By Leo Babauta
We tend to go through our days with our noses to the grindstone, doing tasks, getting distracted, jumping from one thing to the next. Go to sleep tired, repeat the next day.
Our days become an endless cycle of getting stuff done and getting through to the next day (especially during this pandemic!).
What would it be like if today were special?
I’m going to share a few simple practices that will elevate every day, into something to celebrate.
Practice 1: Win the Day
Instead of starting the day with a list of tasks to get done … what if we identified 1-3 things that would make this day an absolute victory, if we were to do them?
So the practice is to start the day with a simple entry in your notebook or on a simple text document: what could I do to make this day a victory? I like to title it, “Win the Day: Saturday Feb. 6” (or whatever date it is, obviously), then I list 2-3 potential victories. (For today , writing this blog post is one of mine!)
I have other tasks and meetings on my list, obviously, but these are the 2-3 I focus on. Sometimes it’s just one. If I can get that single task done, or those 2-3 tasks, done, it will be a big victory for my goals for this month or year, or for my mission. Or it would just feel fantastic!
I keep this list front and center, and refer back to it multiple times a day. It helps bring me back to what I want to accomplish. And then I look back on it at the end of the day (more on this in the next section), and celebrate what I can. Sometimes I don’t get them all done, which is not a cause for disappointment but for learning. But most days I do at least 1-2 of them, and any progress is a huge cause for celebration.
Practice 2: A Brief Review
At the end of each day, it can be powerful to take a brief pause and review how the day went. And celebrate anything you can!
Here’s what I like to review:
- How did I do with my Win the Day list? Celebrate any progress at all.
- How did I do with my practices for the day? Again, any practice at all is a cause for celebration.
- Where did I see the divine today ? (You can word it as “God” or “the Sacred” or “Magic” or whatever feels powerful for you.) For me, I often find divinity in nature, in people all around me, even in a quiet moment like the one I’m experiencing as I write this post. I find this a powerful question that helps me celebrate life.
This only has to take a few minutes. Set a reminder. I often will take a few more minutes to set my intentions/Win the Day items for tomorrow.
Practice 3: Ending Ritual for Tasks
We don’t have to wait for the end of the day to celebrate. We can do it after anything we do.
The practice is a simple ritual: pause when you’re done with something, before you move on to the next thing. And reflect. And celebrate.
For example, when I’m done writing this, I will have the urge to open up a browser tab and start tackling other tasks. Instead, I will try to remember to pause, and reflect how the writing went. What did I find sacred in the writing process? What can I celebrate and be grateful for? Then I’ll ask what my next intention is.
It takes seconds, but it means that throughout the day, we are finding moments of deep appreciation for life.