7 Ways to Appreciate Life's Everyday Moments

by Elizabeth Lang on 4 August 2014 (2 comments)

It's easy to let "busy-ness" keep us from the sweetness in our lives. Learn how to slow the pace and capture the moments that really matter.

It's rare to find someone complaining that they have too much time on their hands and don't have enough to do. Instead, we are all overcommitted, overscheduled, and overworked. In fact, according to the Amex EveryDay Study, 88% of moms set unrealistic expectations for themselves.

Consequently, we don't think we have the time to sit back and appreciate life's EveryDay Moments.

But, the reality is, we do have the time. All of us have the same amount of time everyday and some people are just better at using time to appreciate life than others. So what are the secrets? Here are seven ways to use your time to appreciate life's EveryDay Moments.

1. Be Okay With Less Than Perfect

One of the best ways to free up time is to settle for less than best on the things that don't really matter. Do you need to make your bed everyday or would those 15 minutes a week be better used to read to your kids or walk your dog? Is it worth it to spend three hours researching the best composting bin? With the amount of information available to us, we often overthink, overplan, and over-perfect. Instead, be ok with less than perfect and you will free up time to enjoy the moments of daily life.

2. Pause the Technology

Are you addicted to checking your email, Twitter, and Facebook? I know I am. And I know with 100% certainty that this gets in the way of enjoying EveryDay Moments. So, at our house, we put technology aside during key times of the day. Phones aren't allowed near the breakfast or dinner tables, when we're getting our son ready for bed, or once we're in bed ourselves. And we try to keep cellphone and computer use to a minimum on the weekends.

I know some people who have special bowls or containers for their phones. From the moment they enter their house after work until the time their kids are in bed, the cell phones aren't allowed to leave the bowl. When you stop checking your Facebook feed to read about your high school acquaintances' daily lives, you'll find a lot more time to appreciate your own life.

3. Recognize the Time You Do Have

One of the best ways to find more time is to start telling yourself that you have enough time. Instead of complaining about how busy you are, for a week tell yourself, "I have enough time for what is important to me." I have been practicing this method after reading about it in a time management book and found that it is actually true. When you tell yourself you have enough time, you start reprioritizing and making time for what actually matters the most to you.

4. Establish Traditions (Even If They're Small)

Appreciating life's EveryDay Moments is easier when you have traditions. Maybe it's making pizza every Sunday night. Or perhaps it's sharing the highlight of your day at the dinner table or going for a family bike ride on Saturday mornings. Maybe it's your daily run with a friend. In Gretchen Rubin's book, Happier at Home, she writes about how her family started celebrating minor holidays (like St. Patrick's Day), and that these traditions make their family happier. Regular traditions give people something to look forward to and also help us appreciate the amazing moments in our everyday lives.

5. Capture the Moment with a Photo

Sometimes we can't always see how fantastic our EveryDay Moments are with our own eyes and instead need the lens of a camera to fully appreciate them. Try documenting your day through the lens of your camera. What does your family look like at the breakfast table? How does your dog react when he sees the first squirrel of the day? Even though your two-year-old daughter plays with her toys daily, documenting this with your camera phone will help you to see how special the moment is.

6. Record the Moment in a Book

When my son was born, we were given a "sentence a day" book. I've never been able to keep a journal or diary for more than a week, but after nearly three years we have managed to write a sentence each day about my son's life. Knowing that I am going to have to write something down at the end of the day helps me stay aware of life's EveryDay Moments. If you make a tradition of recording just one highlight from each day, you'll also find yourself more aware of each and every part of your day.

7. Take Just 60 Seconds to Look Around

One of my favorite ways to appreciate life when everything seems far too hectic is to just take a minute. Literally, take 60 seconds and stop whatever it is you are doing and observe. Right now, if you're reading this post at work, on the bus or subway, or sitting on your couch, just pause and look at what's going on around you. What do you see, hear, and smell? Notice your breath and relax and enjoy this particular moment of your life.

How do you find time to appreciate life's everyday moments? Take a moment to share in comments!

I was selected by American Express to help educate consumers about the Amex EveryDay Credit Card. As such, I was paid for my services, but tips and opinions shared about and American Express and the Amex EveryDay Credit Card are my own.

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Brandon ewing

we take lots of things for grant in these crazy times. after reading these selections it really shows that there's more to life than just living it.loving life no matter what life throws at you is the true secrets to living a healthy joy filled life.

Guest's picture

Your suggestion #6, Record the Moment in a Book, and the line, "Knowing that I am going to have to write something down at the end of the day helps me stay aware of life's EveryDay Moments" struck a strong note with me. I think this is a terrific idea.

Recently I decided to set aside a little more time for reading some of the better financial blogs a little more regularly as part of my "continuing education" so to speak. Reading this point of yours leads me to a new action step: every day I want to write down the best idea I run into. This will be my #1.

Thanks for your tip.