I hope you and your loved ones all had a wonderful holiday! I’ve been away since the start of December. I went to Costa Rica for almost 2 weeks, flew into Minnesota for a couple of days. As soon as I returned, I hosted family visiting from Canada for a month and went beach hopping around the state. It was so nice spending Christmas with my family in Miami. Some of my family flew back shortly after Christmas while the rest continued beach hopping around Florida so Tom and I took the opportunity to fly out to Baltimore to surprise some of his family. His grandparents always spoil us and I feel like a kid again. Having owned this beautiful, soft purple coat for some time and knowing it wasn’t going to get very cold in Florida, I decided to wear it to both Minnesota and Baltimore where it was frosty.
Since I hardly see family all year-round, I spent most of my time with them and took a nice break from social media. This gave me so much time to reflect on the year and focus on what was truly important.
Every year there are plenty of highs and lows. While it’s never perfect, I always believe we should feel so blessed for what we have and what we’ve achieved. Think not what failures or misses you’ve had, but what you’ve learned; not what you wish you had done, but what you can look forward to. So, I’d like to start my first post of the year sharing tips on how I made a few changes the last few months and weeks to increase my quality of life.
SHOP THIS LOOK
Below are tips that helped me stay focused, de-stress and helped me re-prioritize my time. They’ve helped me manage stress, achieve a happier, healthier lifestyle that I felt I could maintain over my lifetime.
4 TIPS ON INCREASING YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE
REMEMBER YOUR BOTTOM LINE & ENJOY THE JOURNEY TOWARDS YOUR YEAR-END GOALS
Have you ever felt like you’ve kind of hit a wall with where you are? Just a few months ago, I felt overwhelmed by how far I felt I’d fallen with work. I hadn’t missed any deadlines, but I wasn’t hitting the timelines I had hoped I would. I didn’t feel like I was doing enough to get myself where I wanted to be. In a rush to do as many things as we possibly can, we often lose sight of why we do what we had been doing it all to begin with.
I recently started reminding myself of what my purpose (or bottom line) was on a regular basis. When I make decisions, or when I feel stressed out, I always go back to this bottom line – the lifestyle I want and how I’d like to live when I retire.
Whether yours is to have more down time, to make more money, to travel more, have more family time or being healthier or more fit, ask yourself whether it meets your bottom line and make conscious choices that add to your quality of life. Pretend you’re writing a list of all your amazing accomplishments at the end of this year. These are goals that are part of your bottom line. Prioritize your time and to start enjoying some of these activities today. You’ll be so happy you did.
At times you’ll look at someone else and think they have something you desire that’s better than what you have. He or She might have a better job, a bigger house, nicer hair, more expensive car, and well, the list can go on, am I right? You might even look at how you look or felt in the past and don’t feel you measure up with where you are today. Often more material things means a lot more work and less time to do the things you enjoy. No one lives the life you have. There are perks to being exactly who you are and being what you are at this moment. If not to set an example for yourself, for others. Sometimes I envy others for having a 9 to 5 job, but if I couldn’t take work with me wherever I go, I wouldn’t travel as much as I do. While others can travel and leave work behind, I simply cannot always afford to do that, but that’s the nature of my work, so I compensate by being away for longer. The key is to forgive yourself for not being able to do everything or have everything you wish you had. We are all truly blessed for what we have.
ALLOW YOURSELF MORE SELF LOVE & INSPIRATION
We all have our own goals in life, but you cannot get there without taking some down time. I had been notoriously bad at this. I am the type of person that needs to go-go-go. All my friends would tell me I need to stop and breathe or give myself time to rest. These last few weeks really made me realize that self love is more important than most of us think. This pleasure in giving ourselves more time means a greater well-being, better quality of life and spending time to reflect on how far you’ve come. It gives us time to get excited for what might be in our near future and indulge in the little things that make us happy. I particularly enjoy reading and listening to inspiring talks. TEDxTalks are highly addictive and are amazing to listen to when you’re in transit or doing things around the house. My sister also sent me one by Darren Hardy who has a website on Daily Mentoring. If you guys would like to see a list of some of my favourites, I’ll share it in an upcoming post. I’d love to hear some of your own favourite inspiring podcasts and content too! Last year, I also kept telling myself I’d pick up a book and read more, so I’ve started compiling a list and put aside some books I received as gifts from over a year ago to start read before bed, which brings me to my final point.
DEFINE YOUR TIME
One of the most popular sayings is “Time is Money” but the one thing I say on a regular basis is something my sister told me after I finished my contract in Japan and made the conscious choice to travel for a few months. See, at this time, I was worried about spending money and not making any, but I was still young and she said to me, “You can always make money, but you can’t buy back your time.” The truth is, once you find a career or full time job, it’s hard to leave it and give yourself the pleasure of more down time. Her words actually formed the way I had soon come to live. In your lifetime, you might find yourself blurring the lines between work and pleasure, so it’s important to define your time. For example, at dinner, I can use my phone to take photos, but after that, I do not allow myself to use my phone until the meal is over. When I’m around others, I can take photos, but will avoid any social media activities unless I have pressing deadlines due my time with others. On vacation, I will only work if I am on my own and at that time, I select a spot with the most incredible view to enjoy a drink or dessert, so that I can take it all in before and after I am finished. This definition of time lets me live in the moment much more and enjoy the journey. How will you define your time?
I hope you enjoyed this post and that this helps provide some perspective in your own life. These 4 things have really helped me the last few months. It’s reminded me of what’s truly important and reduced some pressure and stress on less significant things. Adding inspiring videos/content, reminding myself of my bottom line and allows myself more down time to unwind, and defining my time has really help me prioritize my time with friends/family and lets me live in the moment when I’m not working. If you have your own tips, I’d love to hear. Should you have any podcasts, videos or books you love, let me know in the comments below!