How often do you overlook the good things in life because you’re always searching for something more? Do you always feel like you don’t have enough or you aren't good enough? If so, it’s time to learn how to appreciate the little things in life.
The things that make up everyday happiness will lead to much more personal and financial peace when you accept it. Also, learning to be thankful for what you have can keep you from filling the need for more with things you don't really need or want.
What does appreciate the little things mean?
How often do you find yourself looking for the "big things" in life? You know, the things or events that knock our socks off and make others notice us?
We are all guilty of focusing on these things. Of course, we want the things that will make a difference in our lives, but all the while, we're overlooking the good stuff - no matter how small that goes on in our lives. By focusing on the big picture and forgetting to appreciate the little things, we let too much energy pass us.
When we have an appreciation for life, we appreciate everything - the sun rising and shining on our face, the flowers growing in our yard, the smiling face of our spouse or kids, or the sound of your mom's voice on the other end of the phone. These are truly the best things in life!
These may not seem like life-shattering or life-changing things to care about, but they make all the difference in the world because they are in front of our faces much more often than big things.
Why it's essential to have an appreciation for life
Without an appreciation for life, you'll always feel lacking. Think about the difference between feeling full of energy and happy and feeling stuck and always wanting. Which one feels better?
It's when you have an appreciation for life that you feel great. You aren't always looking for the next big thing. Instead, you're able to celebrate everything that's right in front of you every single day.
It doesn't mean you have to appreciate every moment - life happens, and it's not always good, but when you can appreciate the little things in life, the big (bad) things won't seem so devastating because you know that you're surrounded by so much good.
How to appreciate the little things in life (Regardless of your finances)
Now here's the trick - knowing how to appreciate the little things in life no matter how much money you have (or don't have). Use these tips to be grateful for what you have in your life.
1. Spend time with loved ones
Experience cannot replace things, and life is short. Spending time with loved ones is one of the best ways to appreciate the little things in life. If your parents are still here with you - spend time with them.
If you have siblings, relatives, or good friends - see them or at least talk to them as much as you can. You don't have to spend a bunch of money to have fun with each other either! Relish the memories you make every time you get together, and let them create your core memories.
You'll need those memories someday as life can change in the blink of an eye. So appreciate every moment and enjoy your loved ones no matter what you're doing (whether big or small); time together is always time to make memories.
2. Go through old memories
If you're good about taking pictures or videos, go through them and let yourself remember the good times. Remember the times you had together, the things you did, and the laughs you had.
If you are the type that keeps your old keepsakes, go through them and think about how they made you feel. Sometimes bringing yourself back to the 'good times can help you appreciate the little things in life.
3. Celebrate your financial wins no matter how small
Remember when you were a kid, and you played a sport that you may not have been very good at? No matter what happened, though, your parents likely celebrated you going out there and giving it a whirl, right?
The same is true today of your financial journey. Even if you saved $5 at the grocery store, every win is a win. If you found new ways to be frugal, you saved enough money to reach a short-term goal, or you stocked your emergency fund with enough cash - celebrate it.
Suppose you're just at the starting point of attempting to reach a goal, set small milestones, and then celebrate them. For example, you want to save $1,000 for a new piece of furniture, and you have nothing saved yet. So when you hit $250 - celebrate your ability to be ¼ of the way to your financial goal.
4. Keep a gratitude journal each day
Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to start or end your day with a smile. A gratitude journal helps you pull the good out of each day, even if the day felt like a wash. When you take a few minutes to sit down and think about the good that happened, it's suddenly easier to appreciate the little things in life.
The things you are grateful for can be as small as a hot cup of coffee in the morning, a smile on your child's face, or making all the green lights on the way to work.
They don't have to be anything that costs money or were earth-shattering - they are just the things you are grateful for that happened and added up to make your day that much more special.
You can keep a gratitude journal in the morning or night. If you're a morning person, do it in the morning as a part of your wakeup routine or if you need help sleeping at night, do it at night as a part of your bedtime routine and give you something to smile about before going to bed.
Be sure to check out our 30 days of gratitude challenge!
5. Create a visual board
So, although it's important to make a vision board that will motivate you to achieve your goals, it's just as important to make a board for the things you are thankful for! Creating a board of all your favorite things will make it easy to have an appreciation for life! When something good happens, document it and put it on your board.
Keep pictures of your famous family and friends, your pets, your house, and anything else that puts a smile on your face. Put the board somewhere that you see it often, primarily upon waking and going to sleep. Let it serve as a reminder of all the riches you have in your life, whether financial or not. This is a great way to appreciate every moment you truly treasure.
6. Slow down and be present
Stop rushing through life. Focus on what's going on right in front of you, no matter how small. This is how you appreciate every moment that counts. For example, you're walking the dog. Focus on the smell of the fresh air, the happy wag in your dog's tail, and the excitement of seeing friends and neighbors walking around you.
Notice your children as they enter the room, laugh when they laugh, and look into your partner's eyes when they walk into the room. Relish in the moment of being in everyone's presence and stop focusing on what you do or don't have.
You might also consider living on less so you can focus more on the more meaningful things in your life. When you appreciate the little things in life, you'll have many more reasons to smile.
Learn to appreciate the little things
It's essential to learn to appreciate the little things in life. It will help you live a happier life and allow you to be much more grateful for the 'big things that happen too. When you're focused on what's going on right in front of you, life doesn't feel as stressful or mundane.
Instead, you realize how much you have to be grateful for, and you'll enjoy every step it takes to reach your goals, financial or otherwise.