You want to live the best life possible.
But you don’t want to spend a ton of time learning how to accomplish this.
I completely understand.
This wellness pocket guide is the answer to all of your problems (not really, but it will help eliminate common life problems you might encounter).
I’ve put together 10 easy to implement yet effective action steps that will increase your happiness, make you feel more fulfilled, and boost your quality of life.
These are written to start helping and affecting you immediately, but because it’s so short and sweet, you can bookmark it for later when you need a bit of a refresher as well.
Let’s get started.
Getting Your Mind Right = Getting Your Life Right
Step 1. Write down your innermost desire in the entire world
If you take away nothing else from this guide, considering and figuring out what you want to do most is imperative in shaping your path in life and the overall quality of that life.
Your dreams and passions matter. So figure out what you actually want, aside from monetary obligations, other’s expectations, or any other pressures. It will guide you towards a more purpose-filled existence.
So yes, write it down somewhere. If you’re having trouble with this (which is 100% alright because of how we’re socialized in our society), here are some questions to ask yourself to get your brain juices flowing.
Questions For Figuring Out Your Passion
- If I had to do one thing every day for the rest of my life, what would it be?
- If I had to work for free, what would I be doing?
- If I had no bills, spouse, or other obligations, what would I care about?
- What kinds of things do you do in your free time (this is often a good indicator of a secret dream)?
- What do you dream about, or often say “I wish I could” before describing it?
Take a moment to really consider these questions and see what you come up with. Figuring out a true passion helps establish goals, steer you in the right directions in life when making tough decisions, and keeps you motivated when you aren’t feeling up to the challenge.
You may not be used to considering your own happiness or what you want with the monotony or pressures of day to day life, but to start living wholly and a fulfilled life, you have got to get used to thinking about those desires.
Write down this dream on a piece of paper, whiteboard, vision board, or whatever strikes your fancy. Then put it somewhere where you go every day like in front of your door or on your bathroom mirror so you will never forget.
Step 2. Spend every day after that doing whatever you’ve got to do to make that possible.
Perseverance and dedication are the keys to both long-term success and personal fulfillment as well.
You’ve got to realize that your heart knows what it wants. But the way you’ve structured your life or the responsibilities you’ve accumulated might not be in line with those innermost desires. So it is up to you to continue to find ways to make them possible.
A good way to start is with what are called low barrier of entry options. These are everything you can do at the beginning of any journey that allows you to jump right in and start making early progress when dealing with a huge and/0r daunting task.
For example. You’d like to lose 50 lbs in a year. So you’re convinced that you must exercise for 2 hours every single day and completely change your diet to ice cubes and iceberg lettuce…
Not the case.
The best way to get this goal done is through starting off with around 15-20 minutes of light exercise a day (taking a walk, playing with your dog in the park, etc), 3 times a week. Then continue to build.
This will reward your initial progress and keep you motivated while you’re in growth mode.
Important to keep in mind
The most rewarding parts of life are always the most exclusive. They require work, belief, and an insane amount of passion. You have the passion inside of you. It’s always been there. You’ve simply got to make up your mind that you’re willing to start doing whatever it takes to get there.
Techniques For Keeping Yourself On Track
- Keep a daily journal of your progress. Each day (or week if daily is too difficult) record 1 or 2 ways you made improvements. Also write down what you could have done better and what you need tomorrow.
- Tell a friend or join a group. Having encouragement from like minded people is a powerful motivator. These folks can also kick your butt back into shape if you veer off your path
- Hire a professional. Starting any new large lifestyle change can be difficult. Getting help from someone who has been there and done that will get you started off on the right foot.
Step 3. Help and love others relentlessly
“The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.”
― Gordon B. Hinckley
If that doesn’t speak to you, I truly don’t know what will. It is a quote that perfectly sums up why it is imperative to give your time and assist others in some way.
Here’s a story to help illustrate that point:
Picture yourself on your way home from work during a rainy day. It’s the end of the month, so soon you will have bills to pay, and you feel like your job isn’t enough to provide for your life.
While you’re walking, you notice a family of three, over by the corner in an alleyway. A mom and her two children, sitting in a cardboard box, huddled together for warmth. They have no sign, only a few belongings, and no food, shelter, or other basic necessities nearby.
Compared to them, I’m sure your situation got put on hold and in light of theirs doesn’t seem so bad right?
That’s only part of the power of what considering other’s needs and being a light in the world around you. It helps put all of the events, thoughts, and feelings of your life into perspective. That’s not to say you won’t have bad days or feel down about yourself at times. But getting to see those less fortunate than you will help you decide on what’s really important.
Also, encouraging or helping another human being also doubles as motivation for yourself. Apart from the rush of dopamine you get (happy chemicals in your brain), the person you helped is likely to be greatful to you and make that known. Hearing those words and knowing the feeling of helping another go a long way for improving your self-worth and esteem levels.
Wanna know some things you can do to help tomorrow?
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter nearby. Gain empathy by hearing the variety of stories.
- Compliment 3 strangers at the grocery store. Do it next time you’re there. You might make someone’s week with your simple act of kindness.
- Donate money to a local charity. You know the money will have a huge impact. Very little effort required.
- Give someone who is emotionally distressed a few minutes of your time. Offer them any comfort you can. You never know who is right on the edge and needs a friend.
These kinds of actions work as a positive feedback loop and the cycle of you helping someone, who feels inspired to help another, who goes out and does the same, can make a huge impact in a short amount of time. It’s not only good for you, it’s better for society.
Living this way, with purpose and the satisfaction of having a cause apart from your own needs, is one of the most fulfilling actions on the planet, and will go a long way in boosting your mood, and shaping your outlook on life into one that is much more optimistic and positive.
Step 4. Eat natural food, drink more water, and exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week
The importance of fueling your body correctly
I shouldn’t even have to touch on this one, but I will. You’ve got to eat better. Simple as that.
Picture putting unleaded gas into a Ferrari, or even worse, trying to put soda in the tank and expecting it to start and run smoothly. That would be nonsense right?
Well, that may be an extreme example, but it’s not that different from putting processed or unhealthy foods and drinks into your body. Our bodies were designed very specifically with certain nutritional requirements. Because it’s so resourceful, it can handle eating a pizza every day with a gallon of mountain dew, but not properly or for long.
Eating a balanced diet and fulfilling all of your nutritional requirements is pretty simple. No fancy diets, no spending tons of money. This healthy eating chart sums it up nicely:
A tip I like to tell myself to stay on track is that if I can’t find it growing on a tree, grow it in the ground, pick it off of a plant, flowing on it’s own, or roaming/flying around in nature, I don’t usually eat it (But I also do have cheat days just like everyone else. I am human)
When it comes to water, this is a no-brainer. You need to be hydrated. Your body needs water to survive and function properly. It has a million functions to keep your body running smoothly. Do it more often.
It’s time to get active
You need exercise for the same reasons you need to eat well and drink water. It’s all about health and energy.
Have you ever seen someone struggle to walk up a large flight of stairs (or even worse, been that person)? It’s painful to see the human body struggle to get through the day from lack of energy, not be able to exhibit certain motions or maintain natural positions because of bad health or start failing because it’s not being maintained properly.
Excercise doesn’t mean running a marathon every month or going to some insane cycling class at your local gym after signing up for a $100 per week membership. It can be as simple as taking a 15 minute walk every day at your lunch break. It can be playing catch with your kid outside for an hour. Or working out with a fitness coach that you trust. Even watching a follow along workout on youtube.
The point is to start to consider how your body FEELS. Is it painful for you to sit down for long periods of time? Do you get out of breath easily? Do you feel sluggish most of the time? These are all signs that things are going well.
Start out small with light stretching and some form of physical exercise each week, and slowly make improvements as you get stronger and in better shape. Not only will you feel and get around better, but watch your mood start to get waaaay better as well. #FitFam
Step 5. Read more. Try 2 books a month
Knowledge is the key to growth. The more you continue to grow, the better of you’ll be. When you’re better off in life, you tend to be satisfied. Satisfaction and happiness are best friends.
Guess what the best way to acquire knowledge is?
It’s reading! Whether you prefer books, blogs, fiction, fantasy, or whatever else, you’ve got to do it. Yes, I know there are many other ways to consume information, and not everyone is a visual learner. But our minds still process information best by reading it from physical words, rather than a screen.
I always like to say that any and every problem you ever have had or ever will have has most likely been had by someone already, and they’ve written a book on it. Reading is important in that you can always find ways to enhance or improve your life more quickly, rather than trying to learn the lesson on your own.
Even less practical books, or non fiction novels provide your mind with useful perspectives and keep it stimulated which helps you process information more effeciently in the future and can enhance creativity as well.
Step 6. Meditate every single day
Meditation is often a misunderstood practice. When you think of this you might first picture a monk up in a temple somewhere, or a hippy from the 70s going on about free love and peace.
The reality, however, is that meditation is simply the process of clearing your mind, increasing your level of consciousness, and improving your relationship with your thoughts. When done regularly, it can have some amazing benefits for your life. Such as:
- Lowered anxiety
- Improved immune system
- Greater emotional stability
- Stress relief
- Increased Focus
- A more balanced temperment
Along with many others. But even better than the benefits, is how little effort is required to get started and start seeing positive effects.
When it comes to meditation, there is no right or wrong way to go about it. You’ve simply got to find the style that works best for your brain and lifestyle. Same goes with time. In the beginning, while you’re getting a feel for the habit, take 10-15 minutes either at the start of your day or right before you go to bed to practice. That will ease you into the process.
Meditation Resources To Get You Started
- Guided Meditation On Youtube
- Headspace Meditation App
- Great meditation blog and podcast for beginners
Step 7. Spend time in nature
For starters, there an insane amount of benefits to spending time outside.
But the main benefit of being outside and experience fresh air is for the sake of tranquility and peace of mind.
Today’s society has become a series of hyper-connected moments with media, friends, our job, and a million other distractions and responsibilities. Humans are busier than ever before (site this), and it’s not necessarily getting more done other than making everyone more stressed out and anxious.
Being in nature is the exact opposite of that.
The brilliance behind taking a hike, camping, playing in a river, or walking through a park, is that there isn’t much going on. Nature has it’s place, and doesn’t vary all too much. There are sounds, but none that constantly grab your attention. There is motion, but it is steady and even. This naturally allows you to be in a more calm and present state, which is awesome for our human brains.
Step 8. Keep a tight circle of friends, family, and loved ones. Spend quality time with them 1+ times a week
Even the most introverted people need companionship and positive interaction with other humans.
The right network of friends and loved ones can be a source of encouragement, excite or offer fun, challenge you to be a better version of yourself, comfort you when you’re feeling down, and help you decompress if you’ve been feeling stressed out.
It’s important not to get so wrapped up in your own situation or hardship that you forget that there are others you know who want to support you and spend time with you.
If you’re feeling like you don’t have anybody that has your back or if you’ve isolated yourself and don’t know how to dig yourself back out try this:
- Scroll through your phone or facebook feed
- Find your best freind that you haven’t talked to in a few months
- Send them a message letting them know you’re thinking about them and miss them
- Ask them to make plans to hang out sometime in the near future
- Write it down on your calendar and ask them to do the same so it happens
- enjoy and heal
Allow yourself to be vulnerable to others and build up a solid group of people around you that will always bring you up.
You’ve got to eliminate any negative influences in your life. Mean spirited, jealous, or lazy friends are the quickest way to not achieving anything for yourself.
Their energy and decision-making process will rub off on you and do much more harm than good. Take a few moments to ask yourself the following questions about anyone you spend time with:
- Does this person make me sad more often than happy?
- Do we add value to the other’s life?
- Why are we friends? Is there real substance at the core of our relationship?
If you’re answering no to any of those, that’s probably a bad sign.
Clear out the nonsense, strengthen the good.
Step 10. Laugh and smile often
Life is kind of like training a new puppy.
It’s a huge responsibility, it doesn’t care what you say, and it’s almost always rewarding in the end. But, it also can be extremely frustrating and cause you some stress.
That’s where smiling and laughter come in. Making yourself smile can actually make you feel better.
So a quick and dirty way to live a more fulfilled and settled life is to ensure that you’re getting a lot of laughs and lighthearted moments in. If things are really tough, and the positive emotion isn’t happening organically on its own, then forcing yourself to smile works fine instead.
*huge smile emoji*
Do not get discouraged, my friend. You are in control of your life. If you can conceive of it, it is possible. I wish you luck with all future endeavors.