I’m working on a brand new version (v5) of my Mundane LifeFocus™ Card System, which is used to get yourself into a positive routine. I combined that with my 10 Ideas in 10 Minutes™ brainstorming method and came up with these 10 things you can do right now to feel good. As an ode to Daft Punk, I call this list Harder Better Faster Stronger.
1) Pour yourself a glass of water (and drink it)
Most of us have sluggish viscous blood and what little nutrients we put into our bodies crawls around like a dying man in the desert looking for a cell to feed. It’s recommended we all drink 8 Cups of H2O per day. Have one of those now and your body will thank you.
If you get a chance, watch a baby or an animal (or a baby animal) waking up after a nap. They always stretch. Stretching is a healthy and natural way of prepping your body for movement. Without stretching, our muscles get tight and injure easily. I always vow to stretch more after throwing my back out by lifting one of my kids out of the car. Why not be proactive and make yourself more flexible now. Limber, not lumber.
Concentrate on the old in and out (get your mind out of the gutter!) of oxygen in your lungs. Breath deeply and slowly. Most of the time we are distracted and breathing inefficient shallow little breaths (I’m surprised I’m not brain damaged some days). Not only will this give you more energy, but it will also calm you down.
4) Close your eyes for a minute
We all have a million things to do, don’t we? We never give our minds a rest from the go-go-go of BlackBerry devices and email and voicemail and paperwork and errands and… just stop. Give yourself 30 seconds of nothing. Close your eyes, clear your mind, and chill. You might want to turn off your phone.
5) Get up and walk around
The only time I used to ever get up from my desk was when I smoked. Aside from the social benefits (hanging out with other addicts) smoking at least got me to stretch my legs every 20 minutes or so… Since I am now an ex-smoker/anti-smoking natzi I try to think of other excuses to get outside and walk around a bit. Usually it involves getting an expensive coffee. Habits have a way of replacing themselves with other habits.
6) Play your power song
Dig into your iPod/mp3 player and pull out your favourite powersong: you know, the one that pumps you up and gives you sweet sweet loving awesomeness. I know you have one song that you can’t sit still listening to. (Eye of the Tiger is the number one Powersong at NikePlus.com Canada at the moment. It wouldn’t work for me, but to each his/her own.) Find it. Play it. Now.
Oh, yeah, that’s a fun one. But seriously, take a minute and put a few things away. De-clutter, put something in the trash. Set a few things aside for the local thriftshop or garagesale. Dust. Sweep. Water a plant. Don’t spend more than 10 minutes doing this. Now imagine how you’d feel if you did this every day. Oh, you do? Then I guess this one’s more for me… If you’re a clean freak, you can skip this one.
8 ) Write a thank-you note
Open your email application or browser window, and draft a short letter. Just say thank-you to someone for making the effort to create something you just enjoyed. It might be a muffin, it might be a book. What was the last thing you watched, ate, read, surfed, played, touched, listened to, that you appreciated? Chances are whatever it was will have a URL attached to it somewhere. If not look up the publishing company or the distributer, or the service, or the artist. Don’t overlook friends and relatives who did something amazing for you. You will find someone or something to email in a few minutes. Tell them you liked what they did. It’ll make you feel good. Plus you’ll collect karma points.
9) Say I love you
This may seem very similar to #8 on the surface, but it’s not. You say “thank-you” to the barista at Starbucks often, but rarely “I love you” to the people that matter (I’m not implying that the barista doesn’t matter, especially first thing in the morning, but I think you know what I mean). There is no better way to maintain a relationship than to express your feelings. This could be with your partner, your relatives, your friends, your kids, your pets. Tell them you love them. Show them you love them. Send an e-card. Shoot off a text message. Or better yet, call them on the phone right now. When they answer, start singing, “I just called to say I love you”. If you can’t talk long, or don’t have much time, just say, “I’m running into a meeting now but I was just thinking of you and thought you should know that I love you.” Seriously, this is an amazingly simple little device that will turn you into a hero. And hero’s usually feel pretty good, no?
10) Write down one of your big dreams
If you don’t pay attention to your dreams, no one will do it for you. Write down one of your long term goals, something you’ve always wanted to do. Now think of something you can do in the next two minutes that will get you one step (big or small) closer to that goal. For instance, if you want to eventually have a cottage by a peaceful lake then you could: call up your bank and set up an RSP (or 401k) that skims a few bucks off of your paycheck each month. Or you could simply look up nice cottages using Google Image search and print one out to look at… Anything that will keep your mind focused on your goal. Do that once a day and suddenly you’ll be a lot closer than you think.
(This is a sneak peek at the beta of the Mundane LifeFocus™ Card System v5, which will come in completely customizable and editable PDFs for both business-card and index-card sizes.)