I Knew It Was Going to be a Bad Day

Sad Young WomanI went to bed the other night frustrated with myself. It was after midnight (a very late bedtime for me) and I just knew that the next day wasn’t going to go smoothly as a result.

How did I know that?

Easy, that’s my past experience.

It goes like this: go to bed late, the next morning sleep in a bit (because not getting enough sleep makes for a bad day too!) and then be frustrated with the time that is ”lost.” Spend the morning frustrated that I still have five things to do and only time for three. Constantly check email and Facebook just in case something important comes through. And at the end of the day I’m frustrated and upset with myself because only two things of my five tasks actually got done. I might attempt to go to bed early, but I’m not tired – just annoyed. At this point one of two things happens: (1) I get to bed early and start the next day “right” or (2) I stay up late again and have a repeat of my bad day.

So, I was thinking about this as I got ready the next day and I suddenly remembered an article I wrote over two years ago when I was still an employee. The gist of it is that one or two (or more) events don’t determine the flow of your day unless you let it.

Well, crap. I guess I don’t need to have a frustrating or bad day. Wait – that’s a good thing!

If you want to succeed in your life, remember this phrase: The past does not equal the future. Because you failed yesterday; or all day today; or a moment ago; or for the last six months; the last sixteen years; or the last fifty years of life, doesn’t mean anything… All that matters is: What are you going to do, right now? – Anthony Robbins (emphasis added)

Just because my past experience is that staying up late means the following day will be frustrating and generally bad doesn’t mean that I’ll have that experience every single time. Unless of course I make it happen.

I want to point out all the assumptions I made about my day (time was lost; I’ll get an email that I just have to respond to immediately; need to start the day right).  I feed my own frustration with those assumptions.

Was my day perfect? Well, no – but who really wants to be perfect?  (I shared a great quote about this on Facebook last week click here to see it)

Did I get my five things done? Nope, and I was okay with that.

Why was I okay with that? Well, why get frustrated about it? Frustration doesn’t get things done any faster.

It’s easy to read about someone else’s experiences, but how do you recognize it for yourself (and recognize it early) and change it up?

Well, I just happen to have a couple thoughts on that!

  1. Are you thinking something along the lines of “UGH! Because I did that now this is going to happen!”
    Take a step back – how realistic is that? What’s something else that can happen? What would happen if you smiled, took a breath and re-prioritized instead of going “UGH!”
  2. Are you should-ing on yourself?
    Do you find yourself saying “I should have done this” or “I should be doing that” or “this shouldn’t be happening like that”?
    Yes? Take a deep breath – maybe even get out of your office or house for a few minutes. Go for a walk. Is it too cold out? Walk up and down some stairs or do jumping jacks. Really, I’m serious, it can help to get your blood flowing and put your mind on physical activities for a little bit.

And next time you find yourself in the midst of a day that’s just not going “right” – remember that quote above.

If none of that is working, write down three things you’re thankful for, then take a breath and smile and write down three more. Gratitude is a great mood lifter!

So, to borrow from Tony Robbins: What are you going to do, right now? Share in the comments below!

Another article you might want to check out: Throwing a Pity Party

Image courtesy of Jeanne Clair Maarbes / FreeDigitalPhotos.net