Everyone wants to have a good day. But very few actually know that they are the key to making it happen for themselves.

As I look around at the world and its people, I see a lot of sadness, a lot of fear, and a lot of uncertainty about the future.

But being the optimist that I am, I feel it’s important, even in the hardships we are currently facing, that we try our best to make every day a good day. 

This may seem impossible, but it’s actually not as hard as you might think.

It’s the small, seemingly insignificant things that you do each day that will make all the difference.

Here are some of those small things you can do to create a good day every day.

1—Start and end your day with gratitude.

The first thing you should do when you open your eyes in the morning is to list five things that you’re grateful for.

It’s also the last thing you should do when your head hits the pillow at night. Before you go to sleep, think of all the things you were grateful for throughout your day.

If you do nothing more than create this habit for yourself, you will have happier days ahead.

This is such an easy task that you can successfully accomplish—all while your head is on the pillow. It only takes a little mental effort and just a few minutes.

But that little bit of effort will go a long way in making your day a good one.

2—Make your bed first thing in the morning.

In a 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas at Austin, Naval Admiral William McRaven, the commander of U.S. Special Operations, said this.

“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”

For me, this is still a work in progress. I’m not sure why—it should take only two minutes to accomplish.

But it’s definitely something I’d like to work on. I truly believe that the little things in life matter. And making your bed is one of those little things.

3—Practice Mirror Moments.

Every morning I look at myself in the mirror and repeat positive affirmations that help to put me in a positive frame of mind.

Each day the affirmation may be different. For me, the affirmation I use is often determined by how I’m feeling that day.

For example, if I’m struggling to see the good in my current situation, I may use the affirmation:

“Today, I will choose to see the good in every situation and react with a grateful heart.”

If I’m feeling frustrated, I may use the affirmation:

“Today, I will choose to be kind no matter what!”

Whatever I’m struggling with, I will use an affirmation to counteract that emotion and remind myself of how I need to react throughout the day.

If affirmations aren’t your thing, that’s okay. Just look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Today’s going to be a good day!”

Words matter, and they are especially powerful when you speak them to yourself.

4—Keep a smile on your face.

The old adage, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile,” is actually good words to live by.

Having a smile on your face will not only make you more likable and approachable but it is scientifically proven that smiling makes you happier.

When you smile, it sends a signal to your brain, stimulating your reward system and increasing your level of happy hormones. In other words, when you smile, you feel happier.

And when you feel happier, you have a better day.

5—Do something that you love.

I get that most days are busy, and time is hard to come by. But if you want to have a good day, make sure that you have blocked out time to do something that you love.

Whether that’s listening to good music, going for a short walk in nature, spending time with your family, or chatting with a friend. Take the time to do something that makes you happy.

Life can be pretty rough when you don’t make time for joy in your life.

Brief joyful moments will help sustain you through whatever challenges might come your way.

What you do matters—especially when you do something kind for yourself.

6—Focus on the good.

Every day it’s almost certain that you are going to face trials, challenges, disappointments, and unhappy people.

If you let those things get to you, you’re going to be pretty miserable.

But if you look for the good things in tough situations, it will help you stay in a place of gratitude.

Every cloud has a silver lining, so look for that silver lining.

The more you can focus on the good things throughout your day, the better your day is going to be.

7—Be present in the moment.

Being present in the moment means letting go of the past and not worrying about the future.

It means living your life in such a way that you are intentional about how you spend your time.

Being present is recognizing that every moment is a gift that we should treasure.

Rather than letting your mind get caught up in stressful and frustrating circumstances, focus on the here and now.  

This will help you stay focused on the things that matter most.

No matter the circumstance, you can have a good day every day.

It doesn’t matter what life throws at you. It’s still possible to have a good day every day.

The more you focus on doing the small, seemingly insignificant actions, the better each day will be.

This doesn’t mean your days will be perfect. You will still have challenges and frustrations, and there will still be heartache and sorrow.

But as you live in a place of gratitude, focus on the good, keep a smile on your face, and do those small and simple things every day, the hard things will become easier to manage.

Why? Because your mindset is the greatest determiner of how good your day will be.

When you live your life in a positive frame of mind, each and every day will be a good one.

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