Day 338/344 / 365 Days of Fulfillment Blog
Day 344/365 – December 11 – Productivity
“Do an ‘energy-suck’ Inventory”
Energy-sucking activities, people, jobs, conversations, and habits are something that should be avoided AT ALL COSTS when we speak about adding fulfillment to our lives. It’s incredible how one small energy-sucking occurrence can drain us of positive resources and our focus. Instead of continuously making these same energy-sucking mistakes over and over, we need to consciously be aware of these moments, and avoid them altogether.
Here’s how it works: Any time I feel like I haven’t optimized my day, I give myself a quick once over of the day, to try to discover what habits or moments might caused me to feel drained, exhausted or unmotivated. After a week or so of tracking, our list of energy-sucking activities becomes rather obvious.
As an example I recently noticed I was putting too much of my energy into being of assistance to people who had no intention of wanting to find their way to a better place, they simply wanted someone to listen to their stories and excuses and make themselves feel like they were taking action. This should have been easily avoided IF I just stuck to my guns, knowing who and what I was dealing with.
I found too much of my attention going back to these waste-less encounters and conversations when friends asked how my day was; my recollection of my day unfortunately brought me back to those interactions, once again irritating me for not following my gut and avoiding these interactions altogether.
The more we take notice of these energy sucking occurrences and truly listen to them, the easier they become to avoid and dismiss ourselves from in the future.
I also take notice of moments in my day that are under utilized, and making note of how I felt, why I felt this way, and how I can make better use of this time. Moments like scrolling mindlessly through instagram, afternoon tiredness, and unproductive meetings.
Our attention, time and energy is precious. It’s important to take inventory of the people, places and things we involve ourselves with in life that deplete us of our positive attitude, and to do our best to eliminate ‘energy suckers’ as practically as we can. On the other end, keep note of the moments in our day that boosted our spirits, gave us great energy and added fulfillment to our lives.
Day 343/365 – December 10 – Seasonal
“Drive around and Look at all the Christmas Lights”
The Christmas season brings a lot of cheer and festive activities to enjoy, and bright shiny lights happen to be a big part of Christmas’ magical lure. One of my favourite, yet passive things to do during the holiday season, is to drive around local neighborhoods, turn Christmas music on the radio and take-in all the beautiful lights people have put up on their property.
A well lit house always seems to boost my mood. I correlate the mood boosting reaction to what putting lights on one’s house can signify: the removal from the hustle and bustle, actively adding cheer to ones house, and an embrace of the holiday season. I also believe it’s an innate reaction and feeling to appreciate a beautifully decorated property and house, and lights happen to accentuate this beauty.
Slow down during the holiday season, soak in the lights, and allow yourself to escape into the beauty being shared with a neighbourhood, right in front of our eyes.
Day 342/365 – December 9 – Connection
“Share Your Value System with your Partner and Closest Friends”
Staying true and knowing our values are not only critical to our own well-being, but they are the very thing that connects us with other humans or pushes us away from them. People who don’t act in accordance to OUR values are often seen as neglectful, rude, uneducated or disrespectful. For example, when someone does not offer you help, and you are the type of person who would always offer a helping hand, a disconnect occurs; another common value system disconnect comes in the form of listening. If we are a good listener, we expect and appreciate this in return, and if we don’t receive this same level of attention and respect, it is deemed as rude and hurtful.
Having an open conversation with the people we surround ourselves with most, is important to having that relationship prosper and thrive, rather than slowly fill with quiet resentment. Sharing our values, and why we value them in detail will help the other person understand and see our point of view with greater empathy. Remember, the things someone else may be doing, that are seen as rude or ignorant to us, they might just think is normal behaviour – a behaviour they grew up maybe never being corrected on. Their values might have been built around a completely different foundation, and unfortunately a lot of people lack this sort of empathy when dealing with friends and acquaintances in our life. The key to strong relationships isn’t about treating another person how we want to be treated, it’s treating them the way they want to be treated.
Discovering what another person values and sharing our values with them, will help both parties understand each other with much greater appreciation and compassion. This type of open communication allows for less guess work and a more adaptable healthier connection.
Day 341/365 – December 8 – Productivity/financial well-being
“Buy items You know You’ll NEED in the near Future, when they are on a HUGE sale”
This life hack will feel like a bit of a punch to the gut during the initial spending – as we are buying something we don’t actually need in the moment, but will add up to an incredible cost savings down the road, as well as mitigate future financial and personal stress. For example, knowing that we have household items that we will need in the near future, eliminates the panic and desperation of having to run out and spend an absurd amount of money all at once on these items when we are in REAL need of them. Pots, pans, and anything kitchen related can be incredibly expensive, so having the forethought to buy these when they are 70% off – say during the holiday season or directly after, can save us hundreds of dollars.
A way to prevent overspending on useless items that will just collect dust in the basement for years to come, is to figure out if the item we are purchasing will be used in the upcoming calendar year, and that this item is a true “need”, not just a “want”. Think frying pan (need) vs a unique looking chair for the living room set (want).
This tip falls into long term thinking. Instead of thinking about the money we are currently spending, think about the savings we have accumulated (which can add up to hundreds and thousands relatively quickly) and the stress we alleviated for ourselves when the time comes to fill up a new kitchen or bathroom space with necessary items.
It helps to label and organize these items into a “future use” container to help keep track of the items we have purchased.
Day 340/365 – December 7 – Seasonal
“Go to a Christmas Market”
Christmas Markets are becoming more and more popular as the years go on and for good reason. Christmas is a season that brings loved ones together like no other, promotes small businesses and can help a local community come together as one. Heck, strangers are more pleasant, cashiers are more welcoming and there is a certain joyous energy that lights up the city streets, seemingly wherever we go. Christmas markets in particular add to the seasons cheerfulness in an extremely festive way: Lights are strewn over buildings, lamp posts and trees, while Christmas carols and laughter softly illuminate in the background.
Markets are also a fantastic place to find unique handcrafted gifts and arrangements that elicit a more personal touch to the holiday season and great up the monotony of typical weekend plans. And let’s not forget that a traditional Christmas market will provide favourites like mulled wine, hot chocolate, and the annual picture by the over sized yet mesmerizing Christmas tree. An evening like this is yet another perk of the season, and a night out to be embraced with those we hold dear. Laugh, eat, drink, socialize and be sure to take in all the Christmas themed goodies markets are traditionally known to be full of.
Day 339/365 – December 6 – Productivity
“Write a List of Main improvements to work on, during times of boredom”
This is a pretty neat exercise and fulfillment tip to increase productivity, work on something we’ve wanted to dig into or know we need a bit more accountability in, while optimizing down time. This list should consist of things we actually want to improve on; maybe it’s even stuff we’ve worked on in the past that never came to fruition, are currently working on but aren’t dedicating enough time to or a completely new objective that we know would add value to our lives. We want to keep this list fairly short, specific and meaningful, 3-5 easy to commit to improvements is sufficient.
As an example, here’s what I put on my list: Meditation, work on consulting page, stretch, breath work and shadow box (head movement and footwork etc.). These 5 items are things I can always make time for, truly want to see progress in, yet are also items that can be easily neglected and pushed aside throughout a day.
We all have some down time where we end of feeling a bit bored or stagnant and fill this void with a mindless dopamine rush. Instead of falling victim to a short lived rush of energy, or wondering what we should do with our down time, simply reference our list and work on something that is of actual meaning to us. Approaching our stagnant down time with this forward thinking – knowing the exact things that will aid in authentic fulfillment when completed – will eliminate decision fatigue and help us maximize our free time in a whole new life altering way.
Day 338/365 – December 5 – Mental well-being
We’ve all heard of working out, which consists of us doing some form of anaerobic or aerobic exercise that helps develop our physical well-being and appearance, but what about “working-in”? Working-in strengthens our internal well-being without the necessary use of external movement or stimulation. Working-in is much more passive and calming. It’s main objective is to help us regain the energy we have expended and re-energize our system. “
Working-In exercises are performed without raising our heart rate or breathing rate above a resting state.” – Paul Chek
Think meditation, yoga, going for a nature hike, walking our dog, doing some short lived cold therapy or heat therapy, stretching or moderate breath work. All of these activities are meant to help the body heal from the inside out. Working-in’s main focus is to heal, recover and reduce stress in the body, while doing something passively advantageous for our mind, body and soul.
A lot of athletes are great at working out – we are often known to even overdue it- but working-in, now viewed as a form of improvement that’s critical to optimal performance, is often neglected. Passive healing and recovery goes far beyond the moment. This type of training helps eliminate anxieties, stresses and negative emotions that get in the way of us being our best self and helps prevent burn out.