A few weeks ago I deleted the Facebook app from my phone. Not only do I spend less time mindlessly scrolling my Facebook newsfeed, but I spend less time on my phone overall. I’ll check Facebook from my laptop a couple times a day, and even if I have 10+ notifications every day, maybe one or two of them are things that need a bit of my attention – if at all.
One thing I’ve noticed in the past few weeks that I have less life envy.
Envy of the life that someone has built for themselves – or at least the life they portray.
Envy of the home, the travels, the clothes, the body, the kids.
Before we know it, we’ve spent hours out of our week envying someone else, when we could have been spending that time on ourselves. Why on earth do we subject ourselves to something that makes us feel bad about ourselves, when we could be making stuff happen in our own lives?
A few ideas to stop the envy and start taking action towards what you want for yourself:
Step 1: Purge your follow list
Don’t get me wrong – there are super wonderful things out there on social media and we don’t need to cut out everything. We simply need to be intentional and only interact with accounts that make us feel hopeful, happy, motivated, joyous, inspired or important.
Step 2: Seek out what brings you joy
If you end up not following too many after your purge, you can seek out some hashtags or accounts to follow that you think would bring you a more positive vibe than the accounts you used to follow.
Step 3: Plan for action
If there is a change you’ve like to make in your life, make a list of the things that need to be done in order for that change to come into your life. What do you need to do to become the person who has that future?
For example, if you want to have a better relationship with your children, make a list of things that you think would strengthen it throughout the years (have a weekly game night, cook together, involve them in cleaning to the rhythms of your favorite songs, plan a small ritual you do differently with each kiddo during bedtime).
Another example is losing weight. You might want to start stocking the kitchen with healthy snacks (while stop buying the unhealthy ones), replace a carb-y side dish with veggies more often, commit to drinking only water etc.
Make sure that the things you list are things you actually CAN do. Don’t set yourself up for failure by asking too much of yourself.
Step 4: Take action – and remember to celebrate
The secret to happiness really is enjoying the journey, and not waiting until you get to a destination. This means celebrating yourself for small wins.
My small win at the moment is not eating unhealthy snacks during my afternoon energy slump. A sugary snack has often been my solution to The Slump, and it is hard to resist it. It gets easier day after day because I feel proud of myself for taking action towards the future I want (being healthy).
Focus on taking action, and forget obsessing over the result for a while. If you do the work, the results will come. You may even experience some unexpected – yet welcome – side-effects along the way.
If the results don’t come, you might have to get back to the drawing board. Be honest with yourself – have you taken relevant action, and have you been doing it consistently?
What we want is within the realm of possibility, when we commit to consistent action, find enjoyment in it, and stick it out longterm. Those changes may not happen overnight – or over fortnight – but practically ANYTHING is possible in a few years when we make taking action towards it a priority.