Savor the Day

Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev/

Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev/

Instead of seizing the day, why not savor the day?

Yes, it’s good that we seize the day and take advantage of opportunities that come our way. But sometimes in doing so, we forget to savor the seemingly small moments each day that can contribute to our happiness.

The thought of savoring a moment is a bit different than cherishing a moment. Cherishing a moment implies creating a precious memory we will appreciate in the future. Savoring each moment suggests enjoying, celebrating, and reveling that moment as it happens to us.

Since savoring the day is an effective way to increase your happiness and quality of life, how can you incorporate this philosophy into your life? Here are a few ways:

Focus on the Present

Life unfolds in the present, but often we’re so rushed and distracted that we allow moments to pass by unobserved. For example, we forget to savor precious moments with our loved ones. We squander priceless moments of our lives worried about the future or tortured by the past. We’re so busy striving for goals, perfection, and material things that we don’t take time to appreciate what we already have. Instead of scurrying through the day, stop and relish or luxuriate in whatever you’re doing at the moment. “This could be while you’re eating a pastry, taking a shower, or basking in the sun. You could be savoring a success or savoring music,” explains Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychologist at the University of California at Riverside and author of The How of Happiness.

Focus On Details

Notice the little things that can make a day special. Inspiration and encouragement can be found in small, ordinary moments. Use all your senses to take note of the beauty of a sunset, the laugh of a child, a hug from a friend, the sound of a bird singing, or the smells after a rainstorm. Savor simple things like the first spring day in your garden, the kindness of a stranger, or that first sip of coffee. Stop, take a deep breath, and take note of everything around you – the beauty, the people, the smells, the sounds. By focusing on the details, you can enjoy the day, moment by moment.

Focus on the Positive

How many days do you only notice the negative, stressful events in your life? Start taking note of what went right during the day. Did your husband give you a loving kiss before he left for work? Did a friend give you a sincere compliment? Did you experience a small victory at work or a small gesture of support? Savor those moments and appreciate each one. A great way to focus on the positive is by expressing and practicing gratitude. Thank all the people who do nice things for you. Write in a gratitude journal. Notice the beauty and positivity in simple, ordinary moments.

Focus on What You Enjoy

If you find yourself dreading Mondays and then go through an entire week without doing something you enjoy or find exciting, it’s time for a change. Life is meant to be relished. Each new day brings new experiences and is filled with endless possibilities. When we wake up, we are given another chance to see the sunrise, learn something new, take a chance, brighten someone else’s day, laugh, or make new friends.

Life is a gift, so start putting some of these suggestions to use today. Slow down and savor each moment as it happens.


Julie A. Gorges is the author of two young adult novels, Just Call Me Goody Two Shoes and Time to Cast Away and co-author of Residential Steel Design and Construction published by McGraw Hill. In addition, hundreds of her articles and short stories have been published in national and regional magazines, and she received three journalism awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association while working as a newspaper reporter. Julie currently lives in southern California with her husband, Scott, and has two grown children and three grandchildren.

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11 Responses

  1. Jackie says:

    Great article and something we all need to re-read often (well, I do!) – Almost on the same topic, a friend said to me once that she did not make New Year’s Resolution lists, instead she wrote down what she had achieved in the last year – I think this is a great idea too.

    • juliegorges says:

      Glad you enjoyed the article, and yes, I have to remind myself to savor each moment all the time too. I’m with your friend, who keeps New Year’s Resolutions anyways? Why not look over the past year and appreciate achievements and blessings instead. Love that idea.

  2. Sapit Diem! (thank you Google translate).

    I love this! I am not a “type A” person and often get weary of all the “Seize the ______” phrases. The constant chase shouldn’t be all there is to life. My husband likes to say “Never a wasted minute.” I tell him “Life is in the wasted minutes.”

    So, Julie, to you: Sapit Diem – life is in those savored moments!


    • juliegorges says:

      I must confess, most my life I’ve been a Type A personality. But since hitting 50 a few years ago (and hopefully getting a bit older and wiser), I’m learning to slow down and try and take my own advice about savoring and appreciating each day and each moment. Since I never studied Latin, I had to visit Google translate too. For those of you who want to know, sapit is translated wise in English. Thanks for your comment, Pearl!

  3. Cat Michaels says:

    Must post this in my office! I am a Type A who has been conditioned by years of working to seize instead of savor, but I want to do more of the latter. Thanks for the reminder!

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