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The Daily Check-in That Changed My Life (A Daily Habit to Increase Happiness)

daily habit to increase happiness

We talk a lot about money on this platform, but I want to zoom out a bit to separate the “trees from the forest” and take a look at the larger picture.

At the end of the day, it’s not about the money…. It’s about building the life you’re meant to live and the version of yourself you’re meant to become.

Money is simply a tool that helps you get there… sometimes money reminds me of cars; it’s easy to get caught up in the make and model and color and everything else about the car, but at the end of the day, you could have the nicest car in the world, but if it didn’t work – if it couldn’t get you from Point A to Point B… would you want it?

Probably not. It’s similar to money… you can have all the money in the world, but if it didn’t buy you anything that you wanted, what’s the point?

It’s just a tool to use to get what you want most… from Point A to Point B.

And, like it or not, regardless of what you truly want to do, be, or have in your life, money will be a constant consideration simply based on the world we live in.

But beyond investing in assets, return on investments, and all of those monetary considerations, there’s something bigger and more important that we should be investing in… something that goes beyond the homes we own, the savings we have, and the interest we generate on our investments.

And that’s investing in ourselves. Spending dedicated time, money, and effort to ensure that we are growing as individuals, people, and human beings. Are we being the best partners we can be? The best moms? The best friends? The best daughters? Are we being the kindest we can be to ourselves? How do we get better at those things? And, in a world where we’re all stretched to our limits, where do we find the time?

That’s what we’re digging into… and by the end, I hope you feel empowered and reinvigorated to re-prioritize investing in yourself because you, my friend, are not only critically important but insanely powerful. And the world needs you.


I love teaching personal finance not only because it brings more freedom into the lives of my students and clients, but also because often what ends up happening is those people go on to work on their passions. The moment they realize they no longer need their 9-5, they make a plan to make a change and begin working on their purpose-based work.

Imagine with me for a moment a world full of people who are spending their time working on the things that bring them the most joy.

What a world that would be, right? A world of happiness, excitement, energy, kindness, and collaboration. And a world of peace. If everyone was busy working on things that made them insanely happy, there wouldn’t be much room for misery, jealousy, greed, power-seeking, and spite… I think those things are all a product of people NOT living their purpose.

And that is why I believe investing in yourself so you can grow and get closer to the things you deeply want, need, and desire is so critical not only for you and me but for the entire world.

The very first blog post I wrote for my business is called “Why the World Needs You to Master Your Money” and sometimes I feel the need to just bring us back to that because it’s easy to get distracted by the specifics of the numbers, strategies, investments, emergency funds, etc.

But it’s important to remember the goal, which is that we create more freedom to do what we want and love with the people we want and love to be around.


If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to get caught up in working as hard as you can, collecting your paycheck, watching the money go into your account, then go out again (hopefully some of which goes into investments), and then keep on grinding day in and day out.

But, what if we stopped to ask ourselves: Do I like this? Do I like how I’m spending my time? Do I believe in the work I’m doing, or is this just a way to get paid?

The moment I finally paused in my corporate career to ask myself those questions, I realized the answer, for me, was “No, I don’t love what I’m doing. This is not my passion. And, in some cases, I don’t believe in what I’m working on.”

Indeed, I wouldn’t have been able to walk away from my corporate career without being financially ready with savings and investments. But, more importantly, I wouldn’t have been able to do that had I not been investing time in asking myself those critical questions that eventually led me to figure out what I want and the steps I needed to take to get there.

That brings me to the heart of today’s conversation: which is why YOU are ultimately your best investment.


We often talk about investing in different kinds of assets – like stocks, real estate, crypto, and commodities, and starting a business (which is certainly one way to invest in yourself), but I’d like to discuss the investments you can make in yourself on a day to day basis and why it’s so important.

We’ve already started touching on the why, but I want to dig a bit deeper into something, in hindsight, I realized was happening to me when I worked in corporate, and something I see happen to many of my friends who are still there. Maybe it’s happening to you, too., Let’s see how you feel about this…

Looking back on my 10-year corporate career, I realized that most of my days pretty much went like this: I’d wake up in a hurry, get ready quickly, scarf down some breakfast, and make a coffee to take with me in the car (or, eventually, to my home-office desk to drink while I was on my first meeting of the day).

By mid-morning, I’d been in 3 meetings and was looking forward to my lunch break, if I was lucky enough to get one that day because oftentimes I’d have meetings during lunch, too.

In the afternoons, I might have an hour here or there to get some work done, but usually, I was busy digging through emails because, if I didn’t respond within a few hours, co-workers or management would begin to ping me on the company chat asking, “Did you see my email?”

Sometimes I’d make time to commiserate with my work friends, but most days there wasn’t space for that.

By 4 pm I’d realize I’d gotten almost no work done so I’d start one of the 10 priorities I had, only to be interrupted by my boss who would call around 5 pm to chat for an hour. I’d try to get some stuff done after that, but my brain was essentially fried so I’d head home or wander into the kitchen to find something easy to heat up. Some days I was good and I’d go to the gym, but many times I’d zone out and let my brain decompress by watching Netflix for a few hours before I’d shower, go to bed, and then do it again.

Of course, there were good days and bad days, but the truth is many days went a lot like this. And I laugh now because, looking back, a lot of it seems like a huge waste of time. But the most important thing of all is that I now realize I was prioritizing everyone else and their needs and, honestly, I didn’t even have the time to realize it was happening OR the time to stop and ask myself those critical questions about what I need and am I happy and, if not, what should I do about it?


All of this is to say: one of the ways to invest in yourself is to just recognize whether this or something similar is happening in your own life, and start to decide what you’re going to do about it.

I’m not saying you’re suddenly going to say, “I hate my job, I’m quitting tomorrow,” - that’s not realistic!

And that’s not what I did either. It’s more of a slow process of just taking the time to check in with yourself:

  • Am I okay?

  • Am I happy?

  • Do I like this?

  • If the answer is “no” to any of those things, what do I need to do to change that?

I started asking these questions during COVID when we were forced to slow down. I realized I wasn’t doing what I was meant to be doing, and I started investing in myself by taking online courses after work. That meant I wasn’t working as late anymore, however, I knew I had to prioritize myself and my own needs if I was ever going to get to a place where I truly loved my life and my work.

So I took courses, mostly on personal finance things and investing, because although I already had an interest in this area, I knew this was something I’d have to nail if I ever wanted to leave my 9-5 to pursue my own purpose-based life.

But all of those actions first started with me taking the time to pause and check in with myself. This daily habit increases happiness because it helps you pause to reflect on what's working for you, what's not, and inspires you to make a plan and take action.


The danger of not investing the time simply to regularly check in with yourself can range from bottling up emotions that eventually explode, which is one end of the spectrum, to the other which would be working a job you don’t love for years and years and years and feeling numb day in and day out, in which case you miss out on the beauty of truly living your life.

YOU are the only person who controls you. And, on the other hand, you are the only thing you can control. That was one of the most important things I learned in counseling: you can only control yourself, nothing else. No one else can do this for you, so you must be checking in on yourself because, as I mentioned in my example that was pretty real most days of my corporate life, oftentimes, unless we’re intentional about asking ourselves these important questions, we’re so busy that we don’t even realize that we’re not happy or we’re not okay until it’s too late.

And don’t think investing in yourself is all doom and gloom because there’s a flip side to this equation, too. Investing in yourself, be it through working on your mind, body, overall health, or learning new things… ALL of this adds up and compounds.

Taking time to make sure your mind stays clear (through eating healthy, sleeping enough, and moving your body) and continues to grow in terms of knowledge, wisdom, and discovery is arguably the most powerful thing in the world.

Knowledge, wisdom, and discovery are things that can stay with you throughout your entire life. They will pay you over and over again in dividends far greater than the financial returns that come from money-based investments.


I’ve been listening to and watching a series of interviews between Robert Breedlove and Michael Saylor who’s the co-founder and former CEO of MicroStrategy and, I’m in the middle of it now, but I think it’s ultimately going to be about Bitcoin, which we discussed last week, however, during the first few hours of this interview, Saylor simply describes the rise of mankind… and so much of our history as humans is based on a focus on knowledge, wisdom, and discovery.

From the Stone Age to the Iron Age, the Dark Age to the Steel Age, and coming into the Information Age, which we’re in now, it’s been fascinating to zoom out of life as I’ve known it for my 32 years on this planet to take a look at humanity’s journey throughout time. And what struck me is how important a handful of things have been throughout history.

Three, in particular, stand out: Refrigerators, penicillin, and airplanes.

Before the refrigerator, you couldn’t keep many perishable foods for more than a couple of days. Before penicillin, people regularly died from various things that would have killed many of us listening to this episode many times over. I mean, how many times have you taken antibiotics throughout your life? And, with the invention of airplanes, people could suddenly travel essentially anywhere in the world in a matter of days.

And all 3 of these things happened in the last ~100 years.


Humans are incredible creatures, and one of the key things that sets us apart is our minds and a continued focus on and search for more knowledge, wisdom, and discovery.

So it’s so important we invest in ourselves and nurture our minds. We must do things that continue to grow and expand and excite our minds. We must be as healthy as we can be to ensure sharp brain function and stave off deterioration. And, in today’s world, we must make space to pause to be present and check in with ourselves.

Again, the world today looks very different than it did in even just the last 100 years… there are so many things pulling our attention in so many different directions.

Don’t get distracted – whether that’s by your 9-5 job, social media, TV, or whatever.

Check in with yourself… ask yourself: is what I’m doing right now helping me get closer to the life I want, the life that will both give me insane joy and also give back to the human race simply because I’m working on things that excite me?

OR am I wasting time?

Time is one of the most precious resources we have because we only have so much of it, and we can never get it back. The truth is we’re all moving moment by moment, minute by minute toward the end of our lives… every second that passes is a second closer we are to death.

And, thanks to things like antibiotics, we might have more time than our ancestors did, but do not take that for granted. Every single day is a gift, and tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us.

I don’t mean that to sound depressing; in fact, I want it to light a fire in your heart. I want you to realize that when you waste time not investing in yourself and figuring out your purpose – what you’re here in this world to do, be, or accomplish – it’s time you’re never going to get back. It’s time you could be spending getting closer to that goldmine of knowledge or working on what you love.

And, don’t mishear me, I’m not saying don't make space for rest. Rest is insanely important and, that looks different for all of us. I love to watch TV series and movies that are purely for entertainment and not for education as a way to allow my mind to relax and stop thinking.

But just check in with yourself; you’ll know when it becomes too much.


Before I close out, I read something the other day about the anti-hustle movement happening in the United States and I’d like to comment on that in this context.

I think it’s important that, when it comes to our work, we focus on our intention and, again, checking in with ourselves. Yes, usually when we work, money is going to be some aspect of that. But, to me, there’s a difference between working hard at a job that I know isn’t truly what I’m meant to be doing in which case I’m probably only working for money, and working hard at a job that I know is exactly what I’m meant to be doing.

In my own experience, I’ve only ever felt like I’m “hustling” when I was working for someone else in a job I knew I wasn’t ultimately meant for. Now, I can spend hours early in the morning or late into the night even on weekends working on this business because I know, right now, this is my purpose and my passion. It doesn’t feel like a strain; it feels exciting! I work for myself, and I can stop at any time, but most days, I don’t want to – because I love what I do. For me, it’s not hustling… it’s flow.

And, again, we’re humans – so regardless of the situation, we must always check in with ourselves. Even when you’re working on things you love, it’s possible to burn out. So, again, when you’re working a lot, check in with yourself: check your intention (your ultimate goal of that work), and check in if you feel like you’re “hustling” in a bad way that’s sucking energy from you in a negative way, or if you feel like you’re in the flow and you feel excited and energized by the work you’re doing.

It all comes back to investing in ourselves – sometimes it’s as simple as investing time in ourselves and asking those critical questions of what we need, if we’re okay, and if not, what can we do about it. And sometimes it’s realizing we’re interested in learning more about something or growing in a specific area, and making time and space for that growth; taking steps toward those goals we set for ourselves.

You’ve only got one life. You can only control yourself. And no one else is in control of you. It’s on you. You get to figure out how you’re going to spend your one precious and beautiful life.

Will you make yourself a priority? Will you invest in yourself? I hope you do. I promise you, it’s an incredible way to live.


Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re going to want some specific actions to take and, I’ve put together a free guide for you on 5 Ways to Invest in Yourself (Actionable Things You Can Do to Prioritize YOU).

If nothing else, I hope you leave this episode feeling inspired to invest the time into regularly checking in with yourself and asking yourself those important questions. And if you want to take things a step further and learn the actions I took to make big changes, you can grab the free guide.

Thank you SO much for investing the time in yourself to learn these important mindset shifts.

This is just the beginning so keep going! Make yourself a priority and invest the time and effort to do so. Investing in yourself and in making your life better is something you’ll never regret.




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