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When you look at the Instagram accounts of your favorite Hollywood stars, successful businessmen and travel bloggers, do you secretly wish to have that kind of life too or do you just think that you are way of out their league so you’ll just skip the photo, continue to watch Netflix and then complain about how broke and bored you are with your life?
Why do I ask? Good question!
I used to do that too without realizing that it has already eaten a lot of my time that I will never be able to bring back.
I used to wonder how successful people could be that successful when we all have 24 hours.
This is not to say that I am as successful as they are. I am just saying that because I have given “success” my own definition and I am now doing things that feel like it everyday.
Knowing that I have started taking my life’s reigns with my own hands makes me feel as grand as them.
Becoming aware of my mortality made me so careful in how I use my time. This is also how I started feeling the abundance.
Having this in mind, I created a morning routine, designed my own daily planner, (get it here or email me at dani@thisvillagegirl if you can’t download it) and a mood board to help me see how I wanted my life to really look like and removed all the things and even people that don’t make it feel like that.
Doing all these has made my 2018 the year that allowed me to do more of the things that I love doing (e.g. reading, doing book reviews, writing for my book, writing articles, spending time with my boyfriend and loved ones, managing social media accounts, learning how to manage a website, designing pins for Pinterest, sports, meal planning, and my other freelance jobs).
I rest when I feel tired so I can show up in my best self in every task I needed and wanted to do.
But I get you. Nothing is sweeter than doing nothing but nothing is sweeter than looking back and saying that we have done something worth our time.
Here are the things that I started doing which lead me to have an unforgettable 2018 and an awesome start of 2019.
Make the Internet a place for Learning
“In this age of information, ignorance is a choice”.
Internet is a great source of free information. Use it to your advantage too.
This is where I got the certificate that allowed me to teach English as second language even if I am not a native English speaker.
My Master’s too and that’s without having to leave the comforts of my house or bring with me to nice cafes and posh hotels if I am on the road.
There are also a lot of jobs online.
You can travel the world and be your own boss too. Your only limits are the ones coming from yourself.
Learn a Foreign Language at Home
I only attended German course for five months and it’s sad that most of what I have learned, I couldn’t apply in real life so I taught myself at home. I also started going to the supermarkets and shops and asked the locals and remembered how they used it.
I may sometimes be not so confident about speaking it, but I am trying my best to accustom my ears to it and force myself to speak. I downloaded free apps, watched Youtube videos and German films to help get a grasp of it. I know and understand that German is not a very easy language to speak but it is fully dependent on the person’s willingness to learn.
Not even everything that I know I learned in school. Most of them, I taught myself and so can you. Successful businessmen say that self-education is the best and I will agree that nothing feels better than being beginner everyday.
If life starts at the end of your comfort zone, it ends when learning stops.
Improve Your Vocabulary
Not a native English speaker like me but secretly wishing to speak it flawlessly or broaden your vocabulary?
Read. Watch more English shows. There are so many free resources online. Though English is not my first language, I got jobs overseas and given the chance to travel a lot even if it is the only thing I know. If we want to be good at something, we have to train and learn every single day. We have to show up even if it’s hard and boring.
Try a new Sport
Volleyball, swimming, badminton, Muay Thai, tennis, running, Yoga, Zumba
Try something new without having to spend money. YouTube is the best source of free Body Weight and Home workout, Dance and Yoga videos.
Now is the perfect time to do anything you wish to do. You’ll not just be fitter, you’ll be happier as endorphins are being released every time you break a sweat.
Exercise doesn’t only make us fit, it makes us smarter. It also changes our outlook in life.
Pick up a new hobby
Knitting. Pottery. Journaling. Baking.
Try different things and see what you want. Start small. Start slow. Just start. Doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look good at first. As you practice it more often, it will get better and you will be a master of something and then you can move on to the next. Who knows you’ll find your passion and start a small business out of it. You can then quit your job that you hate once everything starts to be stable and live an awesome life.
It is never too late to start loving yourself. I quit my job and I didn’t know what I wanted to do so I kept on trying things and stick to the one that makes me feel good. At 32, I realized I wanted to write so I launched my website and freelance writing too. Soon enough, this will be my new career. It took me three years to find what it is that I really love. Be patient with yourself. It will all be worth it.
Tour your own city
It’s so easy to be caught up by the daily rush to appreciate the beauty of the place where we live in. After quite some time, we are already immuned to it’s charms and to what makes it attractive for people who don’t live there.
As part of my last year’s promise, I toured my city before New Year. I have checked what tourists want to see when they visit, started walking really slowly and put my camera to use and reminded myself that I was just a tourist. I was still amazed by how beautiful the city I am now calling home using a tourist’s eyes. (I will post it the coming days.)
I will never get tired of talking about how reading changed my life and I will never get tired of reading.
A day passed without reading even just a page is a wasted day. I treat everyday as a blank page that I can write to and play with and I start by reading.
It will not only improve your vocabulary, it will open your mind to thousand of new possibilities. It doesn’t matter what kind of book, fiction or non fiction. Just read something everyday even for just five to ten minutes and trust me, it will do wonders to your imagination. It will widen your horizon.
Social Media Detox
I have spent so much time stalking my favorite stars in every social media I have and I didn’t notice that if I spend minimum five minutes to every account that’s strategically and psychologically crafted to entice people like me, then I have wasted huge number of time that I could have used improving the quality of life that I have.
For years, I kept on shopping every week. Where are those things now? A question that also meant, “where are all those money now?”
Now, I am only on social media to promote and grow my blog. Aside from that, I am trying to find other things to learn.
Unless you’re being paid for every appearance you make like a Kardashian, then by all means, do it every chance you get. But, if you’re still complaining so much about how little your job pays, how you hate your boss or your colleagues but says yes to every invite to hangout, it doesn’t look so promising.
How can I say that? Because for the longest time, I said yes to every single invite while feeling unhappy with the direction my life was taking me. Instead of hanging out more often, I started writing down the things that I don’t like about my current situation, what I love and what I can do to change it.
I made my goals clear and started taking action plans towards it. I might have lost a lot people in my life but if I will be honest, I gained more from it. I keep in mind that I am the reflection of the people I spend so much time with.
Fix Your closet
Declutter. Get a box and take out whatever you haven’t worn nor used for more than six months because more likely, you’ll not use it sooner.
For winter and summer clothes, I have mastered putting them in a luggage separately so I know which one to take out depends on the season. A clean space allows more time to think and do more of the things that matter.
Start Planning Your Meals for the Week
Instead of just grabbing what is fast, easy and unhealthy, why not schedule your meals? This will not just save you from the headache of having to force yourself on the spot of what you will eat, plan it and you’ll free more time that you can use for other new things you wanted to try. Plus, you’ll get a healthy and nourish mind and body.
Bake. Start DIY projects
There are so many things that I don’t buy anymore since becoming a minimalist. If I can make it myself, I am not buying it. I remember giving homemade scrub for Christmas 2016 and hand painted coasters for 2017.
I turned a piece of wooden board to a vision board and this is where I stick my visions for my website, for my freelance writing and for the other things that I still wanted to do. I am convinced that if I “live on my limits, I lack imagination.”
You don’t need to fly out out of your country to make use of your time wisely and to make a change. Look around you. Your neighborhood. What can you do to help? When I started asking myself why I am alive and found the reason why, I feel like I must be of service to be able to somehow “pay rent to the world for my stay” by helping.
Not only that I feel my heart swells every time I know that my little efforts are being appreciated, I learned to be grateful.
I don’t want to leave this world without me knowing and acting on my life’s purpose. I don’t want that I will not be able to serve.
This is why every time I will feel like boredom is taking over me, I try to search for what I still can learn. Boredom is the perfect indication that I am not using my time productively and I don’t like that. I want 2019 and for all the years to come to be the best years of my life and I wish the same for you.
Have you written your 2019 goals yet? I would love to see it in the comment below. =)