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How changing what I did every day changed my life.

These are 5 important questions to ask yourself today.

I have some questions for you:

1. How was your day today?

2. When you look back on all the things you did today, did you act like the person you wish to become?


3. If you repeated today every day for the next year, where would you end up?

4. If you really want to accomplish your goals and dreams, how much differently would your regular day need to be than today was?

5. In order to achieve your dreams, what would a "normal" day look like?

I’ve learned that if my days aren’t solid, my life won’t be solid.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” — Mahatma Gandhi

On that, Gandhi was completely right.

Photo via iStock.

When I don’t act in accordance with my values and goals every day, I’m internally conflicted in my life.

I usually know that I should be doing certain things if I want to reach my goals — whether that’s working on a project, being present with my loved ones, or a number of other things — and still, I knowingly act in contradictory ways.

If you're like me, maybe you justify your behaviors and convince yourself you’re still on the path toward your dreams. But I've learned that my behaviors directly translate into my results. And when I consciously sabotage myself, I cannot have confidence. Instead, I end up with a handful of depression and identity confusion.

So how close are you to living to your values and goals?

In other words, how internally conflicted are you? In my case, the answer is … maybe quite a bit.

I constantly check Facebook and Twitter despite knowing it keeps me from getting into flow.

I’m addicted to my wife’s homemade bread with Nutella spread on it, despite knowing that it probably keeps me from having the ripped abs I want.

I often go days without writing despite knowing that each day I don’t create might add months to my goals.

One of the best ways I've found to consciously design my ideal life is to start with my ideal day.

Photo via iStock.

You are the only one who can define happiness and success for yourself, and your ideal day should be based on what you imagine as "the good life."

What activities must happen daily for you to live exactly how you want to be living?

For example, my ideal day includes the following activities:

  • 7–8 hours of deep and healthy sleep
  • Conscious eating, which includes simple foods and less than 300 calories of junk food and at least one meal each day eaten with my wife and kids
  • 30–60 minutes of exercise
  • 15–30 minutes of prayer and meditation
  • 1–2 hours of engaged learning
  • 3–5 hours of undistracted writing (which doesn’t include email, unless I’m specifically reaching out to someone)
  • 2+ undistracted hours playing with my kids (no smartphone)
  • 1+ undistracted hours one-on-one with my wife (no smartphone)

It doesn’t matter in which order these activities occur. No two days are exactly the same. But if I did all of these activities, I’d still have over three hours of "in-between" time to check email, eat meals, drive, give spontaneous service, be distracted, talk on the phone to a friend, and all the other things that pop up.

Of course, my days don’t always reflect what I’ve detailed above. Probably half of my days look like that. The other half are a lesser version filled with intermittent self-sabotage.

But if I were to consistently live my ideal day, every day, where would I be one year from now? Where would I be in five years? Probably somewhere great.

Most of us can be in almost complete control of how we spend our time.

This is all easier said than done, of course. I know that. But it’s completely possible to live intentionally and congruently. It’s completely possible to replace bad habits with good habits.

Photo via iStock.

In fact, research shows that when our goals are specific (day to day), intrinsically motivating (things we care about), and time-bound (on a deadline), we’re more likely to keep going until we succeed.

Meredith Willson said it best: "You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you’ve collected a lot of empty yesterdays."

How you spend each day is a clear indicator of who you are and who you will become.

So take a few minutes to imagine what your ideal day would look like.

Make a list of the activities that would be in your ideal day.

Start tracking how you currently spend your days.

Once you start tracking your time and become conscious, you might be stunned how internally conflicted you are.

Photo via iStock.

It’s completely possible to become the person you want to be, but it starts with today.

Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

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For University of British Columbia student Tim Chen, that "easy commute" is more than 400 miles each way.

Twice a week, Chen hops on a flight from his home city of Calgary, flies a little more than an hour to Vancouver to attend his classes, then flies back home the same night. And though it's hard to believe, this routine actually saves him approximately $1,000 a month.

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After his wife passed away when Tony was 81 years old, he undertook the heartbreaking task of sorting out all of her belongings. That’s when he stumbled upon a carefully concealed letter in a filing cabinet hidden for over half a century.

The letter was addressed to Tony and dated March 1959, but this was the first time he had seen it. His wife must have opened it, read it and hid it from him. The letter came from Shirley Childress, a woman Tony had once been close with before his marriage. She reached out, reminiscing about their past and revealing a secret that would change Tony's world forever.

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Man goes out of his way to leave tip for a server after realizing he grabbed the wrong receipt

Instead of just brushing it off and moving on, the man wrote out a note explaining what happened with a sincere apology along with a $20 cash tip and delivered it to the restaurant.

Man goes out of his way to leave forgotten tip for server

Being in the service industry can be hard. People have to spend long hours on their feet, deal with repetitive movements that can create pain and sometimes interact with not so nice customers. When you rely on tips for survival on top of everything else, it can feel like a bit of a gut punch when someone decides not to leave you one despite how good your service was.

One customer must've realized the disappointment that can occur after not receiving a tip when serving tables because he went out of his way to give one. In a post shared on Reddit, a customer revealed in a letter that he realized he took the wrong receipt after leaving. Instead of taking the blank one, he took the merchant's copy which holds the tip amount and his signature.

The error was discovered when he was checking his bank account and saw the amount taken off of his card was not the amount he expected. That's when he decided to check the receipt from that day and saw the error.

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Scientists have finally figured out how whales are able to 'sing' underwater

The physical mechanism they use has been a mystery until now.

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We've long known that baleen whales sing underwater and that males sing in tropical waters to attract females for mating. What we haven't known is how they're able to do it.

When humans make sound underwater, we expel air over through our vocal chords and the air we release rises to the surface as bubbles. But baleen whales don't have vocal chords, and they don't create bubbles when they vocalize. Toothed whales, such as sperm whales, beaked whales, dolphins and porpoises, have an organ in their nasal passages that allows them to vocalize, but baleen whales such as humpback, gray and blue whales don't.

Whales are notoriously difficult to study because of their size and the environment they require, which is why the mechanism behind whale song has remained a mystery for so long. It's not like scientists can just pluck a whale out of the ocean and stick it in an x-ray machine while it's singing to see what's happening inside its body to create the sound. Scientists had theories, but no one really knew how baleen whales sing.

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So, which side do we believe? Vaughan says the left.

“The reason this is a powerful hack is because the left side of the face is more likely to reveal the ‘true emotion’ or the ‘dominant’ emotion if there’s a mix,” Vaughan says. The reason? “The right hemisphere of our brain does more heavy lifting in dealing with processing emotions. The left hemisphere…is a little more analytical or ‘strategic.’”

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