Do you believe you have to wait for some date in the future to begin to live your best life?
If you do, I want you to know that you can change your life right now. There is no need to wait for that new job, new shoes, or for some random (or special) day in the future.
Here are some actions you can take right now to change how you live your life.
1. Be thankful
Many of us have a plan to get from point A to point B on a path of least resistance. For many years, my plan was to go from a broke college student (point A) to successful and employed adult (point B).
Every class I took and every job I accepted was about getting to my goal of getting un-broke. I was focused but sometimes I got so caught up in getting to the next opportunity that I forgot to express gratitude for what I had.
My old version of success began to feel like being on a hamster wheel and no opportunity was good enough. This mindset prevented me from being satisfied and I always felt like I should be further along in my career and in life.
Those were all thoughts (not facts) that stemmed from feelings of inadequacy and scarcity; in hindsight, I wish I had taken more time to sit in gratitude for what I had earned.
No matter where you are in your journey, express thanks and gratitude because where you are today is preparing you for your future.
2. Be flexible
Do you remember being asked what you wanted to be when you grew up? Adults begin asking children this from a very early age.
Most of us don’t know what we want to do and although we give great answers like lawyer, doctor, engineer, or whatever else, the truth is sometimes we just don’t know.
I’m an adult now and I’ve had a few different ‘careers’ (teacher, chemist, entrepreneur) yet I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
“I’m an adult and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up, and that’s okay.”
I’ve allowed myself to become more flexible because I know that as long as we are living, we’ll never fully be grown up and finished evolving.
No matter how much change freaks us out, it’s going to happen with or without us.
Go after your goals and have BIG dreams for your life but don’t be so rigid that there isn’t space for life to take you on unforeseen paths.
3. Adjust to life changes quickly
Unexpected life changes (desirable and undesirable) will happen on the way to your goals.
You can let these changes teach you lessons or stop you in your tracks. I suggest you learn the lesson and move forward.
We all deal with unexpected changes and the most successful among us find ways to adjust and continue moving forward as quickly as possible.
Moving forward isn’t about forgetting what has happened. It’s about finding ways to thrive regardless of what has happened.
I will acknowledge that moving forward can be hard and painful and sometimes I just don’t want to do it but the longer I dwell, the longer it takes me to get to the next best step in my life.
4. Get reacquainted with yourself
Do you think you know yourself? Have you checked in recently?
It’s interesting that you meet someone from your past (like highschool days) and that person thinks they know you.
I’d argue they know an older version of you but the new you standing in front of them…they have no idea.
They haven’t spent any time with you recently yet they feel comfortable that a catch-up session (maybe over coffee) is all they need to figure out the new you.
I think we do the same thing to ourselves. We give ourselves a brief coffee-break sized session to re-acquaint ourselves with ourselves and we think that’s enough.
But what if you spent time in silence listening to your own thoughts, getting to know about your new desires, and getting interested in what you offer the world?
That takes time.
It would take time getting (truly) reacquainted with an old friend and it takes time to get reacquainted with yourself. Have you taken the time to get to know the new you? Do you like yourself?
When we spend time getting to know ourselves, we are more likely to know what things motivate and inspire us. And when we are motivated and inspired, we need less external motivators to live our best lives.
5. Surround yourself with goal-oriented people
Unmotivated and stagnant people aren’t bad but if you are surrounded by them their vibrations rub off.
Therefore, I strongly advocate for getting around people who have big dreams and goals.
People without goals are comfortable living in the past, talking about the past, and dwelling on the good ole’ days. None of those things add value to our future.
I love to get around motivated people with goals because the energy gets electric. We all become kinetic balls of hope and expectation. Then, we search for the resources we need to get to our goals.
Our best lives have everything to do with how we spend our time and who we spend our time with. Evaluate your inner circle and our outer circle carefully. Are people in our life comfortable with being stagnant?
If so, it may be time to find some new circles.
6. Read quality material often
I’m a fan of Warren Buffet and other highly successful entrepreneurs and they all recommend reading.
The media that we consume influences our thoughts and even our goals. When we read motivational, educational, and inspiration text, we are building a framework for success. So, skip the social media scrolling and grab a book.
Books have a way of pulling us out of our own heads and can be a catalyst for new ideas.
The best books inspire and educate.
7. Avoid comparison
Whether you do old-school social media (Facebook, Tumblr, MySpace) or new-school social media (Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Lasso), it’s critical to be aware of why you click the follow and subscribe buttons.
Sometimes, following people is about new connections, shared interests, or even strategic business growth opportunities, other times it’s about making comparisons and that can be dangerous.
We don’t see the real lives behind the social media feeds and if we compare ourselves to unrealistic images of success or beauty it can be damaging to our self-esteem.
No one is living their best life with low self-esteem, so be conscious of how you consume the lifestyle of peers, influencers, and celebrities on social media.
8. Find a hobby
Work is cool, it pays the bills.
Hobbies are great, they set you free.
Most of my career work was spent completing tasks that directly impacted the lives of other people. There was very little room for error or freedom. Hobbies are different. We can be free to explore and create without expectations.
There are tons of creative things you can do like pottery, painting, photography, hiking, kickball (yes, there are intramural kickball groups), and the list goes on.
Taking up a hobby is a chance to explore other interests and talents; also it’s a great way to meet new people who can talk with you about topics that aren’t work-related.
9. Make your mental health a priority
Mental health is tricky because the challenges we experience aren’t always visible and we can hide them (sometimes, too well).
The fear of stigmatization or being labeled is strong but any mental illness concern, no matter how small, should be addressed as soon as possible.
When we are well inside and out we are better able to cope with anxiety and other mental concerns that don’t let us relax and enjoy life.
10. Become a planner but don’t plan every moment
The process of planning helps me stay focused and productive but I don’t believe in planning every moment. Instead, I leave room for life to happen. These are the times I allow myself to wander mentally and physically.
So…although I’m a huge advocate for making goals and having plans, I also support spontaneity.
No one knows what’s in store in the next five or ten years, so it makes sense to make the most of the moments that we have right now.
Living your best life isn’t a competition but taking action is a requirement. I hope these tips help along your journey.