I recently read an article I loved, called Why ambition is overrated. In it the author admits that she has a few simple pleasures in life, and only wants to do the work she needs to in order to enjoy these things.
For example, things such as eating good food, reading books and watching a films. Simple.
Her aim is to work enough – and not much more.
“I am constantly amazed by the blasé professional assumption that everyone should work an hour later than they are contracted, and take ten minute lunch breaks at their desk (if at all).” – Megan Nolan
And I think that’s a pretty good aim. Most of us just want to enjoy the simple things. But we get sucked into social pressures, feel that we’ve got to work harder, keep up, not get left behind.
As much as I’m interested in self-development and improving things in your life you’re not happy with (job, living situation, morning routine), I’m actually a big fan of a more ‘slacker’ attitude.
Part of the reason I moved to Spain a couple of years ago was that I wanted a simpler life. I was reacting badly to London life. I wanted less stress, less pressure, more sun, a better social life.
Things are slower here, on a smaller scale. My social life is simpler and easier. Here I have friends available to meet for a coffee or wine at a moment’s notice, never further than a short walk or bike ride away.
What’s important for you
Of course moving to another country isn’t for everyone, and, it’s not the only solution when things aren’t going well in your life.
But working out for yourself what you want in life IS important.
And that article is a good reminder to take note of what you’re really aiming for in life. For me this means:
I don’t have to have the big corporate career, a job title that impresses others and to fit in to what’s often considered as success.
It’s about working out what’s important to you, and finding ways to integrate those things into your life.
Creating a lifestyle that’s right for you.
The ideal is doing work that you enjoy, that feels of value and that support you financially.
But equally important is actually having time for your home life, your social life, time with friends and family and hobbies and just not doing.
It’s up to you
I hope this post helps if you’re feeling the pressure, feeling dissatisfied and wanting to make changes to your life.
I love it when someone reminds me that doing less isn’t necessarily a bad thing. So here we are. Do less, do what YOU want, do what suits you. Make changes, one step at a time.
If you’d like to book a coaching session with me, email me at email@example.com.
September is the perfect time of year to reset. Back to work, back to routines.
You may have fallen out of your normal routine over the holidays (like me). Now’s the ideal opportunity to take a look at how you’re spending your time and what you changes you can make. What do you need to reset?
As I’ve started back at work I’ve been keeping an eye on some of my habits. In particular:
How I spend my time online (internet, social media, mobile)
What I eat
Here are some ideas and tips on simplifying and being more aware of how you’re spending your time. I hope it inspires you!
Having had a break from work, my computer, even my mobile, I’m looking at things afresh and aiming to streamline everything.
On my laptop I’m backing up files onto Dropbox or a USB stick. I’m deleting files and folders I no longer use, or reorganising so they make more sense. I love decluttering and keeping things nice and organised.
Two weeks away with my boyfriend staying with various friends and family (heaven!) meant that I had limited time for Whatsapp – and less inclination to scroll through out of boredom. I looked maybe once or twice a day.
I struggle with the pressures of Whatsapp. The obligation to reply quickly, getting into a conversation when it’s not good timing, being added to groups…
So I’m trying to stick to the holiday vibe. Keeping notifications off – and resisting the temptation to sneak a peak when I’m bored (trying to, anyway).
I aim to wait until mid-morning for my first look, and to stop looking after 9 or 10pm. Hopefully I can stick this one out.
Which leads to…
Over the summer I’ve gotten out of the habit of looking at Instagram when I have a spare couple of minutes or am feeling bored. I want to keep this up.
As soon as I start scrolling I start feeling frustrated/overwhelmed, and I can’t stop! And this is even with my tightly curated feed of only around 10 accounts, designed to inspire me.
There are a couple of people I follow who share interesting round-ups of what’s going on in the world. I really enjoy them and learn from them. So I may venture back on and cull even further – only keeping people who are genuinely adding to my day.
As with Instagram, I’d gotten into the habit of looking whenever I wanted a ‘hit’. What’s going on in the news, any articles to read, what are my favourite Twitter people saying (mainly authors and journalists).
But I end up scrolling without stop – saving article after article to read – clogging up my ‘to read’ bookmark folder.
To be honest – this is a hard one to shake, it’s still a nice little break between work tasks. But I’ve started setting a timer. 10 minutes only, to save me from the wormhole and to save my eyes from the scrolling.
I’ve learned these past few months about eating in sync with your hormones. It’s so interesting. There are certain things you can eat more of to aid your body and mood as your hormones are going up or down depending on the week of your menstrual cycle.
For example I’ve read that when you are menstruating it’s good to include more iron from sources such as spinach, lentils and dried prunes. It’s such a no-brainer yet it’s not something I’ve been consciously doing.
I’ve written myself a list of good foods to eat each week of my cycle. I’m aiming to add what I can to my meals or snacks each week. A couple of websites with information on this areFlo Living and Moody Month.com.
I’m also being more aware of what exercise is most suitable for each week of my cycle. Some weeks I’ll benefit from more high intensity workouts, other weeks my body will suit calmer, more soothing exercise such as yoga. Read more here.
Apart from a smallish contribution to an ISA each month and private pension payments, I’d gotten into the habit of only saving what was left in my bank account at the end of the month. Which is often unimpressive.
My new thing is to transfer a realistic amount to savings at the start of each month. I then have to plan my budgeting around that, rather than vice versa. I’ve realised that if you want to regularly save it has to take priority.
Get that notebook out and get planning
So those are a few things I’m trying which I think are going to improve my every day.
What are you doing to reset at this time of year? Is there something that’s been nagging at you, that you can solve, improve, stop?
Is now the time to finally sit down, have a think, and work out what to do? Do you need to set up a few small steps to get there? Do you need to just get started?
PS If you’d like to try a life coaching session with me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve written about the barrierswe put in place to stop ourselves from trying something new (and how to get around that mindset). Things like not having the time, not having the experience, not being quite ready to get started. Know the feeling? It’s led me to think more about the idea of ‘start before you’re ready‘.
In the books I read and podcasts I listen to about entrepreneurship successful people always advise that in order to achieve something big you just need to get started. Even if you don’t feel 100% ready.
It’s something I’ve been trying for a while now, and I still have to psych myself up each time. But I’ve learned how thrilling it can feel to start before you’re ready. And it’s addictive. Here I’ll share a recent example and why it’s worth it.
What ‘start before you’re ready’ looks like
I signed up to do an online challenge. The challenge was to create a free downloadable guide to offer to people who visit my website. Something I’d never done before. It could be on whatever subject I wanted.
What do I know about and find easy, that someone else could learn from?
A post I’d written on LinkedIn about my love of morning routines had generated a few comments from people who genuinely struggle with setting up a good routine of their own. Maybe I could create a guide for that?
Part of me thought – is this really going to be useful to anyone? Are people going to thing it’s silly?
Then I remembered that most people coming to my website are looking for guidance and want to improve certain aspects of their lives. Perhaps establishing good habits and a decent morning routine would be of use.
Just do it
I kept having to remind myself – just do it. Create the guide without stressing over it, follow the steps to getting it out there. Don’t spend hours procrastinating and worrying about all the details. Done is better than perfect.
It’s hard. It felt daring (putting my stuff ‘out there’). It made me feel vulnerable.
But – it’s undeniably thrilling to do something you’re a bit scared of or daunted by. Taking a step into the unknown, being brave. And I realise the result is unlikely to kill me (or cause public humiliation).
When people visit my website, they can now download a guide which might help them, it might even be just what they are looking for! It feels like a step forward.
Even if no one clicks to download it, I’ve gone through the motions, I’ve learned how to do it. I can try again. It’s no longer so scary. Actually, it feels exciting.
Have you started?
This is what start before you’re ready is all about. It’s about not letting fear stop you, it’s jumping over the fear and ending up two steps ahead.
What can you start today that you don’t feel 100% ready for (but really want to do)? Won’t taking one little step towards it make you feel amazing?
You can access my free guide to creating a morning routine you love, just click the download button below. Let me know what you think, send me a message at email@example.com.