Having a good day–a day when things are going well, when you feel in a groove and are making good choices–can just happen, but it can also come from good preparation (see “How Preparation Enables Stronger Willpower“). Here are some ways we can prepare the night before to have a particularly good day. In a follow-up article, I’ll talk about things we can do in the morning to start a day off on the right foot.
- Plan extra time into the next morning. The more we have to rush in the morning, the more tense we tend to be and the more likely something will go wrong–or that a slight delay will be a serious problem instead of a nuisance. Also, starting the day off well generally requires having a little time in the morning to think, and ideally time to meditate and/or exercise.
If you find yourself being late in the mornings, you can change that by following the recommendations in “How Not to Be Late: The 8 Principles of Being on Time.”
- Get a good night’s sleep. It can be difficult to change our nighttime habits to get more sleep or to get enough but get up earlier, yet the payoffs are much higher, as a rule, than, say, getting an extra hour to watch TV. See “18 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep.”
- Solve problems in advance. If you can predict some of the trouble you may run into during the day–like getting into a bad mood because of a meeting with someone you don’t like, or having to get past a counter full of free bagels while trying to lose weight–you can picture solutions and make plans. It’s much easier to act on a plan you’ve already made when trouble arises than to improvise one on the spot, especially if you’re distracted or overwhelmed. You may even want to write some of these solutions down to review in the morning.
- Choose one good thing to get done early on. Many of us have a lot of things we want to accomplish on any given day, but choosing one specific thing that especially needs to get done or that is particularly valuable can make it much easier to focus on and accomplish that thing early in the day, and that accomplishment can boost motivation and mood powerfully.
Photo by Éole