Hello! I’m back, after a 2 month hiatus. I have lots of interesting articles lined up to share over the next few weeks. Today I wanted to start with an intentional living topic. I have a page in Notion called “This works” where I collect a list of small changes and ideas that have had a big impact in my daily life. I thought I’d share them with you today!
✨ Spend 10 minutes a day doing a digital declutter for 30 days. Then keep up as required.
✨ Approach your job like it’s your hobby, and your hobby like it’s your job.
✨ Make one low-waste swap every month.
✨ Listen to/watch videos on 2x speed (when the purpose is to extract information.)
✨ Embrace the reverse sleep-in (especially for parents) and go to bed really early.
✨ 10 minutes HIIT on the treadmill (1 minute sprinting, 1 minute walking)
Wowowowow. Hold up. It’s not even Christmas yet, not even Thanksgiving, and I’m already talking about New Years Eve
Well, if you’ve been here a while you must know by now that New Years is my absolute favourite! And my preparations for it begin in late November, so yes, we do have to talk about it now.
Here are some of my annual rituals that create that New Year magic!
Declutter & donate
From the beginning of December, I begin my annual declutter. Creating physical space in my home brings a sense of lightness that I crave in the new year.
What can I let go of this year? How can I live a little lighter? In the past I have done this room by room, but this year I will try working through Marie Kondo’s categories of clothes, books, paper, komono, & sentimental.
I also pay particular attention to my digital clutter. For me, digital clutter is more overwhelming than physical clutter! My Evernote overflows with notes upon notes of my thoughts and musings. However, I have learned that even spending a quick 10-15 minutes a day organizing my laptop, documents, photos, and Evernote, makes a big difference!
You may or may not know that I am currently in the midst of applying for Internal Medicine residency in the US. It’s been a long journey to get to this point – it is an important story that I look forward to telling you very soon.
As of right now, I’m in the middle of it, and I will say that I feel really good about where I am. I am happy and excited; not out of optimism, or even out of belief that I will match and reach my goal, but just genuinely glad to be here. Enjoying the process, and finding joy in the steps along the way. It is refreshing to live my life from this perspective, and it is new for me.
I thought it was interesting that despite not yet having attained my goal (of being accepted into a residency program) everything feels like it is unfolding beautifully, and I feel pleasant and at peace.
I realized that this was perhaps the first time in my life that I not only created a vision for how I wanted something to look (in this example, my career), but for the last 2 years I have been consistently taking aligned action. Every single thing I did reinforced my vision.
I hypothesize that simply the act of spending a length of time moving in one direction creates the ideal conditions for transformation of self and life.
So then I thought – hmm, what about other areas of my life that feel stagnant or meh or are not looking at all the way I want it to?
You cannot become the person you want to be when you are focused on the behaviour of another person
Why did they do that/say that?
I wonder what they meant by that?
Why did they use that tone with me? They must be upset/angry/sad with me etc.
What do they think of me?
What are they thinking about the situation?
When I find myself in a situation where I am tangled up in a web of worry and restlessness based on one of these thoughts- I remind myself that what I am doing is focusing on the behaviour and thoughts of another person. These are two things that I have no control over, and quite frankly, is not my business.
When you focus on another persons behaviour, a couple things happen.
Firstly, you spend a lot of time, energy and emotions on something you cannot control. It’s needless emotional labour, and it tires you out.
Secondly, you forfeit your opportunity to be the person you want to be.
As soon as I notice I am feeling anxious about something, I ask myself “is this about the behaviour/thoughts of another person?” If yes, I step out of my stories, and ask myself “Who do I want to be in this situation? And what can I do/say/act that is in accordance with that?”
I was working through through some of the anonymous questions submitted by readers for the next Q&A blog post when I came across a question about finding your life purpose.
This is a topic that has come up a lot in my personal life, and I’ve had many conversations about this with loved ones. Recently too! It’s a critical question to many and I felt it deserved a blog post of its own.
I would like to live a fulfilling life, as defined by me. The trouble is…I’m not sure what exactly it is I find fulfilling. I find my ideas on what fulfilling is to be fleeting. How can you know for sure what it is you want to invest your potential in/are supposed to be doing with your life. Thank you
The concept of a “life purpose” carries a lot of needless spiritual weight.
Things happen in life. I take those things and process them in a certain way within me.
When some things happen, I create an atmosphere of pleasantness and ease within. When other things happen, I create unpleasantness and unease within. I have the power to create heaven or I can create hell.
I have been seeking a way to live where it doesn’t matter what happens to me, because I am an expert at keeping my internal environment as pleasant and peaceful as I desire.
Here are some ways that we create hell within, and some ways we can open the doors to heaven instead.
Hell is being obsessed with what other people think of us.
Realizing that people project their own experiences.
My body gives me great feedback on my state of being, and I try to pay attention. How swiftly I fall asleep at night lets me know how at peace I am with my life. How happily I wake up in the morning, tells me how much joy I have in my heart. When I notice changes in how my body functions, I know it is time to make some tweaks in my day to help grow happy things.
I’ve been thinking about what it means to have a good day. And while I have a lot of good days, sometimes on the days I wake up feeling apathetic about the day ahead – I wonder, why? What can I do to have a good day?
It isn’t often that we have a day full of only wonderful things, or a day full of only awful things. We tend to get a mix of both, along with some neutral tasks and events too.
I consider my “work” of the day to not be only to get through my daily to-do list, but to make each thing I have to do into the most wonderful thing it can be.
On the first of January, I set myself a whole bunch of goals to achieve, as I have done many Januaries that have passed. Usually, by February, life settles back to how it has always been, and I settle back into who I have always been. I then live my life in a state of transit, waiting for the next chance to begin again.
It is the 6th month of 2020, and somehow, I am still on track. This is newfound territory for me.
This year, I did things a little different.
At the start of every month, I set myself goals that I want to achieve by the end of it. At the end of every month, I look back, reflect and tally up how I’ve done. I’ve done this consistently for 5 months now. I stuck with it, and that is no small thing, not for me. I’ve notoriously been an “all or nothing” kind of person.
I have not achieved every goal I set out to do. Let’s say I set myself 100 small goals between January to now. I have probably achieved about 70 of them. But…that’s still 70 steps in the right direction. That is momentum. That is a huge success!
Retrospectively, if I had not set myself these targets, and was just left to my own devices, I would have probably achieved around 15-20 of them haphazardly. The difference is monumental.
Today, I’m looking at what worked. What I did differently that made me DO differently this time around? Here’s what is working for me: