I almost had the worst day.
I had been looking forward to last weekends’ busy Saturday for weeks. I planned to start the day with a SocaFit workout, then attend a blogger event, and finally, join a friend on her search for a wedding dress. I was especially excited about the dance class and the blogger meetup; not only would I finally be able to do both after months of scheduling conflicts, but by the end of the day, I would be closer to achieving two of my biggest goals this year.
On Friday, my friend decided to postpone the shopping trip after her daughter got sick. That’s okay, I thought. I’ll have more time to network at the blogger meetup. I reached out to the organizer to reconfirm the details and was told that the event had been canceled. That’s okay, I thought, ignoring my rising frustration. I can still network from home.
On Saturday, I was the first to arrive at SocaFit. The dark storefront looked out of place in the busy strip mall. Confused, I called a friend. “There’s no class today,” she said matter-of-factly. “Didn’t you check your email this morning?”
Great, I thought, rolling my eyes with undeniable frustration. I crossed the parking lot and headed toward the grocery store, eager to salvage the morning by crossing another item off of my to do list. “Sorry,” the store manager said. “The butcher is on a break for the next 30 minutes.”
I drove to the nearest gas station. “Sorry,” the attendant said. “We’re out of motor oil.”
Defeated, I headed back home. There, I did three things, which helped to shift my attitude and made my day more productive than I could have imagined:
Breathe // I laid in bed and stared blankly at the ceiling while my negative self-talk threatened to consume me. Then, I took a deep breath. Almost instantly, I felt calm. When we fixate on past or future events or find ourselves distracted by mental chatter, taking a deep breath produces a calming effect and help us focus on the present moment.
Recommit to accomplishing the goal // After taking a moment to clear my mind, I realized that behind my frustration, was disappointment that I didn’t get to work on my fitness and blogging goals like I had planned. Clarity allowed me to acknowledge that only one part of the plan had gone awry and that I still had the rest of the day to do whatever I wanted. Especially with Avon and Bean gone for the day. I’m going to get some exercise and I’m going to work on my blog today, I declared to myself. Recommitting to accomplishing my goal gave me the boost of energy I needed to get out of bed and get back to work.
Choose a different attitude // I was grateful that I had the rest of the day – and the entire apartment – to myself. Shifting my defeated attitude to one of gratitude also made room for joy, openness and urgency (actually, urgency was inspired by remembering that Avon and Bean would be home eventually). Tapping into joy, I turned on some music and moved to the next item on my to do list: cleaning. Less than an hour later, I had cleaned my entire bedroom and worked up quite a sweat. While cleaning, I brainstormed topics for the blog (including this one!). And you thought you weren’t going to get anything today, I thought smugly. Refreshed, I treated myself to a mani-pedi before going to the grocery store and still made it home to start dinner before Avon and Bean returned. Being open allowed me the flexibility to achieve greater results, even though how I achieved them looked a lot different than I thought they would, and in record time, thanks to my sense of urgency.
I ended Saturday night feeling proud of myself. To think, I had almost thrown the whole day away. Try these simple and easy steps the next time you’re having a bad day and let me know how your days turns around!