Recently I went live over in one of my facebook groups on this very subject. I was prompted to do so because during a number of sessions with clients, I realised that so many of us do not prioritise the stuff in our diary that truly light us up, brings us joy, makes our heart sing.
Why is that?
During my live, I asked what are the things that make your heart sing – the list varied from person to person obviously, but some common trends seemed to be:-
‘Walking outside, the sound of the waves, watching a good film curled up on the sofa with my kids, walking on the sand, reading a great book, the sunshine on my face, being present with those I love, beautiful music, good company, being creative, walking the dogs, pampering time alone, walking in the woods, eating out’.
I wonder. What makes your heart sing? Really makes you go to bed knowing you have been present and had a really awesome day? I truly believe those moments of happiness are what life is about. Fulfilment in our work forms a huge part of this too. When we are happy, we can be a better parent, a better partner, a better friend, a better colleague and guess what, we grow in confidence, therefore our performance can increase too.
Yet, despite us knowing these things – too many of us don’t make our happiness a priority. This is not my assumption, this is what I am being told. Simply, by sharing my thoughts during the live, I had feedback that actually whilst they took the time to realise the things that make them happy, they also had a realisation that they are NOT doing them. How mad is that?
I include myself in this. I can, without discipline, forget that I am important. Forget that if my cup is empty that actually, I haven’t anything left to pour. Forget that if there isn’t fuel in the tank, I cannot continue with the drive I need to make progress. Worst of all, without the oxygen mask on me first, I haven’t any energy left to help those I care about the most.
I went through a major health challenge this time last year. I won’t get into this here as it is a whole topic of its own. Suffice to say it began with C and ended in R – you get my story. I am one of the lucky ones and you don’t go through this without getting a huge kick up the ass along the way.
It is for this reason that I am flying the flag for making YOU a priority. Without our health we do not have anything left to give. Trust me, I know. I truly believe that doing more of what makes our heart sing, combining this with the discipline to put ourselves first we can live a happier, less stressful life and go all in with the ambitions that then give us the fulfilment we also crave. It is NOT selfish to put your needs first to be able to give more to others. It IS selfish to neglect your wellbeing and try to sustain running on an empty tank though.
To conclude me on my soap box today, I wanted to share my 7 top tips for you to go DO MORE OF WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY:-
- Write a list. That is it, take the time to write down the things that make you smile, make you laugh, make you feel with complete and utter joy. Spread the love, why not do this exercise with your family too, see what things you love to do together as well as individually.
- Review this list. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being doing all the time), mark how often you do these things.
- Where you have low ratings 6 or less, review why this is? What is getting in your way? What stops you doing these things? What do you need to change in order to make them more of a priority?
- Review your diary. Do you plan it quarterly/monthly/weekly? Do you have meetings in here/appointments you need to attend/things you need to do? Cleanse this. Add in your ‘out of control time – work schedule for example’ then add in ‘your time’. Whether that be the gym, or a walk at lunchtime, or after work, in the middle of the day, whatever it is – schedule in the diary like you would a meeting. Then do not cancel it, treat it like you would a hot lead/new client or your boss. MAKE IT HAPPEN.
- Turn off your notifications when you are in those moments for you. BE PRESENT. It is myth that we are great if we can multitask. You can BE BETTER in any given moment if you are purely focused on that task. Equally, some discipline around your smart device in my opinion makes everyone’s heart a little happier. Taking our phones to bed means we neglect our downtime, our partner. Waking up to our phones as our alarms means we are more likely to lose ourselves in something on our screen than greet our family positively. These devices bring us closer together globally but can pull us further away from those closest to us. I try to have a non phone day completely on a Sunday and I avoid social media where possible on a Saturday. The break really does restore my sanity.
- Get outside. Look Up. Whether this is on your list or not. Fresh air, sunshine, looking up at the sky is scientifically proven to improve our mood and make us happier. Make sure that you schedule time away from your desk to do this – you may think you haven’t time, but I speak from experience when I say, you really haven’t time not to. It will make you a whole lot more productive when you return with a clearer head and a happier heart.
- Gratitudes. Whether you think people that practice them are mad or not, they really do work. My view – you cannot be grateful and sad/negative at the same time. CHOOSE your mood.
I hope that you have found this useful, do let me know your hacks on things you do to make sure your day is filled with as many happy moments as possible.
Are you a Small Business Owner? For more tips and advice come on over to my facebook page – www.facebook/growwithleigh. I also will have a members area with a heap of talented leaders and business owners who will be sharing so much incredible information to help you grow your business. With a ridiculously low founder member rate for our first 100 members too. This will be going live in June, drop me an email if you want to know more at hello@https://leighhowes.com.
Are you a Female feeling frazzled wanting to get better at making YOU a priority and be amongst cheerleaders who force you to take YOU seriously? Why not join my facebook community leigh&friends for a safe place to avoid burn out and make you a priority.