How to pull yourself out of the river…

“You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.”

Paulo Coelho

Life is busy. It can be easy to become overwhelmed with all the things you need to do on a day to day basis. The simplest yet hardest thing to do is to learn to say “no.” Only when you can say no to the stuff which doesn’t matter can you pull yourself out of the river.

Sometimes the river overtakes you, and you don’t even realize you are drowning. The best tactic I have found to manage this and keep from becoming overwhelmed is a simple journaling practice at the end of each day. In my daily wrap up journal, I ask myself the following five questions:

  1. What did you accomplish today that was valuable to self and others?
  2. Did you achieve your goals for the day? If not, what got in the way?
  3. How could I have made today better?  
  4. What should I have said “no” to today?
  5. What am I grateful for?

These questions are continually evolving as I learn and grow, but I have found them beneficial, especially when life is overwhelming and there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

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