Some nights as I finish up my routine of getting ready for bed, tucking the kids in and doing some reading, I find myself wondering what happened to the day.
Is what I did today and spent my time on a true reflection of what I value most in my life?
Did I spend the extra time that I had with my children, spouse or friends? Or, did I waste time on Facebook, Twitter or other digital distractions?
Did I feed my body wholesome foods that will help me feel good about myself and keep my body healthy in the long run? Did I overindulge yet again?
Did I make the effort to help someone else in need? Maybe let someone in ahead of me in traffic or the line at the grocery store?
Did I stop and take some time to quiet my mind and reflect on those things I am grateful for?
Did I allow my body enough time to sleep and rejuvenate for today’s obligations?
Did I make that phone call for work or finish that project? Or did I put it off again?
Reflecting at the end of the day on what activities I did or work I accomplished is a great help in looking towards the next day, learning what I truly value, and what I don’t. Instead of only looking at my actions, I also reflect on the feelings, relationships and thoughts that I have experienced throughout the day to find meaning.
What happens when things don’t go as planned, and you feel like your day was way off track?
Sometimes the answers to the questions above aren’t what we want to admit to ourselves let alone others. Maybe you spent all afternoon stalking old acquaintances on Facebook, and then decided to eat a greasy hamburger, fries and shake for dinner. Maybe you parked your kids in front of a movie or video games for the evening so you could just veg out watching your favorite show in your bedroom. Those days happen, and surprisingly, they still have quite a bit of meaning we can glean from them.
When we don’t end up at the end of the day with that peaceful, satisfying feeling of having done what is truly important to us, it’s okay. For the vast majority of us, we will have the next day as a ‘do over’. We can learn from the day we just botched up, and take a lesson from our weaknesses and use it to make us stronger in the future.
If you interacted poorly with someone that day, take a look at why. What caused you to act or say the things you did? What would you do differently if you had a chance? How can make the situation better?
If you ate badly and are feeling upset about it, ask yourself, how come? Do you eat poorly on a regular basis? Do you feel weak and not at your best most of the time? Are you eating that way because life is too busy, you are depressed or you don’t like cooking? Figure out what the reason is so you can start changing the outcome.
Did you ignore your children or spouse instead of helping with homework, connecting on a personal level, or just asking them about their day? If so, why is that? Are you mentally burned out from work? Perhaps you have too many extra-curricular activities going on that you can’t slow down and interact with them? Resolve to make time for those people who are most important to you.
Finding meaning in our days can always be a success whether we have a ‘good’ day or a ‘bad’ day. Each day is an opportunity for learning new lessons, enjoying new experiences and taking those that are less enjoyable in stride, gaining what knowledge we can from them.
Spend some time reflecting on your day to make the next one the best it can be.