8 ways to live authentically today
Is authentic living a journey or a destination? I don’t work for myself yet, I still struggle with body image sometimes, and I own way more than 100 items, but even though overcoming these things is a goal of mine, I can live authentically today. Everyone can, whether we travel the country writing freelance articles and living out of a backpack or whether we live in a two story rambler with three kids and an office job.
How can we live more authentically today?
1-Think about why you do things: consciousness is the key to authenticity. Living our lives on autopilot robs us of joy. Doing things simply because we’re told or because we think we should is a perfect way to get stressed out and miserable. So why do you weigh yourself every day? Why do you work where you work? Why do you shop where you shop? Why do you do the things you don’t like to do? Simply thinking about these things, even if they have justifiable answers, is the quickest way to become more mindful and aware.
2- Do something that brings you joy: make time for hobbies and working on goals. Paint, go for a walk with your spouse, garden, read a book, work on that business you’ve always dreamed of owning. If you don’t know what brings you joy, find out. Experiment.
3- Start a journal: This is my #1 way of keeping track of my progress with everything from learning to manage my emotions to minimalizing my possessions. Also, don’t just stick to writing about your day. Write about what you want to do in the future, write things you’re thankful for or that you observed that day. Write your five good things.
4- Get rid of something you don’t need: our space has a huge effect on our well-being, so if your house looks like your closet exploded, expect to feel overwhelmed and tense. Grab a cardboard box and fill it with stuff you haven’t used in a long time, then sell it online or drop it off at Goodwill. It’s amazing what a less stuff can do for your clarity of thought.
5- Spend time with people you love: relationships are the heart of life. Call someone you haven’t seen in awhile, spend time with your parents, partner or kids. Do something other than watch TV. Go to the park, work on a project together, or prepare a meal together.
6- Unplug: technology is wonderful. It helps us downsize our stuff, keep track of old friends, stay organized and work from anywhere. I’ll be the first to admit that I need to limit my screen time, but living in front of the TV, computer, or being plugged into an iPod or glued to your Blackberry 24-7 drains you faster than your batteries, because it keeps you disconnected from the world around you. I’ll bet you rarely notice what the sky looks like outside while you’re watching TV or surfing YouTube. Try taking “digital sabbaticals” over the weekends. You’ll find lots of other things to do.
7- Move your body: the best way to become more aware of your body is to use it in a way you enjoy. Work outside in the yard, go for a walk or bike ride or try yoga. Do something every day, and not only will you improve your health (and get some yard work done) but you’ll forge a better relationship with your body, which is critical to living authentically.
8- Connect with something real: If you read regularly, you know I’ve been thinking about this a lot. If you’re like me, sometimes you need to remind yourself to come back to the present and look at what’s around you. Set aside some time every day to play with an animal, a child or to spend time outside.
Everyone wants a better life, but most of the time we think “someday” instead of “today”. Remember, someday starts today.