Make it a great day

I roll my eyes when I need to leave a voicemail for someone and at the end of her outgoing voicemail she says, "Make it a great day!" It just feels so preachy and bossy and totally puts the onus for having a good day on me.

Oh wait. There is no such thing as a great-day fairy. Making my day great is actually up to me.

I’m not sure how many times I will write about the fact that I’ve been in a crummy mood for most of this winter and now even into spring. (I know I'm responsible for making my own weather, but did I just see more snow flurries? In April?!) Last Thursday I woke up feeling sorry for myself. But I set out to make it a better day. How did I do this?

  1. I did what was good for me even though I didn’t feel like it. I've been working my way through the 5KRunner app again and so even though I was grumbling, I laced up my sneakers and did my walking and running for 26 minutes. Week 3, Day 1 complete.

  2. I did what would make me feel better even though I didn't want to do it. When I came inside from exercising, I thought about the fact that the only thing that would really make make me feel better is if I finally made the phone calls I have been putting off since our insurance changed in January. Those calls have been hanging over me but I just never found (made!) the time to make them. I decided to go to work late (I realize this is not a privilege everyone has) and I sat and made those phone calls. It took almost an hour to get through everything. I asked the questions. I waited on hold. I smiled. I made the appointments. And then I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted.

  3. I treated myself. I’ve had a beautiful fuchsia purse in my Amazon shopping cart since last year. I told myself about a month ago when I made those calls, I would buy myself the purse. As soon as I hung up the phone from the last call, I did exactly that. The bag was already very well-priced, but after I applied the $25 gift card I've been holding onto, it cost me only $14. (Getting a bargain always thrills me!) Material things don’t always make you happier (and they definitely don't bring sustained happiness the way certain immaterial things can) but building up anticipation about something and then getting it as a reward for completing an odious task certainly gave me a boost.

  4. I assumed something would be easy. I was delighted to be contacted via my website by someone who might need a speaker. I have this habit of assuming everything is going to be complicated and so I anticipated emailing this person and going back and forth to schedule a call, but instead, after my success with doctor and dentist calls, I just called the woman. She wasn’t available. But I mentioned in my voicemail how long I would be near my phone, and she called right back. Fifteen minutes later, I knew exactly what she needed and I have a new speaking opportunity to pursue.

  5. I assumed the good stuff would continue. I was flying high by the time I finally got into work. I was friendlier with my team members and more positive as I began to tackle my to-do list. I was more relaxed as I started each conference call, and consequently, each call went better. When someone didn't answer at the scheduled time, I wasn't offended. Each of the calls went well and I was still smiling when I drove home.

It turns out I can make it a great day. And so can you. What are the keys to a great day for you?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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