It’s easy to get caught up in everything that is happening around the world right now. The news all seems bad. The economy is stumbling because of the effects of COVID-19, and people are concerned about the future.
This is all understandable. However, it’s important to remember that the nature of an epidemic is to run its course. So after the danger has passed and life begins to get back to whatever we consider to be normal, life will go on. Perhaps not exactly as before, but it will be normal in a new way.
In the meantime, we have to carry on, and believe it or not, this can be a time of opportunity.
Since personal isolation and quarantine require us to stay at home, it’s a great time to work on things we usually don’t have time for, like making the following changes that will up-level your life from now on.
This might seem simplistic but you’ll be surprised by how much better you feel after you’ve tidied up your surroundings. Whether it’s in your home or your work place, putting things where they belong, tossing out what you no longer need, or giving a room an entire deep clean, you will feel better and your life will look better when you’ve finished.
If your mind immediately leaped to everything that needs to be done and you feel so overwhelmed that you want to sit down and pour yourself a glass of wine, here is a strategy to make things easier.
When my daughter was a child, cleaning up her bedroom was so daunting that all she could do was sit on her bed and wail. So, since I’m good at coming up with strategies, I instructed her to go through the room and first pick up all the books and put them away. Then pick up the toys, followed by the clothes, etc. Before she knew it the room was clean again.
I suggest the same method for you to try. Begin by tidying up one category first. For you it might be books (like it is for me), or random piles of papers, clothes, or dishes, depending on the room. Simply clean up one type of mess before moving on to the next one.
Before you know it, the space will be neat and tidy and you can congratulate yourself on a job well done. To make this strategy stick, do it every day for a week or two until you have a new habit. Not only will you enjoy the results of your efforts, but it will also make you aware of how you are messing your space up in the first place.
Eliminate the unnecessary
While this idea works for tidying up your spaces too, in this case, I suggest you eliminate unnecessary activities and commitments that no longer serve you or your family.
Is over-commitment stressing you out? Are you on committees that your heart is no longer in? Are your children’s activities causing the entire family more anxiety?
Take a little time to review where your time is going and whether what you’re doing is adding to your personal peace or subtracting from it.
A lot of what we do is really unnecessary and can be counter productive. If you give each activity in your life a score from 1-10 you can clearly see how much of a priority it is for you. Once you’ve made that list, why not eliminate anything that scores in the 1-5 range? Clearly they don’t matter to you very much anyway.
When I read the book, Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown, I promptly cancelled a couple of events I was scheduled to attend. I realized that I was attending business events almost on auto-pilot, because, well, it’s what you’re supposed to do.
When I examined whether or not these commitments were helping me achieve my goals, I had to admit that they weren’t, so I declined to attend. This allowed me more time for the things that really mattered to me.
This leads me to my next recommendation.
Concentrate on what you love
I’ve taught workshops where I have asked the participants to share three things they really love. It’s amazing to me how many people had trouble coming up with even one.
To make your life richer, more fulfilling, more luscious, spend some time deciding what you really love. What kinds of activities make you feel excited and alive? What kinds of people do you enjoy being with most?
Are there aspects of your home, your town, or your locale that you love, or is it time to consider moving?
When you have chosen or decided on at least one thing that you love, think about how you can add more of it to your life.
For example, I love to travel, so I’m always planning my next trip, checking out locations online, or saving money to put toward airfare. I subscribe to travel websites and publications because I’m interested in seeing more of the world.
My love of travel shows up in my everyday life, too. If I’m tempted to buy something because it appeals to me, or because it’s a good deal, I first ask myself if I’d rather spend that amount of money on this object, or would I prefer to put it toward an overseas flight. Usually, the flight wins, because I know what I love.
Perhaps what you love is a hobby, such as gardening, making pottery, or painting. Has it taken a back seat as other pressures in life have crept in? If decorating your home is something you love, but you’re not earmarking time or funds to put toward it and instead spending money on eating out or buying clothes, it’s time to make the switch.
By concentrating on what you love, you will attract more of it into your life, which in turn will make your life happier and lovelier. Up-levelling your life is an art as well as a practice. It really is the luscious life.
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