Fired up for Monday?

A few weeks ago, I was at a spinning class on a Monday evening, and the instructor started by asking, "who's had a great day," wanting to amp up the energy in the room. 

No one raised a hand, except me. Everyone had lived a whole day, but no one else was willing to claim that it was great.

I believe great days don't just come to us. I believe great days are made.

Ready to make this day great? Here are three ways you can choose to impact this day:

1. Decide before you begin. 

Learn what makes a day great for you and align you actions by deciding to do those activities and practices to set the tempo for your day. Are you a morning person? Then, make your morning delicious by engaging in what makes you most happy. Is meditation your thing? Then meditate in the morning--at your optimum time for you. Do you love a tidy home when you arrive back at the end of the day? Then take time in the mornings to push the reset button from last evening. 

If you're not a morning person, what can you do the evening before to make your morning go more smoothly? Decide what's going to serve you best and then do that. 

My friend, Meg, tells a story about arriving at her office one morning, feeling self-conscious about the pants she was wearing. It was early spring, her pants were white, and she thought they weren't flattering. Yet, she'd worn them and was faced with being in the office all day, not feeling at her best. Meg shared her discomfort with a colleague who look at her and said, "go back outside, and walk in this office like you own it."

Meg did just that. And that action shifted her discomfort enough that, for the rest of that day, she moved through her business interactions with more ease, confidence, and self-assurance. 

So, today, decide to own it.

2. Trust what transpires.

We know the adage of best laid plans. When something goes awry from you plans, when an unexpected interruption occurs, or when you're knock off your game a little or a lot, what if you could be okay with what is? Could you let go in that moment of frustration and be curious about what you could learn? Is the disruption calling you to have clearer boundaries so that you can still own your day? Are you able to practice flexibility? Could you cultivate compassion for the situation or for the person who seems to be challenging you? 

I spent nearly fifteen years teaching teenagers English. Remember high school English? You had English class once a day, likely, and I held English class every day, 5 or 6 times, for 180 days every year. I taught thousands of teenagers, and despite how clear and tightly planned my lessons were, things happened, from fire drills to broken copy machines to dogs eating homework and other bad excuses. My students taught me that, when the final bell rings, it's actually all okay. I learned that subtle balance of order and chaos, and it helped me out in the world, outside of the school walls, to remember this balance.

Just for today, trust what transpires, and see how that impacts your balanced living.

3. Use today's feedback for tomorrow's potential.

Most days are not make or break. If we can truly accept what we learn today and apply it to tomorrow, then tomorrow holds incredible potential. Feedback comes to us through our emotions, primarily, so use how you're feeling to decide what you can learn.

Is today frantic and uncomfortable? Then, do something radical to shift tomorrow. When my son was in elementary school, he was responsible for being dressed, with teeth brushed, backpack checked, and after-school gear packed. He decided to sleep in his clothes, so that mornings were less hectic. I thought it was a rather ingenious plan; after all, most 3rd grade boys are a little smelly and their clothes are often crumpled. He felt empowered and clever by his plan, and I easily let myself focus on the outcome--he was ready to leave on time.

If we are less rigid at times, we can tap into possibilities that are the proverbial "out of the box" ideas. Look for what today can teach you about how tomorrow could be.

Next time someone asks you how your Monday has gone, I want you to be able to confidently and truthfully say, "it was great!"