Written by our Productivity and Well-Being Coach, Sarah Hodges
What is “Feeling Good” for you?
Imagine a normal day in your life when you feel really good.
Imagine a normal day in your life when you feel like your best self.
What are you doing? How are you caring for yourself? Are you taking out moments for fun or introspection? Do you have habits you’re proud of?
A few months ago I noticed a pattern: on days when I felt like I was thriving and balanced, I engaged in certain tasks and activities that felt really good. I continued to be aware of the difference in my life when I was doing these things on a regular basis and when I wasn’t, and there was a notable difference. When I experienced any of these tasks for even a minute or two, my personal level of joy, fulfillment, and happiness was markedly higher than if I missed out.
I compiled all of these seemingly random activities into a list using the app Google Keep. They were a mix of fun, relaxation, and healthy habits. I realized that on the days when I was the happiest, I danced and sang in my apartment. I usually called a friend or family member on the phone. I also did a little exercise routine and flossed. I made time to give my dog extra affection, got 8 hours of sleep, read a book, practiced French, played a little game, journaled, etc.
Bare Minimum Requirement
This may sound like a lot to get done every day, but I applied the Bare Minimum Approach. I know that one is always better than zero, so I decided that even if I read one sentence a day, I would still get through Anna Karenina. Even if I only completed one practice round of DuoLlngo a day, I would still learn some French. Even if I danced for 3 seconds, that was still longer than not dancing at all.
It has been several months since I started using my Daily Feel-Good List, and can honestly say that my personal life is more balanced and happier than ever. My Feel-Good List inspires me to prioritize taking time out for self-care and joy. It reminds me that the little things do really matter, and when I neglect something on the list on any given day, I don’t feel bad about it. It just alerts me to become more aware of what’s happening in my life. It gives me the indication that perhaps I’ve become a little out of balance, and I just make sure to cross everything off the next day to recalibrate.
Some days I do more of each task and some days I do less. But, despite applying the Bare Minimum Approach, I’ve finished 75 pages of Anna Karenina, improved my French, connected with friends and family more often, and have improved my personal level of awareness and introspection.
How to get started:
The Daily Feel-Good List has been something my clients have also found really helpful, and you can get the benefits, too!
#1. Identify which daily habits you think make you the happiest.
#2. Spend some time trying to become more aware of any positive changes you feel when you engage in these habits.
#4. Make a list of the habits, knowing that they can change over time.
#5. Just commit to crossing them off every day. No time commitment!
For keeping track of the list, Google Keep worked really well for me because I could easily access the list on my phone or computer, uncheck the items on a daily basis, set a reminder, and I could use the app for other notes and lists. The app makes it really easy to move items around for prioritization, and I could change the list whenever I needed to. Google Keep is also free, so I encourage all of my clients to use it to keep track of their feel-good lists, exercise routines, and personal insights.
Sarah Hodges is one of the senior coaches at Select Advisors Institute. She helps our clients stay motivated, positive, and balance work and personal life in a healthy, effective manner. To schedule an introductory call with Sarah, please click the button below.