At the end of the day, do you feel that you haven’t done enough? You could’ve done more, you could’ve wasted less time and be more productive and you now feel crap about yourself?
I can tell you from experience, and I had MANY of these days and they still sneak up on me occasionally, that I know this is one of the worst ways to feel about yourself. But it’s also the worst thing you can do TO yourself. But I’ve found that with a few simple tools, you can change this, but you have to put in the effort. Because most likely it’s a habit that’s formed for you over time. And research shows us that habits are deeply ingrained in our brain, but once you gain awareness over this, you’ve got the power to change it. That’s where your effort comes in, but once you consciously work towards changing this habitual pattern, that’s where you can make a huge difference for yourself and how you feel about yourself at the end of the day.
Start your day aligning it with your needs
We always want more and there’s always so much to do. And society is absolutely confirming that to us every moment that there is always more. Rather than getting caught up into that, start your day with the right intention and focus. What is important to you? What do you need? And also bring a beautiful portion of gratitude to the start of your day; because when you take a moment to take a deep breath and put a smile on your face, your stress factor about the upcoming day is hugely reduced.
Reduce your to-do list ASAP
We usually we hugely overestimate what we can achieve in a day because we don’t take into account all the distractions and all the unknowns. Life throws us stuff, so having a jampacked to-do list is not going to give you any leeway, nor any space to pause (which is another topic I can write about for days!). Also, be realistic with yourself here; can you really achieve all these items on your list today or is it wishful thinking? Most of you reading this are big achievers and want the best for yourself and those around you, but scale your list way down! And then a bit more! Put only about 3 items on your list. This will make you feel lighter and more focussed. Plus it’s better to achieve achieve 3 and maybe a bonus 1 or 2, than to start with 8 on your list and achieve none. Try it and you’ll feel so much better. Simplify!
Change your thoughts about your day
Bring your attention to the positive aspects of your day. I’ve changed my way of asking my husband about his day from the oh so standard ‘how was your day?’ to ‘what was your highlight of the day?’. It changes the entire perspective of the day by focusing on what went well, what did you learn, where did you make an impact. Of course venting has its place and we don’t want to negate areas where we could do better, but our brains are wired for negativity so I’m encouraging you here to make a conscious effort to focus on what did go well.
There’s only two thoughts you can have about yourself; the ones that build you up or the ones that break you down. Think for a moment how this negative thinking about yourself is benefiting you. Well it isn’t. It’s not serving a purpose at all. It’s making you doubt your abilities, you’re cranky because of it and you’re not looking forward to tomorrow because you already feel the pressure now. Practice letting go of these feelings by complimenting yourself on what you did do well.
Bring it in line with your values
This is not the same as prioritising, although it is part of it. And it’s in line with changing your thoughts about the day, but it goes deeper than that.
Bring your actions (or your tasks of the day) in line with your values. You might focus on not liking your work because you’re not make a real contribution or you’re not feeling valued. But you are making a very important contribution to your household by showing up to work, from a financial aspect, but also as a role model for discipline. And that might align much better with your values. Or perhaps you don’t feel like cleaning the house, but you do (and this is so me 🙂 ) like a neat, organised and spacious living space.
Trust me, you’ve done enough
We are always our own worst critics and if others would look at how you went about your day, they wouldn’t even have anything to comment on. We all have our own stuff going on and we feel we could do better, but really you’re doing a great job. Think about what a friend would say to you at the end of this day, well now try saying that to yourself. Plus in this world of always more, please finish your day with feeling you’re enough. Don’t get caught up in everything, stay on your own lane and you’ll see that this was another wonderful day.
Now as for tomorrow…
Reiterate all the above and start your day with a smile. You are in control of your day, you can start focusing on the positives and you can feel good about yourself. You are doing a great job and I know you can feel accomplished!