What am I doing with my life? Is this the life I want to be living?
We all ask ourselves these questions now and then. Ideally, we ask every day!
January is an excellent month for assessment. This is true whether you have made New Year’s resolutions, haven’t gotten around to it yet, or have no intention of doing so.
What to do:
- Pay attention to when you are feeling happy or sad, motivated or defeated, excited or bored.
- Starting TODAY, each time you feel one of these emotions, make a note of what you were doing. Keep this list in your phone or in a notebook.
- Add at least one thing to your list each day. It might be the same thing every day. Set a reminder on your phone: LIST! I know you can think of one thing you liked or didn’t like when the alarm goes off. It takes less than a minute to add it.
- At the end of January, or whatever month (week) you happen to be in, look over your list. What stands out? Is there something repeated often?
After you consult your list:
- If you have made New Year’s resolutions, compare them to your list. Are your resolutions realistic? Are they in line with what you truly enjoy?
- If you did not make resolutions, and you want to, use your list to identify areas where you can make or break habits.
- No resolutions are required! Use the list to guide you toward activities that make your life better, and away from activities that bring you down.
Example List (I did this in December):
- Reading – peaceful
- Huge To Be Read Pile – unhappy
- Deadlines – anxious
- Competing demands on my time – anxious
- Writing – happy
- Planning – happy
From this list, let’s take Reading. I love to read and last year I made a resolution to read 1 hour every day. I didn’t even come close to keeping it. So this year, I decided to reduce it by half, but I still wasn’t keeping it. I would always try to squeeze it in at the end of the day when I had no energy. I decided this was important so I placed it at the beginning of the day. I make sure I read for 30 minutes before I write my post, or my book, or go to work, or pay bills, or any other habit I’m likely to do. It has only been a week and I feel SO happy! Reading in the morning makes 30 minutes feel like 2 hours. My mind goes into a state that sets me up for a day filled with mindfulness and acceptance.
Chances are there is something on your list that will help you identify a possible change that will improve your life. Make a list. Check it twice. Find out which parts of your life are naughty or nice. (Sorry, it takes me a while to get out of holiday mode!)