Can life really be that simple?
Every four or five months I sit down and set my goals, from an early age I’ve always been a goal setter, I’ve found the process of stepping out of my everyday life and contemplating where I currently am and where I want to be heading a valuable activity that keeps me moving in the right direction.
When I sit down to do my goals I firstly work through a series of questions which make me explore the various parts of my life and myself as a person, they question my current position and reassess where and what I am aiming for over the next period of time. These questions include: What is my current position in life? If I had six months to live what would I want to be doing with my time? Who do I admire and why? What are my core values as a person? These questions are about exploring the ‘who’ of me. It’s important that I am clear with where I am as a person and what’s important to me before I start looking at what I want to achieve as ultimately my actions over the next period of time should be helping me to evolve my core person.
One of the key questions I ask myself is: What do I love doing? This question enables me to look at the day to day actions that I love doing. Some of my answers include: Challenging myself through exercise, having good conversation, being creative on the piano, having connection time with Jo, solving a challenging problem, having my cup of tea and four pieces of dark chocolate at night, making people laugh, reading, experiencing new people and parts of the world, being in nature, the list goes on. This question helps to reinforce the actions that are highlights of my existence.
If I were to ask you to write a list of the activities that you love in your life what would they be? If you were to go into detail and explore those little or big moments that are highlights in your day what would you come up with? Sometimes I wonder if we complicate life too much and if life is really as simple as filling as much time up with the activities that we love doing as we can. This is where I find value in asking the ‘what do you love’ question, it helps me to see if I am doing those activities or not.
If we were to audit your time and see exactly what you do with it, how much of your time would be spent filled with activities you love doing? What would the ratio be; activities you love vs activities that are unfulfilling? When we start to explore these questions we can see where we can create change. There will always be tasks and activities that we don’t love but just need to get done as part of our daily life responsibilities such as certain aspects of your job or doing the cleaning at home but outside of your core responsibilities our aim should be filling our time up with activities that sit on our love list.
If we understand and identify the activities we enjoy we can also start to see the ones that aren’t necessary and this is important because we can then start to make different choices. Let’s say that you spend over 90mins on Facebook a day, you enjoy Facebook but after 30mins you find yourself just mindlessly looking through the newsfeed which tends to repeat itself, it is at this point where Facebook is wasting your life. From here you determine that 30mins of Facebook is good for you but after that you want to replace the other 60mins with doing one of the activities you love. It could be spending time in nature, a creative pursuit, sitting outside with a cup of coffee, or doing a challenging activity that grows you. This would be such a healthy shift.
This life of yours is a precious thing and as you age you realise that you are limited on that thing called ‘time’. We want to make sure we are filling as much of this time with what we love doing. This may seem hard initially but it can be as simple as identifying when you aren’t using your time well and gradually adding more of the activities you enjoy into your daily life - even if only for a short duration, give it a try, who knows where it will lead to.
This piece orginally appeared in The Press
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