Even when you know how you want to live your life, you might have trouble figuring out why you aren’t living that life, or how to get closer to living in line with your true desires and values. Then there are the times when you notice that things could be better, or that you’ve veered off track.
When things seem overwhelming or off track in my life, I know it’s time for an assessment. When I was away at a conference last weekend, while deeply inspired and grateful for seeing friends and making new ones, something wasn’t right.
I was depleted instead of energized and scattered instead of focused. I felt disconnected from my work and a little home sick, which isn’t like me. It could be our recent move, or some other changes I’ve made recently, but whatever it was compelled me to make a list of all of the things that I want in my life and work, and the things I need to cut to support that.
My list was more specific than more happiness, less stress. In fact, I made an extensive list of everything I wanted to cut out so I could focus more on everything that I truly love about my life.
This is my list of extensive edits …
- awesome marriage
- healthy living
- developing a closer relationship with God
- be outside
- local initiative to feed people
- charity: water
- build wealth
- loan-free college for B
- visit friends & family
- continue to grow and be a part of this engaged, beautiful community
- new speaking opportunities
- write every day
- read every day
- streamline admin stuff
- be curious
- business ideas and domains that aren’t in motion
- websites not in motion
- new projects
- courses or connections that don’t support something on the In list
- discounted consulting rates
- bank fees or other small fees that add up with no benefit
- saying yes when I want to say no
I think I’ll make this a quarterly practice to prevent things from seeping in and to stay focused on living more fully. I also want to recognize and be open to change. I may feel differently about something on my list in 3 months and that’s ok.
Make your own extensive edit list
When you make your list, don’t compare it to mine or your husband’s/wife’s/friend’s. You will know what is best for you as you make the list. If you do compare this list, compare it to your love list that you made earlier this year. Do your edits support the lovely life you desire and so deserve to live?
You don’t have to immediately delete the things you want to subtract or dive into the things you want to protect and grow. There is a great benefit in just making the list. I’ve made a handful of edits based on my list above, but even before I took action, seeing what I want and how I can make it more available or give it more attention immediately made me feel like I was back on track.
Let this list be your intention and slowly chip away. Mood swings, bad days and other circumstances might slow you down or get in the way, but they are temporary. Review your extensive edits every day and find a small way to work towards adding or subtracting something that will make a big difference.
Give yourself the gifts of intention and inspiration to live your day the way you want to live your life and trust that you know what’s best for you.
Please share a few of your ins and outs in the comment section.