MOTIVATING

7 Ways to Have a Great Day--Every Day

Being happy at work is the result of the everyday steps you take to get into a positive place and remain there. Here's how.
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I've written before about workplace happiness in terms of general rules like "don't obsess about things."  Good advice, certainly, but general rules sometimes aren't enough.

For most people, getting into--and staying in--a better mood comes down to the actions they take, rather than the rules they follow.

With that in mind, here are seven specific actions that you should take each day if you really want to squeeze the most juice out of your work experience.

1. Listen to or read something that inspires you.

Rather than distract yourself with news or "entertainment" that only adds to your stress, fill your quieter moments with music, books, and TED-like talks that are uplifting and help you aspire to be your best.

2. Make your body stronger and more resilient.

When it comes to physical condition, there's no such thing as staying in the same place. At the end of the day, you've either gone downhill or uphill. Take time each day to exercise and eat well--at least enough so you're headed in the right direction!

3. Review and hone your plans for the future.

You'll make better decisions and be more satisfied with your results if you know that most of what you're doing fits into your long-term plans and goals. That's only possible if you keep those plans and goals in the forefront.

4. Do at least one thing that's worthwhile.

Hopefully your day-to-day work is a worthwhile endeavor, but if you're stuck in a holding pattern of busywork (it happens to all of us), make the extra effort to find something to do that makes a difference and improves the world.

5. Help somebody less fortunate.

Self-centered people are always unhappy because they're shoveling all their energy into the bottomless pit of their egos. The best and easiest way to get over yourself is to do something for somebody who needs your help. Do it anonymously, if possible.

6. Spend 20 seconds appreciating what you have.

If you're reading this blog post, you're probably striving to achieve an even higher level of success. However, if you don't stop and feel grateful, I guarantee that you won't enjoy yourself when you get wherever you're headed.

7. Record at least one good memory.

At the end of the day, take out your journal, smartphone, or tablet and write down at least one positive memory about that day. In future months and years, you can glance through these memories to give yourself a boost and remind you why you work so hard.

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IMAGE: Daniel Littlewood/Flickr
Last updated: Apr 22, 2014

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed over a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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