Learning to appreciate every moment is an art. And like all arts, it requires practice. Here are some ideas for making every moment matter and getting more out of life.
1. Keep a journal. This means you have to spend a few quiet moments a day with your own thoughts and impressions. Knowing you are going to be writing a journal entry each day will heighten your senses. You will begin to notice things that may have escaped you before. And being more aware of details is another aspect of learning to make every moment matter.
2. Keep a healthy perspective. It's been said that "sweating the small stuff" is a sure-fire way to increase stress in your life. So take a moment to think through what's bothering you. Is it really so big? Should you devote so much mental and emotional energy to whatever it is? In other words, in the big scheme of things, does it really matter?
3. Get the camera ready. Cameras are wonderful for capturing those moments you want to savor and appreciate. If you can, print them out and make old-fashioned photo albums out of them. These big books are wonderful to look through during a quiet moment. And take time to look through old photo albums, too.
4. Turn off electronics for a little while every day. Take a walk, read a book, pray, or simply stare into space and savor the silence. Radios, televisions, computer games, mobile devices, and so forth augment our lives, but they are distracting. Like all good things, we need to take a break from them. Listen to the birds; appreciate the architecture of buildings; read a magazine in silence for awhile.
5. Set your alarm for a bit earlier so you don't have to rush. Hitting the ground running and trying to keep up every day means that much will escape you. Try to give yourself some extra time by getting up a bit earlier. Enjoy the quiet of the new morning.
6. Sit down for regular meals. Whether your are single or married, or whether you have one child or ten, sitting down for at least one meal a day (it does not have to be dinner) is important for appreciating the moment. Sitting down to eat makes you stop, concentrate on eating (no TV!) and socializing with other family members. If you are single, enjoy spending that time with yourself.
– give ideas
1. When in doubt, write it out. It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of life and develop TMS (Troubled Mind Syndrome.) When the in-box of your mind is overflowing, stop and write down a moment in your life that mattered to you–in detail. It’s a great way to get into a place of personal importance to you.
2. Record it. Use your cell phone or other handy camera to snap and save the images of moments or people that matter to you. If you’ve resolved to spend more time with your daughter, take her photo, and then look at it when you need to motivate yourself to carry out the resolution.
3. Time it. Keep an old-fashioned, mini-hour glass handy. When you feel burned out, tip it over to let the sand run down–and with it, your angst. Next, flip it back, breathe deeply, and think about something that really made your day–until the sand runs out again. This beats the heck out of road rage (but please don’t do this while driving).
4. Invoke recess. The twenty-first century is a pretty incredible place to be–but along with the dazzle of technology comes the overload of the human nervous system. When we were kids, at least once a day we got out of class for twenty minutes to climb a tree, ride a swing, throw a ball or just sit in the sun. It’s doubtful your boss is going to come in and tell you to go outside and play with a hula hoop, so take it upon yourself to seize the moment and get outside even it’s just for five minutes feeding the squirrels. Two things will happen: the squirrels will appreciate it, and it will keep you from going nuts.
5. Read the obits. Every day, check the obituary pages just to make sure you are not in them. If your picture and life story are not posted, it’s a really good day. In that moment, remind yourself that life is a matter of moments that you create and that create you.
6. Remember, the word “resolution” is really about resolve–defined as “finding an answer; to decide or declare.” Knowing this might not add years to your life, but it will most certainly add life to your years.