Over the past few years I have simplified. Simplified happiness. Simplified life. Simplified just about everything.
I used to run around like crazy, overbooked, overworked, overstressed, and underslept, my heart feeling like it was pounding out of my chest all the time as I squeezing in just one more thing in one more minute! I’ll admit I thought that “busy” was in. I thrived on it. (OK, I’m still doing a few of these things, but I am no longer running around like crazy all the time. I definitely do not thrive on busy. Just so we’re clear on this. 🙂 )
I was always busy. And tired. So tired. Not always noticing the day around me. Which meant I ended many days wishing I’d taken a little more time to enjoy things. But I always thought: I will… Soon!
Finally, though, I realized “soon” would never come. I just had to call it. I was ready to take a step back and imagine the life I really wanted to live.
So what did I imagine? Something that didn’t thrive on being busy, but instead being intentional. On purpose.
I’ve shared a few “best life” exercises with members and there’s one exercise I want to share with you. It consists of just two questions.
And I want you to write down your answers to the first one before you read on, okay?
Here’s the first:
1. How do you want to spend your time?
Think of a day…any day, a regular day… How do you want to spend that day? What kinds of things do you want to be doing? Imagine the perfect normal, every day. What does that look like?
Now write your answers down. Make a list.
I’ll share some of the answers from my list:
walking my dogs
teaching something I really enjoy or helping someone learn to do something better
having a meaningful conversation with my husband
Now that you’ve written your answers down, go on to number two:
2. Reflect back upon your week. How did you spend your time this week?
Write it down. Now compare this list to the one from #1. Do they match up?
Don’t feel bad if they don’t. I can tell you that mine definitely did not when I first did this. It was a bit of an eye opener. But in the time since, I’ve worked very intentionally to get those lists closer to one another.
It may seem crazy, because some of the answers I gave were so simple, right? Yes, at the heart of it, they are — but we know nothing is as simple as it seems. Which is why I have to work to keep the really important things on my mind. If I don’t, well, I start getting busy doing other things that don’t matter quite as much, even though they might seem important in the moment. (No, checking your email for the hundredth time this hour is not as important as it seems.)
Of course, I have big hopes and dreams that aren’t quite this simple, but I strive to remember this one thing:
How you spend your days is how you spend your life. The little everyday things truly do count.