Each day is a gift, a new beginning, another opportunity to be fully embraced.
Yet many of us don’t make the most of each day. By packing it full of every possible to-do list item, meeting, commitment, email and phone notification, the hours fly by and we feel somewhat shortchanged as we turn in for the night.
Why? Because it’s easier said than done to make the most of each day. Especially when you feel like you’re behind on multiple projects with an overwhelming number of obligations, errands and tasks.
Life could be so simple, but we are masters in complicating our lives—to the point there are no moments savored, no progress made on what’s truly important and a deficit of what brings joy in your life. Sound familiar?
There are moments when I’m at the black belt level when it comes to rushing through my life. During those times, I remind myself of these 7 tips to increase my appreciation of and intention for the gift of each day.
Here are 7 ways to make the most of each day:
1) Start with gratitude
This is a classic one, but often forgotten. It’s all too easy to focus on what you don’t have, even with all the amazing things in your life right now.
Simply shifting your focus from the have-nots to appreciation for what you take for granted immediately puts you in a state of mind more able to embrace the day.
Instead of coming from a perspective of lack, you’re coming from a perspective of abundance—and that makes a world of difference not only in how you view your day, but what you put out to others and what you receive back in return.
2) Take care of yourself first
Many of us take care of everyone and everything else before we get to ourselves. And with never-ending to-do lists and other priorities, we often never get to the most important item: self-care.
It’s really a shame. We forget by taking care of ourselves first, we will have a higher quality and a greater amount of energy to put towards our projects and take care of others each day.
Not only that, the regular practice and prioritization of self-care over the long-term often translates to other good things like increased self-confidence, better health and greater satisfaction in life. Multiple bonuses.
3) Add in the little things you love
The little things do count. They may be little, but they make a big difference in your daily life, which is essentially made up of all those little things and moments.
Rather than scrimping and cutting out what charges you up in the interest of saving time or money, add them in. That specialty coffee in the morning, the fresh flowers in a vase, the lit scented candles at the table—if it brings you joy, add it into your life.
Life is to be treasured, and what better way to get in that mindset than by adding in the little things you love. You may be surprised at how much more fuel and enthusiasm you’ll have to get through your day.
4) Slow down for a moment or two
Instead of rushing throughout your day from one thing to the next, slow down and reserve moments of quiet for yourself.
We’re not talking about a long period of time. It can be as short as 5-10 minutes.
Take a walk, meditate, do a stretching exercise, close your eyes and visualize a peaceful destination, get outside, savor your coffee while looking out the window.
Whatever is calming and helpful to you, it’s worth those 10 minutes to slow down each day, step away from the details and pay attention to the bigger picture.
5) Filter out the fluff
You can spend your whole life working on the urgent, fire-drill tasks and never spend any time on what’s truly meaningful to you. There are true emergencies that come up, but it’s not every single day.
Reserve the time for what’s important and protect it. I prefer to work on the meaningful items first thing in the morning before complications have a chance to snake through. If I’m not able to do that, then I reserve a chunk of time later on during the day and keep myself accountable.
Sometimes there’s no way around it, but I try not to get into the trap of postponing it for tomorrow. If you’re not careful, tomorrow can turn into months, even years. Even if it’s working on it for 15 minutes, I do my best to make progress on what’s personally important to me each day.
6) Surprise and delight someone
It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world when you delight someone with an unexpected act of kindness, generosity or acknowledgement—this is the case for the person you’ve delighted, as well as yourself.
Go above and beyond for a colleague at work or in your field. Buy someone’s coffee in the morning. Compliment someone on the work they did and make it specific as possible. Make breakfast in bed for your significant other.
The greatest thing is, when you’re already doing the other items on this list, it will be even more natural for you to spread the love to others. When you take care of yourself and filter out the fluff, you have more energy and time to spend on the people who matter or strangers who could use a smile in their day.
7) Trust everything is as it should be
Everything as it is in this moment is as it should be.
So, relax. Let go of the desire for control and perfection. There is never a point when all the projects and works in progress in your life will be complete. New priorities will eventually replace the ones that finish—and that’s a good thing—it’s the way life is meant to be, constantly evolving.
Embrace the incompleteness, and in doing so, feel the completeness in everything as it stands now. You are complete just as you are in this moment.
How do you make the most of each day?
I’d love to hear from you. Share what works for you by leaving a comment. Thank you for reading!