Mind, Body and Soul: Daily To-Do-List

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It's now 5:47 am, and the roads are packed with anxious commuters who are in a hurry to get an early start on the workday. As I watch the sunrise over the bay, I am feeling a bit more spiritual than usual and decided to write this blog wearing a different hat, the hat of a wellness guru. Why? Because we could all use the reminder!

Today is Wednesday, also known as hump day; the middle of the work week where employees climb the proverbial hill to get through the arduous week. The bright side is that at today's close, the weekend gets closer. But this does not mean that we should rush through the day, wish it was over and shift our focus to living solely for the weekends, and yet so many of us do. Listed below are my tips to help you make this ordinary Wednesday a day worth living. Keep this list handy, as you will need it again tomorrow.

1. Gratitude - Begin each new day with gratitude and appreciate how lucky you are to be alive and hopefully healthy. Last week, my step-daughter asked to see the movie "The Fault in Our Stars". A touching film about teenage kids with terminal cancers, a topic that could easily bring me to tears. A movie like this reminds us of how good most of us complaining adults really have it. Unfortunately I really did not need the cue, as I recently lost my uncle to an aggressive form of cancer. Don't wait until it's too late to understand that life is precious and too short. Never take one day for granted and view life as a privilege.

2. Love what you do - Today's work environment is demanding and thankless. Therefore, it's no surprise that many workers are currently dissatisfied with their jobs. If this is the case for you, then try to take pride in at least one thing you do today. It could be something small like completing a task or responding to an email or voice mail. Whatever it may be, do it right, do it like an expert and nail it! Never lose sight of the fact that you are in your role because you are good at it and don't be scared to be proud of your accomplishments. It shouldn't take a pat on the back from the boss to inspire you.

3. Get outside for 15 minutes - In a world where rushing from meeting to meeting and skipping lunch has become the new norm, it may be difficult to find the time but 15 minutes of sunlight provides our bodies with the daily recommended dose of Vitamin D; which helps to prevent heart disease. So instead of stepping into that breakout room to chat with a colleague or return an important phone call, find a private place outside and do your body some good.

4. Opt for a healthy snack - Stay away from the vending machine and avoid that bag of chips. Eat something raw and fresh. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Seriously, there's truth to the saying, apples contain the following: Pectin - A soluble fiber that helps to lower blood pressure and glucose levels. Boron - An element which supports strong bones and a healthy brain. Quercetin - A nutrient that reduces the risk of various cancers, including cancers in the lungs and breast. Vitamin C, A and E, along with other phytonutrients that fight damage from free radicals and have a profound affect on health.

5. Exercise - Who has the time for this, right? The truth is that sitting in an office chair all day long could be killing you. Failing to move regularly throughout the day can contribute to a range of diseases affecting your heart, circulation and respiratory systems, some of which could lead to an early death. It is recommended that we walk 10,000 steps or roughly 5 miles each day. That's a fairly big commitment, especially for those who don't have exercise built into their daily routine. However, with a little motivation, it could be done.  If you were to walk for 15 minutes before work, 15 minutes during lunch (while getting that much needed sunlight) and another 15 minutes after work, you would have one heck of a good start.

6. Smile and Laugh - Unless you are in the military staring straight into the eyes of a screaming drill sergeant who sprays saliva in your face as he shouts to the world how worthless you are, then you probably have a moment to crack a smile or even laugh a bit. Sometimes, laughter is honestly the best medicine. A little humor is infectious, it brings people together and promotes happiness. It has been proved that laughter also relaxes the entire body, boosts the immune systems, releases endorphins and increases blood flow through the heart. So lighten up and give yourself the opportunity to laugh each day.

7. Learn something new - Learn for the sake of learning. Whether it's on the job, a new interest or hobby, trivia, a vocabulary word or directions, we must constantly look to better ourselves and learn something new each day. Learning makes our lives worthwhile, broadens our perspectives, promotes confidence and fuels innovation. When we stop learning, we become disengaged, depressed and feel limited. "An idle mind is the devil's playground." So use yours in a productive way. Always be inquisitive and keep learning!

8. Help someone - There is great joy in helping others and the good news is that no act is too small. Open your eyes and observe all of those around you, just about everyone today could use a helping hand. Whether it's a colleague at the office, a friend in a bind or an elderly person carrying groceries, lending a hand will boost your mood. Not that you should need the enticement but there is truth to the saying that "no good deed goes undone".

9. Reflection - There are many who utilize their alone time by meditating, whereas I like to use mine to reflect. This is very important to me. Thinking about the past allows me revisit those areas and instances in my life that meant something. Maybe I didn't realize it at the time, but if I'm reflecting on it, I certainly do now.

As you know, we don't always get it right the first time. I am constantly reviewing my decisions and actions and, most importantly, learning from them. Mistakes, hits and misses, everything is fair game and up for review. Taking the time to assess my actions allows me to relive the moment and pick up on things that did not resonate at the time. This could be as pronounced as a comment or as subtle as a facial gesture. During my act of reflection, I'll naturally think through the following: Did I do it right? Did I perform my best? Was I without bias? Was my message perceived well? What would I change? What could be done better?

My thoughts are as vivid as if I were watching a suspense film, where towards the end, when the culprit is revealed, a reel shows flashbacks of all of the little instances that told us who this person was all along. Almost like when Dom is revealed to be Woogie in There's Something About Mary.

Take the time to reflect on your past. Hold yourself responsible for your mistakes and work hard not to repeat them. Apologize for actions whenever necessary. Who knows?  You just may rekindle a lost relationship. Acknowledge what works and continue to do it. Reflect to ensure that you continue to be your best.

10. Say "I love you" - For some, this may be the hardest out of the entire list above to do (even the 10,000 steps). But the truth is that the people who care about you need to hear you say and mean these three little words. Whether it's your friend, spouse, partner, child, mother or brother, all will feel more connected to you and moved by your sincere use of the statement. Never underestimate the importance of saying "I love you". So don't be scared to let it out, as it can change your life for the better.

Final Note: As we rapidly approach 12pm, I am about to embark on a 5 mile run to complete the last open action on my To-Do-List for today. Good luck to you!

 

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"Carmine presents this treatise against the backdrop of professional baseball; it is a highly entertaining read, providing humor and insight to cement his points and advice. Welcome to the Big Leagues is not only a guide for the corporate neophyte, but a useful guide for evaluation at any level in one’s career. After 30 years in technology development, I have found Continue Reading

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1 Response

  1. Excellent. I love your writing, Carmine. One essential part of my daily to do list is my quiet time. That time includes practices like gratitude, forgiveness, meditation, reflection and journaling. It's one of the deepest and most nourishing (as I refer to it) things for me.

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