Podcast #214: How to Have a Good Day, Every Day

We’ve all had those days where everything seems to go just right. We set goals for ourselves and we accomplish them. Instead of frittering away our time on YouTube, we’re focused and get work done. Even when we experience setbacks, we’re able to deal with them graciously and effectively. It’s easy to attribute these sorts of days to luck, but my guest today argues that research from behavioral economics and psychology can show us how we can consistently have more of these good days.

Her name is Caroline Webb and she’s the author of How to Have a Good Day. In her book, she highlights this research and provides brass tacks advice on how to apply it so you can start having more good days. Today on the show, we discuss how to set goals in the morning and put them into action, how to reduce cognitive overload so you can make better decisions, and how to deal with irksome people and setbacks so they don’t ruin your day.

Show Highlights

  • Why so few people feel engaged in their work [03:30]
  • What a “good day” looks like and why it doesn’t necessarily mean everything will go perfectly [04:30]
  • What you can do in the morning to set yourself up for a good day [07:00]
  • How your brain filters reality [09:00]
  • How to translate your good intentions at the start of a day into action [12:00]
  • How changing your environment can prime your brain to have a good day [14:00]
  • How superstitions can actually make you more productive [16:30]
  • How to reduce cognitive overload so that you make better decisions [21:00]
  • Caroline’s formula to graciously say “no” [24:30]
  • How to deal with irksome people by setting collaborative intentions [29:00]
  • Why “the compliment sandwich” isn’t the best way to provide constructive feedback [35:00]
  • How to bounce back from setbacks [38:00]
  • How to stay motivated when you’re not feeling motivated [40:00]

Resources/Studies/People Mentioned in Podcast

  • How to plan your week
  • Implementation intentions
  • What Every Man Should Know About Attention and Focus
  • Psychological priming
  • Our series on willpower
  • How to Say “No” Without Coming Off Like a Jerk
  • The fundamental attribution error
  • Our series on resilience 
  • My podcast with Charles Duhigg on the science of motivation


How to Have a Good Day is one the most comprehensive and in-depth books I’ve read on the science of personal management. Every chapter is filled with some sort of actionable nugget that you can implement and see results right away from.

Connect With Caroline

Tell Caroline “Thanks” for being on the podcast via Twitter

Caroline’s Website

Caroline on Twitter

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Podcast Sponsor

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Read the Transcript

Coming soon!

Source: Art of Manliness

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