I’m almost two weeks into my commitment to write a blog post every day for the month of May, and I haven’t let myself down yet. In addition to the great sense of accomplishment I’ve gotten from setting a goal and sticking with it, I’ve learned a few other things along the way.
- The momentum of a daily habit is a powerful force.
- No matter how busy some of my days turned out to be, I could always find a tiny bit of time to write — no excuses!!
- The WordPress community is filled with so many amazing, inspiring, and talented writers/bloggers.
- Having people from all over the world read my writing, and respond positively to it, is such a high!
- When I focus on something that I love to do, everything else in my life seems to fall into place and go more smoothly.
- If I can do it, so can you.
After my monthly challenge is over, I WILL continue to write and work on Downshifter’s Journal every day, although I’ll probably post a little less frequently. But then again, let’s see how I feel in 2 more weeks…
When I committed myself to posting every day this month, I felt like I needed to revisit and clarify the goals and direction for Downshifter’s Journal (DSJ). Since its inception, the blog’s purpose has been to promote “the conscious pursuit of fulfillment, balance, and simplicity…” If you’re reading DSJ, then I hope this mission statement reflects your goals as well.
My own concept of downshifting continues to evolve, as I try to incorporate my passions for simplicity, balance, and saving time & money into my everyday life. It isn’t always easy. I struggle with my share of excuses, conflicts, and setbacks. Through Downshifter’s Journal, I want to share what I’ve learned so far, and what works for me: shortcuts, tips, life hacks, inspirational stories & quotes, observations, book recommendations, and other resources to help you make the most of your valuable time and money. I hope you’ll find some useful tidbits here that you can apply in your own lives.
I’ll also try to be honest about my shortcomings — the times when I lose my balance and let stress, clutter, consumerism, laziness, pettiness, etc. get the better of me. After all, this is my “journal,” and writing is the best form of therapy I know. I hope I can inspire you a little, make you laugh once in a while, and guide you toward your own equilibrium.
We’re all in this together, and we’re moving in the right direction. Thanks for reading!
Last week, I stumbled across economist Larry Smith’s TEDx talk titled Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career. I can’t seem to stop watching it. Not only is he hilariously engaging, but he raises a few very strong arguments for finding and pursuing our passions. Please watch it. I’ll wait…
I know, I know. We all believe in the concept, but…
I don’t know what my passion is!
I know what my passion is, but it’s impossible to make a living at it!
If I decide to do something I’m passionate about for a living, I might get sick of it!
I may not be passionate about my “day job,” but it pays the bills and lets me pursue my passion(s) in my spare time!
If it was fun, they wouldn’t call it work!
Pursuing my passion would be selfish!
I have a family, a mortgage!
Who do I think I am? I don’t deserve a great career!
Is passion really that important? Don’t some of us have legitimate reasons not to pursue passion in our careers? Isn’t compromise a necessary part of life? Or are these just the lies we tell ourselves, over and over, because we are afraid?
What do you think? Wherever you stand on the passion spectrum, please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
Go for it, kid.
“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”
Winter in New Hampshire is a great time for curling up next to the woodstove with a good book, but I’ve been downloading books on my Kindle faster than I can read them! Here is my current reading TO DO list, in no particular order:
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss. Compelling title. Dynamic author with a great blog.
- Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired by Till Roenneberg. Obeying your body’s clock instead of the time clock.
- Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, and Monique Tilford. THE must-read classic for every downshifter’s reading list.
- The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle. The title says it all.
- The Freedom Manifesto: How to Free Yourself from Anxiety, Fear, Mortgages, Money, Guilt, Debt, Government, Boredom, Supermarkets, Bills, Melancholy, Pain, Depression, Work, and Waste by Tom Hodgkinson. How long is this book?! If I start with this one, maybe I won’t have to read anything else.
- In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honore. Because SLOW is GOOD.
- Be a Free Range Human: Escape the 9-5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the Bills by Marianne Cantwell. Maybe chickens really are smarter than people.
- Post Office by Charles Bukowski. A famous writer who worked at the post office. My hero.
I would love to hear from you if you’ve read any of the above, or have additional recommendations to share. Thanks!
Friday Favorites: Zen Habits
If, like me, you’re looking for a little inspiration and guidance as you set your goals and make your resolutions for the New Year, you need to familiarize yourself with Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits blog. Here, you’ll find a wealth of information on everything from mindfulness and motivation to self-discipline and simplicity.
Babauta never fails to inspire me with his clear and honest writing style, and his practical approach to, well, just about everything. Regular topics include:
- Getting organized and dealing with clutter.
- Starting and maintaining healthy diet and exercise habits.
- Setting priorities.
- Managing your finances.
- Slowing down and simply enjoying LIFE.
If your New Year’s resolutions include any of the above, Zen Habits will help you stay motivated and focused on what’s really important: making 2014 your best year ever!