How to make a little more time to do a little more of what you love every day.

“Nothing of significant value was ever built overnight.”

No, really – think about it.

  1. Set Goals. Seriously – stop reading this right now, pick up a pen and paper and write down your list of goals. Then go over it five, six, seven or however many times it takes to consolidate those goals into 10 things you want to accomplish this year. Realistically, you’ll get maybe three of them done, but by organizing your thoughts that’s more than you would have gotten done had you not made the time to prioritize your goals. If you want to stick with something travel specific, start with a bucket list.
  2. Sleep. It takes more energy to motivate yourself to do more every day.
  3. Eat Properly. It takes more energy to motivate yourself to do more every day.
  4. Make it fun. If it’s not enjoyable for you, you won’t make time for it.  Work can be fun.  Just ask yourself how you can make those moments enjoyable so you get something out of the hard work, immediately.  For myself and many others, the soul filling ceremony of coffee and tea drinking is a major motivator.
  5. Plan. Develop a reasonable plan on what to do WEEKLY to make time to do more of what you love, every day. Don’t give yourself goals that are too narrow (like daily) and don’t allow for the unexpected.  Don’t give yourself goals that are too broad (like monthly) because you’ll never affect any of your routine behaviors enough to start evolving the way you want to, and before you know it you give up just like other New Year’s resolutions.
  6. Start Slow.  Adding stress or trauma or too much complexity to an already busy life is rarely a good idea; and ambiguity is scary.  Pace yourself.  Don’t panic, suddenly upend your entire life, or take a leap-of-faith on a whim. Instead, take your time. Build your confidence.  Then you really are pretty much guaranteed to find, build and maintain more happiness in your life.

But here’s the trick – you WILL have to make tradeoffs and you WILL have to give up part of your comfort zone to make it work. For example, many of us can choose to work less if we are willing to lower our income – but few actually follow through with it. Many of us can choose to have fewer chores at home, but we insist on living with a mortgage and 2000+ sq ft of space that requires constant upkeep. The tradeoffs rarely seem conscionable at first, but don’t give up. Take the time to really understand what your happiness is worth, and suddenly the possibility of making major changes to your life and your priorities gets a lot less scary. You’ll start to notice people that have already done just that and are living MUCH happier with MUCH less than the rest of us, simply because they spend a majority of their time doing what they love.  It doesn’t make it any less hard work (often it actually makes the work even harder), but the sense of personal growth, learning and purpose far outweigh the physical or mental exhaustion.  You’ll be trading unhappiness for happiness, which becomes peace of mind. They’re quite often people we are jealous of, disgusted by or just envy, not realizing that we can make the same choices that they have – maybe you just haven’t let yourself do that level of “house cleaning” on your life yet.

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