Last year, I came across the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. The book resonated with me as it focussed on small daily changes to make your life more enjoyable, instead of overhauling your existence completely. Like many, I enjoyed my life but wanted to understand my own version of happiness and what this comprised of.
One of the ideas that stuck most with me was ‘ The days are long, but the years are short‘. In today’s modern world, it is so easy to see days, weeks and months fly by in a whirl of the things we ‘have to do’ as part of being a grown up. However, I was aware that although I did many fantastic things, travelled and had amazing people in my life, I didn’t always take time to appreciate all that I had.
This led me to develop my first aspiration for this year ‘Living more consciously’. However, as with most goals, I needed to break this down in to more definable steps. These steps are;
- Consciously consider all propositions instead of making snap decisions. Although I pride myself on my decisiveness, too often I would over-commit in order to help others out, or be constantly running from one engagement to another. This meant I was often not fully present as I was focussed on what I still had left to do. I need to consider all options and accept that it is fine to say no sometimes.
- Enjoy the moment I am in. Fairly self-explanatory, but as someone who loves planning, I would enjoy the idea of something, instead of the actual event. By slowing down, I try to make sure that I enjoy the activity I am currently doing. One of the main areas this applies to is eating, as I am often thinking about the next meal before I have finished the food in my mouth!
- Take time out for reflection. I often focus on the future, instead of considering the awesome things I have already experienced and accomplished. Taking time to reflect and particularly reminisce with others, means I get to enjoy these things a second time.
- Spending my time, and money, in line with my values and goals. I was fortunate to have enough time and money to spend freely and not really think about it. It would leave me with little to show at the end of each month apart from an accumulation of ‘pretty stuff’. Although I will never wean myself off this completely, I do want to reduce my spending on me, and use it for other things.
Let me know what things you are doing to ‘Live More Consciously’ and check back on my progress.
You can find out more about Gretchen’s book at http://www.happiness-project.com