Make a bad day a good day in 10 mins
My day was going horribly. I had a few phone coaching sessions booked and there was a problem with my phone; I hated the design of the tickets for my event and it was two days away; my husband was ill and in a particularly bad mood; and a trip I planned for New Years has just shot to hell. This was more than I could handle before 11am.
It is funny how I can’t even remember what I would do in such situation if I was still at my corporate job and had never heard of coaching (though I bet it wouldn’t be of much use). But I was a life coach and a writer now and I couldn’t allow myself to go around, let alone coach people, all stressed out. So I got up and focused on “how do I handle this situation right now.” What I came up with that day was a trick that changed my life.
I decided to “reset” the day, in other words, start it over. Just like you would restart a computer, resetting the day restarts your emotions and gives you a fresh look over your current situation. For under 30 min, I managed to deal with the phone issue; get over my ticket and instead enjoy how many people would join my event; open my mind for other possibilities for New Years and convince my husband to go to the doctor.
So how do you do this magical thing?
Repeat your morning routine.
Because I work from my home office, I literally went back to bed and played some Candy Crush on my phone (that’s how I wake up, don’t judge me). Then I got up, stretched and made a cup of tea. I said to myself “today will be wonderful” and sat back in front of the computer. Creating this opportunity for your mind to start fresh is amazing – you don’t see problems that ruined your day, instead you see facts that you are rested enough to deal with.
If you don’t work from your home office, that’s still fine. Do whatever you usually do when you arrive at work to re-create the morning. Turn off your computer. Spent a minute outside, let the fresh air clear your mind and it will be like you just entered the office. Then make some coffee (tea, something to drink) and spend a few minutes talking to your colleagues about what you will do this weekend. Come back to your desk and turn your computer on. Hello, new day!
Create a (new) to-do list.
If you are like me, you spend the first few minutes of your day carefully listing and prioritizing your tasks for the day. If you are not like me and you don’t, it may be a good idea to start. In any case, after you re-play the typical beginning of your day, sit down and write a to-do list, which includes whatever it is that you need to be doing to deal with the problems at hand. Who do you need to talk to? What do you need to tell them? There, now you don’t have a bunch of negative emotions eating your productivity, you just have a few tasks to do.
Plan something fun for the evening.
If you put yourself in a state of looking forward to X, you will immediately feel energized to face the challenges of your day. Plus it wouldn’t be a bad day any longer. Surprise your partner with romantic dinner; go see a movie you’ve been meaning to or book a late massage. It doesn’t matter what it is, it could be as simple as spending some time alone reading, but even the thought of it should bring you joy.
A great benefit about “resetting the day” strategy is that it works for the weekends as well as it works for the week. A friend of mine who tried it literally went back to sleep for an hour after her Saturday started with a fight with her mother.
It really depends on us whether any event is good or bad. But when a bunch of overwhelming circumstances come together early in the morning, they tend to define our day, and if it’s Monday - the week. Well, life is only 930 months long (on average), so you don’t want to lose precious moments obsessing over annoying details. Any given moment in time can be a new beginning. You can start a diet on Wednesday or stop smoking on 13th of July. And you can break a negative pattern and start over in the middle of the day.
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