What is A Good Day For You?

By Jay Forte, Coach, Author, Educator

Most of our todays look a lot like our yesterdays. Every morning, we launch right into habit mode and are surprised that the days seem to blend one into another. Nothing remarkable. Nothing amazing.

I believe that’s because we haven’t decided how our day will go. That’s right. You have a say in how your day unfolds. Sure, you can’t control every event throughout the day, but with a little intention, you can direct your responses and energy to make the things you want to see or experience actually happen.

It all starts with defining what a good day is for you. Most of us never reflect on this. In fact, too many of us let the world tell us what a good day means. Remember, you decide; what defines a good day for YOU and how can you make more intentional decisions to have a good day?

Here are two examples to think about.

Let’s say you define a good day as one where your family gets along. Already having this mindset helps you tune in to your family differently. You can share this request with others, manage your own emotions and influence how your family interacts. Without the intention, things are the way they always are.

Let’s say a good day for you is when you get personalized feedback from your manager, so you’re inspired to reach out to your manager to share that feedback is important to you. Or, because you’re more tuned in to this, you provide personalized feedback with your teammates, which activates the same response in your manager. Without the intention, things are the way they always are.

A good day for me includes having time to write. Sure, there are things I have to do, but I know I can define a day as remarkable when I make time to write to share thoughts about living our strengths and creating a life we love. Making time to write makes a big difference for me; I feel so much more alive, more grateful and more connected when I write.

Important Questions from a Coach

  1. What is a good day for you?
  2. What would remind you that each day is yours to define as either remarkable or unremarkable?
  3. What stops you from clearly identifying what you want to see, experience or achieve in your day?

It isn’t the number of days that matter, it’s the quality of the days. To create quality days, take the time to reflect on what makes a good day for you. Then, with greater clarity and intention, be determined to make it happen.


Need help getting focused? Consider talking with a coach to help you learn how to say what you want in life and how to go get it.


Consider reading Energy Level: Somewhere around a Zero

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Energy Level: Somewhere around a Zero

By Kristin Allaben, Executive Assistant and Strategic Communications Specialist

You wake up on a rainy morning. You didn’t sleep well. Your neck is sore. You’re still tired. It’s cold, raw and, you guessed it, Monday.

Be honest, what was the first reaction you had to reading that scenario? What’s your energy level?

Most people would eloquently respond with “ugh” or “meh.” Some may even quote Office Space, grumbling to themselves, “Someone’s got a case of the Mondays,” and roll over and hit ‘snooze.’

This is Level 1 energy – a feeling of indifference, being disconnected and, to the extreme, playing the victim.

At The Forte Factor, we focus on strengths, optimism, opportunity and potential. These are driven by understanding that performance energy is either productive or unproductive (not good/bad, right/wrong) and that productive performance energy will more successfully use strengths, drive optimism, inspire opportunity and help achieve potential. So, how are you letting your energy level dictate your day?

In Life’s Little Moments, I talk about making the choice to respond positively to potentially frustrating events. Let’s review one of those situations by looking at the reaction vs. the response aligned to the energy funnel.

Situation: You spill something on your shirt right before a big meeting.
Reaction: Frustrated. Angry. Embarrassed. Annoyed.
Energy: Level 2. You allow yourself to feel angry and become irritated. You are more critical, short-tempered and aggravated by little things.
Outcome: The meeting is awkward and uncomfortable. You check the time frequently and keep looking at the door. When a question is directed at you, you reply with a sarcastic comment. When someone says something you disagree with, you offer a valid, yet aggressive, response. Your point is made and you’re assigned the big project you wanted, but now you’re on your own. No one wants to work with you.

Same situation, with a positive energetic response instead of a negative reaction:

Response: Frustrated, but you choose to laugh it off because sometimes these things happen – it’s not personal. You now focus your energy on how to solve the problem by looking for a jacket or scarf to hide the mark, not wasting your energy on being upset. You choose to be confident and don’t call any attention to your mishap before the meeting. It’s done and in your past.
Energy: Level 5. You accept a human moment happened and you enter the meeting with confidence, knowing that what you say and do in the meeting will matter more than the stain on your shirt.
Outcome: The meeting goes incredibly well. You break the tension in the room by laughing off the human moment and segue into the challenge at hand, discussing a few possible solutions. You’re assigned the big project you wanted and have an entire team of people to help. You start brainstorming immediately.

Do you see the difference?

Being aware of your energy enables you to more efficiently manage your emotions. You can intentionally choose an energetic response that is productive that, in turn, can yield more successful results. You move out of habit reaction into thoughtful response. You have what it takes to learn from this moment to make your next moment better.

So let’s rethink that dreary Monday morning wake-up. How will you choose to start your week?


Consider reading The Energy Funnel Explained.

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Life’s Little Moments

By Kristin Allaben, Executive Assistant and Strategic Communications Specialist

Life is full of little moments to remember, to laugh at, to share, to take a mental picture and hope you never forget. Sure, life can present you with some incredibly frustrating situations, like:

  • You reach for the chocolate jimmies (or “sprinkles,” if you’re not from Massachusetts) and end up putting parsley flakes on your ice cream instead.
  • You spill coffee on your shirt right before a big meeting.
  • The cover on the salt shaker is loose and you end up pouring salt onto your food.
  • You pour milk in your coffee and discover it has gone bad…after you take your first sip.
  • Your 1-year old insists on feeding himself and gets applesauce all over the kitchen.

How many of these moments can you relate to?

These are moments that can get under your skin and, I admit, there are some days when life’s little frustrations and irritations can certainly push me over the edge. I’m human.

But I have found that what I choose to do in the next moment is what makes all the difference. It is my choice. I can let life’s little moments ruin my day, or I can choose to see the moment as a human event. It’s the difference between reacting vs. responding.

When you pour parsley flakes on your ice cream, take a picture and share with family or friends who will get a kick out of it. And if you’re really craving that ice cream, scoop the parsley out and eat the ice cream anyway.

When your 1-year old gets applesauce all over the kitchen, take a mental picture of the grin on his face and grab your phone to share a picture of the “disaster” with family. Remember, this is a learning experience for him and he’s proud of himself for getting *some* of that food in his mouth by himself. He is, in fact, just [a small] human.

Life is full of little irritating and frustrating moments – you choose if they will make or break your day. And now that you see you have the choice, why would you choose to let them break your day?

Important Questions from a Coach

  1. Imagine a “little moment” when your reaction was a negative one. How did it impact your day?
  2. Think about those you came into contact with that day – your colleagues, your kids, your friends. How did your mood/attitude impact their day?
  3. What could you have done differently in the moment that followed to change your behavior?

I frequently think of Pam and Jim’s wedding episode from The Office. In the car, on their way up to their wedding location, Pam tells Jim a relative suggests taking a mental picture during the day to ensure you don’t forget a great little moment.

So, when life’s little moments present you with something incredible, take the mental picture, especially when those little moments require a deeper look to find that incredible component to remember.


Consider reading Catch and Release.

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Catch and Release

By Jay Forte, Coach, Author, Educator

You smile and nod as your manager critiques a report you completed. You shrug as your teen calls you unfair for limiting internet time on a weekend. You tell yourself it’s no big deal when your friends are invited to a party but there was no invitation for you. You take it all in stride, but you know the frustration is building. Then, suddenly, you blow up over something crazy, like your favorite show has been pre-empted by a special news show. You lose it, crying, swearing and complaining that life isn’t fair.

How – and why – does something so small create such a large reaction?

You, like most of us, catch and keep disappointments and frustrations rather than catching and releasing them. When you keep them, they build up until you reach a breaking point.

Rather than accepting the “straw that broke the camel’s back” mentality and acknowledging that a break down will happen at some point, what if you deal with whatever life throws at you, learn from it, and let it go, rather than catching and keeping it? By doing this, there is little or no build up. There is no reason to go into meltdown.

It does, however, require awareness and it takes practice.

Learn from life

One of the wisest things I learned in all my years is to use everything life sends me as a lesson. What did I do well that I should do again? What didn’t work that I should learn from to make my next moment better?

Using this approach, I can better manage my reaction to life’s events, particularly the frustrations and disappointments. I can deal with it, learn from it and move on.

Life isn’t personal

I remember one time when I was a kid I got a particularly bad haircut (or that is how I remember it). Threatening to lock myself in my room until my hair grew back, my mother calmly asked, “What makes you think anyone is looking at you anyway?” Her point was to not take things so personally. When it rains on the day of your planned barbecue, it isn’t personal – it’s just the weather. When you get sick on the day of your big presentation, it’s not personal – it’s just life.

When we let go of the negative emotions that we add to life’s frustrations, we can see them as the little events they are. This gives us more emotional room to decide what to do next, to catch the wisdom of the moment and release the negative energy so the rest of the day isn’t affected.

Important Questions from a Coach:

  1. What are you holding on to that you should release?
  2. How can you focus on learning from your frustrations and disappointments as they happen?
  3. What will it be like to be around you as you better manage your disappointments and frustrations?

Catch, learn and release. Gather information, learn from it and let it go. This makes room for the next round of successes, challenges and frustrations that will happen because that is just how life is.

Catch and release instead of catch and keep. Life will be so much better.


Need help getting to catch and release? Consider working with a professional coach.

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Staying Calm and Upbeat (Despite Life’s Frustrations)

By Jay Forte, Coach, Author, Educator

You need to slam on the breaks when a driver cuts you off on the highway.

You are waiting in line to check out and another customer cuts ahead of you to ask the store clerk a question.

You arrive on time for your meeting but many of your team arrive late.

What do you do in each of these situations? If you are like most of us, you become frustrated, irritated and aggravated, and that emotion stays with you, affecting your entire day.

When your day is negatively impacted by an event you can’t control, remind yourself that you are in control of your own emotions.

The way to handle life’s challenges – whether big or small – is to develop your personal mindfulness process to increase your inner strength, calm, happiness and resilience. As you develop and use these mindfulness habits, you’ll find you start responding instead of reacting. You’ll become unaffected by impatient drivers, inconsiderate shoppers, late employees or other events that used to frustrate you.

Here are some suggestions to get you started.

  • Take a breath. Anytime the world seems to be climbing on the frustration meter, take a deep breath. Breathe in to a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four, release your breath to a count of four. Do this a couple of times to regain composure or to keep perspective.
  • Go for humor. Read a humorous post or cartoon, or watch a funny video to change your energy. Humor can be an effective tool to distract you from frustrations.
  • Yoga, meditation and quiet time. September is National Yoga Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to explore yoga or other meditation techniques. These were previously considered new age, yet today, most successful people have included yoga and meditation in their daily process. By practicing it regularly, you will become inherently better at finding your inner strength, keeping things in perspective and handling life’s challenges with grace and positivity. Consider seeking out a yoga studio or buying a mindfulness audio program.

Notice all of these mindfulness techniques require commitment and intention on your part – you own your response and what you need to do to become more resilient.

Important Questions from a Coach

  1. The next time you get frustrated, take a deep breath. How do you feel?
  2. What is one thing you can do today to be more mindful of a response vs. a reaction?
  3. What could your daily mindfulness process include to help you develop your inner resilience to life’s challenges, whether big or small?

The more you build your internal calm, the less the world will frustrate you and the happier, saner and more successful you will be.


Read more about increasing mindfulness in Tune Out to Tune In

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Tune Out To Tune In

By Jay Forte

It is rare to see someone not connected to a device. We’re constantly gathering information from sources that fill our brains with things others think are important. But there is something this constant chatter can never give you – information about you.

It is obviously necessary to stay connected in today’s world. However, before you can truly understand the impact of the news and information you hear, you need to know you – the you that has to make choices about what’s right for you and what’s not for you in both work and life. This requires tuning out to tune in.

Every one of us has unique and amazing talents and strengths that are distinctively ours. There are no two people on the planet who share identical profiles and, as a result, there isn’t anything the outside world will tell you that will help you identify your talents and strengths to help you find your fit. No one will hand you an owners’ manual or a life guide book; you have to write this yourself.

We can find our particular place and way of living, one that aligns to what we do and love best, because we are all different and unique. It is in this alignment that we can choose how we show up in every moment of our lives, regardless of whether that moment is big or small.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, a mindfulness expert and author, shares that if you are able to be more aware in this moment, then you are able to use the information from this moment to make your next moment better.

Basically, if you can be self-aware in this moment – to you know your talents, strengths, passions and interests – you can use that information to make a better and wiser decision about you in the next moment. True, you need to know what is going on in your world too, but only after you discover who you are to use what you know of you to make wise decisions in your world. Don’t let the world tell you who to be – know who you are and bring the real you to find your fit in all areas of work and life.

To access this critical information, tune out the noisy, opinionated and directing world and tune in to you – the wise, talented and amazingly unique person you are. Doing so will give you access to the information needed to make wiser and better choices.

Important Questions from a Coach

  1. What do you notice about yourself when you really pay attention to who you are and what makes you, you?
  2. How can learning about the real you help improve your decisions in work and life?
  3. What can you do today to disconnect from the world to better understand yourself?

You are great and awesome just as you are. Don’t be a stranger to yourself – take the time to discover, develop and live the true you. You are here to do great things.


Consider reading Create a Personal Report Card

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