The basics

This week, I’m working on doing the fundamentals.

The basics.

You know, the things I have known for years are important, but somehow I don’t do them. Why is that? They’re clearly in my best interest, but somehow they don’t happen.

Once, when I was talking with my mom about cutting back on spending, she said there is one question I should ask myself when I consider buying something: “Does this item truly help me create the life I want?”

Not “Do I want this?” or “Does this item fit in the image of the life I want?” Those are different questions. In the case of my bigger goal, living within my means so that I don’t worry as much about finances, that “magazine moment” picture in my head is not as meaningful. My life doesn’t have to look like a two-page spread from Sunset Magazine to be beautiful.

Here’s the thing: I can apply that to choices I make about my time, too. “Does this activity truly help me create the life I want?”

Staying up too late to catch up on DVR and then being too tired to get in quality writing time? Doesn’t get me closer to finishing my Ph.D.

Clicking from one FB link to another when I could be reading to my daughter? Not serving my values well.

Drinking that soda when I know how terrible it is for my health? Gosh, that’s hard. It’s my weakness. Soda has been my guilty pleasure, but when I hold it up against the life I want for myself, I shouldn’t drink that soda.

I’m not advocating an austere life, devoid of “treats,” but if you’re doing it several times a day, does it really qualify as a ‘treat’?

So this week, I am thinking about the life I want to live. And I’m simply going to do the right thing. Here are the biggies I tend to ignore:

  1. Exercise daily for extra energy and stress reduction.
  2. Go to bed at a reasonable time so that I can function well the next day
  3. Take care of the paperwork every day so it’s not hanging over my head
  4. Be mindful of my spending. Watch Amazon 1-click and debit purchases.
  5. Practice mindful eating. If I have a “treat,” savor the heck out of it. If it’s something that doesn’t make me swoon, it’s probably not worth it. And if it does make me swoon, enjoy it in a portion size that doesn’t make me feel blergh afterword.
  6. Meditate. Even in the moments that seem a bit hectic, take a few seconds to focus on my breath and settle.
  7. Let go of what I can’t control. When I start to stress out, reconsider and get a little perspective.
  8. Limit multitasking. Doing three things crappily is not worth it, nor is it pleasurable. There are sometimes it’s okay (pay a bill when watching TV), but most of the time, it detracts from the moment.

I KNOW these things make me happier and healthier. Yet so often I neglect them. Not this week. This list is going on a post-it in my planner and I’m going to plug away at it. Every day.

Here’s to a wonderful week!

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