The old adage is true. Time indeed is gold.
But with everything happening so fast, how can you make each day worthwhile?
Here are 15 ways on how to make every day count.
Table of Contents
- 1. Figure out what gives you true happiness
- 2. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you
- 3. Live every day like it is your last
- 4. Call up a loved one and talk to them
- 5. Take time for yourself
- 6. Make a goal list
- 7. Go follow your passion
- 8. Do what you can with the time you have right now
- 9. Remain curious
- 10. Graph your output on a daily basis
- 11. Count your blessings to make your days count
- 12. Do something selfishly productive that makes you a better person each day
- 13. Do something unselfishly kind for someone else each day
- 14. Don’t put any pressure on making your day meaningful
- 15. Focus on self-awareness and self-care
CEO and Co-founder, Mettl
1. Figure out what gives you true happiness
Making your days count is about finding happiness and finding meaning in your day to day life.
Figure out what gives you true happiness- is it spending time with the family, or making your kids responsible citizens of the world, or simply reading a good book.
Read Related Article: What Makes People Happy? 10 Things That Make You Happy Every Day
The second step is about working day in and day out to achieve what gives you happiness.
Dedicate one hour every day to that cause. No one step takes you to success or sense of fulfillment. It’s a number of small steps that make it a huge leap.
When you get on the other side of your huge leap of success, you would have turned old- maybe 60 or 70, but when you look from there retrospectively, you won’t have any regrets about not doing what you wanted to do.
You will feel you made everyday count to the best of your abilities.
For instance, if building up your own business is what gives you happiness, you have to come out of your comfort zone of being a senior professional in a leading multinational company, to actually catch your dreams every day.
In the long term, being a senior professional wouldn’t give you as much meaning and happiness as being an entrepreneur would.
Civil Litigation Attorney | Author, 50 After 50
2. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you
As a recovering people-pleaser, I had to learn how to say no. When I am asked to do something, I ask myself if it is something I truly want to do if it will unnecessarily deplete me or keep me from needed rest and if it is something that brings me joy or closer to my goals.
In our society, we generally are mindful about how we spend our money, but less so about our time.
Yet time is the one thing we cannot buy or replenish, and it is of uncertain duration. So I made significant changes in my life and am very intentional about how I spend each day.
I strive to learn something new every day and to surround myself with people who bring out the best in me.
My relationships have much more depth because I nurture them, instead of my youthful quest to be popular and not to miss out on things. As a result, my life is much more serene and my happiness is longer-lasting.
When the dying are asked about their greatest regrets, it is never that they did not work more or make more money.
It is usually that they did not allow themselves to be happier and to spend more time with those they cared about the most.
I am making my days count by living with intention every day, especially when it comes to relationships with loved ones and with myself.
Bryan M. Waring
Song Composer, Vintrine Of Bryan, Music COLL
3. Live every day like it is your last
Ever watched the thriller “SAW” before? Without spoiling any major plot points, people are put into life-or-death situations where the hopeful outcome is that they learn to appreciate being alive more.
What would you do if you had a date circled on the calendar, the exact moment when you would pass away? Pretty scary to think, but one would assume that you would try doing all that you wanted to do in that span of time.
Now, it is one thing to do this mental exercise of appreciating life through imagining death, but it is another thing to implement it in practice.
You should live every day like it is your last because you are the best version of yourself.
Most common regrets in life revolve around these categories:
- Not spending time with loved ones
- Worrying too much
- Not taking risks/trying new things
- Not following a passion
So what can a person do to prevent these common, but easily avoidable, regrets in life?
Well, I challenge you, the reader, to implement these daily activities into your life. Remember, it takes 21 days to build a habit and 90 days to make a lifestyle. So don’t give up!
4. Call up a loved one and talk to them
We get so caught up in life being busy that we forget the people around that care for us. And chances are, you care for them, too. Tell your partner how much you love them every night. Text a buddy from long ago asking them how’s life and when’s the next time you can go out to lunch together. Send a letter to a relative far away. In life, you get the love you give.
5. Take time for yourself
It is your life. Not your boss’. Not your mother-in-law’s. Not your professor’s. Not anyone except yours. So, don’t be ashamed to take a breather moment to meditate, think about the exciting journeys ahead, and count your blessings. Write down frustrating thoughts in a journal, crumple it up, and then rewrite the page with everything positive in your life. You’ll see it grow day by day.
What is something you never did before? New hobby? Traveled? Tried asking for that new promotion? Write down all the stuff you want to do in – say, in a month – down before bedtime. Then, brainstorm all the ways you are going the archive them. After that, spread out those goals throughout the days of the month. Soon, those little tasks day by day will help build enough skill and confidence to do those new things.
7. Go follow your passion
Easier said than done, yes. However, when it comes to following your passion, only you are in the way of achieving it. Just start with one foot in front of the other, and before you know it you’ll be there. Just remember never to give up!
8. Do what you can with the time you have right now
Stoicism and time management do wonders for me.
Let me explain: After a tough loss in a Brazilian jitjitsu match a few years ago, I was feeling down. My coach spoke to me about taking each day and each challenge one at a time.
You can’t control what happens tomorrow or the day after, so your only choice is to do what you can with the time you have right now.
Furthermore, whatever your opponent is, whether it’s an individual, business competitor, or your own mental health, it’s important to realize that you will experience things and the only choice you have is to react positively and properly.
Focus on the next minute. Focus on your own actions. Focus on being the solution to what’s in front of you. You will find yourself in a good place.
Don’t focus too much on the long term – you can’t control what life is going to throw at you.
Make a schedule, clean up your room, and do your best to make every second count.
Dr. Adam Stetzer
9. Remain curious
Having started and run several tech firms, the question of “making every day count” has real meaning for me. In the start-up world, if your days don’t count, you don’t make payroll and your dreams slip through your hands.
People say “follow your passion” – but I think that’s rubbish. Who really knows what their passion is on a day-to-day basis? Nobody.
Passions only emerge after years of toil and dedication. Usually by looking back.
On a daily basis – we DO know what we are curious about. If we structure our work around what we are naturally curious about, every day will count on its own.
We are highly engaged with tasks that intrigue us. If we follow this intrigue, we find that seemingly endless energy is available. Where once we were tired and bored, we are now alert, focused and ready to put in the long hours (which don’t even feel long).
Pro Tip – Don’t do this alone. Find people who are curious about the same things you are and the collaboration will be intoxicating.
Adam Juda, MSE, MBA, PMP
Behavioral Economist, Tap Run Consulting
10. Graph your output on a daily basis
As a master procrastinator, I’ve struggled to find a system to keep me productive. It was only when I started to graph my output on a daily basis that my world of disorganization turned into a powerhouse of efficiency.
Read related article: 23 Best Tips on How to Stop Procrastinating
Much of my work consists of writing articles, research papers, and technical analyses, so I tracked how many words I wrote each day.
Two benefits popped up almost immediately. First, days for which I wrote nothing stuck out like a sore thumb, so I did whatever I could to avoid breaking my chain of productivity.
Second, being faced with a graph pushed me to always write a little more than I had in the past. Whenever I saw my daily word count increase, I knew that I could push just as hard the next day too.
Health and Wellness Expert, Maple Holistics
11. Count your blessings to make your days count
Ironically, sometimes life gets in the way of actually enjoying life. So in order to make every day count, set aside some time each day to appreciate it.
One surefire way to make every day count is to take three slips of paper each day and write down three good things that happened to you that day. Then place them in a jar and read through them all at the end of the year.
Doing this will make you reflect on the positives in your life and value each day more.
It will also encourage you to maximize your days so that you can have great things to write about before you go to sleep.
Raymond Ciampaglia, PSA
Vice President | Managing Broker | Designated Realtor®, Coccia Realty
12. Do something selfishly productive that makes you a better person each day
Example, Eat right, exercise, learn something, read a book, take a class, etc. Do one selfish thing for yourself to get yourself closer to your life goals.
13. Do something unselfishly kind for someone else each day
Example, Teach, motivate, educate, give, etc. By helping others get closer to their life goals, others will want to help you in return. This act will come back to you many times over.
That’s it. It’s that simple. Go do it!
Rachel A Madej
Owner and Artist, Rachel Antonia Designs
14. Don’t put any pressure on making your day meaningful
Don’t worry about making it count. Pressure causes stress and anxiety and we already have enough of that at our jobs, in our home lives, and especially if you have children and a family to care for.
I used to get really upset by traffic because I always wanted to keep going. I never wanted to be late, and I didn’t want to be wasting time. As an adult, I’ve learned there really is no such things as wasting time. It’s all about perspective.
Am I sitting in traffic, doing nothing, not at work, feeling awful? Or am I relaxing, listening to music, and sipping my hot coffee while I stare off at the trees around the highway? Maybe there’s a deer. Maybe I’ll win this radio contest. Maybe this is better than being at my desk at 9:03 on a Tuesday morning.
Owner, Revive As Wellness
15. Focus on self-awareness and self-care
Days go by crazy fast thanks to our modern lifestyles and careers. Sometimes you can’t help but lose track of what day of the week it is!
The best thing you can do to make every day count is to focus on self-awareness and self-care.
That’s how I got into alternative therapies and started my business Revive As Wellness.
I once found myself feeling depressed mentally and physically and the only thing that helped was exercise, healthy eating (self-care) and incorporating alternative therapy exercises such as meditative focus, breathing exercises as well as aromatherapy and reflexology.
Aromatherapy above all made an impact on me because it sharpened my senses and showed me the benefits in renewing your focus on body and mind.