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There’s an aphorism that rings in my ear every morning when I wake up: “The way you spend your days is the way you live your life.” The truth is, when we don’t pay attention to the little moments, the days turn into months, the months into years, and we allow life’s subtle, truly beautiful moments to pass us by. So how do you ensure that you make the most of each day? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Consult the past. Do you remember your ten-year-old self? She was probably pretty scrappy and filled with curiosity about insects and how to play the violin. Before she started obsessing about eyeshadow and pimples, she was likely open to the world and interested in finding her place in it. Did she want to be a philosopher? A fashion designer? Sit down and remember yourself at this age. What got you most fired up? Did you love to read? Explore in the woods? Have tea parties? Really spend some time thinking about what occupied your mind and interests at this age, note which of these things still get you excited, and plan how you can put them back into your everyday life. Maybe it’s time to tune-up your bicycle so it’s ready for a neighborhood spin. Let your past passions help you get back in touch with your present delights.

Life lessons learned on the playground

Consider your values. What’s most important to you? What brings you satisfaction and joy? And what just makes you plain happy? It may be your top priority to become your company’s first female CEO or to simply learn how to live a life of happy balance. But to live a daily life that brings us meaning and joy, we have to be honest with ourselves about what’s really most important to us. Otherwise, we’re playing according to someone else’s rules. Pull out a piece of paper and pen or boot up your blog, and write down what the most vital, overarching themes are in your life. Do you want to achieve career success, be more spiritual, have a strong family, have a good time, or something else? Write it all down — what makes you feel most alive, most connected, and most happy.

Is this the formula that will get you married?