Bad Days Don’t Have to be Bad

By Kristin Allaben

I recently had a few very challenging and really tough days, back to back to back. My patience was tested, my breaking point was reached multiple times and my ability to “roll with it” went right out the window.

Have you had a day – or two or three – like this? I bet you have; it’s all part of being human.

The real question is how do you feel about those days looking back? Do you cringe? Are you embarrassed? Do you feel guilty?

I admit, there are more than just a few moments within those challenging days that I am less than impressed with myself. But you know what? Allowing yourself to be angry and upset for some time is ok. Sometimes, life doesn’t do what you want it to. Sometimes, you have to admit you don’t have control over everyone and everything in your life; people will do what they’re going to do, young or old. Sometimes being angry is a meaningful and effective response to let off some steam in situations that may seem too difficult to manage.

But challenging days don’t have to be bad. Maybe being angry is an effective response right now. Being angry can inspire action; it can help you move toward resolution. That’s productive. But what about holding on to that anger for 5 minutes? An hour? Tomorrow? Staying angry is unproductive. You may make rash decisions, you may unintentionally hurt someone you care about, you may inspire negativity around you.

Remember: you get to decide how you want your next moment to be.

So the next time you find yourself thinking you’re having a challenging day, ask yourself why. Take a moment to reflect on what you’re feeling. What caused it? How did you react? Then consider what could be a more productive response?

Life will always have some easy and some difficult times – that is life. Being self-aware and self-managed can help you know your triggers and emotions and manage them to make your next moments more controlled, intentional and successful. Remember this: with anger, visit but don’t move in.

 

Consider reading What Does a Good Day Look Like for You?

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Defining Success on Your Own Terms

By Kristin Allaben  

As a parent, I’m consistently inundated with advice and parenting do’s and don’ts. Don’t give them too much sugar. Put them to bed at the same time every night. Don’t let them watch too much TV. Be sure they play outside and get dirty. Do more of this. Don’t do that, ever.

It’s a lot to sift through, especially when some well-intentioned advice goes against your beliefs as a parent. Now add to that your adult to-do list, comprised of work responsibilities, household responsibilities and general responsibilities to ensure your own well-being, and it’s easy to see how parents can feel overwhelmed and unsuccessful. I admit there have been more than a few nights when I finally sit down after the kids are in bed and think, “Dishes are done and lunches are ready for tomorrow, but I still haven’t swept. The playroom needs to be picked up. The dog needs to go out and the cat’s food has to be refilled. I wanted to go for a run… I’m failing me and I’m failing them.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s your decision how you want to feel. It’s your decision how you will proceed. It really just requires a change in mindset.

Consider this: ask yourself what a happy and successful life looks like, knowing that it is healthy for this to evolve over time. What was a happy and successful life to your 18 year old self may not be realistic or relevant to your 40 year old self. Keep in mind that as a parent, you’re no longer responsible for just yourself. Your day-to-day has changed drastically as a result of your kids who rely on you for so much more than food, shelter and clothing; they need you to guide them as they start to develop their own sense of self. Remember this as you make the intentional effort to define your happy and successful life. Maybe your career goals have changed. Maybe you’re finding new ways to interact with your kids’ school. There are no boundaries; invent! It is up to you to decide what this looks like for you.

I recently read a profound article, “What if All I want is a Mediocre Life?” and it really gave me pause. I found myself nodding in agreement to much of what the writer said, though I think she limits herself – and her readers – by saying she wants a “mediocre life.”

Who decides what’s mediocre vs. successful, happy and perfect? You do.

“Mediocre” doesn’t have to be the word you assign to it. Success to you could be the “slow, simple life” the writer describes as mediocre. For some, that is perfection. For others, there’s more to do. Why assign a word like “mediocre” to what you define as your perfect life?

Many people refer to engagement in the workplace as the result of intentional alignment. It is the same in life – how well does your life align to what you feel to be important?

The next time you catch yourself feeling like you’re failing, check in with yourself. Why do you feel this way? Have you set unattainable standards for yourself? Are you living and acting on someone else’s definition of a great life?

Ultimately, you have to ask yourself how you define success. Start small, like identifying what a good day looks like. And then go from there.

Important Questions from a Coach:

  1. What does a good day look like for you?
  2. What situations or events lead you to feel like you are failing or not enough?
  3. What is one thing you can do today to feel successful or enough?
  4. What does a happy and successful life look like to you?

 

Consider reading Creating Goals: Start with “Be Better”

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What Does A Good Day Look Like For You?

By Jay Forte

Too many times, we roll out of bed and get pulled into our normal, daily routine. We move along like zombies, going through the motions until we drop into bed, only to do the same thing the next day.

For many, this can be tiresome and boring. You may feel a sense of emptiness or a desire to do something bigger, something to have an impact on your world.

Rather than continue to slog through each day with little impact, consider asking yourself: what does a good day look like for me?

Reflect on the events of your day to get clear about how you would define a good day and why it would be a good day for you. For example, a good day to you could mean:

  • You work for an organization that values you and works to develop your potential.
  • You spend time with people who love and care about you, and are honest, direct and supportive with their communication.
  • You take advantage of opportunities to run a business, teach a class, use your gifts or make the world a better place.
  • You eat wisely, stay healthy and take time to think, reflect and stay calm.

Only you can define what makes a good day for you. Remember, if you don’t know where you are headed, you will likely not get there. As Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People shares in Habit #2, “Begin with the end in mind.” Know what success looks like for you – be clear, be honest, be intentional.

What would make your day great so as you head to bed each night, you stop, smile and think, “How lucky am I that I have such an amazing life?”

And shouldn’t it be that way? Life is supposed to be amazing for each of us.

Important Questions from a Coach:

  1. How will you make time to review this important question?
  2. How will you encourage others to ask this question to help them define and achieve their idea of a great day?
  3. How will you continually update your response to this question so each day is the best that you can make it?

You own your life. It is up to you to make your life great. Knowing what you want it to be will help you focus on how to make it happen. Get started today.

 

Consider reading Learn to See the Good

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