JULY 7, 2018


A Planned Life is a Happy Life

by Matthew METTIAS

The month of June is coming to an end, and I have a confession to make… I have wasted three weeks of my life.

Since graduating from high school on June 2, I have spent my month at home reading books, playing video-games, binge-watching YouTube videos, and occasionally leaving my house to go to the beach or watch a movie. Sounds like a relaxed fun-packed summer, right? Well, surprisingly (and contrary to what I expected), this month has been one of misery; here is why…

Waking up in the morning without a goal, responsibility, or routine is not only unproductive but also joyless. Without a set schedule or list of tasks to accomplish, I often find myself stuck in bed and sleeping in, even when I am not tired (it is very easy to stay in bed when there is nothing pushing you to wake up). And when I am awake, I find myself stuck in my thoughts and constantly trying to find something to do with my time. To make matters even worse, since I have not been developing myself as a person, both my motivation and confidence have drastically plummeted.

1. Get out of the house

Although conceptually simple, this step is perhaps my most difficult one. Without anything spurring me to leave my house, I often find myself isolated, lost in a dangerous cycle of negative thoughts. No wonder solitary confinement works like a charm! Here are some ideas to break this dangerous habit: go out for a walk or jog or hike, buy groceries or run some errands, hang out with family or friends. Whatever you do, just get out and get moving!

2. Find a routine activity and stick to it

This step, if done correctly, also completes step 1! I highly recommend finding a routine activity (i.e., a job, volunteer work, etc.) and consistently sticking with that activity. Whether your activity is joining a community sports team or attending church on Sundays, find some activity (literally any activity!) to engage in and stick with it.

3. Before you sleep at night, set goals for the next day

Setting goals is perhaps the most important step you can take. Waking up in the morning without a single plan or purpose often causes confusion and misery. Now do not get me wrong! Keep your options open but also keep this in mind… a productive result begins with a productive plan and faithful action to complete that plan. And that, my friends, are all the steps! Although breaking the vicious cycle of living your life without plans or responsibilities is difficult, especially when this lifestyle becomes a habit, I want to assure that “this too shall pass” (I’ve been there, done that, and felt that). Just remember that, as long as you make an effort to take the necessary steps, you can always re-organize your life.

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