Life is meant for enjoyment. We are made to thrive, not just survive. How often do we think this way? How often we are caught up in the to-do’s, daily events and projects? Maybe it’s time to realign and start asking ourselves some deeper questions:
What types of things are you prioritizing?
Are they aligned with what you want to prioritize?
Do you dream? How big?
Are you happy?
If you were able to feel at peace when responding to these questions, then you probably are living with a high level of intentionality and purpose. For many of us, we could use a little reordering and adjusting of our lifestyle, habits and priorities when it comes to achieving happiness and enjoyment. Ultimately, when we are happier, we are healthier! A life of longevity starts with choosing happiness. We have the power to control our thoughts and how we react to circumstances. We can choose to act with a glass half empty approach or a glass half full approach no matter what life throws our way.
Having a more abundant life means having better relationships and friendships, better health, better communication and a better marriage.
While life isn’t always easy, we can choose joy and happiness. By choosing, we allow more peace to live within us. To be clear, many assume happiness is a natural response for some. Rather, happiness is more of an acquired skill that becomes easier to show and feel the more we actively practice choosing our reactions.
How do we choose happiness and live more intentionally?
This may sound cliché, but your dreams have the potential to become a reality; they don’t have to remain a ‘one day’ thought in your head. When I allowed this idea to really sink in, I starting dreaming bigger and living with a purpose each day. My priorities became more aligned with what made my heart smile (spending time with family, adventuring, being in the sunshine each day, etc.) One thing that I high encourage everyone to do is to make a list of 100 dreams and goals. Now this may sound like a lot, but it can be anything: becoming a mom, reading one book a month, traveling to all 50 states, etc. When you start the list, begin by writing a few ideas, over time as you think of more, add to the list. I encourage you to keep the list in a journal and have it handy to revisit often. Life is really about the experiences and how abundantly we live, not how rich we are in material items. While it’s awesome to be making big money and driving fancy cars, in the end will all of that really matter?
Make a List of How You Are Spending Your Time
There are many distractions in this world, causing us to be caught up in things that aren’t ultimately serving us well or aiding in the accomplishment of our dreams. Think about your past week. Where have you been mindlessly scrolling through social media, binging on Netflix or neglecting to spend time with others? While each of these activities has a place in our life, start to become more aware of how often you let distractions subconsciously become a main focus. And, yes, of course we all like a good Netflix show every once in a while or enjoy seeing what our social media feed displays about our friends lives. It’s about being aware of distractions, which take away from putting energy into things that will ultimately advance or enhance life in some greater way. Time does fly, but you are the one who’s in charge here!
Encourage Others, Pay it Forward
Don’t you just love that “feel good” mood you experience after giving back or helping someone else. Maybe you pick up your friend’s kids from school and run them home when you know your friend has a lot on her plate. Maybe you pay someone’s grocery bill in line behind you or purchase a cup of coffee for a stranger, give someone a compliment or help them with yard work. Acts of kindness are contagious and our world could use every light of positivity we can give. Don’t be afraid to let your smile shine and encourage with your words. By taking our focus away from our own selves and pouring that same energy into others, we achieve the top level of the hierarchy of self needs and ultimate fulfillment.
Revaluate Who You Hang Out With
Our community of people whom we surround ourselves with matters. Yes, many of us have those people in our lives whom we must be around (neighbors, family, friends), but the amount of time and conversations we have can be controlled and decided on our own. Do you feel drained or energized when you interact? Do you feel you are becoming a better person when in your community of people? Throughout the next week evaluate your community and make some adjustments of where you spend your time.
Practice Positive Self- Talk
While it’s easier said than done, speaking kindly to yourself can really change the way you live life. You are loved and worthy. Speak to yourself the way you’d talk to talk to your best friend or spouse. When we can speak kindly to ourselves, about ourselves, we naturally overtime will see the world in a brighter light. It may or may not sound silly to you, but try repeating words of affirmation to yourself in the mornings or leave a sticky note on your dresser as a simple reminder of how loved you are. If you are a parent raising children, speak into them, lift them up and let them know how unique and special they are. The younger you can start with them, the better!
By practicing these simple ideas above, be aware of your happiness and how it changes overtime as you start to live life to the fullest. Maybe you incorporate one of these ideas per week. Nothing needs to be rushed. Be intentional and choose happiness! It’s in YOUR power!