Having a great day is a matter of choice and not a matter of circumstances. What? You say. Well, let me explain. Every day has the potential to be enjoyed to the fullest even if it is a Monday. It’s gray out, and all you want to do is stay home and hide under your covers. How do you make this day great?

What is the secret for this? Well, like a good recipe, you need the right ingredients to make a great day. Just like you need all the right ingredients in all the right amounts to make an amazing cake, right? Well, that’s exactly what you need in order to construct your perfect day too. Using a bit of structure to build your day so you are sure you are not put down by the gray sky, or get carried away by the “everydayness” of another Monday, can be just what you need.

So what is this magic list of ingredients you need in order to enjoy your day to the fullest even if it is a Monday. Well, let’s see:

1. A dash of something that deeply excites you

No matter how busy your day is you can definitely find – or let me put it this way – you SHOULD definitely find some time to do something that makes you grin. Plan your next holidays during your lunch break (yes, imaginary ones count too). Take the evening off to work as a volunteer and walk the doggies at your local shelter. Meditate for half an hour after work and let the events of the day go away, then put your favourite song on and dance your feet off. Doing something that really pleases you every day, no matter how small, keeps your soul happy and satisfied.

2. A big scoop of something that scares or challenges you

Fear is one of the most limiting things in this life. Not even working 24/7 is as limiting as fear. When you are scared you can lose perspective. The good news is the more often you face your fears, the more immune to it you become. Of course, challenging your fears does not mean you have to bungee jumping or skydiving (except if you really, really want to). There is great challenge even behind small things. So go to a concert alone or even for holidays. Try that crazy pixie haircut or join a sports team.

3. One cup of inspired work

All right, going to work might not be a blast, at least not for the most of us. However, it is true that work can be quite rewarding and make you feel productive and accomplished. Even if you’re in a job that you don’t like all that much right now, if you put it in perspective you can totally change the tone of your day. If you are working to earn money for a certain goal, whether it’s a trip you’ve been dreaming about or saving to buy your first house, consider that purpose your boss and work for that goal. This can make almost any task more enjoyable. So do work a bit every day, even when you do not have to. Do it inspirationally and do it for yourself.

4. Half a cup of exercise

It’s hard to talk about the benefits of exercise and not fall into clichés. I know you have heard it all before. But it is food for your body and soul. It makes you healthier. It makes you happier by producing endorphins. It makes your brain function better and it can protect against a variety of diseases. You do not need to force yourself to the gym and beat yourself with the weights. Do something you enjoy. Go hiking with your friends, go shopping with your bike or have a dance party (even alone). Exercise moderately, very frequently and super enjoyably!

5. Limitless amounts of conversing with the greatest minds

If you want to expand your brain the best way to do it is by peaking inside the brain of the greatest ones. You are puzzled on how to do that? Through reading of course! Hesse, Orwell, Tolstoy – they all did the work for you. They poured their thoughts and wisdom into pages. Just open the books and start conversing with them. Nothing is more rewarding than a book and there is no better way of broadening your vision than reading. So go ahead and read as much as you can and want. Not into the greatest minds? Well, that’s OK too. Duck out at lunch time with a fun mystery, romance or other escapist novel that can add a little light to your day.

Once you have mixed all these ingredients in your day do not forget the most important part. To stop, listen and let the mixture cool down. Doing nothing gives you time to listen to yourself and consciously make your choices. So doesn’t this entertaining, stimulating and productive Monday sound more appealing to you? Enjoy!

Featured photo credit: Internet Tea Time by Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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