My Happy List
"I have shared my list with my wife and a couple of important people in my business who will hold me accountable to doing these things."
Ask yourself how many times have you sat and wondered where time goes?
It was only yesterday that Covid disrupted the entire world, but it wasn’t, it was 2 years ago.
It was only yesterday that we moved to our current office, but it wasn’t, it was 8 years ago.
It was only yesterday I left Uni and started Optix, but it wasn’t, it was 23 years ago!
One of my strongest fears is that I get to a point in life where I regret not having done things. I have this worry that I will have been so busy trying to build the life I want, that I’ll have missed doing things that I would have enjoyed on the journey. Being entrepreneurial really doesn’t help this as you’re constantly on, constantly thinking, constantly improving. It’s so easy for the years to roll by and miss things.
I worked out a long time ago that I couldn’t change the point above. I’m never going to work for anyone else. I love work, it’s my passion and to some extent it’s my hobby so in order not to fall into the trap I’m so concerned about I have to ensure I give myself time to think about, structure and book in things that I love doing. I call this my ‘Happy List’ and I’m sharing it with you today. Having this list has ensured I take action so I hope it might inspire you to do the same.
So Ladies and Gents, here is my current ‘Happy List’ (by the way there is no order):
Going away as a family - just the four of us
Going away just the two of us (Lizz and I)
Random acts of kindness - buy something for someone - write a letter - give a testimonial
Phoning to check on somebody (a friend, a family member)
Learn something new - books / audio / training
Giving food to the food bank
Giving to charity
Give myself thinking time
Getting fit - swim - gym - walking - home exercise
Understanding other people’s goals and what I can do to help them achieve them
Keep house tidy - happy wife happy life
Culling old clothes - feels cleansing
Go Ice skating
Go to the beach
Listen to music
Get on the water - sea / river - boats
Spend time in the woods / nature
Work in exmouth
See my family
Spend time with positive and successful people
Be more organised
Write my journal & book
Create space in my life
Do more fun things with the kids (especially tickling as their laughs are the most precious sound I know)
Dance and sing with the kids
Be present and mindful - appreciate things
It’s quite simple really, this is a list of things that make me happy. It’s not exhaustive, there will be other things but the day I came up with it, these were the ones that sprang to mind.
With the events of the world right now and the last two years you need to give yourself a break. I feel terrible about what’s going on in Ukraine and I’m doing my bit to help where I can, but I also recognise that I need to look after my mental health and the list is an importat part of that routine.
Having a list is one thing but its only useful if you do something with it.
I have shared my list with my wife (she also has one) and a couple of important people in my business who will hold me accountable to doing these things. I also keep it visible so in down-time I can look at it and consider if anything could be moved forward.
When it comes to places you want to go or book, my advice is to get in early. Even if you’re booking that short break away, a year in advance, at least you’ve done it and guess what, your diary won’t be an excuse for not being able to fit it in.
If, like me, one of your happy things to do is quiet thinking time, then book into a location where you can go and turn off your devices, so as not to be distracted (even better if you find somewhere with no reception)
The more the years go on the more I realise that getting shit done is about just that – taking action. Its all too easy to wake up, get on with what’s in front of you or what’s on fire but the problem with that is that before you know it, 10, 20 or 40 years will have gone by and you really don’t want to look back and wonder what you achieved or whether you were fulfilled.
Over to you, do you have ways of ensuring your happiness? I’d love to hear them.