Make the most of your daily life: Part 2

Earlier today we talked about some pretty big ideas like hopes, dreams, values, and goals. Now we're going to break those heavy concepts down into manageable chunks. The idea is to take those ideas out of the realm of dreams and into the stuff of our daily lives. And really, it's easier than it sounds.

Make your dreams a reality Look at your list of dreams. Now we're going to figure out what we can do every day to chip away at it. What's the smallest, most manageable thing you can do to get closer to your dreams? Set aside a piggy bank on your dresser for spare change and use it to accumulate funds for plane tickets, language lessons, or new running shoes. Check out books from the library to learn the basic how-to's of starting a business or writing a novel and to read the first-hand accounts of people who have done it before (no need to reinvent the wheel here). Reach out to people who are working towards a similar goal by forming a club or by meeting with like-minded friends. Support each other by checking in every week. You may not be able to include activities that support your biggest dreams on your daily list, but you can certainly put them in your schedule on a weekly or monthly basis.

Make (and stick to) a list of daily goals Examine the list of your core values. This part is fun -- we're going to brainstorm ways things to do every day that connect with those values. The daily list is determined entirely by what is important to you -- this is about designing a tailor-made life, after all -- but I'll give you a peek into mine to get you thinking. My dearest held values are to have community in my life, to be creative, to connect with the big ideas of what it means to be alive, and to have days filled with little pleasures. My daily list includes such diverse activities as: having a cup of coffee (pleasure); calling my mom (community); writing in my journal (creativity); and meditating (spirituality). Your daily list should include activities that support what's most important to you, but remember, also, that nothing is too small for your daily list. Definitely include lots of little things that just make you smile, like getting in the bath, writing a blog post, reading a story to your kids, or playing video games. Aim to include four items from your daily list on your daily to-dos, and don't stress! These can be as simple as taking a walk on your lunch hour, looking at antiques on eBay while the morning coffee's brewing, or chopping vegetables for dinner. If you fall short and wind up with one item from your list a day, all is not lost. That's just one step closer to living a life that means something to you.

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