Join me in my challenge to be more present in a busy, connected world. Read about how I plan to make some changes here!

Good morning, friends!

Can I start off your day by asking you a question?

Do you ever find yourself in a room full of people, yet instead of actively engaging with them, you are sitting on your phone?

I’m embarrassed to say that I do this more than I care to admit.

This month, I have decided to challenge myself to be more present. I can’t even count how many times I have engaged in conversation with friends and haven’t heard a word they said because I am on some sort of electronic device. I hate this about myself so much. I firsthand get extremely frustrated when I’m trying to talk to someone and I can tell they aren’t being present with me in the moment.

Who do I think I am to preach about this, and then be a hypocrite?

I don’t want to be this way. I’m sick of constantly checking my social media when I’m at a social gathering. I’m sick of being blind to the beautiful scenery around me because I am texting while walking. You’re probably thinking in your head, “Chelsea, it’s not that hard just put away your devices!” But you know what…sometimes, it is hard. We have different forms of media constantly pulling our attention away from us. A text message. A Facebook notification. A tweet. An email. It scares me to think about all of the moments that I have missed throughout my life because I’ve been preoccupied by something else as silly as an electronic device. I don’t want to be that girl who Instagram’s her food more than actually enjoying her food. But right now, I am that girl.

I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be a parent in this crazy, connected world. I don’t ever want to unknowingly neglect my children because I’m addicted to my devices. I would like to think that I am going to be a wonderful mother someday, but this behavior that just sends chills down my spine. I want to be a mother who is completely present with her children; someone who is able to rid herself of the distractions to give her children the attention they deserve. My future children deserve not half of me, but all of me.

This June, I’m challenging myself to be a better person for my boyfriend, family, and friends. I would like to make some change and reverse my bad habits so I can be a better mother when I do have babies. Here’s how I am planning to work on myself:

1.) Being aware of when I am tempted to be disengaged

When I feel myself pulling away from others, I plan on asking myself, is it necessary to check my phone right now, or can this wait?

2.) Leaving my phone in my purse more often at social events

This way, I won’t be tempted to take it out.

3.) Putting my phone away at meals

It’s just plain rude to have it out at the table.

4.) Take less pictures and enjoy the moment more

As some of you may know, I am a huge photography junkie. It’s just an automatic habit to grab my phone to take a picture during a beautiful sunset, traveling, or doing something out of the ordinary. I have found, especially on my traveling trips, that sometimes those beautiful pictures are not even worth the hassle if I am not truly living to enjoy the moment more.

5.) Put it away when I am spending time with loved ones

There is no need for me to have my phone out when I am watching a movie with my boyfriend or engaging in conversation with him after a long day of work. I want him and my other loved ones to realize that they are a priority above anything else.

So there is my June challenge, completely laid out for you. Hopefully I can inspire you to work on yourself as well; at least get your wheels rolling about this issue. My question for you is, do you feel like you struggle with being present? If so, please feel free to join me in my June challenge and keep me updated with your progress in the comments below. Let’s work on this together and make a commitment to ourselves to live in the moment more instead of trying to capture it. Be present with yourself and your loved ones.

Be well, and have a wonderful week!

Xoxo,

Can’t get enough of my self-improvement posts? Check out How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others!

  • Aishwarya

    Good pointers. Mobile phones are really addictive for every one! I hope you get all the things done :)

    • Chelsea

      Thanks so much! Hoping I can change some bad habits.

  • I really need to work on this, too!

    • Chelsea

      Best of luck!! lol

  • Momista Beginnings

    This is a problem that so many people have. All you have to do is drive a few blocks down any street to see that more people than not are on their phones while walking down the street or driving their car. It’s sad to me. I’m on my phone more often than I’d like as well. But, I never bring it out at meals (such a pet peeve of mine) and I’m never on it while engaging with friends and/or family. I’m pretty good at giving them my undivided attention. However, I have 2 kids (age 3 and age 8 weeks) and I’m a stay-at-home-mom. I always thought I’d never allow myself to be distracted by my phone but MAN that’s hard NOT to do. Why? I hardly get ANY time to myself these days/most days. Even when my husband gets home from work, he still has more work to do in our office (business owner). SO..if my child happens to be distracted by the tv or her books or toys for a moment…or is eating, even….I take advantage of these quiet moments to check my email/blog/bloglovin’/pinterest/instagram/facebook/etc. Being bloggers, we have much more going on in social media than the average person, I think. Gotta stay on top of it somehow. But I hear ya on all of this. My husband is super guilty of being on his phone constantly. I’ll sometimes get my 3 year old to tell him, “Daddy, unplug!” That’s the word I use to remind us to pay attention to life, away from the palm of our hands. Good luck with your goals, it’s so doable! -Misty

    • Chelsea

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Misty! I agree it is especially hard as bloggers. I thought I was bad before this blogging business but WOW now I seriously feel like I am on social media constantly. I try so hard to put it away but most of the time it ends up coming out anyways. I try not to be rude around other people but it feels like an addiction! Good for you for knowing when it is important to unplug. Your kids are lucky to have you!

  • I have this problem and I HATE it! The best decision Dave and I ever made was to leave our phones off during our entire honeymoon. No texting, no calls, no social media, etc. I have never felt more present in our relationship that I did for those two weeks!

    • Chelsea

      Good for you, Erin!! That would have been incredibly hard for me. I tried to stay off my phone when we vacationed in New York and I definitely wasn’t on it as much but I still was on it. So hard…especially when I wanted to post all of my new pictures. Congrats on your marriage!

  • Kristen Sampson

    This is also a problem that I have. It has recently become a goal of mine to work on resolving this and being more present and engaged on all levels. Very inspiring read!

    • Chelsea

      Thanks so much Kristen. I feel like I am especially horrible at this, though! I love my Instagram and Facebook. And Twitter. lol

  • Nina Robinson

    I definitely relate to this. I feel like I start each day with the best intentions to limit my phone time and then I just forget about it and find myself mindlessly scrolling through the same social media sites over and over. It’s definitely something I need to work on.

    • Chelsea

      Agreed. Let’s work on it together!

  • Stefanie

    This is a great reminder!!!

    • Chelsea

      Thanks Stefanie!

  • Christine Hawkins

    I Love this! It is spot on! I had to pin it and tweet it. Such a great reminder. I can not stay away from taking pictures, however I can see when it gets in the way of things…it can be hard to enjoy moments when you constantly have something blocking them!

    • Chelsea

      Thanks so much Christine for sharing. That truly means a lot! It’s so hard for me. Let’s work on it together.

  • leah herring

    Couldn’t agree more. This is something I’m constantly working on, especially during the day with my kids!

    • Chelsea

      Good for you for trying hard to be a good mommy! It’s so hard in today’s age to ignore that phone.

  • kayla

    I feel like the phone is evil sometimes and wish to go back to no cell phones. If you arent home then no one can get ahold of you. Seemed more peaceful. I hate my son yelling for daddy and him zoned out on the phone! Agree with working on keeping this thing put away at times!

    • Chelsea

      I FEEL LIKE THAT TOO!!!! I wish I was growing up in the 60s lol.

  • Some great ideas for being more present. I am the opposite – I have my phone on silent all the time so I miss every phone call and message, and no one can ever get hold of me :) My husband could def use these tips though!

    • Chelsea

      Good for you, Donna. I had a roommate like that in college. She was the only one I knew who still didn’t have a smartphone and still didn’t want one. People just expected never to be able to get ah old of her…wish I could be like that sometimes!

  • This is one of my goals this month! I’m taking baby steps, haha. I’m trying not to reach for my phone first thing every morning or look at it right before I go to bed and I’m not taking it to meals. It’s been kind of hard because I’ve had to make such a stronger effort to participate in the conversations but it’s been a good lesson to see how often I do reach for my phone!

    • Chelsea

      It’s so hard, Chelsie. Especially when we are bloggers and addicted to various forms of social media. I’m trying with baby steps as well.

  • I admire this commitment! I’m one of those ever-rarer oddballs who, at this point, has managed to resist the wave of smartphones. I truly believe it’s easier to be present in everyday life when I have to boot up my laptop in order to have internet access. I appreciate many things about the internet, but we each need to set guidelines for ourselves when it comes to its use!

    • Chelsea

      Good for you, Rachel! I explained in a comment below, my roommate didn’t have a smart phone in college and I was secretly jealous! Sometimes I can’t TAKE being constantly connected.

  • Maria Davis

    I’ve been working on this, too. My list was exactly the same as yours. I went on a trip recently to visit my parents and just left my phone in my bag or back in the bedroom most of the time I was there. I took some pictures, but didn’t obsess over them. And it was a wonderful time spent with family and I was present. Loved it!

    • Chelsea

      Good for you! it’s been hard. I’m now almost mid-month in my challenge and I think I’m definitely more aware of my actions and I’m improving on putting the phone away, but I still use it a lot. Baby steps I guess!

  • I love this post so much! People actually get mad when you don’t have your phone with you to immediately respond! CRAZY! I have been trying harder to leave my phone in my car or at the house when I am going to a social, family, etc. places. I do feel like I struggle with it sometimes.

    love and blessings,
    Lacy

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much, Lacy! Isn’t that just crazy!! I feel the same. Sometimes people message me when I’m driving and it kills me not to text them back for an hour or so…because I know that now days, everyone expects you to reply right away!

  • I’m doing the same thing this June! I had to make myself some rules though, haha:

    http://www.greenchairstories.com/blogs/realtalkim-addicted-to-my-phone

    • Chelsea

      Love it! I’ll check out the link now :)

  • Love this! Oddly enough, I have found that taking more picture and writing for my blog in general has actually helped me be more present, as it makes me notice and pay attention to things and people that I may have been oblivious to before. I do find myself on the floor trying to get a good angle for a picture sometimes though when it really isn’t appropriate :)

    • Chelsea

      Hi Kayla, thanks for reading and commenting. I feel like my blog has definitely helped me with this as well!! Writing centers me and helps me appreciate the life around me more.

  • Great tips, Chelsea! I’ve felt the same way lately, and being more present has most definitely been a goal for me. Thanks for a great post!

    • Chelsea

      Thank you for reading! Hope you find peace:)