One of my not so great habits is endless Instagram scrolling. I love the photos and clever captions, and I can get lost down rabbit holes of book photos, libraries, yoga poses and travel photography. Sometimes this is just mind numbing, but every now and then something sticks. A very long time ago I scrolled past a beautiful graphic that asked a question that’s been stuck in my head ever since:
How do you want to feel at the end of the day?
Such a simple question, but I hadn’t considered it before. I wish I could remember where I saw this. It was like a fog was lifted. Sometimes at the end of the day as I’m winding down, I just feel off. I shouldn’t have done this, I should have done that, I wanted to accomplish this, where did the time go? I can’t remember crossing any major items off my to do list, I feel sluggish after eating junk food, or I feel restless from skipping a workout. I don’t like to feel this way. I choose short term contentment for long term peace.
I like asking myself how I want to feel at the end of the day because it helps me stick to good daily habits while leaving room for flexibility. At the end of the day I want to feel productive, accomplished and content. I don’t want to feel lonely, isolated or lazy. I want to make sure I connect with the people around me and live up to my expectations for myself. Sometimes it can feel like these things conflict, but taking a moment to think about how my actions will make me feel as I’m trying to fall asleep offers an odd sort of clarity.
How does this play out day to day? Exercise is a good example. I’ll be tempted to skip a workout because I’m tired and just want to relax. I’ll convince myself that I deserve the night off to lounge on the couch and eat popcorn, but when I think about how I’ll feel after hours of Netflix versus a run with my dog and snuggling up with a good book, I know which will actually make me feel relaxed instead of sluggish and groggy.
This can work the opposite way, as well. Sometimes I can be a stick in the mud in an effort to stick to a strict guideline I’ve made up for myself. I skip out on time with friends to get to bed on time when I really could stay up an hour later, or I skip dessert when I know my host has been dying to have someone try a new recipe. In these situations I always end up feeling a little off. If I really think about how I want to feel at the end of the day, the connection with friends and family outweighs the hour of sleep or the calories.
How I want to feel at the end of the day offers a perspective that helps me make the decisions I’ll be happy with in the long run. What I choose may be the exact opposite of what works for someone else. That’s why I love this question so much. It’s different for every person. You might be happier choosing time alone instead of extra time with coworkers. I might be happier having Grandma’s pumpkin pie while you’re much happier saying “no thanks”. We can each do what feels right for us, with no competition or comparisons. Bliss!
Questions: How do you want to feel at the end of the day? Do you have go to questions that help guide your day? If you’re a fellow Instagram addict, what are your favorite beautiful accounts to follow?