PRACTICAL STEPS TO LIVING THE LIFE YOU LOVE
When I was younger it always felt as if other people were trying to map out my life for me. There’s a system. Get good grades at school, go to university and get a regular 9-to-5 job. Contribute to the corporate machine until you reach retirement age. Often with the life sucked out of you.
Now don’t get me wrong. Lots of people go through the system and manage to enjoy life. You can make the most of weekends and evenings. Make sure you squeeze every drop of fun from vacations. Life can still be good.
It’s when the system destroys you. Leaves you fraught with anxiety. Working every waking hour of the day with a body that’s crying out for sleep, healthy food and exercise. That’s when there’s a problem.
Living In The Present
I’ve read a lot of self-help books. They’re addictive! All selling the same formula. Find your passion and once your future is 100% built around the things you love, your life will drastically improve.
Ignore distractions, concentrate on your end goal and start saving. Save up as much money as you can by working every hour of the day.
Your salvation, if you survive the process, is finally quitting your job. Taking that big step towards your future happiness and freedom, armed with your pot of gold. It will be so worth it!
Doesn’t it sound just a little bit like the corporate machine? Working hard towards the future goal of retirement? Forgetting to enjoy every day?
I’m not a life coach. I’m not here to promise you the earth. My aim is to get you living in the present. Taking steps right here, right now to make your life better. It all starts with your mind and body.
Little Steps Towards Living The Life You Love
I find it helps every year to give yourself an audit. It stops you slipping backwards and keeps you moving forwards towards a life you love.
The First Step Is To Be Fit
It’s hard to live the life you love without being fit. To be fit you don’t need to be an athlete or have the body of a demi-god. For most it’s enough to be able to walk up a mountain, go for a run or just have enough energy to bounce through your day in a pain-free way.
To be fit is a must for enjoying life. Just setting aside a regular time to exercise every day makes a huge difference to your energy levels, how you feel and how you look. You only get one body – so start looking after it!
You can have all the money in the world and not be happy. To quote the cliche “money doesn’t buy happiness”. Not having enough money to pay the bills does make you unhappy. It’s a huge contributor to stress and anxiety. You don’t need me to tell you that.
It’s almost impossible to look after your mind and body if you’re constantly worried about being evicted from your flat. If you’re in debt often the hardest step is acknowledging the problem. It’s time to get your books in order!
Look at your income and outgoings. If you still have money let over at the end of the month, put it away for a rainy day. It’s good to build up a 3 month pot of savings – the amount you would need to live on for 3 months if you lost your income tomorrow.
Most people waste money. We pay too much for our bills and spend money on things we don’t really want. I’m not saying don’t buy those designer trainers, just think about why you’re buying them before you splash the cash. Will they still make you happy in a month’s time?
If you have a serious money problem, get advice. Swallow your pride, get over your embarrassment and deal with the situation. Until you take that first step, your life won’t get better.
For every person routing for you to make your life better, there’s another who sees it as a threat. The film Brittany Runs A Marathon has this down to a tee. Brittany’s best friend and flatmate constantly undermines her efforts to get fit.
It’s not out of any love for Brittany. Instead it’s the time old threat of changing the status quo. Making positive changes to your life can make other people feel inadequate.
Sometimes you just have to reassess who you want to be influenced by. The people we spend the most time with have the biggest influence on our behaviour, attitude and results.
Life’s too short to be tied down by your peers. Seek out people who encourage and inspire you to move forward.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
There are some things you can control in life and some things you can’t. Usually the toughest times you go through in life come at you broadside out of thin air. You can’t plan for them or mitigate against them.
Spending your life fretting about the little things you can’t change or control is a waste of your time. Save your energy for making things better.
If it’s something you can change that’s bugging you what are you waiting for? Get the job done and move on.
Just make one change at a time
Remember your New Year resolutions? Let me guess – you were going to drop all your bad habits, get fit, lose weight, go to bed early… how did it go? Maybe not so well?
Changing too much too fast is just setting yourself up for failure. Then when you fail, you just go back to your former habits.
Start with one change. I suggest it’s exercise. Exercise will make you feel better and more inclined to take on other changes. Come up with a training schedule that almost seems too easy and try to stick to it. It’s regular commitment that gets results.
Start easy and as you get fitter you can make your schedule harder. Make some other small changes – eat better, find ways to be more positive, get more sleep. Small steps, constant improvement.
Not everything will always go to plan. Setbacks are part of life. Sometimes they’re learning experiences. Other times you just have to take the knock back, dust yourself off and move on.
Taking those small steps. Moving towards living the life you love.
Celebrate the wins
Enjoy the process and celebrate every time you hit a small goal. You run your first mile without stopping, you go a whole week of healthy eating or get up to do a 15 minute yoga session every morning.
Come up with a non food treat and reward yourself. You’re doing this! Every little step.
How do you spend your weekends? When did you last do something completely new? Try a new sport, discover a new place?
So often we forget to enjoy ourselves. Forget to explore this wonderful world we live in. Stuck in a routine limited by our mindset. Live a little – go and have a mini adventure…
I’m rooting for ya!