922-Challenges-800x600Whether you own your own business, work in a corporate setting, are a stay at home parent, or a student, chances are, that’s not the only thing going on in your life and you’re busy.  When I worked in a university’s retention program, I would go over students’ schedules with them and was often surprised at how packed their lives were.  As a coach, similarly, when you go over people’s schedules with them to see what all they’re trying to fit into their day, it’s often surprising how many things people are trying to do and how many things fall through the cracks.

It’s the things that fall through the cracks that are the cause for concern.  It’s the “I’ll get to that tomorrow” that often never gets done until its on fire or past due.  To enhance simplicity in your  life, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “The rule is to carry as little as possible.” [Journal, 22 July 1857]

I have been teased for carrying tiny purses.  But my purse generally has only what I need for that day in it.  Every evening I take everything out of my purse and every morning I only put into my purse what I’m going to need that day.

Our lives should be given that same consideration. Everyday unpack your “purse”. Take a few moments every evening to think back over your day, from the beginning of your day and take stock of what happened. You don’t need to keep a journal if that’s not your style, a blank sheet of paper will do. The important part is to go back over your day and take everything out of your head that happened.

Now, that you’ve done that ask yourself these questions:

 1. Did I connect with someone?  Not who did you see, but with whom did you connect? Are you pleased with the connections that you made? Is there someone that you wanted to connect with that for some reason the connection didn’t happen?

 2. What was my focus today? Take a really good look, and since no one is looking over your shoulder, be completely honest with yourself. Were you preoccupied with some nagging unwanted thoughts? Were you “there” in body, but not in spirit?

 3. What did I really enjoy about today? If you can’t think of anything, that might be something that you want to put on a list for tomorrow.

 4. What was I doing today when I gave it my best? Often, when we’re spread too thin, we don’t have enough energy or presence to give anything we do our best. We show up to hurry up to get to the next thing. Sound familiar?

 5. What are my gut instincts telling me about my life and the people around me? Nagging thoughts about something that you’re pushing away because you don’t want to deal with should lead you to writing that nagging thought down and then scheduling some time to think about it and strategize about how you’re going to deal with it.

 6. What am I grateful for today? Gratitude is the key agent for getting some positive energy flowing.

When you practice asking yourself these questions on a daily basis, if you don’t like the answers, you’ll find that you will naturally begin to change things going on in your life.  Too often we don’t look at our lives because we think that we are going to HAVE to implement some system to change our lives. But, the truth is, while we do things to avoid pain, what we really want is pleasure.  If you want to put more pleasure in your life, ask yourself the questions above, each day, until you can answer the questions without discomfort. You’ll find that your life will naturally become simpler and the things that you carry will be lighter and fewer.