How to live for today and stop saying ‘should’
What day is it?”, asked Winnie the Pooh
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet
“My favorite day,” said Pooh”
I have often struggled to live in the present. A great example is with holidays. I really look forward to them before they arrive, I have extremely fond memories of them afterwards, but sometimes I just can’t fully enjoy the moment whilst I am actually there. One of the things I have been trying to do recently is really focus on living in the present not dreaming about the past or looking to the future but totally immersing myself in the present moment.
If you are predominantly living in the past or the future it can prevent your enjoyment of today which stops you from living life to the fullest. The only important moment is the present moment, right here right now.
Each day holds so much possibility, but we can totally miss out on it if we are focusing too much on tomorrow. Tomorrow will come and you deal with that at the time! Today is already here. You will find that if you focus on today, tomorrow will just happen as it was meant to!
If you’re living in the present, you’re accepting life as it is now, not as how you wish it would have been or how it could be in the future. You can let go of any mistakes you’ve made in the past and you can have comfort and trust in the universe knowing that everything that should happen in the future will.
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha
How can you live for today:
1) Face each day with total positivity and energy
When you wake up in the morning, whatever day it is, make your first thought a positive one. Get out of bed with enthusiasm and energy. Look forward to the day ahead.
2) Fully appreciate each moment of today
Soak in as much of today as you possibly can. Be fully present. Focus on everything around you, the sights, the sounds, the colours, the events and the people. Don’t be distracted by your phone, social media, or your own day dreams. Be mindful. Absorb yourself completely in what you are doing right now.
3) Forgive past experiences
If you are obsessing over things that have happened to you in the past or have resentment towards a friend or ex partner because of negative experiences from times gone by, choose to move on and not be affected by it. Allowing the past to impact your experiences today is not good for you. You will feel so much happier if you can let it all go.
4) Declutter unnecessary possessions
Living a minimalistic lifestyle will support you living in the present. Removing items associated with past memories and experiences enables us up to stop living in the past and start living in the present. Clearing our home of clutter and possessions helps us let go of material ties that keep us in the past. A great book that gives advice on how to declutter and the positive impacts it will bring to your life is The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
6) Have a vision for the future
Living in the present doesn’t mean you can’t have a vision for the future. You can set goals and plans for the future to realize your future desires, but the important part is what action you take today towards realizing your future dreams. Don’t allow dreaming about tomorrow to replace living in today.
7) Don’t dwell on the past
It can be extremely easy to obsess about things that happened in the past. Why did I make that decision? Why did that happen? Should I have done that differently? If you are still talking about what you did yesterday, it will prevent you from realizing your true potential for today.
8) Stop living for ‘one day’
It is very common to think that one day in the future everything will fall into place and once it does your life will be amazing. If you like fiction, you can daydream about all the great things that will happen in the future, making up in great detail exactly what tomorrow should look like and adopt the view that at that time, when everything has happened just as you planned in your head, you will be truly happy. You can start to think if things don’t turn out as you are dreaming about, you will be disappointed. It is possible to spend way too much time focusing on ‘one day in the future’ because we have a dream about how things will be. Rather than living for ‘one day’ have a vision of what you want to achieve in the future, but focus on the ‘right now’ and the steps you need to take to get there. Have trust that everything will work out just as they should and be happy in the here and now, not waiting for one day when things are different.
9) Stop saying ‘should’
The word “should” has become very common in our everyday conversations. We often use it to express frustration about the things we want to be doing but are not and it can bring you down every time you are reminded of it. Using the word should is reinforcing the negative, and puts the focus on what you’re not doing instead of all the things you are doing. It can create guilt, worry, and anxiety because it reinforces the idea that we’re not good enough as we are.
Telling yourself you should be doing more or being more, often won’t help you do more or be more, and can leave you feeling dissatisfied. You can replace it with much more positive language such as I want, I don’t want or I will.
10) Accept life as it is
The worst part about living in the past or the future is that you’re abandoning your power to live your life right now. If there are changes you’d like to make in your life, the best time to make them is immediately. If you’re living in the past, you can’t do anything about it, it’s already happened. If you’re worrying about the future, you’re living somewhere that doesn’t exist. If you want to make changes, the only place you can do it is in the present. But first you need to accept life as it is. Your own thoughts are the only thing keeping you from living in the present.
I hope these tips help you to try and live more fully in the present moment and let go of the past, and stop day dreaming about ‘one day’ in the future when everything will be perfect.
I’d love to hear in the comments below how you live in the present moment.
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