5 Ways to Own Your Day
5 Ways to Own the Day
By: Evan Whitemyer
What can I do to be better? How can I give my life meaning? How can I ensure that I can fall asleep knowing I made the most of my day? Making the most out of your day can seem like a daunting task at times, but there are many ways to make this possible.
#1: Set goals.
As a coach, athlete, and student I have found that the best way to set a goal for myself and for clients is to establish a S-M-A-R-T goal.
S – Specific – Be clear and specific on what you want to achieve! Write it down and tell others so you are held accountable.
M – Measurable – Find a way to ensure that you are tracking improvement quantitatively. Whether it be losing five pounds or saving money for a vacation, make sure you are tracking your progress.
A – Achievable – While you want to find a goal that you can achieve in a certain time, the goal you set should be a goal that pushes you to be better and develop new positive habits in your life.
R – Relevant – Find a goal that is relevant to how you see yourself being successful. If you are a teacher, for example, ensuring that each student passes one of your tests is relevant to your career and life and it will help you be successful.
T – Time Bound – A goal without a timeframe is just a dream. Having the desire to accomplish something by a certain date provides motivation and incentive.
Setting goals is important because it allows you to measure progress with your career, life, and also allows us to feel rewarded when a goal is met. Goals can be something to accomplish day to day, such as preparing meals or going to the gym, or they can be something that can take months or years to complete, such as purchasing a home. Waking up and having a short- or long-term goal to strive for each day can help to keep us motivated and help us to find a purpose in the mundane.
#2: Be a positive person.
It is important to find a positive way to look at how life hits us. I have always loved the saying that “10% of life is what happens, and the other 90% is how you deal with it.” Try to apply this to everything you do. Everyone gets hit with bad luck here and there, but what defines us is how we respond to it. Take time to reflect and think about specific circumstances where you could have been a positive person. Ex.Manners go a long way in society, being positive is doing something as simple as asking someone how their day is going or telling someone how good a job they’ve been doing lately. When we go out of our way to be kind or appreciative to someone else it always comes back to us twice as much.
Positivity can be taken for granted in our lives. Often it’s easier to blame our shortcomings on other people or things; but in order to stay positive we need to own up to our mistakes, accept new challenges head on, and appreciate everyone around us and all that we do to support each other.
#3: Be kind.
Just as manners and positivity, kindness goes a long way. I have always felt like it is much easier to be happy and kind than to go out of your way to be negative and inconsiderate. As a longtime retail employee, I know that saying thank you or being polite to a cashier can make someone’s day!
Offer to help people, strangers or friends, because you never know how bad they may need someone else in their life at that moment. The golden rule “Treat others as you would like to be treated” can be easily paired with the Boy Scout slogan “Do a good turn daily.” Offer your assistance to someone who looks like they may need a little help, because wouldn’t you want someone to do the same for you?
#4: Read for at least a half hour every day.
Nowadays, we spend so much time reading internet articles and watching videos in order to discover and process new information; but when was the last time you sat down for a half hour and read a story? Each day, set aside at least a half hour for you to get a book, newspaper, or magazine, and just read. Shut off your phone. Unplug your music. Eliminate distractions and immerse yourself in a story.
Setting aside this time is something that I too struggle with, as it is so easy to sit on Instagram, play Candy Crush, or watch YouTube videos. We waste hours each day on these little apps doing these things with little to no positive impact towards our lives!
I challenge you to start reading again, whether it be a novel about British wizards and their adventures through high school, or a nonfiction book on how to build something new. Read articles about people, learn about history, discover new things. Find something that you are passionate about and learn everything there is to know about it. Talk to other people about what you read, whether it be in a work setting or in a book club. The philosopher John Locke once said, “Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.” Set aside this small time in your day to read and learn; then use what you learn to drive conversations with others towards teaching and learning.
#5: Be physically active
Exercise is key, it offers physical, mental, and social benefits each day. Activity can help reduce the risk of heart attacks, improve cognitive functioning, and allow you to meet new people who all share the common goal of being happier and healthier individuals. Aerobic exercise can help lower blood pressure and maximize bone density, greatly reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Different forms of aerobic exercise or high intensity training can improve breathing, help to lose weight, and most importantly, rapidly reduce your risk of developing one of many chronic diseases that are sweeping our nation.
Exercise is also good for brain health. It can help improve memory and processing by increasing oxygen flow to the brain. Even taking a walk or going for a short run on your lunch break can greatly improve your decision making and and mood for the rest of the day.
Exercise is one of my favorite social activities. I have always liked the saying “doing hard things brings people together.” Going to the gym and going through a tough workout with friends can help improve your confidence, motivate you to do better, and hold you accountable for doing your daily exercise.
Whether you are training for a marathon or just trying to feel good, Exercising on a daily basis is extremely important for your social, mental, and physical health throughout the day.
Starting to make the most of your day can begin with taking these five simple steps: set goals for yourself to accomplish daily or over the long-term, be positive towards your life, be kind and compassionate to others, read and learn as much as you can, and be physically active. Starting some of these may be hard due to the current habits we have; instead of choosing an excuse though, choose to start one of these habits tomorrow, and watch as the best version of you comes to fruition!