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Seven Cs of Contentment

Years ago on an old blog I wrote about the “Seven Cs of Satisfaction” that seemed to strike a chord with me and a few other people. I had come up with what I still think is a really good list of daily goals that will lead to a fulfilled and satisfying day for anyone, young or old. The more of these I include in my life on a daily basis, the better I feel and the happier I am. I have hunted for that list I wrote for a while and wasn’t able to find it, so I decided to recreate it. No idea if this is identical, but I do know the main ideas are the same! With the New Year coming up, I like to reflect on my habits and attitudes and consider what changes I can make. My plan for the New Year will be to intentionally incorporate as many of the 7 Cs into every single day as I can.

In fact, I hope to convince a couple other people to join me and have an accountability group of sorts to share our successes in this arena (let me know if you’re interested!)

This time I titled this post “7 Cs of Contentment” instead of “Satisfaction”. Not quite as nice alliteratively, but contentment sounds much nicer than satisfaction conceptually.

So, here’s the list. The 7 Cs of Contentment/Satisfaction in no particular order:

Create – Produce something useful or enjoyable. This can be paid work such as writing, developing, or designing; or hobbies that involve creating such as music, art, cooking, sewing, gardening, etc.
Example: Yesterday I wrote this post. Obviously didn’t finish it, because I’m adding to it right now. Still created it.

Concentrate – Learn something new or work on something hard. This can also be part of paid work, or something that you are actively trying to improve on in one of your hobbies. It can also be studying something you are interested in.
Example: Yesterday I… didn’t do anything new or hard (hey, I’m on vacation! hehe). But within the past few days I have done a bit of studying for my professional development, read about drawing which is something I WANT to start practicing and improving on, and did some studying on communication.

Connect – Build relationships. Spend time with your family, call a friend, have a (real) conversation on Facebook even.
Example: Yesterday I went out to dinner with Will, Kevan and Ben to the Hitching Post. Super fun times and good food (thanks to William for the gift certificates!!) Yesterday I also had a nice conversation over Facebook with my mom and aunt about meaningful things.

Care – Acts of service for your family or your home. Clean something, give somebody a ride, feed someone, do volunteer work.
Example: Yesterday I did tons of the kids’ laundry. Also cleaned up Christmas stuff to make way for the cleaning lady coming this morning. And helped Ben take the trash cans out to the street.

Condition – Exercise and eat in a way that is beneficial to your body.
Example: Hahahaha. I did not exercise or eat well yesterday. I got totally off track with exercising when we went to Africa and never started back up again. I will any day now though! I actually plan to start walking daily or almost-daily with Teddy, and to start lifting weights again. I did, however, order the grilled vegetables instead of fries or mashed potatoes with my dinner last night.

Commune – Pray/meditate
Example: Yesterday I did not pray or meditate. Included in this would be my morning prayer, dedication of the day; specific prayer list; and night time inventory and prayer. I tend to do some of these some days, all some days, and none some days.

Consume – Do something purely for enjoyment. Read a book, watch a tv show, play a game, eat a cookie.
Example: Yesterday I read a number of things for enjoyment – Reddit, the novel I’m in the middle of; I watched some tv.

This is NOT a to-do list. It is not always reasonable to accomplish each of these every day. Satisfaction and contentment do not come by measuring myself against a list and beating myself up for not living up to it. They come from pushing myself to include just one more in a day that seems full or overwhelming. They come from looking back and identifying the meaningful things I accomplished without necessarily realizing it.

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