Evaluate Your Life Day? Yep, and Here's an Easy Start

Today is Evaluate Your Life Day … interesting, because most of us evaluate or reevaluate “things” on Jan. 1 or our birthdays. But, alas, there are always areas in our lives we can improve and make better decisions about. Most of the changes we know we need to make are centered on our work, health and finances. Here are a few questions to get your thinking:

Is your work/home life in balance? We know that technology has tethered us to work and “extracurriculars” have taken over our free time. The Mayo Clinic has a nice post called Tips to Reclaim Control, which is focused on creating better equilibrium at work and at home. There are a dozen or so tips, but one that resonated with me was simple, yet difficult to do at times: Learn to say no. As the article says, “Whether it’s a co-worker asking you to spearhead an extra project or your child’s teacher asking you to manage the class play, remember that it’s OK to respectfully say no.”

Is your exercise routine on track? Notice I didn’t say health. I think most of us would admit that we don’t get as much exercise as we should, and if we did, our health would be better. I think Michelle Obama is on to something with her Let’s Move campaign. Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be as simple as getting off the couch and taking a walk every day. Or, as the First Lady says, when in doubt, just “turn on the music and dance until you sweat.”

Do you have your financial priorities in order? It seems that (almost) everyone has felt the financial squeeze in the current economic climate. People are coming up with creative ways to make their money go further; check these out. Tighter household budgets can also mean cutting back. Choosing a cheaper cell phone plan and dining in, instead of out, make sense. But be careful with what you consider a luxury or a necessity when trimming expenses. Cable? Luxury. Life insurance? Necessity. If you’re not convinced, read this.

Simplify? … Simplify! An underlying theme in these articles and posts seems to be setting priorities. What is really important to you? Focus on that, and let the rest go. Leo Babauta writes the great blog Zen Habits (which has more than 250 million readers!). He has a great list of 72 ideas to simplify your life.

But as we contemplate change on this Evaluate Your Life Day, I like the quote that Babauta highlights by Thich Nhat Hanh: “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves—slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment.” … Time for me to brew some tea.

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