We have this one life.
What you do in your day shapes that life in every possible way. This is not a dress rehearsal yet so many of us live as if we’ll have another shot at this; Like we have all the time in the world to be happy or do what we want to do in the future. Bullshit. What you do today affects your mental, physical, spiritual, financial, and relationship health. How happy are you in your days? You have every right to love the hell out of your life. That’s why you’re here. To do what you love and to spread that love to all of us around you. There’s no award for suffering. There’s no award for pain. There’s no reason to settle for “good enough”. Look at what you’re doing that’s working. Do more of that. Look at what you’re doing that’s not working. Do less of that.
“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” Annie Hillard
This isn’t a mind-blowing statement but please stop to think about it. We tend to rush through life thinking of the future and doing things so that the future will be a certain way. But stop for a second because our life is spent in all of these small moments: in how we make breakfast, in how we sit with our family at dinner, in whether we routinely hit snooze, in our consistent trips to the gym, in our time spent at the market….all of these moments add up and our life passes. Sure, we can throw in some outstanding trips to foreign lands but in general, our lives are made up of our little moments. It is in our best interest to shine a spotlight on how we spend our days and our little moments.
How are we spending our days?
Are we spending our days complaining?
Are we spending our days hitting snooze?
Are we spending our days eating foods that nourish our bodies?
Are we spending our days filling our schedule full and so we’re busy, busy, busy?
Today let’s dig into your daily actions. Our small daily actions are actually no small thing and this is why I dedicate so much of my time in blogs and in coaching sessions to investigating what we do. Reminder: the most important piece of this personal investigation is to do it from a place of kindness. When you can look at your life as a kind observer of what is going on, you are ready to make lasting change. Click To Tweet
Let’s start with the good. What are you doing that’s working for you? Stop and write up to 10 things that you’re doing that help you live the life you want to be living. This can be as simple as “I get up when my alarm goes off without pushing snooze.” or “I eat eggs instead of cereal for breakfast” or “I floss my teeth every night” or “I do the things I write on my schedule”. Please choose things that you consciously choose to do for your better self versus things you’ve always done that come easy to you. The point of listing these things out is to point out to our brain that we can do things we set our minds to. If we choose things like “I eat eggs instead of cereal” but we love eggs and never enjoyed cereal, we aren’t fooling anyone. Now, look at your list. Take time to look over your list and tune into your body. How do you feel when you look at that list of things you do for yourself? If you could only come up with 2 things for your list, don’t despair. That’s a sign that this is a great place to start. You deserve much better treatment and I’ll go out on a limb to say that you don’t feel so great most days. Building this list is how you start feeling better in your days.
Now let’s look at what you’re doing that’s not working for you? What do you routinely do that’s not working for you? Note I’m not asking what other people are doing that screws up your life or what other people could do to make your life easier. I spent many years of my life pointing at others in my life as the reason for why I didn’t have what I wanted or why my life wasn’t as I wanted. Other people are going to do and act the way they choose. Not because they’re assholes or because they don’t like you rather just because that’s what they’ve chosen to do. Not only can you not control that, it’s a waste of your time trying to. How much mental energy do you spend wishing someone would do or act in a different way? Drop it. Do yourself a huge favor and let go of trying to control others. It’s hard enough to control yourself. Think of the things you know you should do but aren’t doing. Let the other people in your life manage their lives and you zoom in on managing yours. Write up to 10 things you do that do not help you. Brainstorm. Keep your pen moving. What do you do that doesn’t help you move towards that better version of yourself? Do you drink a nightly glass of wine yet wonder why you can’t lose that last 5 lbs? Do you check Facebook before you go to bed and wonder why your sleep is disrupted? Do you have the notifications on on your phone and wonder why you feel frazzled and overwhelmed? An important piece of this step is to notice how quickly your brain rushes in with excuses. How quickly do you rush to defend your actions? Remember at the beginning when I encouraged you to be a kind observer of your life? Practice that now. Look in a compassionate way at yourself: What are your excuses for doing what you do? I encourage you to call yourself out on the BS so you can drop the drama and get on the road to feeling better. No you don’t “need” that glass of wine after a tough day. What you need is to sit in the discomfort of your tough day to learn why your day is so tough. Wine will not help you make the necessary changes. Drop that excuse. Checking Facebook doesn’t make you feel better. Drop that excuse. You don’t need the notifications turned on on your phone. If someone wants to reach you, they will. Listen to your excuses kindly, as if you’re your own coach, and then compassionately call yourself out on your BS in order to make some changes.
That’s it for today. This is a short but powerful kick-in-your pants post to bring awareness to your actions. We have this one life. What you do in your day shapes that life in every possible way. This is not a dress rehearsal yet so many of us live as if this is our “try” life. Like we’ll have another shot at this. Like we have all the time in the world to be happy or do what we want to do in the future. Let’s look at what you’re doing in your life that’s working and what you’re doing that’s not working. How do we define working? How happy are you in your days? “You have every right to love the hell out of your life.” That’s why you’re here. To do what you love and to spread that love to all of us around you. There’s no award for suffering. There’s no award for pain. There’s no reason to settle for “good enough”. Look at what you’re doing that’s working. Do more of that. Look at what you’re doing and do less of that. We’ll dig more into that next week. For this week, become aware and drop the BS. Why not choose to live a life you love now?