As with many couples (I'd imagine), over dinner my husband and I typically ask each other: "How was your day?". A common initial response from either one of us might be a word like "fine", "ok", or "decent", which means the day was basically average and not particularly remarkable as either very good or very bad.
One day recently, I responded with a fairly enthusiastic "good!", and when my husband asked what had been good about it I struggled to actually come up with a concrete reason why I'd felt my day was better than average. There wasn't any significant or specific event I could point to that had made the day a good one. That seemed strange to me.
The next morning when I got to work, I went over my calendar, email, and Slack messages from the previous day and tried to run through what I had spent my time doing, and how my interactions with other people had gone. I was trying to figure out what combination of small things had added up to a good day. I figured that being able to more consistently and purposefully orchestrate a good day in the future depended on knowing what a good day actually consisted of!
As I thought more about this over the few weeks, and continued to observe the characteristics of what I felt were better or worse days, some things slowly started to take shape. Here's what I've learned so far.
Anyway, this is what I've figured out so far - I'm continuing to observe and monitor this. I also realize that the "requirements" can and most likely do change over time, so I guess it will be an ongoing thing to reflect on.
I'd highly recommend taking a bit of time to think about this topic for yourself, if you can - I feel a lot more in control of being able to create the conditions that will lead to good days and weeks. Of course, I'm not always going to be able to make it happen, and sometimes one bad event can strongly impact an otherwise good day. But I have definitely noticed that I am starting to use more positive words more frequently at dinner time!