Live life to the fullest!
Life is at its very best when you can write in your diary “that was a great day!”
I’m sure that you have your own benchmark of what a great year is, but for me it’s all about living each day to the fullest, so that as I sit with my night journal to write reflections on the day I can look back and say “that was a great day!” When I do, it means I was deliberate in my intentions, that I achieved the goals I set for myself that day and that I was able to see blessings it brought me, even when there were challenges.
This passion for making the most of my day only started after I graduated from university in Edinburgh. I looked back on my four years in dismay, realising that whilst I had indeed completed an Honours Degree in Agriculture, I had missed so many other opportunities to maximise this incredible gift of four years as a student in a foreign country. I had a friend, David Knox, who graduated with a first class honours in Chemical Engineering (arguably the most difficult degree there is), was captain of the university rugby team, and in his spare time was a hiker, skier, sailor and more. I could have made much more of those four years AND got a degree. The past was the past, that I couldn’t change, but I could change the future so I decided then that I would become better at embracing the opportunities to live life to the full.
This means both making the most of my daily worktime and optimising my personal time. Call me crazy, but I have also worked out that my weekends are more fun if I write specific to-dos for them as well, even if the to do is to “do nothing”.
Of course, not even the world gurus on optimisation (such as Darren Hardy whose fabulous book The Compound Effect I am reading for the third time) can do this every day without faltering and there are times when I slip off my “wagon” and dissolve into a stretch of off-peak living and mindless TV watching, but when I am on fire, oh boy, is life just so much richer and more rewarding.
Knowing this, perhaps you are motivated to turn up the dial on your own life? If so, let me share the method I use to stay on track. I call it my five fingers in the hand method:
- Be clear how you start tomorrow before you go to sleep. This allows you to get out of bed and get going. No need to waste an hour pondering which task is most important, or whether today is a swimming day or a running day!
- Be healthy. Watch how food, drink and sleep affect your energy and adjust your habits to maximise your health. Your mind and body are your tools for living a full life, look after them!
- Prioritise your most important to-dos. A fully lived life means doing the important stuff that gets you where you want to be.
- Embrace everything you do – if you are going to wash the dishes, then wash them with a sense of gratitude for the gift of dishwashing. Stop moaning and playing the victim when you have chores to do – it’s boring to hear and robs you and others of joy.
- Count your blessings (literally!) – at the end of each day take a moment to write down at least three blessings that the day brought you. It’s really surprising how even the most stressful day can generate unexpected and beautiful insights!