We all want the big life, the one that is our best fit and reflects the truest version of ourselves, but sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. Our goals can seem so out of reach, everything we are aiming for appears so hard to attain, especially if you are working on a long-term plan, it can be hard not to lose sight of the end reward and feel a little daunted or overwhelmed.
So while you are striving for the best in life, remember that even the smallest step forward is still forward and will bring you that much closer to where you want to be.
So for those days when it all just seems too much, try these:
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1. Believe It Is Possible
Don’t act, don’t do, just BELIEVE. Work hard on seeing your life the way you want it to be. Obviously, action is a key part of achieving and you can’t get away with this forever, but sometimes working on your dream by just, well, dreaming, can be a great way to reconnect to what it is you want, and drive you onto future brilliance.
2. Three Good Things
Gratitude is a game changer. It is written about so often that it almost feels like a cliche to suggest it, but it is written about because it is awesome. The simple act of writing down 3 things you are grateful for every day will connect you to a sense of wonder like nothing else.
It doesn’t even have to be a ‘gratitude’ as such, in fact, let’s just call it ‘3 good things’. Every day write down 3 good things. A cool breeze on a hot day, the sound of the birds singing in the trees, a nice chat with a friend, the warmth of your cup of coffee…I call these joyful pauses – anything that makes you pause for just a second and recognise the moment. Write it down!
I carry around a little pocket-sized notebook (my brain dump book) at all times, because I forget things pretty easily and need to do this to keep me on track/record genius when it strikes, and I find I often reach for it to jot down a joyful pause, and then I’ll either transfer it into my journal later on in the day, or more often than not send it to my friends…
Share the love!
One of my besties set up a WhatsApp group for a few of us after we’d been chatting about the benefits of gratitude a few years back to record her good things each day, and we’ve mostly all added to it daily ever since. Sometimes one or all of us will skip a day or 2, sometimes we’ll add LOADS in one day, but I think we’d all agree that it makes us more aware of what we have and more mindful – even on days when we don’t actually contribute to the group.
The added bonus of having a group of buddies to share gratitudes with is that on days when I’m just not feeling it, I find that if one o’ my ladies adds a few of her good things, it gives me a bit of a kick and reminds me that there is always something, however small, to feel good about. (And there is always friendship! Speaking of which…)
One of the most powerful ways to live the big life is through your relationships with others. Cherish the bonds you have with friends and family. Research has shown that people in the world’s blue zones rate relationships as a primary factor in their longevity. Spending time in the company of loved ones is a sure fire way to help you feel like your best self.
If you are in the process of changing your life (as I know many of you are!) perhaps building up a business on the side of your regular job, or planning to relocate, you might find this puts a strain on your relationships, either because the time you are investing in yourself means you haven’t much to spare, or maybe even your friends and/or family feel resentful towards your new goals and unsure about the changes they are seeing in you. This is the time when you need to be honest with yourself and take a very good look at whether or not these people are your people.
love, love, love
If they are, and you value what is between you, then you owe it to them and to yourself to not get so lost in your dreams that you exclude them. Your true tribe, be that old friends, new ones, distant family or your closest kin, will always support and stand by you if you let them. Invite them into your world, share your dreams with them, by all means, tell them if you are too busy to see them right now, but make sure you arrange a future time to get together and devote that time to truly being together.
Related reading… Why you should take time off when starting up a blog
You know the good ones? The friends you can go literally years without a word to and then when you do get together it’s like no time at all has passed and you just pick up where you left off? Those are the keepers! DO NOT LET THEM GO!
Start up a conversation with a stranger, reach out, join a club, get onto forums and facebook groups…whether in the real world or the digital one, it’s good to connect. Who knows? You may make a life-long friend!
4.Know Your Mind
As important as your connection to others is your connection to yourself. Ensure you take the time to get to know yourself fully. Journalling is a really good way to approach this, taking a few moments to jot down your thoughts each day, or even just when the mood takes you, is a brilliant way to dig a little deeper into the wonderful mystery of you… What are your beliefs? Your ideals? Your motives? What is at the very core of you? Know this and maintain your integrity by always staying true to your values. It will make all the difference, trust me.
5. Make Your Bed
Just do it. Tidy environment, tidy mind! (and on that subject, the positive impact of a damn good clear out and declutter shouldn’t be underestimated either!) But if you just do one thing to make your living space a nicer place, make your bed. In the words of Navy seal officer William H. McCraven:
“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day, it will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”
6. Rise Early
Set your alarm for 1 hr earlier than you would normally get up. Use this time for personal development, planning for your day ahead, exercising, anything you wish you had the time for but just never seem to get around to…by getting up earlier, you make time.
Not an early riser? I get it, really I do! Or rather, I did...because while once I would have roared with laughter at the the notion that I could ever be considered “a morning person” (being much more naturally inclined to stay in bed until 10, 11, 12 if I could get away with it, and even then take a good hour to acclimatise…), now I routinely get up at 6 am, and can say with hand on heart that my life is better than ever, and I am less tired than ever before!
I highly recommend the book ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod, which was instrumental in the shift in my mindset from snoozy loser to morning person. If you really can’t face it or need to work up to a full hour earlier, getting up even just 10 mins earlier than usual will make such a difference to your day!
Easily one of the most effective ways to change your world.
This is another area in which I can honestly say the me of 10 years ago would have been reeling in horror at the thought of me ever moving any more energetically than a snail on a hot day.
I dreaded PE in school, I used to forge notes from home in order to not participate (sorry mum!), I hated sports days, I genuinely felt as if my lungs would burst if I had to exert myself in any way, shape or form…These days I can’t imagine life without exercise.
You don’t need to spend hours a day at the gym, just lace up your running shoes and go for a jog, check out your local swimming pool (or even better, beach!) or hop onto YouTube and delve into whatever kind of thing you think might benefit you. Personally, I love ‘Yoga with Adriene‘, ‘BodyFit by Amy‘ and ‘Joanna Soh‘. Regular exercise has so many benefits, improving physical fitness, mental agility, overall health and producing lots of feel-good hormones.
It. Is. Essential.
8. No Spend Days
Have trouble sticking to a budget? Maybe you want to save for your future but struggle to put the pennies aside? Start small. Each week aim to have at least one ‘no spend’ day. If you are a bullet journal type, then add no spend days to your habit tracker, you’ll be surprised how much you’ll start to enjoy being able to cross those off your list, before you know it you’ll be having more ‘no spend’ days than not, and that all helps the cause!
Related reading…. 3 Simple Ways To Take Control Of Your Spending
Meditation puts us in touch with ourselves and the realisation that happiness is not the end result of having achieved something, but more a way of going about things. Simply put, meditation puts us thoroughly in the moment (which is really the only place to be after all!)
I like to spend the first 10 minutes of my day in meditation, usually just sat in silence, slowly reconnecting to myself and the world around me following the previous night’s sleep. If you need a little more structure to your meditation, the best resource I have encountered is the Insight Timer app, which is loaded with excellent guided meditations, talks, and forums, and it’s free too!
10. Be Inspired
Read biographies, watch TED talks, subscribe to your favourite uplifting YouTube channels, surround yourself with the motivational and inspirational! Take your favourite ideas and stick them on post-it notes around your house, or create a vision board…Allow yourself to be constantly reminded of just how great you are, and how you really can and should have everything you desire.
If you are trying to make big changes to your life, you need patience. These things won’t happen overnight. But by taking small steps towards improving where you are today, you will be building a better foundation for tomorrow. What tiny steps do you use to keep you on track when things are tough? I’d love to know! Leave a comment!
Related reading: 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life