Have you ever stopped to think about your life priorities? This week I accidentally created a list of "life commandments" and it gave me a lot of clarity about the things I desire most in my life. Here's how I came up with the idea and why each of my "commandments" rings true for me.
For the past few years I’ve been trying out different planners after being an Erin Condren loyalist. So far, I’m loving my Sugar Paper LA planner for both its’ elegance and simplicity. It also has a weekly “etc” section that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with. So, when I sat down last Sunday to do my weekly scheduling (as I do), I found myself writing a list of things that were important to me. They weren’t goals or intentions or to-do’s, they were more like a manifesto or “commandments.”
Commandments are different than goals or a to-do list because they give you a set of core values and rules to live by. You’re not checking off the boxes, and there’s no sense of needing to complete these — they’re just a guideline to how to live a (hopefully) happier life. I’m sure mine will get more refined as I go on, but I’m pretty happy with the following 19 “commandments” especially since I came up with them in one brainstorming session.
So, how did I figure mine out? I just thought about the things I can do each week that make me happier and more productive. That’s it. It’s a great exercise to try, especially in the early weeks of the new year to help you gain more clarity in your own life. There’s no set number of “commandments” you have to have, but maybe start with ten and see how that feels. Everyone’s list will be different and you should find the commandments that ring true for you, whether it’s a single word or phrases that have stuck with you over the years.
Here are my 19 Commandments (feel free to add “Thou Shalt” as you’re reading them for some extra giggles).
This one is pretty simple: I feel better when I drink water and everything functions better when I’m feeling good.
Same as above— and it doesn’t need to be a sweat-inducing cardio workout. 2 mins of stretching a day is all I need to not feel like a creaky lady.
Again, another self-care ritual that makes me feel good.
I’m not saying to eat well 100% of the time or adhere to a crazy diet (like I would when I’m completing a goal), it’s just a gentle reminder to choose more greens over fried foods.
Kindness is always key
Don’t Take Things Personally
The times I get overly anxious or upset is when I make something about me when it is SO not. This is a gentle reminder to take ego out of the equation for a happier life.
Wash My Face
I’ve definitely been guilty of going to bed with my makeup on, and while it ends up wreaking havoc on my face, this “commandment” is more of a reminder to take care of myself and enjoy the ritual of paying special attention to my own body and needs before bed. Oh, self care… you are a wondrous thing.
Writing is both a means of processing emotions (happy or sad) for me and the way I make my living and measure my productivity. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be doing it every day.
I have a very distinct laugh that apparently brings joy to others. Laughter is my gift to myself and those around me. You’re welcome, world.
This might be a “duh” one, but you’d be surprised how hard it is to have a few focused minutes together as a family every day. But when the 3 of us are together and fully present… it’s magical.
I spent a lot of time thinking about this one and was very purposeful with the word “appreciate.” You can’t always spend time in nature, especially on a week like this one when it’s raining. But, you can appreciate it, like I am as I gaze out of my office window.
Kept it vague because this can apply to anything (tidying up, scheduling, etc), but this is my super power and I feel good when I exercise it.
Read for Fun
The above all fall in the category of “hobbies” or things that “bring me joy” It’s important to incorporate things like that because it reminds you that not everything needs to be about productivity and getting something accomplished.
I love this one because it could be interpreted in many ways: letting go of things that don’t serve me, but also surrendering to whatever lies ahead. It’s also just an expression that sticks with me.
Another key word that can be interpreted in several ways and reminds me to be there for others.
What are some of your commandments? Feel free to post in the comments below!