Your priorities express your values. Why “more of what matters” was more than my 2017 mantra and how it became the life-changing shift I needed.

I started the year with a mantra: More of what matters (and less of what doesn’t). As 2016 transitioned into 2017, I not only¬†changed my blog name and domain to reinforce this intention, but I began to live with these exact words in mind. This mantra became the guiding force behind my life choices, the priorities I set, how I spent my money, how I spent my time. I gave myself boundaries, I said no more, I carefully considered if it was a need or a want, I lived with more wonder and curiosity and life felt abundant a lot of the time. There were days that I felt gloomy and moments I’d fall out of this mindset, but I began to transform. I moved away from a place of anxiety and toward a space that was expansive.

With this came a new confidence and feelings of worthiness. Because not only did “more of what matters” apply to physical objects, time, and space, but it was also intended for my thoughts. I had daily thoughts that were holding me back – limiting beliefs that kept me stuck – lies I told myself that ignited my fears. I feared being judged, so I kept to myself. I feared failure, so I didn’t try to begin with. I feared making a mistake, so I tiptoed around as carefully as I could. This year I learned that judgments are only scary if you give them that power. Failure is a learning experience, so let’s keep a tally of how many times I can do it – it’ll be fun! And there’s more beauty in living authentically and slipping up than hiding every part of you.

This shift has poured into other areas of my life as I aligned with what my soul’s wants and needs.¬†I have seen massive change in my ability to stay in the present moment. Beautiful moments are lived fully, but so are the mundane ones and the messy ones. There are still times that my mind begins to race and I wish to just “get it over with” – but those moments happen far less frequently than ever before. Whether I’m standing out in the cold waiting for Hank to sniff every corner of our yard or washing another dirty pan by hand or picking up another pair of Aric’s socks from the bedroom floor (love you ;)) – I’m doing so with more purpose than before. I’m considering how wonderful it is to have a large fenced in yard for my dogs and dogs in the first place who are so special to me, water running from my faucet and delicious food to prepare on the pan, and a wonderful husband who has the desire to regularly change his socks. And in practicing this, it becomes my natural thought process as I go about my day. And to me, that’s gold.

The more present in my life I feel, the more steadily it goes by.

My days, weeks, months… they don’t fly by. And I’m not watching the clock either waiting for time to pass. I feel my time is adequate and deserved and spent wisely. There is no other way I’d rather live. This appreciation for the time I’m given allows me to more easily spend it doing what matters most. Whether I’m cuddling a little longer with my pups or checking in on a friend to see how they are or curling up on the couch for a nap – it’s allowed me to give myself a break, to not be focused on the next thing, but to be focused on the thing that’s right in front of me… the thing that matters to me right now and deserves my time and attention. I’ll be honest, I sometimes spend 15 minutes each morning with my hand on my stomach to feel my baby move. And I don’t regret any of it. I prioritize it.

It’s time to slow down and appreciate what we have and show excitement for what’s to come. And that means getting rid of the things that we don’t have room for… unsubscribe for emails that clutter your inbox, tell someone no when you can’t give it your all, shift your perspective on an obligation so you can get more out of it. And it means letting in the most important things, like eating more pizza. But also, give yourself permission to an afternoon walk, spend five minutes in silence rather than flipping on the radio, wear your favorite pants two days in a row, give to others and expect nothing in return, daydream and then act as if it’s true, give yourself a compliment – it’s not arrogant if it makes you smile, share your life with those around you (they want to know what excites you and what you value), watch your dog or baby sleep and I dare you to find something negative to think following (you won’t be able to do it).

Fill your life, your thoughts, and each moment with what matters and you will be granted with more than you ever dreamed of… take it from someone who just gave it a whirl over the past 350 days and has no plans of stopping.

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