post written by: Angel Chernoff

10 Ways to Make the Rest of Today Amazing


10 Ways to Make the Rest of Today Amazing

The beginning is always now.

No matter what the history of your day has entailed thus far, the rest of your day depends on what you do right now.  Write it on your heart that the rest of today is going to be amazing.  Here are some ideas to help you make it so:

1.  Loosen your grip.

Trying to micromanage every little thing every moment is stressful.  Life should be touched, not strangled.    Sometimes you’ve got to relax and let life happen without incessant worry and micromanagement.

Starting now, let go before you squeeze too tight.  Take a deep breath.  When the dust settles and you can once again see the forest for the trees, take the next step forward.  You don’t have to know exactly where you’re going every single second to be headed somewhere great.  Everything in life is in perfect order whether you understand it yet or not.  It just takes some time to connect all the dots.

2.  Focus forward.

You can’t go back to how things were, or how you thought they were supposed to be.  All you really have is now.  The smartest thing you can control in life is your reaction to what’s beyond your control.  Dwelling on negativity from the past simply contributes to its power.  So stop focusing on what happened and start focusing on what’s going to move you forward.

Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether you’re happy and successful or not depends greatly on which aspects you focus on.  The best thing you can do now is to let go of what you can’t control, and invest your energy in the things you can.

3.  Check one lingering task off your to-do list.

Putting something off instantly makes it harder and scarier.  What you don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow; and there’s nothing more stressful than the perpetual lingering of an unfinished task.

You know that thing you’ve been meaning to do, but you keep putting it off and it keeps nagging at you from the back of your mind.  Stop the nagging by taking action now!  (Read Getting Things Done.)

4.  Spend an hour working on something that moves you.

When you strike that fine balance between the challenge of an activity and your skill at performing it, when the rhythm of your work feels in sync with your purpose, when you know that what you’re doing makes a difference, you become absorbed in the task at hand to the point where time ceases to exist.  This is what true passion and happiness feels like.

So is there anything you do on a regular basis that makes you forget what time it is?

On your average day, flow experiences like these are those flashes of intense living when you’re engrossed in a meaningful task that makes you feel more alive.  These optimal experiences can happen when you’re engaged in work, paid or unpaid, that move you.  Work like this is something you should be pursuing for at least an hour on a daily basis.

5.  Try something totally new.

Step out of your comfort zone and try something totally new.  What have you wondered about doing, but haven’t had the courage or time to try?  Aim for something small that you can accomplish in an hour or less.  It can be a whole new activity or just a small experience, such as talking to a stranger.

Variety truly is the spice of life.  You can see or do something a million times, but you can only see or do it for the first time once.  As a result, first time experiences often lift our spirits and our consciousness.

So what’s new to YOU?

6.  Help someone smile.

There is no exercise better for the improvement of our world than reaching down on a daily basis to lift someone up.  Don’t wait for people to smile.  Show them how.  Do something nice for someone who has no way of paying you back.  Do it because you can, and because it makes the world a happier place.

When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life.  Do something that’s greater than you – something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less.  I promise, it will be an extremely rewarding experience.  And your small gesture just might touch a wound that only kindness can heal.  (Read The Happiness Project.)

7.  Spend time with a friend who improves you.

You can go through life and make new friends every year – every month practically – but there is no substitute for the few who truly improve you.  These aren’t the people who are simply nice to you; they’re the ones who help you uncover the things that are holding you back.  In subtle ways, they bring ideas to your attention that change your life.  These friends don’t just sit beside you unknowingly; they shake your world up, reveal your obstacles and weaknesses, and remain a part of your life because they care.

Friends like this are the most important people you will ever meet because they tear down the invisible walls you have built in your mind.  In other words, they come into your life and reveal new, valuable layers of yourself that you would never have discovered without them.

Spend some time chatting with one of these people today.

8.  Muse on life’s goodness.

You deserve some time every day in which worries don’t get in the way of your happiness.  Moments when, even if some people are insensitive or unkind around you, you’re not going to mind because you realize that the blessings you have received are far greater than the burdens you are dealing with.  You can create time like this for yourself today.  There is power in positivity.

Think about the goodness.  Be grateful for all the blessings you already have.  We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.  What if you gave someone a gift and they neglected to thank you for it?  Would you be likely to give them another one?  The daily events in your life respond the same way.  In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must be grateful for what you already have.

9.  Give yourself some “me time.”

Yes, you have battles out in the world to fight, insecurities to overcome, loved ones to contend with, and goals to achieve, but a break from it all is necessary.  It’s perfectly healthy to pause and let the world spin without you for a while.

Go ahead and set aside some “me time” to be alone with your own thoughts today.  Enjoy the space between the commotions.  Say nothing, think quietly, just be and breathe.  Give yourself an opportunity to discover who you really are, and to figure out why you truly are always alone… and why that’s perfectly OK.  (Marc and I discuss this in more detail in the “Self-Love” and “Happiness” chapters of “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.”)

10.  Be right here, right now.

I purposely left this point for last because it perfectly encompasses all the previous points.  Be present.  It’s being here now that’s important.  Don’t let your life slip by.  Pay attention to what’s happening in and around you; don’t just hurry through to the next thing.

You can’t stop the future.  You can’t rewind the past.  The only way to live is to press play.  So instead of dwelling on what happened earlier today, or worrying about what might happen later on, just practice being and living in this moment.  This moment, after all, is the only time guaranteed to you.  Right now is all there ever truly is.  Right now is life.  Open your eyes so you don’t miss it.

Afterthoughts

You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.  The rest of today is a brand new day – a fresh start.  Replace negativity with positivity.  Think happy thoughts.  Exercise your mind and body.  Healthy is happy.  Inspire yourself.  Create.  Laugh.  Run.  Play.  Love.  Learn.  Give someone a compliment.  Perform a random act of kindness.  Take a chance on an idea you believe in.

You have the opportunity to do these things every single day – to make the necessary changes and slowly become the person you want to be.  You just have to decide to do it.  Decide that today is the day.  Say it: “This is going to be my day, starting now!”

Your turn…

What would you add to the list?  What’s one way to make the rest of today amazing?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Photo by: Paul Bica

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36 Comments

  • Oh, I think you hit the nail on the head with this one.

    Perhaps a little family time would be a good addition too, at least for me.

  • Great post. I especially love no. 3, as I have a tendency to avoid projects I dislike. Much better to get them out of the way.

  • Thank you very much… This post just made the rest of my day worthwhile.

    This is the only self-help blog I read and need.

  • What an inspirational post! I really needed this spiritual nutrition today.

    I wish you both a lovely day!

  • Thanks, again. Such amazing words that help me find the strength within myself to keep moving forward; on days that I would prefer to curl up into a tight little ball and simply disappear.

  • I need all the help I can get from posts like this. I make so many plans but never seem to carry them out. You have given some new ideas; wish me good luck to see if i can implement a couple of these today.

    I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks my friends.

  • Marc and Angel, frankly, I loved the picture of the bridge… I have a thing with bridges in the wild, and this one touched me even before I started reading your post…its gives you a feeling of continuity…sure this would be a new one for you : )

  • Today my brother would have been 57 years old, he died April 26th, 2013. His life and message to the world is to love, just love. He truly lived in the moment, always saying YES to life. I feel his message resonated with this post. <3 I miss you Dan.

  • As a sort of continuation or elaboration of “try something new” I might add “let go of your self limiting beliefs” or even just notions that you have, but never tested. Sometimes that can be the difference between a dull, average day, and a day full of positive surprises.

  • Thank you for these very very poignant reminders. I especially like “Be right here, right now.” I think it’s really important to keep moving forward, and for many of us it means not dwelling in the past.

    It’s also important to BE all that we can be, in this moment in time. And while this may mean dealing with outstanding to-do lists, and choosing to spend extra time with family, we need to remember the bigger picture of what is truly important.

    Have an amazing day everyone!

  • Inspiring and uplifting post today.

    My addition and daily intention: Help someone else smile today. There smile will make you smile.

  • This is great advice. It’s similar to Buddhist advice for everyday living, but then all religions are based on the same loving, compassionate kindness. Thank you.

  • I loved these all. I am convinced that we feel the way we think. We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are. It is just a matter of being aware and leaving expectations aside.

  • I take an alternate route for #3. I put everything that “needs” to get done on a Universe List. If I wake up in the morning and feel good about something on that list, then today is the day to do it. Otherwise, it is left up to the “Universe” to handle in the meantime while I focus on doing whatever feels good. I had all these home repairs sitting on my Universe list that I tried to tackle but kept “failing” at fixing because they never felt good. Then one day my Dad came to visit and within two weekends, and helped me fix everything! Now there’s the Universe at work.

  • And despite all these positive, helpful suggestions and despite the fact that I am desperately trying to be positive, today, until now, I just haven’t been able to snap out of it. And yes, I know this will pass… But this post helps.

  • I would add two items to this wonderful list- breathing and laughing. When I feel myself getting stressed or worried, I stop and breathe- deep, long, slow breaths. This brings me to the present and calms me. It’s so simple and works all the time.

    No matter how hard the day I find something to laugh about. Having a house with kids and a new puppy gives me ample moments to laugh about.

  • Just the kind of inspiration I needed today.

    My addition (and commitment) to the list: To spend an hour today outside in the fresh air - away from my work and the frustrations and distrations.

  • Today will be a challenging day and your post will make it easier. We have a home visit scheduled with the staff at the rehab center where my mil is and a follow-up visit with her surgeon. AND it’s my youngest child’s 15th birthday. I will focus on the good parts of the day (time with family), loosen my grip and be present rather than worry about things I can’t control. Thank you.

  • Inspiring as always…thank you!:-)
    I intend to work on #5…and try out something new asap…I have gradually learnt to make #8 a daily habit…thanks to some older posts by you guys..and it has helped me tremendously!
    Feel blessed to have found your blog…it really has made a positive difference in my life! Can’t thank you enough…God Bless!:-)

  • This is a great list to read each morning before starting the day. I would add to the list to acknowledge one thing you like about yourself each day to start replacing the negative self-talk recording with a positive one.

  • Thank you-this is a very positive and inspiring list.

    If I was to add one thing it would be to spend time with your children and spouse just talking or doing something fun together.

  • Nice list and very practical advice. I would extend #9 to a #10 and add meditation. This is the time to get connected to the “source” and open your heart and soul to the larger reality of your life and its meaning.

    I find that this daily reflection has many benefits, not the least of which is staying grounded and keeping things in perspective.

  • Great article, thank you. I’m really passionate about particularly #4 and #7 and I always try to incorporate some of my favorite hobby into my day (or as much as possible). For me, textile arts are a much loved hobby. When I sit down with my rug hooking I feel a sense of calm wash over me. :)

    Blessings to all,
    Mary Jane

  • Wow. What a beautiful way to start the morning. Thank you for this. And I wouldn’t add a single thing.

    #1 and #3 are what I’m working on now. Letting go and just letting things ‘be’ has not been easy and is definitely what was holding me back for so long, but I think I’m finally getting there.

    I didn’t use to be this way, but I’ve noticed lately, in the last couple of months, I procrastinate on crucial things that need to be done to move me forward. It gets bigger and bigger in my mind until it paralyzes me. And then I noticed once I forced myself to do the task, it felt good and was actually really easy. The sense of accomplishment far outweighed the dread.

    So now, whatever the task is, I’m forcing myself to do it one baby step at a time, every day, until it’s done. I may not get “in the zone” the way I did before, and I still procrastinate some or look for distractions so it takes longer, but there is tangible improvement. So that’s something.

  • Three words… I LOVE THIS!!!

  • I loved this . Each and every point is something I need to consciously do every day. Thank you.

  • Thank you so much for this tremendously uplifting post. Point #1 resonated with me as I tend to control events, people and things.

    I love how you put it: “Life should be touched, not strangled.” I will now have this line as a reminder every time I’m tempted to be a controlling freak:-)

  • In preparing to facilitate a Memoir Writing workshop, learning to use new tools, struggling with insomnia - I notice synchrony within your posts. I’ll share your contact info with participants, because you point out directions toward healthy balance.

    Thank you!

  • Love this positivity in this post. You already made my day a little more amazing, and after I implement #1, it will get even better.

  • Laura’s Universe List puts things into perspective. What really matters? Why does it seem such a crime to enjoy Life, after all?
    #11. Do something just because it MMS.

  • My addition to the list is Read Marc & Angel and pass their message on to someone I know.

    I am finally leaving a comment for you to thank you for being such a valued part of my daily life the past few years.

    I’ve been a consumer of the posts and your book, but have never taken the time to thank you. I share your posts with so many of my friends and each time I get a note back thanking me for sending them something so helpful.

    I appreciate you and what you do for so many.

    Thanks,

    Sue

  • This article made my day!

  • @Christy King: I’m the same way. I have to tackle the tasks I don’t like right away, or I’ll procrastinate forever.

    @Jo: Curling up from time to time is just fine. :) But don’t disappear on us.

    @Ashley: Good luck! ;-)

    @Irene: I fell ya. I often photograph bridges just for the fun of it. Such beauty… especially rural settings.

    @Patricia: Thank you for sharing with us. Sorry for your loss. Your brother sounds like an amazing human being.

    @Ragnar and Li-ling: Excellent additions to the list. Thanks.

    @Laura: Ha! I like the idea of the Universe list. Certainly applicable for the less important issues, or issues you really don’t have control over.

    @Guus: Glad to hear this post helped. Keep your head held high. Do something nice for yourself every single day. It helps.

    @Sandra Hamlett and Melissa Webster: As always, thanks for the wonderful suggestions. Sounds like you have a lovely home life.

    @mary: Best of luck to you. Sometimes focusing on the good is as good as it gets.

    @Sue Ryan: Thank you for purchasing our book and supporting/sharing our work. Your kind remarks mean the world to us. :)

    @All: Thanks for all the supporting words and beautiful suggestions. You continue to inspire…

  • Focusing forward and spending some quality “me”time are by far my favorites. They take the edge off the daily stressors.

    Trying something new, sounds like a lot of fun though and I’m all for it!

    Thanks for the inspiration Angel.

  • I’ve been following your blog for some time now. It’s amazing how you manage to write such wonderful and inspirational articles consistently.

  • :)

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