Last Updated on April 29, 2020
If more often than not you wake up in the morning and just want to go back to sleep, dread the day ahead of you, or just feel indifferent about the day ahead of you, this challenge is for you. Dreading your day can do a lot of damage to your physical and mental health, your relationships, your success, and more. Feeling indifferent about the day leads to unfulfillment and unhappiness.
5 Reasons To Take The ‘Give Yourself Something To Look Forward To Every Day Challenge’
1. Develop A Sense Of Purpose
When you wake up excited about your day, you feel more purposeful. You suddenly have a reason for waking up. You have a reason for getting out of bed and getting ready. It doesn’t feel like you are just going through the motions, you feel like you have an intention for the day and you feel excited to meet that intention.
The benefits of having a sense of purpose in life are huge. According to this article, you have a lower risk of death compared to your peers regardless of your age. Feeling purposeful helps you stay motivated to do things that really matter in your life and it helps you create a direction/plan towards a better life. Life feels more rewarding. And life feels easier.
Without a feeling of purpose, anxiety, boredom, and depression can sneak into your life. Bad habits can start to form. Health can decline. And life can go by in a blur.
2. Feel More Alive
Along with purpose, you start to feel more like you are living your life instead of just existing.
Too many people are existing, doing the same thing over and over and only looking forward to a few things a year, such as vacations or holidays. In other words, all those days that they are just ‘existing’ are wasted.
If you want to feel more alive, then look forward to something in each day. It will keep you more present and make your days more vibrant and meaningful.
3. Create Better Memories
Do you remember much about last Thursday? Was it just like every other Thursday? Or did you do something exciting? If you are not doing things that give you purpose and make you feel alive, then chances are it was just like every other Thursday.
Whether you are working on a hobby, doing something new, or doing something that feels good to you, it’s going to be more memorable than just doing your same old routine.
For me, even days where I was only looking forward to one thing, such as a face mask or pedicure, stands out more than the days where there was nothing to look forward to.
If you can, take pictures, write things down in a journal, stay present, and do things that you look forward to with friends or family (shared memories stand out for a long time) to not just make memories but really retain them in your mind.
4. You Won’t Have To Live Any More Useless Days
Some people look forward to the weekend and that’s it. How slow does a week go by when you are looking forward to the weekend?
I think we all know the answer to that. So slow!
Why waste your time looking forward to one thing per week, month, or year and feeling as if ALL other days are just an obstacle in your way? By doing that, you are telling yourself that only certain days of your life matter and the rest are useless. But that’s not the truth. Every day you wake up matters. It’s another day to experience life and do things that make you feel good.
By challenging yourself to give yourself something to look forward to each day, you are removing useless days and replacing them with purposeful and meaningful days.
5. You Stop Depending On Other People To Make You Happy
This is a great benefit of creating your own things to look forward to. You don’t want until someone surprises you with the perfect gift or decides to come to visit you or phone you or whatever. Instead, you are taking matters into your own hands and giving yourself something to look forward to, regardless of what other people do or don’t do.
For a friend of mine, this was a big benefit. She always depended on her family and her friends to call her up and do stuff, and she wouldn’t take any initiative to do something she enjoyed on her own. Unfortunately, her friends and family didn’t call that often, so she hardly ever had anything to look forward to. Instead, she dwelled on the fact that they didn’t call her and spent days (sometimes weeks) in misery when she found out that they had done something fun, but without her.
Once she started to give herself something to look forward each day, she stopped depending on others for her happiness. If her friends or family decided to do things without her, she still had fun and felt good because she learned that she was the one who created her own happiness, not other people.
It Doesn’t Have To Be About The Big Things
You don’t need to create something huge to look forward to each day. It’s not all about big events and new experiences. You just need to create something to look forward to. It could be as simple as:
- A walk in the park.
- A shopping trip.
- Working on your hobby.
- Relaxing with a good book.
- Talking to a friend.
- Taking the next chapter in an online course.
- Playing a board game with a loved one.
- A meditation.
- A workout.
- Planning out your next week in your awesome planner. (This may just be me!)
- Learning something new.
- Banging out a new habit.
- A nap!
As long as something appeals to you, no matter how small it is, you will look forward to it!
You Don’t Have To Choose Just One Thing
It also doesn’t have to be about just one thing. You can look forward to as much as you want to look forward to in your day.
For instance, you may wake up and think, “Alright! First I get to go shopping, then I get to plan out my week, then I get to spend time with my husband this evening.”
Again, that may just be me.
But, you get the point. The more you have to look forward to, the more excited you will feel about the day. And, after you finish one thing that you looked forward to doing, you will still have another, or two more, or three more, or however many you can come up with things to look forward to.
Ultimately, it would be nice if we could look forward to everything in our day. Some days I find it easy to do, but other days, I need to convince myself that some activities are worth my time.
The More You Practice Giving Yourself Something To Look Forward To, The More Awesome Life Will Be
Giving yourself something to look forward to may start out as a challenge, but like anything, it can become a habit.
Imagine waking up with enthusiasm easily?
Imagine being excited about different elements of your day and the inner happiness that will bring?
Life gets really awesome when you enjoy each day.
Give Yourself Something To Look Forward To Challenge
For 30 days, you are going to give yourself something to look forward to. You are going to take your happiness into your own hands and focus on things that make you feel excited and good. Following are five steps to take for this challenge.
1. Plan To Do More Of What You Enjoy
If you feel like a slug on the couch when you watch TV for four hours skimming through the channels, then that’s not something you should be scheduling in your day. Maybe schedule in a show that you really look forward to, but use the other three hours to do things that make you feel alive and happy.
It’s all about choices. Just because you are in the habit of falling on the couch after supper for hours doesn’t mean you can’t choose to do something different.
Also, just because you are friends with someone who makes you feel awful and you spend way too much time with them, doesn’t mean you can’t choose to stop spending as much time with them. (I’ve found this one choice to give me the most freedom to allow me to do more of what I look forward to in life.)
You need to be honest with yourself and do things that actually feel important and rewarding to you. Start living life more on your terms and you will have more to look forward to!
Can’t Think Of Something To Look Forward To? Here’s Some Help!
If the most you can think of to look forward to is going to bed, then you need to sit down and rediscover some things you like to do.
Remember when you were a kid and every day offered a new opportunity to do things you loved, grow as a person, and have new experiences? That’s what you should be focused on.
Do things you love: It could be sitting out in the backyard, having a certain drink, eating certain foods, playing a certain game, or working on a hobby. If you don’t have a hobby, get one. A hobby is something that brings you pleasure. Here’s a big list that will either remind you of what you love or give you an idea of what you might be interested in pursuing as a hobby.
Grow as a person: As an adult, you may know a lot more than you did as a kid, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something new every day. I choose a subject each month that I want to learn more about and each day I learn one new thing about that subject. I look forward to learning something new because it makes me wiser, happier, and a better conversationalist!
Have new experiences: Try something new. Go for a walk in a different direction. Try out a new recipe. Watch a new show. Go to the attraction of the week where you live. Do something you normally wouldn’t do.
Two Things You Can Always Look Forward To Each Day
The following video has 2 things that you can always look forward to, and, if you are a writer, 3 things!
Make Your Daily Plan The Evening Before
Planning one day ahead allows you to make some pretty concrete plans. Unless something totally unexpected happens, like a family emergency or a surprise visit from someone, you should be able to stick to your plan.
If you try to plan a week in advance, though, things often don’t go the way you expected because your week can change so quickly. It’s better to plan one day at a time for this challenge so you don’t experience a ton of changes and missed things that you were looking forward to.
Why plan what you want to look forward to? Because part of this challenge involves thinking about the things you are excited about before bed, so planning is needed so you can think about the awesome things you get to do tomorrow.
Therefore, each evening, write down or plan out in your mind what you want to do for tomorrow.
Tomorrow I’m going to wake up and get a nice brisk walk in. I will make the most of my workday and do one thing that will push my career higher. When I come home, I’m going to eat spaghetti and watch my favorite show. Then I’m going to pull out that board game that I haven’t played forever and play against myself or my mom/kid/brother/friend/lover. It’s going to be a great day!
2. Think About Your Day As You Go To Sleep
As you fall asleep, think about all the things you are excited about doing tomorrow.
For instance, imagine yourself on the walk, doing the new thing at work, eating the spaghetti, watching the show, playing the board game and laughing.
3. Wake Up And Get To It!
You will find that you will probably open your eyes and remember all those things you are looking forward to. You will likely get out of bed quickly and think about the first thing that you are going to do with enthusiasm.
Your mood should be elevated.
You should feel good that you are alive another day to do exciting or fun things.
And you should feel a sense of purpose, which is one of the big benefits of having something to look forward to.
If you don’t feel good when you wake up, start focusing on those things that you are looking forward to. It may just be that your focus is on things that are bringing you down and you need to refocus in order to feel better.
4. Allow Yourself To Really Enjoy Those Things You Looked Forward To
You want to feel rewarded when you get to do the things you looked forward to, not let down. So allow yourself to be present and enjoy what’s happening. Don’t think about the next thing you are looking forward to because that will detract from what you are experiencing. Just stay mindful of what’s happening and let it soak in while you have the chance to do so.
5. Let Go Of Things That Don’t Come To Pass
Sometimes you will create something to look forward to and things won’t work out. You won’t be able to take that relaxing bath or go for that walk, for instance.
But, even though it didn’t work out, you still received benefits by looking forward to it. Experts agree that there are benefits to looking forward to things, even if they don’t come to pass.
Celebrate the fact that at least you got to look forward to it, and then set up your next day with new things to look forward to.