I’m so excited to present our first Share Your Story submission! Sharing stories helps build community, learn and move the world in a better direction. If you’re living deeply, I hope you might consider sharing your story too.
I DECIDED NOT LONG AGO that I needed to take control of my life. It’s not that I felt like my life was out of control, it just seemed like I had a lot coming at me from every direction (I know I’m not alone). I began feeling overwhelmed and anxious with every task that I took on, even the small ones. After years filled with stress and worry I decided I’ve had enough, it’s time to make a change! I decided the best thing I could do was go about this process slowly, taking it one step at a time. I’ve tried making drastic changes in the past and they all ended with failure. That’s because I didn’t take it slow, I jumped into it all at once and after a week or two I lost my enthusiasm.
My first step was to make a list of any and every change I felt would be significant. Below is my list in short, these are goals that I would like to achieve within the next six months. My actual list is much longer but remember, I’m trying to take it slow.
1). wake up earlier
I know some of you are saying “stop right there, there is no way I’m getting up any earlier than I have to!” I used to say the same thing. My problem was that my kids would always get up early and wake me up which I didn’t like because when that happened I had to get busy. Fix the kids breakfast, get them ready , brush their teeth, probably change their clothes because they already spilled something on their shirts, get myself ready, and take them to school. All of that within the first hour of my day, if might work for you but not me. When I get up I like to relax, drink some coffee, catch up on any blog posts in my reader, surf the web a little, and write a post for my blog. Is that really too much to ask? So I weighed my option (notice I said option, singular) and that was waking earlier, and I decided I would give it an honest try. I would give it everything I had without any preconceived judgments. So I did, I started by waking up at 5:00AM every day and was very successful, to be honest I loved it (once I was up)! Don’t get me wrong the first few days I struggled to get out of bed so I moved my alarm clock across the room, which helped. Waking up earlier and doing it with an open mind was the best move I’ve made so far, not only do I get some peace and quiet and the opportunity to start my day my way, but I also get to witness one of the most beautiful sights this world has to offer everyday…the sunrise.
2). cancel cable TV
This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I didn’t think anyone in my house would take it well (especially me) so I decided to cut back before shutting it off. In the past week we have only turned our TV on one time and it has been the best week we’ve had in a long time. I’ve noticed the overall harmony of our home is better without TV. We spend a lot more time playing with the kids, my wife and I spend a lot more time actually talking, and all of our household chores don’t seem to be such a hassle because we are not rushing to get them finished right before bed. And there is one more bonus, we save some $$$$$!!!
3). exercise on a regular basis
I’ve always wanted to be in shape, even before I decided to make these changes. Well in order to be in shape you have to exercise so I couldn’t make a list of goals to accomplish without adding this. I knew this one would be tough, probably the hardest thing on the list for me. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail because there is not a lot to say, this is something I am still working on but I see no end in sight. Running when I first wake up (5:00AM) has seemed to work well for me for a couple of reasons… a) I’m finished around the time the sun comes up so I don’t have to deal with the heat, and b)I get to sit back and watch as the rest of the world comes to life. When I start my run it’s just me and nature, by the time I’m finished the roads are full of people heading to work, the birds a singing, and the sun is raising.
4). de-clutter my house
This is something I haven’t started yet because it is such a big task, and as I said before, I’m trying to take it slow. I wouldn’t have even mentioned it to you today but I do plan to start this task within the next six months, I just want to make sure I’m completely comfortable with the tasks I’ve mentioned first. All of the details are not are not ironed out for this task just yet so I’m not going to mention any more about it.
I know my goals are not for everyone, nor do I want them to be. I just wanted to share my goals with you and encourage you to create your own if you haven’t already. And if you have great, I would love to hear how you are doing!
Chris, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. Best of luck with your blog, Live Simplified.