My Plan To Becoming More Present

My word for 2018 is present because I find myself struggling to be happy in the moments I’m in. I wrote a post a while back asking for advice and a lot of you offered really manageable tips for me to integrate in my life.

So here’s a few things I am going to try to do to become more present. I don’t want it to be September of 2018 when I realize I’m just starting to get the hang of it, it’s something I want to happen now and be able to maintain for the rest of my life.

  1. Continue with my gratitude journal.
    I got a little off track with this so I will be writing, daily, the things I am grateful for.
  2. Do one thing every day that forces me to unplug.
    I am on technology constantly. I want to spend at least a half hour every day reading, painting, cleaning, taking a bath, or doing something offline.
  3. Set an alarm on my phone that makes me stop and think about how I feel in the moment.
    I’m thinking around 3:30 every day (around the time I am crashing at work) I will have my alarm go off and I will analyze my senses and feelings. It takes just a second to remind myself to snap out of the day dreams and enjoy today.

So far, that’s my plan! I think incorporating little things every day will help me get into a more present mindset on a large scale. I’m open to more tips if you’d like to leave them in the comments!

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tarcio/

My Word For 2018

My word for 2017 was enough. You can read more about it here. And it may have taken me a whole 365 days to really grasp the word, but I did it. I don’t feel guilty on lazy days, I don’t drain all my energy for other people, I’ve had enough of that and I’m not going back. Though I could work on my self-esteem and thinking that I look good enough, I’m happy with the progress I made.

My word for 2018 is presence.

I truly struggle with being okay with where I am. I’m constantly thinking of my next steps. Where are we traveling to next? When will I have to start looking for a new apartment? Where is my next move? How long should I stay at this job? I think of everything except the present.

Because I also get caught up in the past a lot. Why did I do that? How do I get past all of this regret from high school and college? Why did I trust him? What made me ignore important signs? Why couldn’t I have been better?

But what I really need to do is ask myself questions about what’s happening right. now. How do I feel today? What can I do today that will help me feel more present? What have I accomplished today? Can I do better today or make an effort to do better tomorrow? Am I appreciating what I have? Do I need to relax or do I need to go out?

I want to be fully committed to where I am right now instead of searching for happiness down the road. I don’t want to work for the weekend and live just to die. I want every day to be special, even if it’s just me rocking out in the car and taking time to myself or as big as going on an awesome vacation.

In 2018 I will be present. What’s your word for this year?

hc
Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisgold/

What Is It Like To Live In The Present?

I know a lot of people who live in the past. They are always talking about high school memories, posting #tbts, and generally just getting by on the life they already lived.

I tend to live in the future. I always want to know my next step, where I can go next, and planning for the years to come. I have a laundry list of things I want to do and I have to wait for time to pass to do them.

It makes living in the present really hard. I’m almost always worried about what’s to come. I enjoy moments, but day to day is nearly impossible. Every day is just a day closer to something I actually want to be doing. It makes life very tedious and repetitive.

What’s it like to live in the present? I know it’s not easy for most people, they either live in the past or in the future (like me) – or they do a mix of both! Which I am certainly guilty of sometimes. What is it like to enjoy the day you’re in without worrying about what you’ve done in the past and what you have yet to do in the future?

Some things that have helped to ground me are making lists of what I am grateful for that day. Another is making the most out of every day – but that really isn’t easy to do when you’re overtired from work and just want to lay in bed.

Do you have any tips on living in the present?

hc
Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gustavominas/

Accepting The Past

I feel like I have been through so many versions of myself. I was once shy, cold, and moody in high school. I was a push-over and boyfriend obsessed my first half of college. I was reckless and couldn’t be caught when I graduated college. And now I am settled, finding new parts of myself, and trying to fit in the old parts.

But the old parts make me cringe. Parts of my life that I used to be so fond of now seem so embarrassing. I have a hard time accepting my past, so I try to just repress the memories. Some of them were good, some were bad, but my over-thinking self really only remembers the times when I felt the worst.

Accepting the past is hard because dwelling on mistakes is easy. Even though I’ve moved on in life and those experiences got me to where I was, I still kind of wish they never happened.

I drank too much sometimes, kissed the wrong guys in the wrong places at the wrong time. I turned down opportunities to make other people happy. I held on to friends who were never good to me. And it all still hurts like fresh wounds when I let the thoughts creep back.

How do I accept the past when the bad times simply blind me? I want to enjoy the life I’ve lived, not regret it.

Capture
Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ifeel_infinite/

Everything Feels Temporary

Most of us are so horrible at living in the present. We are either full steam ahead into the future, not even living in our own moments. Or we are falling into the arms of our pasts over and over and over again.

We miss the day to day precious aspects of life. And because we’re so focused on the future or the past or anything but the present – it feels like everything is temporary.

When you move into a new apartment you say “oh I’ll only be here for a year.” When you start a new relationship you say “I’m not sure how long it’ll last.” When you start a new job you say “I think this will be good for the next couple of years.” When you get into a slump you say “I’m sure I’ll be better next week.”

But life isn’t temporary. Living, loving, working, feeling – these are not temporary things. So you can’t dismiss them now because you think everything will be different in the future. The future is distant and you only have so much control over your life.

The only thing you can control is what you make of that life. How you turn that apartment into a home. How you turn that relationship into a marriage. How you excel at your new job. How you improve your mood because you’re not waiting on someone to do it for you.

If you keep viewing things as temporary, those permanent things you’re yearning for will never actually come to be. Any thing that you want there to be more of in the future needs to not be considered temporary. Make it a constant and put the work into it. It’s okay if some things are just for now, as long as you don’t want them for later.

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/warzauwynn/

When A New Relationship Reminds You Of An Old One

No two relationships are exactly the same. But it is possible that similar feelings will bubble up. That falling in love will seem familiar. It’s possible that you’ll get into the same fights you’ve gotten in before or feel hurt just like you did before.

That doesn’t mean your new relationship is exactly like your old one.

Most relationships have patterns. We all end up fighting over the same things or feeling the same butterflies in our stomach. But it can be pretty scary when a new relationship is reminding you of an old one.

Because you don’t want to fall back into the pattern of your last failed relationship. And you can see the similarities. You see the obsessiveness of love and the addiction of comfort. You see yourself feeling the same way and getting your heart broken the same way.

But no two relationships are exactly the same.

It’s good to remember past relationships because you learn from them. It’s great to be a little weary because you won’t make the same mistakes again.

Chances are, those butterflies in your stomach are a good sign. Sure, you remember them from your last relationship. But that was during a good part of your last relationship.

And chances are, that fight you’re having is so trivial. Every couple has that fight.

Just because your new relationship is reminiscent of your old one does not mean it’s going to pan out the same way. Embrace the memories and learn from them.  If the abusive or destructive patterns of your past arise, you now know to back off from this new relationship. But there will always be some sort of familiarity if you’re falling in love again, a familiarity of being happy.

No two relationships are exactly the same, don’t compare your new one to your old one.

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mislav-marohnic/