Keep the little things … little.

Too much stress? Get dressed before bed, make breakfast the night before, and work with the little voices … say what?

Ever feel you have too much stress in your life? Most of know there is good stress and bad stress. Good stress challenges us, helps us be productive, creative and leaves us feeling better for having coped.

Some stress isn’t good for us, especially if it lasts for longer periods of time. Most articles I’ve read suggest we have no control over 90 percent of stressors that could impact us. They are probably going to happen whether we like it or not.

Do we turn a blind eye? Are there little things we can do to mitigate the daily stressors we all face? I’m talking little things.

One of my neighbors, Dr. David Posen has written three books relating to stress and lifestyle management. He observes we all have a little voice in our heads that talks to us. These internal conversations can be positive or negative. The good news is we can control the type of dialogue we have. In my business I work with top sales professionals. One of my areas of focus is helping them understand the power of positive self talk. Managing these little voices can significantly impact their business goals and improve their personal life.

Dr. Posen in his latest book offers 52 “prescriptions” he believes can have a profound and positive effect on lifestyles. I’m not a doctor so I can’t write a prescription. I can share some ‘little things’ I’ve done for the past 20 years that have worked for me.

In the morning, have you ever worried what you are going to wear for the day? Why not make that decision the night before. Before you go to bed, lay everything out. You may think it funny, but I lay out my clothes the night before, including my socks and underwear! I extended this to breakfast. Just before I go to bed, I program the coffee maker; lay out my cereal bowl, coffee cup, juice glass and multivitamin. Does it save a lot to time? Maybe not but if my most difficult thing to remember in the morning is the coffee goes in the cup and juice in the glass, them I’m off to a good start. Next thing I do is organize the little voices in my head. It’s going to be a great day. I will be productive. I will not let others actions impact my behavior. That’s it. I get on with my day and try not to let the little things become big things.

Take charge of the little things you can control – and if you don’t already do so, start singing in the shower!