Learn how to be present in your life with these quick changes.
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave,
find your eternity in each moment.
Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land.
There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
Life is noisy.
There are so many distractions that prevent us from actually doing the thing that is right in front of us.
But if we can learn to be present — truly present in our everyday lives — we can experience deep peace and joy.
So in our SHIFT Challenge, our second shift is to Be Present.
Focus is a rare commodity in our times.
Most of us are scattered, both mentally and physically, and we run from one activity or task to the next without really living in the moment and focusing on what is truly most important.
We have to purpose to be present.
It’s challenging, but here’s what happens when we do.
Why You Should Be Present
You Appreciate the Tiny Joys
From the smell of the morning air to the delicious feel of our sheets against our skin at bedtime, our days are filled with thousands of tiny moments that can exponentially increase our joy if we pay attention. And paying attention to them will increase our gratitude as well.
You Really Listen
How many times has your child or your husband spoken to you, but you failed to hear what they said because you were distracted or focusing on something else? If we can be present, really focus on what those around us are saying as they are saying it, we show love and respect to our loved ones. Not listening says,”You’re not important.” — not something I want to say to my family.
You Feel Your Feelings
When we’re present we begin to pay attention to ourselves and our surroundings. We notice how we feel emotionally and physically, and we can take action rather than numbing out to avoid the pain or discomfort. We actually begin to DO something about our problems.
You Hear God Better
When you stay present in the moment rather than allowing the noise of the world to distract you and interrupt your thoughts, you can more easily hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit. God is speaking to us all the time. We just have to tune in.
How to be Present
Many times we allow the distractions around us to prevent us from fully engaging in what we’re meant to do.
Whether it’s comparing our lives to what we see on television, zoning out while scrolling through our social media feeds, allowing the news we hear to determine our state of mind, or simply living life by default rather than with intention, there are so many ways we can miss out on what we were created and designed for.
A couple of years ago I came a cross a brilliant question we can ask ourselves to quickly discern what our priorities should be:
“What can only I do?”
I am the only wife to my husband.
I am the only mom to my kids.
I am the only one who can love, encourage and create in the unique ways that I do.
If I allow myself to be distracted, I can miss the opportunities right in front of me — and no one else can take my place in these roles.
This Week’s Shifts
This week I encourage you to choose one (or more, if you’re adventurous!) of these tiny shifts to begin to
Let’s be present with our money this week by asking ourselves why we’re spending on the items we purchase. Are these purchases necessities or are they furthering our long term goals? If not, maybe we can make adjustments. I have a problem with buying fast food rather than bringing healthy snacks with me when I run errands, but when I examined why I was continuing this habit, it helped me to bring it under control.
(I have a great resource if you’d like to quickly change the way you handle money. Read more about 5 Days to Budget Breakthrough HERE.)
Let’s be present in our homes by paying attention to a project that’s been nagging us. What do you know needs to happen, but you just keep putting it off? Take one tiny step on that project or problem this week.
Let’s be more present with ourselves by being aware of what we’re thinking and feeling about ourselves. Begin to turn your negative thoughts into positive affirmations.
Let’s be more present with our family by seizing the moment. We can do this by putting down our devices when someone is talking to us so we can focus completely on what they’re saying, or by being silly with our kids when they want our attention.
Let’s be more present with how we’re spending our time by choosing to do what’s important over what’s urgent. You can do this by choosing your Top 3 most important priorities every day and making sure you accomplish them. (One of mine is making exercise a priority even when it’s inconvenient.)
Remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, simply choose one tiny shift that you can easily make this week and save the rest for later.
This week I will be doing a 7 Day Digital Detox to break some bad habits I’ve acquired in the last couple of months. I’m not ready to say it’s an addiction, but we are definitely in the danger zone.
If you’d like to join my 7 Day Digital Detox, click HERE to read more.
I would love to hear which SHIFTs you will be making so leave a comment.
And be sure to leave a comment on THIS POST to enter to win $50 Pay Pal cash — yay!
See all the SHIFT Challenge posts HERE.
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We’re in a weird time of our lives right now. We were planning on traveling a lot at the moment, but due to an unexpected medical emergency with our son, we’re sticking around here for a while. We don’t know how long, but we thank God He provided a really nice little place for us to stay while our son recuperates and does daily therapy sessions. I like how you mentioned picking 3 goals for a day. I think because my schedule has been changed, I could easily fall into a lazy trap here, or do the opposite and get overwhelmed by all the things I could be doing. But I think if each day I choose a few of the most important things to get done, that’ll help me focus.
Kimberlee Stokes says
I’m so sorry to hear your son had a medical emergency, but so glad that this helped you! I’m praying that your son has a quick recovery.
Wendy Harrison says
I plan on working on REALLY being present with my kids. Before I know it they will be grown and out of the house. I know how fast that time goes by!
Just read about your September SHIFT challenge. Wish I’d seen it earlier, but guess better late than never! Hope to catch up!
After a summer of being lazy about the budget, I definitely need to focus on Saving. Also need to get focused on decluttering my sewing room, which has become a dumping room! I’d like to start enjoying it again!
Thanks for sharing your great ideas, Kimberly! So appreciate you!!
Kimberlee Stokes says
Thanks for joining us Kathy!