An Exercise in Observation: 10 Things to Take Notice of Today

The sun is shining brightly as I write this. It’s pouring into my office, flooding it with light and just a little bit of winter warmth. Birds are singing outside my window. On days like this, it’s easy to notice and be thankful for my pleasant surroundings.

istock_000001473236xsmall.jpgHave you ever noticed that WHAT you notice can lift or depress your mood? This is something I like to explore with my coaching clients as we hone and perfect the art of Slowing Down Fast together.

When you’re discouraged, you tend to notice more discouraging things… but when you turn your attention to pleasant things, your mood improves. It’s not enough to just be in the vicinity; you have to notice.

So in the spirit of observation, and in the effort to slow down and be more fully alive, awake and aware… what will you intentionally notice today?

1. When you wake up in the morning, notice that it’s a new day. Before your day starts, contemplate the promise every new day holds.

2. Notice your spouse or significant other. Be mindful of all they give, every day. Notice their unique gifts. Recognize how blessed you are to have your partner beside you in your life.

3. Do you have children at home? Little ones? Big ones? Truly notice them and what they’re involved in, focusing on the positive. Notice their boundless energy and the sound of their laughter. Notice how much they seem to take in, despite their young age.

4. Notice what you put in your mouth. (This one does double duty.) What is it that you’re eating? Is it fuel or simply filler? Notice the tastes, textures and aromas of what you eat.

5. Notice the rhythm and poetry of nature. When you go for a walk, leave your headset and cell phone at home. Instead of focusing on other things, just allow yourself to take in your surroundings.

6. Notice your neighbors and community. Is your assistance needed? Have your neighbors or community helped you? Let them know you’re grateful. Give back when you can.

7. Notice the good in others. Really, look for this. It will astound you.

8. Notice your boss or if you’re self-employed, your customers. Notice that your employment or self-employment keeps food on the table and bills paid. Be mindful of how you treat the people who give purpose to your life’s work.

9. Notice your goals. Are you moving toward them or away from them? Are the goals you set five years ago the same goals you strive to achieve today? If not – what’s changed? What can you do to prepare for change?

10. Notice your friendships. True friends are a gift. Are you treating them as such?

It all comes down to living with intention. Those things you fully take notice of today have the potential to change your tomorrow.

Thanks to Life Insurance Lowdown for including this post in the Carnival of Life, Happiness, and Meaning, and to My Two Boys for featuring this post in the Carnival of Family Life.

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