A new year rolled in. Does it seem like 2016 even happened? If not, why not? Are you in such a rush that you don't take time to smell the roses and enjoy the moments a long the way? This is not an article about making New Years Resolutions. This is an article about simply enjoying life more each day as we start this new year. [Update - this article was originally posted in 2015.]
Speaking of roses, I love them. Every house I buy I plant rose bushes. They remind me of my Grandmother Ellsworth. There is something special about them and all their varieties. When we opened our Store, Indigo Mountain in Safford, AZ we wanted to simplify our lives so we bought a house a few blocks from our business. It has been great! We can walk to work, walk to a grocery store, and take care of business and our home with ease. But we still found we were busy and rushing around. So Mark literally started stopping to smell our rose bushes each day before going anywhere. That was his daily routine, stop look at the roses, pinch off the dead blooms, and literally SMELL THE ROSES. Then he started his day, enjoying the moments, enjoying life more.
What do you do to start your day?
What do you want to be different in 2017 as we start a new year?
At the end of the year, what do you want your new year to look like? As you think about 2016, what do you wish you did different? NO REGRETS - those were choices you made. But take stock of those choices and design and organize your life with intention this year with time for enjoying life more and doing the things you want to do. Sometimes we can spend time running the rat race and not getting very far. If you want some inspiration, read this article, Stop Allowing Excuses to Run Your Life, an interview about a young man that has accomplished a lot and has no arms.
I think as we mark the moments along the way and breath deeply, smiling more each day that time can slow down - or rather, we just are existing in time instead of trying to create a 30 hour day - which just slows us down.
Here are some ideas to help you enjoy each day more and simplify
- Spend less time on social media and texting.
- Spend more time face to face with the people you care about.
- Make memories with those people.
- Play games, not on the computer, with people.
- Stop and literally smell the roses or other rituals to help you slow down.
- Be realistic about what you can accomplish and do in a day or week.
- Get your sleep.
- Move and exercise as it gives you more energy and increases happy chemicals in your brain.
- Eat meals with the people you live with and friends and enjoy the meal, don't rush through it.
- Keep a journal and record the things your grateful for and the good times as well as some of your struggles. Record your goals and dreams.
- Make a scrap book of pictures over the year.
- Look at your life and simplify.
- Learn something new.
- Have fun.
- Give service.
- Take a vacation.
- Pamper yourself and other around you.
- Get rid of your clutter and things that don't bring you joy.
We've been taking stock of our lives. Personally we have 2 kids left and home and we want to enjoy each moment of their lives. We have simplified our life a little more and cut out some activities that we were involved in. These were great activities, we can all get involved in worthwhile amazing activities. It just depends on what we choose to do. After all, we have 24 hours in each day and 8 of those are sleeping hours. Just for fun, I once added up the things I had committed to do - it was more than 20 hours for a day. I knew right away that was part of some stress I was experiencing. Now I take stock on a regular basis of my time. Just like a check book needs to be balanced, you need to balance your time. Money doesn't grow on trees and time marches on - we all get the same amount. We can't do everything, so choose what you want with YOUR TIME. As we roll into a new year, think about your life.
Once when I was feeling so overwhelmed and busy, I was meditating and pondering on my life. This is always a good activity. Most of us have a genius in our head if we just take time to listen. Well my genius inner voice started talking to me and said, "Who told you you had to work so hard? Who said you have to get all these things done?" Of course I answered back - Me. I was my task master and I realized that no one else probably cared if I did all these things and worked so hard. But they probably cared that I took care of myself. So I quit being so hard on myself - you know I wasn't paying myself overtime or rewarding me in anyway. That was my awakening.
We looked at the activities we have been participating in and our time and our goals for the year. Some of our activities were cut out. As a family we decided what to be involved in and what to do so that we had time together. We decided we also needed more game time together as a family.
We are getting rid of clutter in a big way this year and we already got started last year. Then the universe decided I wasn't moving fast enough or needed some help. I love this book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It is a fantastic book to help you in this area. We highly recommend this book. It is short and easy to read. I now look for objects that bring me joy or have a current job in my life, everything else is easy to let go of. Our goal in 2016 is to get rid of 1/3 of our stuff so that when the new year of 2017 rolls around, we have tidied up and feel more organized. It is not going to be an overnight task and we plan to have fun doing it.
Don't make a big deal about New Year Resolutions, just start each day creating the life you want.
If you just exist each day reacting to events and circumstances around you, it can still be a good life but you may not end of where you want. Take just a few minutes or an evening and think about your life - DESIGN YOUR LIFE. What do you choose? Write it down, make a vision board, make a list, whatever works for you. Then each day spend a few minutes planning your life. It will make a huge difference. For me personally, I end the day by looking at my day and planning for tomorrow. That way when the morning starts I'm already on my game plan.
We do spend time each day in quiet thought and meditation. It makes a huge difference. Mark stops and smells the roses and I do as well. But my big ritual that helps me slow down is enjoying a cup of herbal tea. A dear friend got me hooked on herbal fruit teas years ago. So when I drink my daily cup, I think of her - I think of friends - tea time. I slow down and savor the delicious taste and smile about my day and the good times.
What do you do to enjoy the day and slow down?
What are your goals this year? What are your working for? Check out this article on Smart Goals inspired by our son Chandler.
This I am going to BE JOY; feeling peace and abundance. What do you choose?
Share your thoughts and tips.
Kally and Mark