Sometimes we get so caught up in the busyness of life that our days start to become a blur. We wake up, go to work, come home, go to sleep just to wake up and do the same thing all over again tomorrow.
I’ve always loved the quote by Annie Dillard, ‘How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.’ It serves as a great reminder to slow down and view every day as a valuable gift that should be lived to its potential.
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For me, 2017 taught me that my mental wellness is just as important as my physical wellness.
When I found myself living for the weekends, not feeling fulfilled at work, and just going through the motions – I knew I needed to make a change.
I’m determined to make 2018 a year of growth and I want that for you too.
I’ve gathered these tips to help you make the most of every day so you can live your life with intention.How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives - Annie Dillard Click To Tweet
1. Wake up early
How does a slow, quiet and peaceful morning sound? Now don’t get me wrong, I love sleeping in as much as the next person, but there’s something about getting a head start to the day that makes me feel like the most productive person.
Waking up early gives you the freedom to start your day on the right foot without feeling stressed or rushed. It allows you to create a morning routine that makes you excited to get out of bed.
One thing that I like to do is to start my mornings with positivity. Whether you’re into reading uplifting messages from apps or pulling affirmation cards, bringing positivity into your early morning routine will make it more meaningful.
If you’re like me and have trouble actually getting out of bed, try the 5-second rule countdown.
Count 5-4-3-2-1 out loud or in your head. As soon as you reach 1, push yourself to move. I find that this helps me release the thoughts that are keeping me in bed and gives me the push I need to get up.
Related post: How to Start Your Day With a Positive Mindset
2. Visualize your day
Sit down, close your eyes and imagine what your day would look like if you accomplished everything you set out to do. Like Oprah once said, ‘If you can see it and believe it, it is a lot easier to achieve it.’
From getting to work on time to finally getting that new client on board, visualization requires you to want something, believe it and perceive it. When you already see, feel and believe that something is happening, you’re breaking through those mental blocks that are limiting you.
Throughout the day, we have an internal dialogue with ourselves. Visualizing helps to keep you motivated, focus on what you want, increases positive thoughts, and reduces stress.
To visualize your day, think about:
- What you see around you
- The exact moment you accomplish something
- The excitement you feel after accomplishing something
- How you would celebrate
3. Plan your meals
When we’re in a rush, we often grab the quickest thing and often it’s not the most nutritious.
Planning your meals will not only save you the trouble of having to think about what you’re going to eat every day, but it’ll also help you stay on top of your healthy eating goals. After all, you have to eat well to feel well.
I’ve always been a big fan of meal prep, but there are many more ways to think ahead about your meals. Planning your meals in advance doesn’t mean you have to cook all your meals ahead of time. It means you can at least have what you’re going to eat planned out in your head.
If you want to eat oatmeal for breakfast, lay out all the ingredients and pots you need the night before so you’re not stumbling around in the morning trying to find everything. If you’re going to eat out at lunch, pull up the menu of the restaurant online and pick what you want exactly how you want it.
Having your meals planned out saves you time and stress, and allows you to focus your energy on making the most of every day.
4. Find the good in everything
In the moment, this is probably one of the harder one of the bunch. Sometimes it feels like the universe is out to get us. Our minds tend to naturally create negative and disempowering meanings when things fall short of expectations.
But one way to reject that thought process and find the positive in every situation is to ask yourself ‘What good can potentially come out of this?’
If you get a flat tire on the way to work, think about the good that could possibly come out of it. Maybe you avoided an accident by getting that flat tire. Or maybe you were saved from having to deal with your boss’ rant in front of the whole office.
If you got into an argument with your loved one, you can see the disagreement as a chance to reconcile and create a deeper connection rather than something that pushes you apart.
Instead of feeling like you can’t catch a break, you start seeing these “negative” events as opportunities to getting you closer to where you want to be. It’s a much better mindset to have than letting situations get the best of you.
5. Do things you love
What makes you feel alive? What makes you all giddy inside when you talk about it? Is it cooking, crafting, baking, reading, sports, writing, photography, music, travel, exercise?
Try to do one thing a day that you love. Whether it’s working towards your side business, planning out your next travel destination, or reading your favorite novel, make time for the activities that remind you of how beautiful it is to be alive.
Nurture the hobbies and dreams that light you up and get you excited to make the most of your days and live your best possible life.12 tips on how to make the most of every day Click To Tweet
6. Make time to rest and recharge
It’s so easy to get carried away with the hustle and bustle of life. When this happens, we tend to neglect one thing that our bodies need the most: rest.
Don’t you feel 10 times better when you have time to unwind and get a good night’s sleep? Try to set a bedtime that allows for 8-9 hours of sleep. Going to sleep at the same time every day will help your body fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer so you awake feeling refreshed. Not only is getting enough sleep important, but equally important is making self-care a priority.
Self-care activities help you recharge and take away from the pressure from your to-do list. At least one time a day, make time for something that helps you de-stress. Go for a quick walk, take a bath, do yoga, read your favorite book, watch your favorite show, journal or give yourself a facial.
The simple pleasures in life help remind us of the importance of slowing down and appreciating every moment.
Related post: 12 Simple Self-Care Tips and Ideas for a Healthy Life
7. Practice gratitude
How often do you think about what you’re most grateful for? If your answer is not often enough, I’m with ya.
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the power of gratitude. Not only do studies show that practicing gratitude daily has numerous health benefits, it also helps to rewire your brain into a more positive state of mind.
Instead of focusing on all the negative things that may have happened throughout the day, you start to make a conscious effort to be thankful for the big, the small and the in-between.
Like Abraham Hicks one said, the more you focus on the good, the good gets better.
8. Set daily tasks
Have a plan of action on how you’re going to tackle your day. I’m a huge agenda girl, so the night before I like to write down three goals that I want to accomplish the next day.
I find that setting three tasks per day is the perfect number because it’s not too many that I feel overwhelmed and it’s not too little that I find myself being done at lunchtime. Of course, a lot of the time I have to carry over a task from the current day to the next and that’s completely OK.
So whether you write down your three most important tasks the night before or the morning of, setting tasks for the day helps keep you focused and productive throughout the day.
9. Be present
How nice would it be to have dinner without the TV blaring in the background? To simply listen to how your loved one’s day was and enjoy each other’s presence?
Being present creates awareness and allows you to really pay attention to and appreciate what’s happening around you.
We live in a world of constant connectivity and distraction that demands our attention nearly every second of the day. Instead of being glued to the TV or phone at the next family gathering, put away all the distractions. Listen, ask questions and have genuine conversations with people.
Being present allows you to really take in and enjoy the moments with the people that surround you.
10. Get daily movement
Your body needs movement. People who exercise regularly report to be happier, calmer, and better equipped to handle whatever life throws at them.
Find an exercise that you LOVE and commit at least 20 minutes of your day to it (Remember, 20 minutes is not even 2% of your day!)
Hate the gym? No worries – you don’t need to go to an indoor gym to exercise. See the world as your gym. It can be as simple as walking, dancing, swimming, yoga, hiking or biking.
Exercise releases happy endorphins that boost your mood and help you feel your best so you can maximize your days.
11. Let go of the negativity
This year my goal is to strengthen my mindset and let go of the negativity that goes through my mind way too many times.
Instead of moaning about getting a bill, how about you try celebrating that you’re fortunate enough to have clean water and unlimited electricity? Thank the service provider for being so kind in providing you with their services for the month.
It may sound like a small and silly thing now, but it’s how we approach things like this that help us have a better outlook on life to make the most of every day.
We’re also surrounded by negativity on the news, at work, on social media and yes, a lot of the time we don’t have control over our environment. But we can control what we choose to tune into.
If you watch the news religiously every morning/night, try to cut down on it and instead tune into your favorite comedy. Watch something that uplifts you instead of instilling fear in you.
If your co-worker is constantly complaining to you about her life, try changing the subject or simply say, “let’s talk about something more positive.”
Choosing to surround yourself with positivity over negativity allows you to protect your energy and take control of your mindset.Choosing to surround yourself with positivity over negativity allows you to protect your energy and take control of your mindset. Click To Tweet
12. Spread kindness
Do things for others that make you happy. If you feel strongly about a cause, volunteer your time one time a month. Smile at strangers. Thank the cashier sincerely. Be willing to help. Hold the door for someone.
Maybe your coworker needs a hand with the birthday decorations. Or you see an elderly woman struggling with her groceries. Go out of your way to do something nice for someone without expecting something in return.
The more you focus on spreading kindness whenever an opportunity arises, the more likely you will experience more kindness throughout your day.
The life we choose to live will be determined by how we choose to live each day. So next time you find yourself letting the days come and go, remember that making the most of every day means choosing to live them with purpose and intention.
When you start to view each day as an opportunity to get you closer to who you want to be and where you want to be, life starts to become a big ol’ party.
Now over to you … how do you make sure to live out your days with purpose and intention?