It’s too easy to fall into the trappings of living a ‘perfect’ life, a ‘busy’ life. Ensuring you are ticking off all the widely accepted milestones of success we aspire towards as a society.
The perfect home that looks like it could feature in an interiors glossy magazine. The job title and promotion you’ve worked towards for years. Pristine clean housekeeping skills, a fantastic and full social life. No time for anything because you’re so ‘busy’. The list goes on.
I know when I have been falling into the trap of trying to live perfectly instead of authentically when I start to feel detached from doing the things I really love. The things that enrich my life and make me truly happy. Not the material things which bring status, a short-lived burst of happiness and can easily be one-upped by the next person living more perfectly than you.
When I actually start to feel too busy, too stressed or too overwhelmed.
If you take five minutes to reflect over the last week, do you feel that you have been filling each moment of your days with things you truly enjoy? Things that really make you happy?
I have been so detached from living authentically recently I have not written a blog, article or content in over three weeks. I know my day to day priorities are not right when I can’t find time to do the things I enjoy the most.
I can sense if a person is living authentically because from the moment I meet them, listen to them, follow their updates on social media, they all feel so happy, true and refreshingly real.
You know the kind of person I am talking about. The person who knows what they enjoy in life, and they live with these priorities in mind.
If you are feeling that you are a little overwhelmed, too busy to fill your days with the things that matter to you, or in a bit of a rut, the steps below might help you get back on track.
Work out what your five main priorities are
You can’t make sure you dedicate your time and energy to the things that matter if you don’t know what they are. Take ten minutes to list everything that makes you seriously happy. I am talking huge grin, gets you out of bed in the morning, contagiously happy.
To help you out, I have listed my top five:
- Spending quality time and making memories with my husband, cats, family and friends
- Having time to write
- Travelling and seeing as much of the world as possible
- Putting my health first
Ensure you put in time to work towards these priorities each and every day
I know you’re busy. We all are. But we should never be too busy to fill our lives with the things that truly matter to us. Imagine looking back over the last month and not being able to pick out ten key moments you really enjoyed. You won’t get that time again. So make sure you’re putting aside time for the things which really matter to you. If you don’t have the time to do that, look at what you’re doing instead and see if it really needs your focus.
I feel happier, more content and more wholesome when my days are spent on my priorities. So I need to make sure I spend more time doing just that. If reading a book for twenty minutes a day comes over a perfectly clean house that actually, people don’t really care too much about, I am happy with that.
Realise it’s okay to do nothing
Too often when we are feeling overwhelmed or a little burnt out, it’s because we haven’t actually taken any time for ourselves. Time to just be. Time to do nothing.
If you are feeling that you haven’t had the time to do the things you love recently, take a reset day. I still struggle with this concept, it feels wrong to nap, read when there’s decorating to be done, or just go away for an evening when I have a mountain on my to-do list. But I am getting better at it.
Review your goals and what you really want
Regularly we don’t feel like we are achieving in life because we haven’t ticked off an impressive goal recently, or invested in something to show and share with others.
It’s too easy to fall into the trap of creating false expectations for yourself. The need for a new promotion at work, not because you want it, but because you think that’s a sign of success. The need for the latest model of car even though yours works perfectly. Don’t look back in twenty years’ time and wish you’d spent your money, or your time differently. Get rid of false expectations, live only in a way that makes you happy.
At the end of the day, we are all too worried about how other people perceive us, when in reality, we should just be focusing on how we perceive ourselves.
If you can say that you make conscious choices each day which allow you to get the most out of life, make you happy and allow you to work towards your main priorities, that’s all that matters.
Where your weeks are filled with more memories, moments and experiences than ‘must-do’s, checklists and chores’.
And that’s living more authentically, rather than a standard tick all the boxes perfect life.
And that leaves me with one of my favourite quotes: