Let me ask you a question. Are you 100% happy with your life?
Life can be challenging. We are often faced with difficult situations that are outside of our control. It can be hard work. But a key lesson I have learnt over the years is that I am in charge of my own happiness. So are you.
I love my life. Although it can have its struggles, I am satisfied that it is completely me. I am able to do what brings me joy and matters most to me every single day. In this blog, I am going to share the 3 tools that have been instrumental in getting where I am today.
1. Identify your values
Life can be frenetically busy in our modern world. Its a challenge to keep up sometimes, so we keep moving from one job to the next, without really stopping for thought. This time to reflect is essential. Without it, you may find you are living a life that is not yours at all...
I urge you to take some time, even if it is only half an hour, to stop. I want you to decide what it is that really matters to you. What are your values and how do you want to live your life? It may be useful to write this down to keep as a reminder. I have a life mission statement and found the process of writing this extremely useful. This should be encompassed in one sentence if possible. For me, its -
'I want to life a free life with intentional and continual growth where I fight for those that have no voices.'
Sounds rather grand doesn't it? But for me, this makes perfect sense. I went on to take the keywords from this and make notes on what they mean for me. For instance, for 'free' I want -
Physical freedom - stay healthy and be flexible in where I live
Financial freedom - have a choice on how much a work
Mental freedom - remain open-minded and practise gratitude
All our missions will be entirely unique for us, so make sure its genuine. Don't write what you think you should, write what actually reflects you. Once you've done this, its time to move to the next step.
2. Incorporate daily habits
Now you've isolated what's important to you, its time to start working towards your life mission. For me, this has meant incorporating daily habits that ensure I stay on track. My health, both physical and mental, is my number one priority. Without this, I won't be able to deliver on any of my values.
So, I have constructed daily habits that make sure I look after myself. I move my body every day, usually through a combination of HIIT, Pilates and yoga. Yoga, in particular, is an essential part of my life and I rarely miss a day. It allows my muscles to stretch but it is also my most effective method of stress relief..
Food is my most important medicine. I always make time to cook so that I can make my plant-based meals from scratch. I prep my overnight oats whilst making dinner, so that my day always starts with a healthy breakfast. I keep a jug of water and lemon next to me as I work, so that I remain hydrated. I go to bed and rise at around the same time every day, to ensure I get an optimum amount of sleep.
What you need to do to remain healthy may look different. But I do believe that this should be a priority for everyone. Even if you have to remain flexible with this, by batch cooking so you have healthy frozen meals when you are busy or just doing a ten minute workout, its important to keep investing in your habits.
In terms of the other aspects of my life mission, often these are interlinked. Working on my blog, for instance, combines lots of my mission statement. It allows me a platform to speak up for those that need it most. It pushes me to grow as it enhances my creativity. It also provides an extra income, which means I am working towards being more financially free. This is why I prioritise it so highly.
There are a myriad of other tiny habits within my days, but these give some examples. Start small and allow yourself time to gradually build in these habits. Over time, they will become automatic, making it far easier to remain on the right track.
3. Keep organised
To ensure these habits remain in place, you need to organise your life around them.
I am a big fan of bullet journaling. If you haven't heard of this method, its essentially a written journal that combines a planner and diary, with space for any other notes you wish to take. You can be as creative as you want with this and there's lots of fun ideas on the internet. However, I'd recommend not being too ambitious, as if it becomes a faff then you are less likely to keep it up! I keep mine super simple and just list out days of the week with my to-dos under different categories e.g. health, blog, household, appointments and other.
There are also plenty of digital organisational tools. I've dabbled with Google Calendar which can be very effective. I also keep my ideas in spreadsheet form (e.g. for my blog) using 'Zoho Sheets', I use 'Listonic' for my shopping lists and notes on my phone for general thoughts. I would recommend against spreading yourself across too many platforms. It can get confusing quickly! Try a few out and work out what's best for you. Essentially, these tools should ensure that you use your time to keep working towards your life mission on a regular basis.
What has living intentionally done for me? Well, I feel healthier and fitter than I ever have. I have trained my body to get up at 5.30 with a highly productive morning routine, which you can read about here. I am able to grow my blog alongside working a very busy full time job. I am also building a tiny home with my partner, which will significantly increase the amount of freedom in my life. Alongside this, I can keep my home spick and span, invest time in relationships that are important to me and spend time in nature and enjoying creative hobbies.
Essentially, I am already living my mission. This does take work. I've been honing these skills for what feels like a lifetime. But if the alternative is to life a live that I don't really want, then the choice really is simple.
I'd love you hear what your values are, so make sure you sign up as a member of my site so you can comment below and join our wonderful community forum!