Doing It Every Day


“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while. . .”

That’s a gem from Gretchen Rubin at the Happiness Project that’s been on my mind in this season of making 2012 goals.

As Gretchen notes, we are happiest when our values most closely match our actions, so if like me you love setting new priorities as the year gets under way, it’s worthwhile examining just what those values are and how closely our actions express them.

Favourite Fantasies

I’ve been a member of a gym paying a monthly subscription since forever, but when I really add up how many times I’ve consistently used this facility over the years I have to admit to some embarrassment.

I do exercise regularly outside of the gym – running, walking, yoga, – but I also see myself as someone who also regularly does gym-based weight training to keep my aging bones strong – and if I got a print-out from the front desk on my attendance I’m sure I would be shocked at how few times I am actually make it through the doors. (Not enough to have long term benefits for my bones.)

I was thinking of that when reading Gretchen’s blog about a friend “who thinks she’s a regular exerciser because every several weeks, she goes to the gym for two hours.”  Ouch!

Will It Get Used?

She confesses she thinks of herself as someone who loves to read. But when she examined her schedule, she “realized I needed to clear out more time to read; day after day, it was getting shoved aside.”

In his fascinating book, House Lust, Daniel McGinn notes that market researchers use the term maximum-use imperative to describe the fact that people will often buy something to accommodate a use that they need only rarely.

So, for example, you might look for a house, or a dining room table, that’s big enough to seat your entire family when it’s your turn to host Christmas dinner, even though you have a family of four that’s dwarfed by that size.

How Do You REALLY Spend Time?

You might think of yourself as someone who enjoys the movies, or at openings but you rarely get to either.  Or as someone who eats healthily and then realise you only have leafy greens once a week. (Guilty on all counts.)

You may be spending money on items which are part of  your fantasy life but don’t match your reality – like spending money on a fancy dinner service or cocktail glasses when you entertain once a year. . .

Along the same lines, Gretchen says she wears running shoes 29 days out of 30 days a month, yet “I have three pairs of black flats and only one pair of running shoes.”

What Would You Change?

What are your little self deceptions – and how much are they costing you in terms of mis- directed money and energy that will leave you feeling frustrated and dissatisfied? And yet you can’t quite pick why?

January is a great month for taking time to reflect, discard the behaviour that isn’t working for you and start trying for more authenticity between your beliefs and actions.

How would you like to change your life?  What would you like to do differently? And what is stopping you getting started?  We’d love to hear about it.


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