“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is right now.” I recently heard that and really thought about what it meant to me. What do I wish I had started a long time ago, and how would it have affected my life? Well, we can’t change the past right now, but we can start today. Here are 5 things I wish I had done 5 years ago, but I’m glad we’re working on now:
1. Family Traditions – There are so many things we do in the course of a year that I wish we did better. It’s so important to look ahead and slice out time to do life right. Planning out holidays, trips, even weekly milestones like Pizza Sunday and Friday Movie Nights make memories that are lasting in our family. How many times have you had a long weekend sneak up on you? We have at least a few every year and they become lost opportunities to do something memorable.
Do This: start with a few small, easy to plan things like game nights, special dinner evenings, or kid’s date nights. It’s a bit of effort but after a while you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
2. Personal Development – You can’t give what you don’t have. This is becoming more important in my life daily and I wish I had started years ago. Really taking the time to build up yourself seems like you’re taking time away from the needs of life. But in reality, if you don’t make sure you’re doing good everyone suffers. Take the time to make yourself a priority and it will pay off for everyone.
Do This: figure out how to carve 30 minutes out of your day to read something that will enrich you. Daily devotionals, a podcast to learn something new, or just a book for fun. Put a movie on for the kids and close your door with a cup of something you enjoy in hand.
3. Exercise – Just like personal development, your body is amazing but without a bit of attention it’s going to start functioning less over time. I felt it when my energy started to drop, and my pants just didn’t feel cute. My face was always breaking out and the days just seemed to drag by. It’s not all about how you look, but you know the day feels brighter when you’re feeling good. Exercise will give you energy, and refresh your mind along the way.
Do This: Wake up 30 minutes earlier and use that time to get your sweat on.
4. Eat Right – I know, changing your eating habits is going to take some time. It’s not that you don’t want to, it’s just so easy to make what we already know the kids will eat, and convenience wins out over healthy a lot of the time. But here’s the deal, if you want to really love your body, you can’t eat like that. Healthy food isn’t that much more expensive, it’s just a lot harder to prepare. When it comes out of a box someone else has already done the work for you, but they’re also adding in massive amounts of sugar, sodium, fat and preservatives to make sure it lasts on the shelf.
Do This: Make one meal of the day your healthy one. I like to do breakfast, but pick what you can do and start there. That one meal is 33% of the day, so that step helps to make the transition a bit smoother.
5. Find Your Passion – We all have a little burning flame in our hearts. You need to answer that call. Don’t let fear of failure, comfort levels, or anything else hold you back from that calling in your heart because this world needs more of us to be everything we know we can be. So, step out of your comfort zone and start living out that passion.
Do This: Start saying yes when opportunities come. It may look like a small step, but any step in the right direction is a good one.
What do you have on your list that you wish you would have started years ago? What is holding you back? I’d love to hear how you’re stepping out and making changes in your life!