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5 Simple ways to live a life you love

5 Simple ways to live a life you love

    The quickest way to living a life you love is through learning to love the life you live.

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    You’re waiting for something to change in your life before you can be happy. You might think if only you had a different partner (or one at all), a better job, or kids that did their homework then surely you’d be happy. Surely then you’d wake each morning with the glow of one living a life worth loving. Enough! Here are 5 ways to get started:

    1. Be present – You must be aware of your current existence and that you have control over your perspective. Whether you’re willing away early morning grouchiness or seeing a messy house as a chance to teach teamwork, your choice of perspective will make all the difference between just living and loving.

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    2. Practice gratefulness – Every day, no excuses. Pretend to be grateful if you must. It’s one of those things that catches up to you quickly as life reciprocates your emotional generosity. Seeing the good in your life will allow you to keep your heart fed while you work to change the more unsavory parts. Try it. Live it. You’ll love it.

    3. Pursue balance – As a person given to extremes this has always been a tough one for me. I’ll go from taking great care of myself and communicating well to abandonment and silence as I let work consume me. The pursuit of balance requires constant adjustment as your life shifts but every time I really try for the middle I end up happier about my life. And that’s truly the point.

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    4. Nurture friendships – You know the people who for some reason or other welcome you into their lives? Treasure them. Make time to spend with them. It is those relationships that you’ll look back on with satisfaction when you get old and begin to wonder what your life was worth. Many of us spend far too much time thinking about how some material possession will improve our lives. An iMac would be nice. A good friend is worth just about everything though!

    5. Embrace simplicity –  You don’t need to have all your gold-plated ducks in a row in order to love the life you’re living. You don’t need lots of stuff and relationships so driven by drama that you often wish just to be left alone in silence. Instead you might try for a simpler approach and enjoy things because they are useful and not because they are expensive. You might join a friend just to talk and not worry about all the expensive trappings we so often heap on get-together’s. Try for simplicity and if complexity sneaks up on you, so be it. In learning to love the basics you’ll find a wondrous appreciation for the nicer things that come along.

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    What have you found helps bring you back to the moment you’re in and really start to enjoy the life you’re living right now?

    image: adam foster

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    Seth Simonds

    Seth writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on January 13, 2020

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

    No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

    Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

    Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

    A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

    Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

    In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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    From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

    A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

    For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

    This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

    The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

    That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

    Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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    The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

    Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

    But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

    The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

    The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

    A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

    For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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    But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

    If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

    For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

    These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

    For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

    How to Make a Reminder Works for You

    Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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    Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

    Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

    My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

    Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

    I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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