Living in the Now, is one of the most powerful tools for living your best life. The drive to be constantly doing something, makes us distracted and so focused on the daily grind, that we have little time for relation, creativity or self-development.
So here is my list for this week. Living in the Now:
- Let go of the past. Create a new identity by releasing the pain and self-limiting thoughts of the past and taking things one day at a time.
- Don’t get too wrapped up in the future. Don’t be so busy chasing your future dreams that you overlook the joys of the present. Some of us (I am guilty of this!) spend so much time chasing after the future that we want – such as money for the down payment our our dream house, that we fail to live in the Now, so we keep that job that we dislike and work longer and longer hours. Then we get frustrated because life isn’t joyful.
- Practice Mindfulness. Become more aware of all that is around you – the weather, the thoughts in your mind, the breeze on your face. This practice helps to guide you back to the present moment and takes your mind of dwelling in the past and the future.
- Give up the myths of multi-tasking. Concentrate on really listening to conversations with others or cooking the dinner – I know if I try to multi-task while cooking, my food never tastes as good without other distractions around you.
- Set your intention for the day and for all the actions that you wish to achieve. This practice can help us focus on our long term goals in a way which allows us to live in the present. If my intention for the day is not to get overwhelmed by doing too much, I make sure my to-do list reflects that intention.
- Stop watching the clock all the time. Allow some time in the day just to potter and enjoy life- to take a walk, pet the dog or water the plants. Step off the hamster wheel for a short while at least. If I get to the point of being overwhelmed, I practice meditation and ask the Universe to show me my next step.
- Go with the flow. Don’t try to control life so tightly. Try living life moment to moment. Get curious about what happens when you relax control and let go of the stress of trying to hold everything together. Movies and books are full of stories in which a stressed, uptight executive with a high powered job is forced to surrender to the flow of life and then finds a different more fulfilling way of life.
- Practice stepping away from all media – cell phones, emails, computers and video games for a period of time and just allow yourself to be.
What does your Now look like right at this moment in time?
Fear is the basic emotion that limits our life. It controls our comfort zone and dictates our actions – if we let it. Fear limits us from taking risks too often and fear is what prevents us from living a full life.
This week’s List for Living focuses on dealing with our fears.
- What are your greatest fears in life? If you had to name your top 3 fears, what would they be?
- Once you have your top 3 fears, lets examine them more closely. Write each fear down and start becoming curious about each one. Where did it come from? Often our fears are handed down to us, sometimes through the generations and they feel like part of our very fabric. What is the fear stopping you from doing? How is it affecting your life? What is it protecting your from?
- Step into your fear. Face it head on. Imagine that it has come to fruition. What would that feel like? Often we will try anything to avoid feeling what the fear is trying to protect us from, it is too painful to contemplate. But if we can step into our fear and really face it then it loses its power over you.
- Who would you be if you let your fears go? Our identity is often bound up with our fears, we see ourselves as victims of circumstance and as such we invest in our own fears. For example, a person who is frightened of having their heart broken, will identify themselves as a person who is unlucky in love. Their fear will guide them to unsuitable people so they can reinforce this impression of themselves over time.
- What would you do if you let your fears go? What are your fears preventing you from doing? Now you have examined your fears closely, are they justified? What are the consequences of letting your fears interfere with your goals? Write down the worst case scenarios that your fears are trying to protect you from and ask yourself, how realistic are they? Are there actions you can take to minimize those risks?
This list is designed for you to start bringing your fears into your conscious mind and become more familiar with them. If we can bring our fears out into the open and start questioning them, we become less afraid of living with them and this takes away some of their power.
The aim here is change your mindset from one of lack of time to one of abundance – ‘ I choose to use my time to do this’
- Make a note of the different areas in your life which you feel need to give attention to.
- Look at the list and put a big heart next to those areas which you love spending time doing.
- For the moment put to one side those areas that you do out of obligation.
- Make a note of the activities that you do each day – for example each morning I do some yoga for 20 minutes and that is followed by 20 minutes of meditation. Then I will do 20 minutes (ish) of watching YouTube videos on something I wish to know more about while I eat my breakfast
- Set a timer for how long you will be on the phone or social media, which is one of the biggest time stealers that there is.
- Make an honest appraisal of how much tv you watch everyday that is for ‘entertainment purposes’ this includes the news.
- Make a note of how much time you spend catering to others needs. This includes, running errands, volunteering on committees, doing housework and making meals. Giving advice and helping sort out problems. Is helping others dominating your time?
- Make a note of when you are most productive in the day
- Group similar tasks together and designate a set time to do them in one chunk rather than in dribs and drabs throughout the week.
- Make a list of errands that need to be run or appointments and try to group them together so you do one trip rather than several.
- Decide how you would love to spend your time.
- Experiment with blocking out time to do the things you love. I get up at 5am to work on my business before I go off to my regular job, as this is the time that I am at my most productive and the least likely to be disturbed or have appointments scheduled.
If like me you had a to-do list that was longer at the end of the day than it was at the beginning you will love the book ‘To-Do List Formula: A Stress-Free Guide To Creating To-Do Lists That Work’by Damon Zahariades who has some great productivity tools. You can buy his book from Amazon at: https://coachingtoconfidence.com/Lists