I’m interested in appreciating the quality of my life. When I look around, I see examples everywhere of people who seem reflective yet satisfied with where they are in their longevity. Here is a list of nine suggestions for, some would say graceful, but I’m saying grateful living at this point in our lives.
- Shrink Your possessions. Family or friends would probably love to have something you no longer use. Places like Goodwill provide a tax deduction for the value of stuff you donate. Also, look at things you can do without: landline phone, cable, your collection of hardback books that you haven’t touched in years.
- Learn one new thing a day. I’ve enjoyed cementing in my mind things like exactly where Syria is on the map, new words to use in my writing and the name of certain plants in my garden.
- Eliminate those little things that have been annoying you. I had a check for $2.13 lying around on my desk for weeks and weeks. I couldn’t bring myself to forget about it entirely because it’s just not right to throw away money, no matter how small an amount. It took me forever, but I finally did deposit the small check using my cell phone. What one or two little things have you been meaning to do for a long time? I guarantee you’ll feel better to have it finally done!
- Keep track of where your money goes. For at least one week, but preferably for a month, write down every penny you spend. This will shed light on where your priorities are and exactly where the money is spent. You might learn something about your spending.
- Don’t buy anything you absolutely don’t need. I was surprised to see how and when I was making unnecessary purchases, like sugar-free breath mints while standing in line at the grocery store or buying yet another white t-shirt because it was on sale, not because I needed it.
- Give up one activity that wastes your time. Do you need to be on social media eight hours a day? Do you need to spend a huge amount of time watching TV or playing video games? I was shocked at how much time I was wasting on these activities and other things that didn’t increase my joy.
- Give up that one food that totally sabotages your healthy eating. I committed to one month of no pizzas, chips, booze, or fast food. At the end of that time, I was thrilled to see I not only felt better physically, but that I dropped nearly six pounds. It was not that difficult!
- Drink one half your body weight in water every day (in ounces, silly). If you weigh 160 lbs, drink 80 ounces of water per day. This resolves the whole “what exactly are 8 glasses?” issue. I reuse a 33.4 ounce (one liter) container and keep refilling it. Easy, peasy.
- Commit to one or more spiritual practices every day. These can include meditation, visualizations, affirmations, praying, spending time alone, and spending time in nature. I have found the more I increase spirituality in my life, the happier I am.