away in the heat. Feel the sense of coolness that replaces the anger. This will help you regain peace and kindness toward yourself.

 

  • See it from the offender’s perspective. Maybe the person who so angered you wasn’t aware he or she was doing anything wrong. They could have inadvertently done something, not out of malicious intent, just without thinking of the potential consequences. Mistakes happen. People don’t necessarily intend to do harm. Recognize that you’ve probably done the same thing to other people. Have a little compassion. This will go a long way toward your ability to let go of anger.

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Time-Saving Tips for Early Risers

Photo by Kalen Emsley

Photo by Kalen Emsley

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal about the benefits of rising at 4:00 a.m. so intrigued me that I felt compelled to pen a post about getting up before everyone else.

First, though, a disclaimer: I am not now, although I have been, a confirmed early riser.

My Time as an Early Riser

At one time in my career with General Motors I regularly commuted (twice a month) from Michigan to my home in Los Angeles. While I worked in Michigan, I had to travel to downtown Detroit from the suburbs where I stayed at the home of relatives. To escape the traffic gridlock, I left for work in the pre-dawn hours and returned well after the regular dinner hour.

Here’s what I learned from that experience.

  • Getting to/from work was a breeze – even in the worst winter weather. At least there were fewer vehicles on the freeway and surface streets to contend with. And having lived in Michigan most of my life, I knew how to navigate snow and ice.
  • I could catch up on emails before anyone else stumbled their way to their desks or hung out at the coffee room trading small talk.
  • Working on a speech, writing a press release, or editing a presentation was much easier when the din of conversation and machines wasn’t present. There’s something sublime about looking up and not seeing anyone else’s head in the room. This was such a productive time that I realized an early start was the best way to tackle an important project or task. I adhere to this strategy today and it’s never failed me.
  • Knowing that I got so much done in such a short period of time was like a gift. I knew that this was something I did for myself.

Today, however, I confess I get up at a much later hour. Unless I’ve stayed up late the night before, I’m usually awake and out of bed before 7:00 a.m. That may sound luxurious or indulgent from the standpoint of those who have to travel long distances or commute in heavy traffic, but consider that I work from home. The farthest I have to travel to get to my office is a few feet.

What I Like About Getting Up Early

Still, there are benefits to getting up early that I enthusiastically recommend. Some of these tips include:

  • Having some time for yourself.
  • Getting through your inbox without a deluge of new mail.
  • Spending a few minutes reflecting on what you’re most grateful for in life.
  • Prayer or meditation (which, for some, may be synonymous).
  • Leisurely enjoying a home-made hot latte, breakfast or juice smoothie.
  • Jotting down a list of priorities for the day.
  • Rearranging those priorities to suit a) preference, b) resources, c) timing, d) energy, e) due date or deadline.
  • Making full use of your creativity when it’s at its best.
  • No distractions to get in the way.
  • A sense of being ahead of the game.
  • Knowing that you’ve given yourself an added boost means you’ve got time left over to devote to something you want to do – like take a walk at lunch, meet a friend for an early dinner, go shopping, get a massage, make a date with your spouse or significant other…
  • No phone calls to interrupt your stride, demand immediate action or make you lose focus.
  • For those with small children, adolescents or teens (or all of these), getting a jump on the day means you’ll have more energy and enthusiasm to give to them – and they will soak it up like thirsty flowers. Been there, done that, highly recommend.

What Do You Think?

What benefits do you find from getting up early? I’d love to hear them. On the other hand, if you care to list what’s to love about getting up later, let’s get a discussion going on that topic as well. Could be the subject of another blog post.

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How to Keep Frustration from Blocking Your Goals

Photo by Joe Gardner

Photo by Joe Gardner

You get up each day and have in mind a list of things you want to accomplish. Some are short-term projects, others works-in-progress, and still others part of long-term goals. But what happens when you become frustrated, have to deviate from your task, or are forced to stop completely?

While everyone experiences frustration from time to time, it’s never pleasant. Often, it’s difficult to know what to do to overcome it. Here are some suggestions.

Always Have a Plan

Think of any goal as a kind of journey. Before setting out on a trip, the wise course of action is to have a plan. Without knowing what route you’ll take, where to stop for gas, a bite to eat, side trips you’d like to take or alternate means of getting where you want to go if you encounter road construction, bad weather or snarled traffic, the journey could be haphazard or worse.

Working toward any goal could become problematic when any powerful emotion gets in the way. And frustration certainly counts as a roadblock to goal achievement. That’s why it’s important to make a plan and commit to sticking to it, even if some parts of the plan cause frustration.

Even daily schedules can sometimes wreak havoc. Things happen that interrupt your flow. The point is to always have a plan. Then have a backup plan in case the original plan doesn’t work out. With more than one plan, you have options. You’re not stuck wondering what to do next. No longer powerless, your self-confidence increases at the same time your frustration level decreases.

Stay Flexible

It’s great that you have one or more plans, but don’t be so rigid that you’re unwilling to deviate from the plan when something goes haywire. In other words, don’t cast your plans in stone.

When you try to force your plan to work – and it doesn’t – this adds to your frustration. The more frustrated you feel, the more your stress builds, along with anxiety and a sense of failure.

But by staying flexible, you might come into contact with other solutions that will get you past this impasse. You could do things a little differently, rearrange tasks and reassign priorities. The key is to keep your options open by remaining as flexible as possible. As with most other good habits, you’ll get better at this with practice.

Set Expectations That Are Reasonable

If you’re too hard on yourself, always demanding perfection, you’re bound to amp up your frustration. While you want to achieve your goals as quickly as possible, when you take on challenges you’re not yet ready for or try to force a result that requires more time, effort or resources, you’re going to add to your frustration at the same time as you defeat your goals.

The workaround here is to take the time to set reasonable expectations for yourself. The most difficult task or project may not be the best one to tackle at this point. Perhaps it’s better to work on the easier ones first. This helps establish a track record of success, makes you feel good about your accomplishments, and reduces the frustration you feel from putting too much on your plate at one time.

Lighten Up

The recommendation here is to avoid taking life so seriously. Granted, life does deal some unexpected challenges and not everything you get involved in is light-hearted, easily accomplished or without difficulty. Still, the frustrations you experience today probably will be a distant memory six months from now.

When you lighten up and learn to take things in stride, you’ll greatly decrease the frustration that keeps you from your goals.

Learn from Your Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. That’s a given. It isn’t the mistakes you make that matter, however, but what you learn from them that counts.

Granted, no one likes to fail. There’s something distinctly unsettling about falling down or obtaining results less than you’d hoped. It stings, no question about it. Yet there’s still something you can glean from the experience that will serve you well the next time you’re in a similar situation. You can also extrapolate lessons you can adapt to other circumstances.

Timing is also important. Maybe you rushed into things without proper preparation or tried to speed through a project when it required more time. In any case, looking back you’ll probably see how you could have done things differently. If you pay attention, this is a lesson well learned. This makes you smarter the next time.

Keep It Positive

It’s easy to see how frustration leads to negative thinking. But that won’t turn things around. What will help is to keep it positive. An attitude that’s positive in nature helps you see solutions that might otherwise remain elusive. When you do feel frustrated, a positive attitude will help ratchet down the frustration and motivate you to get back to work on your goals.

Evaluate Your Accomplishments

When you’re stuck, feeling frustrated, you need some motivational self-talk. You can do this by taking stock of the accomplishments you have already achieved. This helps remind you that you have what it takes to get the job done, notwithstanding any frustration you experienced along the way.

The fact that you have a supply of effective strategies that worked well in other situations adds to your self-confidence and self-esteem – especially when you’re thinking about or tackling something new.

Start Over

Stopping frustration from derailing your goals will be a unique approach to each person. It may also turn out to involve adapting techniques you’ve used before, adding to them with suggestions you’ve learned from others, or taking a completely different route.

The only way you’re going to reach your goals is to start over, begin again, try something new. This means regularly revising your goals, adding new ones, modifying or eliminating those that no longer apply. It also means striving to learn something new each day, applying what you know works to new situations, networking with others who may have good ideas on how to best deal with recurring problems, and maintaining a positive attitude.

You want your life to be as happy, healthy, productive and fulfilling as possible. In essence, then, when you are frustrated over not being able to complete your goals, you simply need to start over. Eventually, you will succeed in reaching your goal or determine that another one takes precedence.

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Self-Care: The Most Important Person to Take Care of is You

Photo by Wilson Magalhães

Photo by Wilson Magalhães

“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.” — Brian Andreas

 

When life swirls around us, it’s often difficult to remember that the first priority has to be taking care of ourselves. Instead, we look to care for others, even to the point of self-exhaustion. While it’s loving and kind-hearted to be so selfless, it’s not good for our overall well-being in the long run. In order to be around and able to help others, we have to be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.

Good self-care, then, is not only important, but also imperative. Here are some tips on how to take proper care of you.

Eat right. With life so hectic, the temptation to skip meals, scarf down junk food and eat too much at once is sometimes tough to ignore. That doesn’t mean it’s good for your body. Think about what you put in your mouth before you eat. Maintain a well-balanced diet and eat regular meals. Your body will thank you for eating healthy.

Sleep well. In order to be alert and ready to go each day, you first need to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep, according to experts, plays an important role in everything from memory to learning. Adults generally need 7-9 hours of sleep a night. The key is uninterrupted sleep.

Get regular exercise. A healthy body and mind requires regular physical exercise. What you do is less important than doing it. Start with something manageable, such as a good run or walking in a park or through the neighborhood. If you have a dog, this is a natural for both of you. Ask friends to accompany you. Walk instead of drive to a nearby coffee shop. Take up a recreational sport. Join a gym. The choices are endless. The point is to do it.

Drink plenty of fluids. You might not realize it, but your body constantly loses fluids during the day. Such losses occur naturally in urination and elimination of stools, in breathing, and skin evaporation. The more physical exertion you do, the faster you lose fluids. The human body requires hydration for organs to operate efficiently. In fact, the body is about 60% water. The best way to replace lost fluids is to drink water. It’s readily available and the fact is that you can’t live without it.

Manage stress. Allowing the day’s turmoil to eat at you is going to drag you down, physically and mentally. Taking proper care of yourself means that you do whatever you find that works to manage stress. This can take many forms, from meditation to deep breathing exercises, massage, prayer, yoga or other relaxation techniques, to cognitive-behavioral therapy and setting clear goals.

Spend time with friends. You know how much you value friendships, particularly with those who share your interests. Studies show that friendships enrich life and make it healthier. Not only do you enjoy being with good friends, the interaction is good for your overall health and well-being. What more evidence do you need to share some quality time with your friends?

Engage in learning new pursuits. When you pursue something new, something different, your mind is actively involved in a desirable goal. The unknown, while sometimes scary, can also be stimulating, challenging and ultimately rewarding. Learning something new can help you overcome fear, push you beyond self-imposed boundaries, and provide a much-needed boost in self-confidence and self-esteem.

Tap into your spirituality. You don’t need to be religious to be able to tap into your spirituality. Tending to your spiritual needs is as important as getting sufficient sleep, eating well and everything else you do to take care of your body. There is more to life than just existing. You are more than the sum of your parts. Take time to reflect on the bigger picture, using yoga, meditation, self-reflection or whatever helps you get outside of yourself.

Avoid excessive alcohol intake. Using alcohol as a coping mechanism is bound to backfire. The tendency to reach for a drink to deal with problems or forget about them for a while can quickly spiral out of control. If you aren’t able to decrease your drinking on your own, get professional help. Otherwise, cut down on how much you drink.

Don’t smoke. There is absolutely no physical benefit to smoking. If you’ve never smoked, don’t start. If you do smoke, make a decision to stop. Smoking can lead to serious health problems, but you will improve your health by quitting the smoking habit.

Pay attention to your needs. Put yourself at the top of your list of priorities. Remember that you need to be healthy in order to be available to help others. This means being mindful of what you need to do to stay healthy. It isn’t selfish, it’s actually self-care.

Maintain an optimistic, hopeful outlook. Life will throw you a few curve balls, to be sure. And you never know when you’ll be called on to deal with them. The best thing you can do is to adopt and maintain an optimistic, hopeful outlook. If you believe you will succeed, you will. If you see the positive instead of the negative, the results are likely to follow suit. Don’t be afraid of challenges. Be hopeful, prepare yourself to act and follow through.

 

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12 Reasons Why I Love Caffeine

Photo by Tadas Mikuckis

Photo by Tadas Mikuckis

Everyone has their favorites when it comes to certain food, drink and leisure-time pursuits. For some, a day just wouldn’t be right without that first cup of coffee. I can certainly relate. My day doesn’t begin until I have that first sip. It’s fair to say I love caffeine. Here are 12 reasons why.

Reason #1: I enjoy the experience. I wouldn’t say this about drinking V-8 juice, although I do like the flavor of that beverage. When it comes to my café latte, I have to say that it’s an experience that I truly enjoy. Yes, water is hydrating, but it’s boring, right? On the other hand, a well-crafted latte is a pure delight. For me, anyway.

Reason #2: It gets me going. I’m fortunate to have a home espresso machine. That’s enough to get me going first thing in the morning. For the times when I know it’s going to be hours before I can leave the house for any reason (errands, just to get out, whatever), it helps knowing there’s caffeine readily available when the machine heats up. Besides, when I first get up in the morning, my eyes aren’t fully open until I smell the beans being ground, hear the milk being steamed and the espresso flowing into my bowl-sized cup.

Caffeine is a source of instant energy. Some people say they get a hit from drinking coffee, as in brewed coffee. I’m not that type. While I used to drink many cups of coffee when I worked in a corporate office, that was long ago. And the coffee tasted really rank late in the day. It always seemed a waste to brew a fresh pot when no one else was going to drink it. I used to tell myself I needed the energy. My go-to energy source today – and for many years – is a hot latte. No matter what time of the day, it gives me instant energy.

Reason #4: It helps me think clearer. When I feel that instant energy boost, I’m sure I think more clearly. What was foggy becomes less confusing. I don’t tend to bump into the counter on the way to the sink or stumble over the newspaper in the driveway. Thinking things through beyond putting one foot in front of the other is a lot easier after a refreshing and eye-opening latte.

Reason #5: I can see better. I take certain vitamins to help my eyesight, among them lutein and bilberry, but I think one of the best vision boosts – especially early in the morning – is caffeine.

Reason #6: It doesn’t have many calories. I use non-fat (skimmed or skinny) milk, Splenda and just a touch of cocoa or splash of chocolate. Compared to many beverage items available with caffeine, my drink of choice is relatively free of calories. Can’t say that about the Frappuccino’s, which are delicious, but far too calorie-laden.

Reason #7: It’s available anywhere, anytime (almost). If you really want or need caffeine, it’s likely within reach in short order almost any time of the day or night. Granted, Starbucks and other coffee shop chains like Peet’s, Coffee, Bean & Tea Leaf and others do eventually close. But there’s still all-night diners for those who just have to have a cup of joe.

Reason #8: Caffeine speeds up my metabolism (see #2 and #3). A boost of wakefulness and increased energy are the direct result of increased metabolism. Knowing this makes me feel more confident that caffeine is one of the good things I’m doing for my body.

I feel better after drinking it. Call it instant gratification, but there’s something about drinking my café latte that makes me feel better. A lot of this is that I really enjoy lattes, but the rush I get from the caffeine probably has more to do with it.

Reason #10: It’s a social experience. I’ve never been to a coffee shop where there weren’t any customers. Well, maybe one time near closing and we were far from home, needed the jolt from the caffeine to drive another 150 miles. But, generally speaking, all the coffee shops we go to have lots of customers. Nobody seems in a bad mood, just waiting patiently in line for their favorite drink or food item. I enjoy that, especially since I know they’re passionate about their brand. They, like me, wouldn’t be here otherwise.

Reason #11: I can get out of the house/office. After working hard at the computer for most of the day, my favorite afternoon outing is to one of several nearby Starbucks coffee houses for a latte, hot or cold, possibly a pastry or to pick up beans for our home espresso machine. This is not only a reason to get out, it’s also a destination I go to either before, during or after running other necessary errands. Truthfully, I probably motivate myself to do what I need to with the knowledge that I’m going to stop for my coffee sometime during the trip.

Reason #12: My coffee habit has its rewards. As a longtime Starbucks gold member (for life, it seems), I earn free food or drink as a result of my regular patronage. Beyond the stars that translate into freebies, there are other special deals on coffee, mugs, occasional contests (haven’t won anything yet, but there’s still hope), and the knowledge that there’s always going to be a Starbucks somewhere nearby.

A downside to this is the amount of money I spend annually buying my lattes and such at Starbucks. Hey, at least it’s not booze. And it’s so much more socially accepted.

What about you? What are your reasons to love (or not) caffeine? I’d love to hear them below.

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10 Quick Ways to Beat Stress

Photo by Sander Smeekes

Photo by Sander Smeekes

Frazzled that you’ve got too much to do and not enough time to do it? Feeling the stress rise up and choke your breath away? If you need quick relief, here are some easy hacks that can help beat back stress.

Lie on the Ground and Stare Up at The Sky – This is an easy stress fix. Look for a grassy area, find an empty spot, and lie down. Cradle your head in your hands if that feels more comfortable. Stare up at the sky, watching the clouds move across your field of vision. If it’s nighttime, lose your thoughts gazing at the stars. Your problems will drift away in no time. There’s something about the vastness of space that makes even the most pressing worries seem trivial.

Sing Your Heart Out – This might best be accomplished in the shower, but any place you can find where you’ll be undisturbed – like a path in the park – will do. Belt out your favorite song or one that you remember the lyrics to. The process of breathing oxygen in and exhaling with the notes you sing will help lower your blood pressure and tamp down your stress level. In addition, research shows that the reverberation of the sound of your voice helps you relax.

Try Aromatherapy – A few drops of essential oils, such as lavender, on your wrist or the back of your neck can work wonders to ease stress. Buy a vial or two in an aromatherapy shop, Aveda, Whole Foods or other store where they sell such items. It’s an inexpensive way to have a stress-buster always handy.

Indulge in a 5-Minute Chair Massage – While you may not have time for a 50-minute body massage, almost everyone has five minutes they can spare for a relaxing chair massage. The massage therapist will ease out the tension and stress in your temples, neck and upper back and you’ll walk away feeling great relief.

Refresh with an Ice-Cold Glass of Lemonade – Who doesn’t instantly recall lazy summer days at picnics and family outings with refreshing glasses of ice-cold lemonade? Transport yourself back in time by sipping some delicious lemonade right now. Savor the sweet tanginess and feel your stress disappear.

Visit the Pet Store – If your errands or route take you near a pet store, take 10 minutes and pay a visit. Watching the puppies and kittens frolic in their cages, eager for someone to take them home, is an instant stress reliever. You don’t have to actually buy an animal to get this benefit. It’s just so cute watching them, you’re bound to smile. Stress? What stress?

Take the Kids to the Zoo – This remedy requires a little more time, but it’s so worth it. Feel like a kid yourself again by taking the family to the zoo. Even a petting zoo will work wonders to banish stress.

Get 15-Minutes of Shut-Eye – It’s amazing what a short nap can do to revitalize and refresh. If there’s a couch or two chairs you can place together in a quiet spot at work, or you can recline slightly in your car or other area, allocate 15 minutes for a little nap.

Use a Cold Gel Pad on Your Eyes – Maybe you don’t have a lot of time, but you do have access to a cold gel pad or ice pack you can place over your eyes. Do this for about 10 minutes and you’re going to feel amazing afterward.

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How Do You Get Ready for the Day?

Photo by Ryan McGuire

Photo by Ryan McGuire

It may seem like a simple, even inconsequential question, but how you get ready for the day sets the stage for everything to come. While advance preparation isn’t all that difficult, it does require a mindset and diligence to ensure you do it every day.

Here are some of the best ways to ready yourself to greet the day – any day, not just work, school or special occasions.

  • Get a Good Night’s Sleep – This is absolutely paramount. You can’t run on empty, and going without sufficient sleep is like trying to coax extra miles out of a gas tank that’s already on fumes. Whether you believe you can get away with 4-5 hours of sleep or less, you’re only kidding yourself. Aim for a good 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night and you’ll awaken well-rested and ready to take on the world.

 

  • Put Some Nutritious Food in Your Body – Just as adequate sleep is a prerequisite for tackling the day ahead, so is making sure you eat nutritious food before you set out. This doesn’t need to be a full breakfast, but simply downing coffee won’t cut it. Aim for some protein, fruit and whole-grain product. That will keep your energy up and tide you over until lunch. While you’re at it, make sure you hydrate throughout the day. Water is the body’s best friend, so drink plenty of it.

 

  • Remember to Take Your Supplements – While eating well-balanced meals is a good practice, the fact is that you may need to take additional vitamins and minerals or other supplements to get what your body needs. Women, in particular, need folate and everyone can use Vitamin B-12. Whatever your supplement regimen, be sure you’re consistent with it.

 

  • Plan Ahead – If you know you’ve got a big presentation to make the next day, put the appropriate amount of time in beforehand. Ditto if you’re about to go on a long trip. Trying to take care of last-minute details, well, at the last minute, will only add stress to your day, increase the likelihood of forgetting something important or cause you to rush through details that shouldn’t be compromised. On the other hand, carefully planning out the day will help you feel more organized and on top of things.

 

  • Schedule Free Time – If what you’re anticipating is a solid day of nonstop tasks or activities, that’s going to wear you down very quickly. Even if the day is routine, consisting of nothing out of the ordinary, it’s important that you bake in or schedule time to do whatever you like. Meditate, go for a walk, read a chapter in a book, tend to your social media or chat with a friend. Everyone needs a little down time, especially when life tends to get in the way.

 

  • Be Sure to Pace Yourself – Even with a plan for the day and schedule free time, the tendency to overdo it is always there. You want to hurry through this or that project or task so you have extra time for yourself. Or the boss is demanding that you take on yet another hot project and you need to leave on time to do something with your family. If you go at a breakneck speed, however, you’re going to falter, make mistakes, not finish on time, or disappoint yourself and others. Factor in the necessity to pace yourself and you’ll get where you need to be in one sane piece.

 

  • Be Willing to Say No – You don’t need to feel obligated to say yes to everything others ask of you. It’s not that you don’t want to help out or that you’re selfish, but have some self-consideration. There are times when you will be able to lend a hand, and say so, but this may not be the time. Be willing and firm enough to say no and mean it.

 

  • Adopt a Hopeful Outlook – You can’t predict what’s going to happen during the course of the day, but you do have the power to choose how you deal with what does. To this end, it’s helpful to adopt a hopeful outlook. Whatever happens, you’ll find a way to deal with it, proactively and effectively. How you view life is how life will treat you. Be positive and optimistic and you’ll be rewarded.

 

  • Surround Yourself with Like-minded People – If you want to really sail through the day, easily overcoming obstacles and vigorously pursuing your goals, another tip is to be with people who share your ideals, interests and other commonalities. There’s nothing like group enthusiasm to encourage creativity, getting things done and finding a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

 

  • Begin (and End) the Day with Gratitude – We each have a limited amount of time on earth. Whatever that turns out to be is an unknown, which can be scary if we let it bother us. What we can do, however, is be grateful for each and every day we have. That’s why it’s important to say thanks and acknowledge our gratitude each morning and again at night. In each instance, gratitude sets us up for the day ahead.

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