New research finds that people who psych themselves up for work on their commute to the office are happier. Here’s how to give yourself a personal pep talk that will leave you feeling better and more focused about the workday ahead.

(Illustrations: Graham Roumieu)

Unplug before your personal pep talk

Step 1: Unplug. It’s tempting to zone out with a podcast, but this trip is a time for reflection.

Ground yourself before your personal pep talk

Step 2: Ground yourself. Sit up straight and focus on breathing. Really think about the day ahead.

Set goals during your personal pep talk

Step 3: Set goals. Make a mental list of what you want to accomplish in the next eight (or 10 or 12) hours.

Cheer yourself on during your personal pep talk

Step 4: Cheer yourself on. Even a small serge in confidence will temper a daunting to-do list.

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