Choose Five

So often we write about, talk about, preach about ... big goals. We encourage you to dream big. Live large. Seek happiness. Choose joy.

Elevating your life to move closer to those things comes as the result of a million small decisions, baby steps and modest actions.

This month, let’s identify a few concrete things you can do to help get there. Not all of the way there, but a step there. Now, not all of these ideas are right for everyone, and some are paradoxical or even downright contradictory.

My challenge to you is to choose five from the list below -- or create your own list of five -- that might work for you. That might lead you a little closer to that big dream, larger life, or happier place. Write them down and do them for the month.

  • Write down your goals for the next 3, 6 and 12 months. On paper.

  • Plan next week’s menu ahead, shop for all you need on Sunday and see if it makes the week easier.

  • Call or email an old friend you haven’t spoken with in more than a year.

  • Make amends. Chances are there is at least one person to whom you owe an apology. Go ahead, say it.

  • Read to your youngest child at night. Let them choose the book.

  • Give away at least five articles of clothing you haven’t worn in a year. No, shoulder pads are NOT coming back.

  • Vacuum your car. Don’t forget to get under the seats.

  • Send a “just because” card to someone you love.

  • Do your spouse a favor.

  • Thank a teacher for educating and caring for your child.

  • Bubble bath.

  • Say no to something you feel obligated to do but really, truly don’t want to.

  • Download five new songs that make you feel like dancing.

  • Take the day off.

  • Take the afternoon off.

  • Work harder.

  • Plan an adventure.

  • Go to bed 30 minutes earlier. 

  • Set your alarm to wake up 20 minutes before your kids.

  • Make a date to walk with a friend at least twice a week.