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20 Fabulous Ideas To Start And End Your Day With Joy

20 Fabulous Ideas To Start And End Your Day With Joy

You never know how many days you have left, so it’s crucial to make sure you experience happiness during each one of them. Here are twenty ways to find joy at the beginning and end of your day. There’s no better time to feel happy!

1. Practice gratitude.

Do you ever feel upset about something stupid? For example, a snide comment someone said to you at work, or your social life isn’t what you see on social media? Start being thankful that you have a job, be thankful you have friends, and those nasty thoughts will be banished away.

2. Eat breakfast.

Don’t try to find happiness while your stomach is empty. Eat a healthy breakfast, and you’ll instantly be more joyful. Don’t forget the protein, to keep you full longer.

3. Get dressed.

The first step in finding joy is to put on some pants. Really. Get out of bed and get ready for the day.

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4. Journal.

Find joy by taking a second to unwind. A great way to do this is by journaling. You can process your thoughts, and practice gratitude. Win-win!

5. Get creative.

Creativity is Joy’s fun little sister. So, find a way to make something you’ve been thinking about. Even if it’s just drawing on a scrap piece of paper, you’ll feel a spark.

6. Listen to music.

There’s nothing better than getting ready for the day while listening to an upbeat song. You will instantly be uplifted.

7. Read.

Diving into a good book can take your day from blah to bla-mazing. There’s nothing more joyful than letting your imagination run wild.

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8. Help someone.

Even if it’s just holding the door open for a stranger, doing something nice for someone else is the epitome of happiness.

9. Make a nourishing nightcap.

Tea anyone? Whatever your drink of choice ending your day with something that is good for you will establish a routine that will be beneficial for you health and set you up for having a joy-filled day tomorrow.

10. Memorize a meaningful quote.

Want to find a mantra for your day? Find an inspirational quote to repeat to yourself in the morning and at night. All actions start off as thoughts, so if you can think about something that inspires you, you will act on it.

11. Make a to-feel list.

We all try to think about what we have to get done: the to-do list. But, instead make a to-feel list. Include “gratitude, joy, happiness” and you’ll have to find these feelings in your day.

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12. Exercise.

There’s nothing that will make you feel better than getting your endorphins going. Go ahead: move!

13. Go outside.

There’s a reason almost every song about joy includes sunshine.

14. Talk to someone you love.

Hearing your loved one’s voice at the beginning or end of the day is a great way to remember what’s really important.

15. Treat yourself.

If you’re feeling really down, don’t be afraid to do something nice for yourself. Sometime buying that expensive cup of coffee is just what you need to get pumped about your day.

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16. Put on comfy clothes.

Slipping into your stretchy pants will make you relax after your hard day at work.

17. Cook.

Finding a new recipe will make you feel creative, and cooking for yourself will help you stay healthy. Pull out your pots and pans and have some fun.

18. Work on something new.

Starting a new project will give you energy. Plus, a fresh start is the one of the best ways to feel like you’re accomplishing a new goal. The accomplishment you feel will instantly turn to joy.

19. Dream.

Finding time to dream about who you want to be or what you want to do is essential to making sure you live a joyful life.

20. Laugh.

Laughter can lighten the mood of the most intense situation. Find something to laugh about, and you’ll instantly feel happier.

Featured photo credit: Free Spirit/Mandolin via flickr.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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