Happy Monday – how to start your week

So, it’s monday around the corner, a day that many people dread, or at least view with some regret. A day where most people again have to get up early, and a busy change from a calm sunday. If you’re like me, Saturday nights’ party can still be felt, and that second Sunday would really come in handy right now…

My mondays are, however, always great days, and just as energizing and fun any Friday. I thought I’d put together a recipe for getting the off to a good start of the week, so you can happy at work right from Day One. It’s quite simple really – maybe that’s why I usually manage to follow this advice myself :o)

Happy expectations

Our expectations are of huge importance to our levels of happyness at work as well as in life in general. The great news from the field of psychology is that boosting expectations is quite easy and effective. Simply giving attention to the things we can to look forward to can improve our mood and wellbeing. So try answering this simple question:

  • What do I have to look forward to this week?
Be happy at work be having positive expectations

I get hungry just by thinking about the delicious Paella I will make on Tuesday. I’ll be even better that this one.

Try to name at least three different things for both work and at home. Positive expectations at work can be in relation to upcoming deadlines, exiting events, replies you are waiting for, places to go, or people to interact with. For me, I look forward to launching a facebookpage to go with this site, giving three talks on happiness at work as well as two quiet days alone, with time to work on the next book. Privately, I look forward to a tournament wargame on Monday, we’re having friends over for my homemade deluxe Paella Tuesday night, and Saturday brings the party of the month. Find your 3+3 things now.

Ambitions and goals for the week

I’m not a fan of long to-do lists, since I feel they drain my energy and only make it clear that work is never done. What works better for me is defining, usually on Sunday or Monday, which important tasks I will, as a minimum, get done the coming week. Usually it’s two or three things of huge importance that I promise myself I will get done.

Having these in mind helps me prioritize my time when the bucket-load of other stuff to do invariable shows up. Email, calls, snail-mail and meetings all add to the weeks load, but my first priorities remain the same. For this week, it’s relocating the website to a new domain (yay, HappyWays here we come!) and writing a page a day on the book project Ways to be Happy at Work. The post My Positivity List, from my free eBook is an example of what to book project is about. 82 tips are now done, 18 to go, so one a day is huge progress. What are your top priorities this week?

The success review

On Friday, look back at the week and note what the major achievements were. How did it go with the top priorities, and what other great results, progress or experiences stand out? Counting your blessings is an absolute classic from Positive Psychology, with measurable impact on your levels of happiness.

The daily repeat

Each day, I do a quick daily version, almost on auto pilot:

  • What do I look forward to today?
  • What is to one or two things that I absolutely will get done today? (I ask this before I check my mail for otherpeople’s priorities)
  • At the end of the workday I count my blessings by asking, specifically: What were three good things today? Things I’m happy about, grateful for, or proud of? It makes for great dinertime conversations, as opposed to the classic pasttime of complaining about your day.

Let’s all have a great week!