Your actions make a difference: every day tips for increasing your sense of contentment

I have got it all, but why am I not feeling I am living the life style I want?
“life style” is a phrase that I hear a lot in my advanced coaching practice, but when I ask people what it means to them, they often do not seem to have a clear idea of what they mean, and they reduce its influence to making money, to acquiring signs of status, material comforts and /or luxuries.

However, once they have bought their house, their boat, their favourite car, they are still left with a feeling of let -down, a yearning that somehow they are missing out on something important.

Something important? Yes, the missing factor is satisfaction, a sense of fulfillment, that we expect to feel when we have achieved our material goals. It is the sense that what we have done with our time brings the gift of satisfaction and peace of mind, that what we have done makes a difference.

The most important factor in feeling satisfied with our life and our life style is the recognition that we have a match between our values and our actions.

At the same time that we strive for this alignment, we can do some easy, practical checks to develop a satisfactory life style.

The three major areas of people’s life are: work, family and re-creation.
Often we neglect to nurture our re-creation, because we reduce this concept to only sport or not necessary activities, and therefore we do not dedicate time to it, in fact we say “I don’t have time for recreation”.

Well, we are wrong, and we obviously we have not understood the real meaning of the word “re-creation”
Time for re-creation, as well as being time for activities we love to do, it is time for reflection, time free from outside pressures, in which our mind and our spirit as well as the body have a chance to re-create, re-new our energies and make sense of what we have experienced during our activities.

It is this moment of reflection that allows us to be mindful of what we have accomplished and enjoyed. This, in turn, builds up our sense of satisfaction, and energizes our motivation to either do more of the same or do differently and better next day.

How do you facilitate this integration? Take note, take credit, be thankful and celebrate!

It is very important to finish the day always with a completion exercise in which you take notice of: 1). what you have accomplished during the day,
2) what is left to do and assign a time next day;
3) what you have learnt, both from your success and your mistakes, and
4) last but not least, congratulate yourself on your achievements.

No matter how small the achievement, whether it is a good deed you have done, or shown courage when talking to your boss or an overbearing colleague, or ticked off all the items of things to do for the day, give yourself the experience of having had a satisfactory completion of your day, give thanks and celebrate.

Celebrate, mark your achievement with a ritual: any little ritual that marks your accomplishment goes a long way to building up a habit and an expectation of having accomplished what you have set out to do.