Just the Basics
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
For a long time, I was in the business of setting myself a lot of goals which were wonderful and idealistic, but I was never able to fully achieve. I had a whole lot of things on my list like creating art and getting a masters degree that I thought I had to do to be a successful and happy person. For a number of reasons, I thought this was the way a person was supposed to live. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to achieve all of them...and that made me feel less than successful.
So I decided I needed to simplify. To do that, I needed to define my priorities, focus on what was most important to me, and arrange my goals around those priorities. It turns out that maintaining my physical, mental and spiritual health is most important to me. So, while those other things are laudable goals, they really aren’t part of the foundation I need to feel strong and healthy the way I want to. Maybe one day I’ll get to those things, but right now, they just aren’t what I need.
Once I decided what my highest priorities were, I started paring down my list of goals so I could build around those. Working out and eating right are obvious – I’m definitely keeping those! But as it turns out, mental and physical order are also right up there for me.
Clearing my mind with some kind of meditation is really helpful to my emotional and spiritual health - and while I’m not even near hitting my goal of meditating every day, I am still working on it because I think it’s worth it. The goal serves as a reminder that I am happier when I am able to take the time to clear the emotional cobwebs and distracting thoughts and focus on maintaining a calm sense of balance in my life. And I am always happier when I do that.
It turns out physical order is important to me too. I like to keep my space in order, and I like to keep my money in order. I am slowly getting my house in order: cleaning closets, getting rid of clothes and knick-knacks and paper I no longer need.
And I finally made a budget and am working on sticking to it. I’m proud of this because I’ve been overspending lately. I made a lot of excuses – kids’ college expenses, I deserve this, blah blah blah. The fact is, I have been lacking in discipline and I’m going to get myself in trouble unless I get my finances under control.
I found out that by simplifying my goals, I've been better able to achieve them. Instead of trying to do everything, I’m trying to work methodically on the ones that matter. Maybe I’ll get to the other stuff one day, maybe I won’t. It’s my life, I get to choose.
So, that's it. Just the basics. It’s giving me a feeling of freedom.
I like that.