Life can go by so fast, the days just seem to speed by in a blur. Intentional living is about taking the time to make each and every day mean something. About treasuring each day for what it is.
This sounds like a difficult proposition – after all, what about those difficult days at work? Or what if you don’t feel like you have anything to treasure today, because it’s the same as yesterday?
I’m going to walk you through a few different ways you can make your days mean something. So that at the end of your day, you can’t help but say “Today was a good day.”
1. Achieve Something
Do you have something you want to do, but you haven’t quite got around to it yet? Make today the day to do it!
If it’s a busy day, this could be something small that won’t take up too much time:
- Bake some cookies
- Do some cleaning you’ve been putting off
- Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while
Or it could be something a little more:
- Start learning that language you’ve always wanted to
- Write some of that book you’ve been meaning to start
- Clean out your garage, or your closet (Becoming Minimalist explains why this helps)
If you start something new, today will be that day that you did it! If you continue something you’ve started before, today will still have that feeling of achievement that comes with keeping up a good habit.
With this, you will end your day knowing it was special because you achieved something with it. Today you had a hilarious talk with Francine about her nephew’s birthday party disaster. Today you learned how to ask directions in Spanish. Today you turned a pile of ingredients into a delicious batch of cookies and even learned a new magic trick – how to make a batch of cookies disappear!
2. Treat Yourself
This one is perfect for if you’ve had a difficult day, but is also (sometimes literal) icing on the cake if you had a good one already.
Treating yourself doesn’t have to mean going out and buying a new handbag, or going to a fancy Asian-fusion restaurant. Most times it should be something simpler. Here’s a few examples:
- Spend some quality time cosying up with a mug of tea and a good book
- Take a luxurious bath. Add bath crystals, or bubbles, or wine
- Have a slice of cake, or some other dessert you love
- Have a lazy night watching a movie with your significant other (or cat)
All of these are great ways to treat yourself, and can turn your day into a treasured one.
These treats are best saved for special occasions – it will lose its special quality if you do it too often. You can’t eat cake every day and call it a treat!
Aim for treating yourself only around once a week, and you will find yourself treasuring these little rewards. If you already treat yourself more often, try cutting back – it will actually increase your appreciation and happiness!
3. Be Grateful
This last one works for every day, whether you are going out for fun on your Saturday, or whether you have a long day at work (or doing housework).
Spend a few minutes of your time thinking about the good things going on in your life. Instead of focusing on the “I don’t have ____”, focus on what you do have! Remember how far you have come in life – this even works if you don’t feel like you’ve done much. I’ll give you some ideas below:
- I am grateful for my work. It pays enough money to feed me and let me live comfortably
- I am grateful for my health, for allowing me to do the things I want to in life
- I am grateful for my wife/husband, for all that makes them who they are
- I am grateful for this park I am walking in, and the beauty it holds
- I am grateful for the house I live in. It is my own home (even if it is a rental)
- I am grateful to Sunday afternoons on the back porch, with a beer in hand
These may or may not fit you, but the trick is to find your own things! If you have a pet dog or cat (or bird, or snake, whatever works for you) – spend a few minutes with them today, and remind yourself that you’re grateful to have them. Even if they can be annoying sometimes – looking at you, Panda.
Remind yourself of how great it is to have the people you have in your life. If you do this every day, you will see more of the things you love about them. This can even improve your relationship with them, which is an added bonus!
These are just a few of the things I use to make my every day have meaning. Do you have any tips of your own? Let me know in the comments section!