In order for us to spend our time in the most productive way, we need to get in tune with what we truly want out of life. No one wants to arrive at the end of their life and feel like they didn’t spend their lifetime how they should have. I believe that since we only get one life to live we need to use it in the most valuable way, which to me, means being happy, helpful and whole.
Now you may be wondering how to even figure out HOW you should be spending your time, Guess what!? You’re in the right place! I’ve got some suggestions for you that I feel will help guide you along.
3 Tips to figure out HOW to spend your time
1. Make a list of all your passions.
Reflect on what your passions were in the past, and how you loved spending your time even when you were a kid. Then think back to a couple years ago, a few months ago. Now think about what you are passionate about today.
Look at your current life and see what gaps need to be bridged and how you can bridge them (did you use to like yoga, used to read, always wanted to travel....etc and now you’re not nurturing those areas of your life? ) Did you stop focusing on self care when you had kids and now you are feeling empty or “lost”? It’s time to start including the activities you love and enjoy back into your life, maybe not on a daily basis, but at least a consistent regular basis.
It’s amazing how much more energy you have when you are nurturing areas of your life that really light you up and excite you. There’s always going to be a massive list of To-Dos but we shouldn’t put more value on those things than we do on our passions.
2. Write in a Dream Life Journal at least once a week.
In this journal you let all of your hopes, desires and dreams flow onto the page. One key point though is that you write it in the present tense! It’s almost like playing make believe as a child.
If you’re like me, do you remember pretending to be a mom? I couldn’t wait to become a mom and I spent so much time thinking about what it would be like, what my kids would be like and how I would mother them. I imagined my future house, my husband and my perfect teaching job where I could be home all summer with my kids. This went on for years, although a few alternative jobs such as a nurse or doctor entered the picture here and there, but I could almost feel my happiness of being a mother. It was my dream and I kept that dream in my mind all the time.
3. Journal about what you want your life to be like
This helps solidify what you truly want by stripping away all the self-doubt that rears it’s ugly head.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How will I do that?
- When will I have time for that?
- How much will that cost?
- Is that a wise investment in myself?
- Shouldn’t I just be happy with the life I have now? It’s not a “bad” life.
- What will my family and friends think of this major shift?
- Am I even capable of this?
- What if I fail?
The list goes on and on. As you write in your Dream Life Journal you are giving yourself permission to not think, just write. You aren’t analyzing the desires that come to mind, you just write. You aren’t plotting and planning how you will make this life a reality, you just write.
While Writing in Your Dream Life Journal
As you’re writing this, don’t be judgmental or analyze your dream life. Often times we hold ourselves back from the lives we truly want because we somehow feel guilty or undeserving. We think, “who do I think I am to want this or that?” Try to push those thoughts out of your mind as you write your journal entry.
As you write, be as specific and detailed as you can. Include all the senses as you’re describing your dream life. (sight, smell, sound, touch, taste, ) How will you feel? What thoughts will you often be thinking?What does your life look like (to yourself and others)?
I encourage you to write in this journal once a week and notice what details stay the same and what changes. After awhile it will become clear as to what you truly want and then you can formulate a plan to get you there. By setting the right long-term goals, you can make your dream life your real life.
These long-term goals will be big and scary and unfamiliar, but if you break them down into several mini- goals with shorter deadlines, you will find yourself continuously taking steps towards your big goal.
Don’t listen to that negative voice in your head. It’s only trying to keep you safe and secure in your comfort zone. But we all know too well that our dreams never lie in our comfort zone.
Take a deep breath, pull out a journal and see where your mind takes you. You may just stumble upon what you are craving for out of life.
Happy dreaming can soon turn into happy living!