Crazy rare fact that you’ve probably never, ever heard: You’re not going to feel awesome all the time. 

There are going to be days when you feel like you’re dragging all kinds of ass through your morning routine, your workout and most every task you’ve got planned for the day – this despite your mindfulness and gratitude practice.

(Mindblowing revelation, right?)

Your nutrition, hormones, hydration, and a hundred other factors beyond your immediate control might mean that you’ll be enervated no matter what you do. You’ll wonder if there’s even a point to putting in the effort because you feel so far away from your goals, and you’ll feel like doing no-thing.

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do about that feeling.

But those feelings are just feelings: they don’t get to dictate your effort.

When you’re tucking that behind in bed at night, you’re going to think about what you did in the last twenty-four hours. If you copped out and made excuses for the goals you planned, you will feel – like – sh*t, no matter how great the excuse is! But if you used your executive function, acted in alignment with your plan and your values, and kicked the most ass you could (despite not really feeling it at the time), you will fall asleep with a sense of pride and satisfaction that totally makes up for any ‘blah’ you felt during the day.

(This is especially true if you end each day with a journaling session about your accomplishments!)

So next time you’re grinding through the day and you’re not really feeling connected to any of the goals you’re working on, and you’re wondering why you should even put in any effort, I want you to think about that feeling you’ll fall asleep with.

Will it be a feeling of satisfaction and confidence and pride—like you’re a boss-a-holic? Or will it be regret and let down?

You’ve gotta consider this, because the way you feel when you fall asleep dictates your morning attitude and the effort you give tomorrow.

Sure, you might have a gray day today. But if you wake up feeling disempowered, like you’re on the cusp of a rut because you hid under the covers all day yesterday, then you increase your chances of having another lackluster day and another no-show. And that’s what leads to more ‘blah’ days and a wasted life!

That’s why you always have to stick with the plan, to the best of your ability.

Some days you’ll feel so bad that you can’t possibly get to everything you had planned; you’ll need a little more down time and self care. That’s fine. But you’re still going to have to face yourself before bed just the same. And even if you only got to half of what you had planned, that’s still a lot, and it’s still your best effort—which will make you feel incredible about yourself and increase your chances of waking up with the feelings of exuberance and inspiration that will certainly lead to an ass-kicking day. (Now that’s self care!)

But if you chucked away your plan and said ‘eff it because you weren’t feeling it, there’s no excuse that will help your conscience.

If you didn’t do the best you could, that’s a let down. And those negative feelings could lead to a cycle of learned helplessness where you feel bad about yourself because of your effort, put in even less effort the next day, feel even worse about yourself, and on and on and on.

Bottom line: you gotta stick with your plan.

Try to do what you can to enhance your mood through your daily routines: exercise, meditate, plan for some fun stuff to break the day—be a balanced human! It’s definitely better to feel awesome and work than to feel bad. It’s just that sometimes you can’t help feeling bad throughout the day. But you can always control how much effort you give, how well you stick with the plan, and how good you feel about yourself when you go to bed.

And when you go to bed feeling like a golden God—okay, maybe we’ll settle for feeling like a champ—you’re pretty much guaranteeing that you’ll come out swinging tomorrow. Which is what everyone of us needs to do if we want to feel and be more successful.

Want to build up a ton of momentum to start your new year off right? Check out my coaching program and see how I can help you get exactly where you want to be!

Originally published at


  • Daniel Dowling

    Performance Coach, Writer for Greatist,, Mindbodygreen, and FastCompany.

    Dan Dowling, here. I was the poster child for lost millennials - couldn’t keep a job…addicted to relationships…constantly checking social media and email. But when I got hungry enough for success as a writer, I gave up my distracted lifestyle and adopted one daily goal that changed my life forever: Do. Your. Best. Today, five years later, I’m a productivity coach who’s published on the world’s biggest sites (including Entrepreneur, Fast Company and Mindbodygreen), and I’m transforming lives through the best-effort, zero-distraction lifestyle that worked so well for me. Come and and learn how to always give your best at Millennial Success!