If you’re having a bad day or a bad week or by month or year, I want to share with you what I do when I have a bad day. And it’s something that I kind of stumbled upon by accident a couple of years ago, but I found it to be very useful and very practical.
What usually happens when we’re not feeling well, is that we still have the same expectations as to what we can do. And the thing is that we don’t really have the energy or the motivation to do those things, right? So we say, okay, I’m going to work out, for example, for a whole hour. And we don’t feel like it. We don’t feel well. So we don’t work out at all because we can’t do a full hour. And as a result, we end up feeling bad because we said, we’re going to do one thing. But then we end up doing something different.
So what I found is that I had to set myself up for success. And I did that by creating what I call small wins. So a small win is something that makes you feel good. And it’s something that is highly attainable, right? So what I used to do when I didn’t feel like working out for a whole hour was to say, okay, I’m going to do a 10 pushups.
Now, 10 pushups, for most healthy people is a pretty easy and attainable goal. The point is that you make yourself do something that you know you can do. And once you do it, you feel good about yourself. And the next time it’s going to be easier to do a 15, 20 pushups, right?
So it’s about gaining momentum and moving in the right direction. It’s not about the size of the task, but it’s about moving you in the direction where you want to go. If I’m overwhelmed at work, I pick one small task that I know I can do. And that gives me the confidence that, you know, yeah, I was able to do this. Maybe I can do more.
Same when I, you know, write these episodes. I say, I’m going to sit on a write for five minutes. I don’t care about the quality. I don’t care if my writing is crappy. I just make myself do something for a few minutes, and anybody can do that.
There are many ways you can prime yourself for success. Sometimes I drink a glass of water. That shows me that I care about my health, that I’m hydrating. That makes me feel good. And it makes it easier to take care of myself once I’ve done that small step.
Sometimes I brush my teeth. Sometimes I go for a walk. Sometimes I eat something healthy. So whatever your goal is, if you find yourself failing at that goal, it might be because you’re setting the bar too high.
You really need to be patient with yourself and understand that it’s not about getting from A to B tomorrow, but it’s about taking the smallest step you can take in that direction.
I challenge you to think about one thing that will make you feel better and do it. It doesn’t matter how small it is. It doesn’t matter if it’s one pushup. It doesn’t matter if it’s calling one friend to see how they’re doing.
It doesn’t matter if you take the smallest task you have on your “to do” list and do it now, or half of it, or a quarter of it. It’s about the fact that you’re making yourself do something that you think you can’t. And once you do that, you’ll realize that you can actually do more than that.
You might not achieve all your goals today. You might not fix all your problems, but find one thing. Find one thing that you know you can do, and do it. And I promise you will feel better.