I’ve seen an inordinate amount of blog posts recently about hints and steps to optimize your life. This ranges from the “Most Perfect t Morning Routine Ever in 167 Easy Minutes” to “How to be a 50s Housewife in 27 Easy Daily Steps” to “How to Kick All the Ass at Work All the Time and Still Have Time for a Massage.” Needless to say, they overwhelm me, make me feel a smidge inferior, and end with me eating peanut butter by the spoonful. I’m really glad to know there are successful people out there, and I do hope those articles help people. I decided to make my own, possibly more realistic “How To” complete with examples.
My 10 Steps to a Successful Day:
11 . Start on the Right Foot
Real Life Example: bargain with yourself in the mornings. How I execute this tricky step: I open my bleary eyes, look at the time on my phone, and then start a serious of calculations involving minutes until I have to leave, minutes per task that has to be completed, and other such factors and an epic internal debate to shame any scholar, and make mental health professionals question how many people live in my head.
“All right. If you don’t do your makeup, you can have seven and a half more minutes of sleep.”
“Pft. Please. Like that will convince me to get up.”
“Okay… if you drink coffee at the office instead of making it at home, you can stare blankly at the back wall of the shower for four minutes and 23 seconds. “
“Nope. Can’t make me.”
“How about if you wear the same thing you wore yesterday, with a spritz of Fabreeze, you can hold your dogs for three more minutes.”
“LALALALA. I can’t hear you.”
“FINE! Just get up and brush your teeth and you can watch a half episode of Buffy.”
“I just have to brush my teeth? That’s all I have to do today? Fine, deal.”
22. Follow Through
Real Life Example: stare blankly at the back of the shower. Obviously, you must up hold whatever bargaining chips were utilized to complete step 1, else you will have no power the next day. I find this a particularly useful approach, because it’s basically like still being asleep with the added bonus of feeling like you are making progress.
33. Eat a Nutritious Breakfast
Real Life Example: stare blankly at your refrigerator. Give up. Go to Starbucks. We all know balanced nutrition is a must for a successful life, and that packing your own food is always the better approach. I figure, A for effort really goes a long way for breakfast; additionally, coffee and nutritionally valueless sugar free syrup make a nice compromise to a home cooked meal.
44. Execute a Daily Plan
Real Life Example: bumble your way from task to task. My typical day involves at least three different work hats, at three different locations. I like to keep expectations nice and low, so making a screaming entrance and equally chaotic exit is essential. Try and forget important things as well, whether it be paperwork or tasks you were supposed to complete.
55. Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Real Life Example: be willing to sell your soul for a nap. It is important to know your heart’s desire and to work towards your goals.
66. Utilize Your Commute
Real Life Example: Stare blankly at traffic. Finding that perfect balance is always the goal – this is a nice way to keep you morning and afternoons centered on the same theme.
77. Practice Gratitude
Real Life Example: be so grateful to be home that you stay on the floor for 30 minutes. This example really only applies if you are an introvert. As I am the poster child for Introverts United, Separately and from our Own Homes, this step is crucial. You often have periods of time that you are not using to full potential. I encourage you to really look for those so you can fill them with tasks that are life giving, like lying on the floor crippled by the overwhelming feelings of angst of being around people all day and delight at being by yourself at home. The occasional groan pulled from your soul is encouraged.
88. Cultivate Communication
Real Life Example: complain about all the things. It is important in our busyness to find time for the important relationships in our lives. I like to whine about everything in a big onslaught to my husband as soon as we are both home. Bonus if you are also whining via text message to other people. This is rounded out nicely if you end it with a half-hearted argument about what’s for dinner at the end.
99. Stay on Top of Chores
Real Life Example: rewash that load of laundry for the third time, since you aren’t sure if the last attempt was this week or the previous. ‘Nuff said.
110. Meditate on Your Day
Real Life Example: feel deep existential angst about your failings during the day, come up with elaborate plan how tomorrow will be different, go to sleep knowing it will totally work this time.