1. Inside Out
What you say to yourself on the inside will have an impact on how you act on the outside. So, try to be your own coach by advising yourself in the way a good friend would talk to you. If you were advising a good friend, you would use positive words and ‘big them up’ because you care and want them to do well. Talk to yourself in the same way and resist negative language, as sometimes, these thoughts can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Beating yourself up about something on the inside is not going to be as productive as asking yourself, 'what have I learnt?' and 'what can I do now or differently next time?’.
We all feel low sometimes and get emotional and sad, which is natural and human. How you deal with these periods on the outside will be directed by what you say to yourself on the inside. Give it a try, because when you realise how powerful your internal voice is, you’ll try to resist from ever thinking a negative thought again!

2. Being + in a - Situation
When you arrive in what appears to be a - situation either at work or at home, immediately put aside any - comments or - references from people. The ‘I said this would happen’ or ‘so and so should have...’ approach from those involved is not going help you spot the route out of the problem. Instead, start asking questions to reassess where the project should be? Then find out how long is left to get it there? What actions are absolutely essential to the project and can they be completed now? What actions are desirable and could be included if time allows? By ignoring the - crowd and always having a + ‘can do’ attitude you’ll find the path out of the problem and others will soon follow too. Once you’ve helped find the best possible solution, given the circumstances, you’ll need to evaluate the process, and encourage those involved to learn from the experience so they can avoid the problems in the future. Remember ‘Being positive in a negative situation isn’t naive, It’s leadership’.

3. Up the Happy %
‘Do more of the things that make you happy’ is a phase you have probably heard and you know that it is right, but find it hard to make it happen. Try to look at it as a % of your day, your week or even the next hour. Start with the small things that make you happy and plan in the bigger things for dates in the future. Although exercise and sleep should be the foundations of your overall well-being, it’s the small things and those that are more personal to you, that will have an immediate impact on your happiness. It could be making time to go outside on a nice day, as this will put you in a positive mood and broaden your thinking. Perhaps take up a new hobby.Try turning off the news for a while and have breaks from social media, as this will encourage you to connect with the world in front of you more! One thing that really helps is developing your relationships with others. Staying in touch with family and friends makes a big difference and even spending money on them is good for your happy %. Listening to music is a good place to start, because it is so influential on the brain that it has the ability to change the way you think and look at the world. Whatever you do, you can start increasing your happy % almost immediately, so act now and up your Happy %.

4. Your Distance Travelled
We all fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. We let it distract us, sometimes to the point that we forget how far we have come in our own life. Before beginning a new personal journey, consider where you are now. If you have already started, look back at where you were. Visualise yourself and how you’ll feel once you have completed the goal. Praise yourself for what you have achieved already and focus on the next step. Remember these are your steps, at a pace that works for you and your other commitments. If you over compare yourself to others you will lose your focus. Break your journey into smaller manageable chunks, and before you know it, you’ll have reached what you originally visualised for yourself. You are even likely to start exceeding your expectations. Make the journey more about you and stop competing with others and start competing with yourself. Sometimes you have to play a 'long game' and usually the journey is as much fun as the destination!

These are excerpts from the e-book ‘19 Little Ways to Be More Productive and Happier’ by Tom Joseph. Available to buy at www.breathetoachieve.com

Author's Bio: 

Tom Joseph writes for www.breathetoachieve.com. He has many years of experience working in education as a lecturer and as a people manager. He has also started and developed businesses from scratch. He has led teams in different educational and business roles. He is happily married with two wonderful children. He is a creative thinker and has a strong sense of the importance of balance and emotional intelligence when managing working and home life. This approach together with his life experiences, are the foundations of the ideas and strategies that he uses, some of which are featured in this article.