As I’m writing this it’s Sunday evening. Monday is the start of the work week and usually people stress out about that. I’ve written about Mondays before. But I want you to know that each day you have a choice. In fact, you have many choices. It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday or Saturday. You get to choose how you spend your time, and most importantly, how you feel about it.
Allow me to offer you some examples of your daily choices:
What and How You Eat
From the moment you get up in the morning until you retire for the night, you choose what to put in your body. I’m not big on breakfast so I usually only have coffee. On Saturdays I might eat eggs and toast. Americans are obsessed with breakfast. We’re told from all different sources — our schools, our media, our fitness gurus — that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I disagree. I think the most important meal of the day is the one you like the most. I don’t like to eat in the morning. I start with a glass of cold water and then a cup of hot coffee and I usually don’t eat until lunch. That’s my choice. You may love breakfast and look forward to it each morning.
What you choose to eat can affect your day. Do you like eggs, vegetables, potatoes, grits, leftover pizza? Do you put healthy foods in your body or do you eat sugary cereals and processed turkey bacon? Do you cook it on the stove or spin it in the microwave? Do you sit at the table and make a proper place setting or eat on the run?
At lunch and dinner do you eat alone, work through your meals, or take time to share a meal with friends and family? Maybe it’s different every day depending on your schedule. Do you go through a drive-thru on your way home or order a pizza? Or do you shop for fresh vegetables and fix a home-cooked meal?
I’m not saying which choices are correct. Well, I’m hinting at them. But I am saying that what and how you choose to eat creates what type of day you have. You can be stressed and busy while you slam down a meal or you can slow down for an hour and dine.
Your Mood and Attitude
How you approach your day decides how it will go. If you face your day with dread, you will probably have a bad day. If you face your day cheerfully you will likely have a good day. You get to decide how you want to feel. Of course, life can throw you curve balls, or you may have a jerk for a boss, but you always have a choice as to how you react to them.
Do you offer the world a positive, generous feeling or do you turn within and try to get through the day unnoticed? Do you get up feeling confident and with an open mind? Confidence is a decision. It’s about letting go of what other people think. You get to decide.
What You Wear
If you spend your day at home telecommuting, raising children, or just hanging out, you can stay in pajamas or sweatpants or you can get dressed for the day. If you go to an office, you can wear jeans, yoga pants, or khakis or you can shave your legs and put on a skirt. You can brighten up your day by accessorizing with a unique pin, a brightly colored scarf, or your favorite boots. Clothes can affect your mood and also the way people perceive you. I fell into the rut of yoga pants for a while when I worked at an Internet company. We had no dress code. I finally had to create a code for myself to make myself feel better and be more productive. I chose to dress like a professional, authoritative editor. I got to choose what kind of day I was going to have by what I pulled from my closet.
Who You Spend Time With
You can choose to spend time with people who complain and gossip or with people who inspire you. At work, at home, wherever you spend your time, talking about people’s weaknesses or grumbling about circumstances will make your day miserable. Have you fallen into a pattern of complaining about work or coworkers? Do you sit and gossip with your friends? Does it make you feel better? I doubt it. Talk without action gets you nowhere.
Do your friends and family boost you up or knock you down? We can’t choose our families but we can make our own choices about how we feel about ourselves. If you have someone in your life who constantly criticizes you and your decisions, you don’t have to listen to them. Your choices are your choices, and no one else’s business.
The Information You Consume
When driving your car you can choose to listen to talk radio or beautiful music. You can listen to podcasts or motivational speakers or take an audio course. Or you can listen to the bad news that permeates our airwaves. The same goes for television or even YouTube. You can watch unpleasant violent programs or romantic movies or skits that make you laugh. Those images get into your head. What impression do you want them to leave on your mind? It’s your choice.
It’s always your choice.
You can control your day through your choices. How are you going to choose to spend your day today?