Last month I became a contributor to the Huffington Post. It was completely by accident. They liked my blog post “Harry Potter’s Top 5 Small Business Tips” enough to ask to repost it on their website. They then invited me to submit original work from time to time.
So I submitted an article that I think is really cool. It’s an idea I’d been working on for a while, and this was the perfect opportunity to finally share it with the world. The article is called “11 Steps to Make This the Best Week of Your Life,” and I’m going to reprint it here for you to enjoy. I hope the ideas in this article will help you make this week special. Here we go!
No matter what your status in life may be, you can make this week your best one yet by following 11 simple steps. And the best thing is that you can continue to use these steps week after week to make each one better than the last.
Of course, many things are out your hands, like weather, other people’s reactions, and economic factors. But by focusing on what you can control – yourself – you can have a much easier time being happy, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. I now present my list of 11 steps to make this the best week of your life.
1. Start Enthusiastically
Right from the outset, think about all the good things you can accomplish this week. Don’t focus primarily on the challenges, dangers, or other negative things that may arise. It’s good to acknowledge them so they don’t take you by surprise, but also recognize that on the other side of those things are opportunities.
2. Have a Plan
Come up with a list of tasks you want to accomplish this week. You can even set a schedule for when you want to work on each one, though it should be flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions. Listing all the things you hope to do will help you be more enthusiastic about what awaits you.
3. Tackle Big Challenges First
Procrastination is often a symptom of nervousness. You can end the cycle of time wasting by taking on the biggest challenges of the week early on. No excuses, just results. When you see yourself accomplishing things that seemed insurmountable at the time, you’ll start to feel more confident about your ability to do other smaller things.
4. Focus on One Thing at a Time
Trying to juggle too many things at the same time often leads to stress and overwhelmed feelings. As part of your weekly plan, prioritize your tasks so that you can take them on one by one and get each done on time. By organizing your efforts, you’ll avoid confusion and be able to stay focused on each task as it comes.
5. Trust People
Everyone needs a helper and a confidante. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Trust some people with certain tasks and don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings. When a challenge still seems too big even after you’ve planned and prioritized it, you can turn to others for guidance and assistance. There’s no shame in admitting you can’t do everything alone.
6. Forgive Mistakes
No one is perfect. We all mess up from time to time. Whether someone has deliberately or inadvertently hurt you, forgive them. This will take a great weight off your chest. Plus, by talking to people about things that bother you, you may discover things about those people you otherwise wouldn’t have known, and you’ll be more inclined to be patient with them.
7. Try Something New
A big part of life is about creating predictable patterns. However, sometimes we fall into ruts of bad habits that can be difficult to break. As part of your planning process, identify at least one thing that you want to change about yourself and think about what you can do differently to correct it and turn it into a strength.
8. Leave Worries at Work/Home
Wherever you are, be committed to what you must do in that place. Don’t bring work problems home or vice-versa Even if your job requires you to be on call in your free time, you should still do your best to free your mind from the constraints of work as often as possible when you are home. It’s not healthy to always be on the job. You can avoid a lot of unnecessary drama by leaving unresolved issues where they lie.
9. Thank People Frequently
Show your appreciation for what others do as well as for who they are. This will lift your spirits and those of others around you because you’ll always be looking for the best in people. Make sure that your compliments mean something so you won’t come across as insincere. Get to know people’s strengths, weaknesses, insecurities, and personalities before you begin praising amply.
10. Serve Others
Having a great week isn’t just about you. If you think only of yourself and how you feel, you may start to feel self-centered and dissatisfied. Take advantage of opportunities to help other people in big and small ways. You may notice someone who needs a friend, a helping hand, or just a listening ear. By being there for others, you’ll discover that your own problems seem smaller and more manageable.
11. Review Your Accomplishments at the End
At the end of the week, review your goals at the start and check off all the things you managed to do. You’ll likely be pleased with the results. Even if you don’t finish everything, you can still take pride in seeing what you have done, and you can roll the other items into the coming week. I recommend keeping a journal to help you remember the details of your days, and also to see how far you’ve progressed over time.
Every week can just keep getting better if you follow these steps and don’t allow outside circumstances to determine your attitude. You don’t have to be perfect to be happy; you just need to be trying to be a little better all the time.