The desire to live a meaningful life is a quality of our inherent human nature. You have probably heard the expression “Live Your Best Life.” It is usually a slogan associated with ads or pictures of happy people living extraordinary lives.
This association may make you think that this is something unattainable. But in reality, finding your happy existence is your own personal journey.
What does “Live Your Best Life” mean?
Everyone has their own idea of what a meaningful, happy life is for them. The beauty of living your best life is that you get to decide how and when you get there.
Throughout our lives we go through stages of personal growth. It is during this time we learn more about ourselves, we change, and we grow. This evolution allows us to find our true values and what makes us genuinely happy. Your best life will reflect this.
You don’t want to live thinking about how the grass is always greener on the other side. Instead of settling for the way life is, living your best life is about living to your full potential. Wouldn’t it be great to wake up every morning and feel content and happy with your life?
What holds you back from living your best life?
We all have fears or excuses that hold us back from achieving our goals, being the person that we want to be, and living the life that we want. They keep us back from taking advantage of opportunities and achieving our dreams and aspirations.
Recognizing and addressing these fears and excuses will motivate you to grow, push you out of your comfort zone and help you to live your best life.
Fear of Change:
We live in an ever-changing world and for some of us, change can be scary. If you let this fear dictate your life then you risk becoming stagnant and missing out on favorable opportunities.
Fear of Failure:
This is one of the biggest fears that people have. It can hold you back from trying something new or taking a risk. It’s important to know that we are not going to succeed at everything that we do. But when we put ourselves out there we are guaranteed to learn and improve upon ourselves.
Fear of Being Judged:
It is completely normal to care about what others think of you but you shouldn’t let it drive the decisions that you make in life. You are going to be judged no matter what you do. You need to trust that you are mentally strong enough to just keep on going. If you are making decisions based on your core values then you should be confident that it is the right decision for you.
Living Your Life to Make Others Happy:
It’s important to remember to live your life for you. Don’t let other people influence you to the point where you are making a decision to fulfill their expectations. There is sometimes a lot of pressure from family and from society to live your life a certain way. But if this lifestyle doesn’t align with your own beliefs then it is not going to help you to live your best life. If you live your life trying to please everyone, you will end up pleasing no one, including yourself.
20 Steps to live my best life now:
1. Practice self care
The definition of self care is “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.”
I know that we are all busy and it is sometimes hard to find the time to take care of ourselves. As a mom of 2, I am definitely guilty of this and struggle with feeling selfish when I take time for myself. But taking this time to focus on you is important for so many different reasons.
Self care can come in many forms – reading a book, eating a healthy meal, taking a bath, or going for a walk. The important thing to remember is that you are taking time for yourself.
Practicing self care addresses both our physical and mental wellbeing.
2. Experience new places
There are so many amazing places in the world to explore. Even if you can’t travel far, I guarantee that there are new places that you have never been to right in your own backyard.
Opening yourself up to new experiences will give you a different outlook on life, make you feel more alive, and help you to build confidence in yourself.
3. Learn something new and try new things
Get out of your comfort zone and try something new. It could include trying a new food, finding a new hiking trail, or learning a new language or hobby. You should choose something that you’ve always wanted to do and DO IT!
4. Enjoy the little things in life
Life can be busy. And many times we feel like we are rushing around with a long “to-do” list to complete. It is beneficial to occasionally take the time to slow down. Focus on the present moment and not on the 10 million things you need to do in the future.
When we do this we start to notice and appreciate the little things in life more. It gives us the chance to be present and see all of the amazing things happening in our lives right now.
5. Get more sleep at night
The Sleep Foundation recommends that adults between the ages of 18-64 get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. I don’t think I’d be wrong to say that there are a lot of sleep deprived adults out there!
So how does lack of sleep affect us? According to the CDC, sleeping less than 7 hours of day can put you at higher risk for:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Frequent mental distress
What can you do to get a better night’s sleep?
- Have a sleep schedule
- Exercise daily
- Create an environment conducive to sleep
- Turn off electronics before bed (Phone, TV, Computer)
6. Set goals for yourself
Ever write a to-do list? Well then you’ve set goals for yourself! There’s something so satisfying about checking things off my list. I sometimes even write something on my list that i’ve already done just so that I can cross it off!
Ok, now it’s time to forget about that daily to-do list and think bigger. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 or 20 years? Writing goals for ourselves can seem difficult because it makes us actually think about our lives. It forces us to look at where we are now and determine what we want for ourselves in the future.
Setting goals, whether personal or financial, will give you direction. It will help to motivate you to live your life to the fullest.
7. Celebrate yourself and your successes
Sharing your successes, no matter how small, gives you a feeling of excitement. Some people hesitate to do this because they feel that they are bragging. But your true friends and family will never see it that way. They will share in your happiness and give you that confidence boost that you might need.
And if you don’t want to share your successes with the world then don’t! You can have your own little celebration by doing something nice for yourself. If you have worked hard and achieved something, then you deserve to celebrate it in any way that is appropriate for you.
Live your best life by taking the time to recognize even the little wins in life.
8. Get rid of debt
Debt is a burden. No one likes to have debt and it can hold us back from fully enjoying our life. By getting rid of debt you will have less stress and worry less about your future.
Financial worries hold you back from living your best life. It may keep you from traveling or seeking out new experiences. It can hold you back from taking that dream job or moving to a new location.
Getting rid of your debt will open up your life to new opportunities.
It is easy to waste a lot of time on our phones or computers and watching TV. Electronic devices are taking over our lives. And most of the time spent on things like social media are not improving our lives in any way.
It’s important to take time out of our day to unplug. Unplugging will help to clear your mind and allow you to be more productive.
10. Forgive others
Holding onto anger and resentment towards someone is usually more harmful to you than it is to the other person. Keeping all of that toxic anger inside affects you, your work, and the relationships that you have with others. Letting go and forgiving someone can bring you peace. Forgiveness allows us to move on.
11. Start an emergency fund
Having an emergency fund will give you peace of mind. An emergency fund is like a safety net. You hope that you never have to use it but you are so glad that it is there when you need it.
There are times when we may find ourselves unemployed or we have an unexpected medical expense. . You will feel a lot less stress and worry knowing that you have money set aside just for this purpose.
12. Create a bucket list
A bucket list is defined as a list of things that you want to do before you die (or “kick the bucket”). Creating a bucket list gives you the OK to dream about the future and make a list of things that are meaningful to you. Therefore it is important to take the time out of our lives to do things that make us happy and feel energized otherwise we would get burnt out.
I see a bucket list as being less about what you want to accomplish before you die and more about how you want to live your life.
13. Take the time to be kind to others
A small act of kindness can go a long way. It not only brings the receiver happiness but it does a lot for you too. Kindness allows us to feel interconnected with others.
Being kind to others stimulates the production of serotonin to calm you and make you happy. According to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation kindness can:
- Decrease pain
- Decrease stress
- Decrease anxiety
- Decrease depression
- Decrease blood pressure
14. Live your best life by taking a risk
Playing it safe all the time will not get you anywhere in life. Taking risks gives you a better chance at achieving more. And even if you don’t succeed you will learn a lot along the way and grow throughout the entire process. So once in a while don’t forget to do something that scares you.
There two things that everyone should invest in:
- Invest Money: You can invest in the stock market through your 401k, IRA, HSA, or in a brokerage account. Investing financially will help you to save for retirement and potentially retire earlier than expected.
- Invest in yourself: Put in the time and effort to improve your skills, further your education, or learn something new. This will help you to get further in life and motivate you to live your best life.
16. Adopt minimalism
There are many different levels of a minimalist lifestyle. We have been working on adopting more of a minimalist mindset by getting rid of unneeded items and not buying anything that is not meaningful to us.
Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. And stop buying things that you don’t need just to impress other people.
Minimalism is a great way to develop a sense of purpose and meaning to life.
17. Stop wasting time on negative thoughts
We often think negative thoughts without even realizing it. It’s important to remember that negativity is something that not only affects us but affects those around us. It diverts our focus and hinders our chance to achieve more.
Try finding something positive in a negative situation. Changing the way you think about something is a powerful tool and will drastically improve your life.
18. Exercise more
There are of course the physical benefits of exercising – losing weight and decreasing your risk of developing certain chronic diseases. But it also helps to improve your mental health and mood. Regular exercise can increase your energy level and make you feel happier.
19. Be grateful for what you already have to live your best life
We live in a society where more is better. We sometimes equate buying things with positive emotions. Unfortunately, material items only give us short term happiness. We should focus instead on being grateful for what we already have.
Gratitude turns what we have into enough.
20. Be present
It’s such a simple thing that we can all do and should do more of. Try to focus on being present more with your loved ones. Direct your attention to the relationships that are important to you. Give your full attention to others and just listen without an intention to respond.
Take the time to fully appreciate today in order to live your best life.
Are you working on ways to live your best life? We’d love to hear your tips and ideas for self-improvement in the comments below.