Live Your Best Life Now: 25 Soul-Enhancing Ways To Make This Year Your Best Yet
Welcome to the new year everyone! Wow, I can’t believe how quickly last year flew by. To be honest, I’m kinda happy it’s over. It was time to start a new chapter with a clean slate. I needed it! Last year brought me a lot of pain and challenges, but those experiences also changed me in ways I would never in a million years take back! This isn’t to say that you can’t start a fresh chapter any day of the year, but there’s just something about a new year that really feels like the page has turned and you can sort of start over, right? So, let me ask you, are you ready to live your best life now?! I know I am.
To start the new year off with a bang I wanted to tell you guys some of the things I’ll be doing this new year to further connect with my true self and soul, find sustainable happiness, have more fun, and experience rapid personal growth. Some of these things will be new for me and some are tried and true methods that I’ll be sticking with through the new year.
I would love to hear your thoughts on these and if you have some of your own methods for living your best life now, please share with us in the comments! Spread the love around, ya know?!
Y’all know I love meditating, right!? I’ve been meditating for about a year now pretty consistently but it really wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that I really started to notice the ways it has impacted my life. Meditating isn’t “easy” per se, but it isn’t hard either. It just takes some time and patience to really get the hang of it before you start to notice the impact it has on your life. Stay with it, stay consistent, stay patient. I started out with just 10 minutes a day and now I do anywhere from 10-25 minutes a day. Trust me, you can carve out 10 minutes a day for this practice that is unbelievably good for you. If you want to start living your best life now, you need to start meditating now!
Have you heard about this yet? Several people have told me I need to try it, so 2017 is going to be the year! It sort of sounds complicated but it also sounds really fun. I’m the type of person who has like 15 beautiful journals that each have only 10-15 pages filled out. I’ve never been able to consistently keep a real journal for more than a few weeks. I end up using my phone or computer for keeping to-do lists but I really love the idea of writing everything down. When I get super busy I tend to write things down, I guess it really depends on my mood. But this year I am going to make this bullet journal work for me because this year I am committed to change. In previous years I’ve been interested in changing my life and I have wanted to, but I have never been this committed. It’s something I urge you to do if you want to change your life. You need to commit, turn the page like there is NO going back. That’s how you can start to live your best life now.
Exercise is something I’m passionate about but it has taken a backseat in my life since I’ve been dealing with my health issues. Get your blood pumping & move every day and you’ll be well on your way to living your best life now – I promise you that. It can be as simple as a long walk or 15 minute HIIT workout, just get something in to get your endorphins going!
Spend time alone every week
I actually wrote a post about why you should go on a solo retreat to spend more time alone because I think it’s that important. Try to carve out a few hours every week to spend some time alone without TV, your phone, a friend, anything – just you and your thoughts.
Go phone-less in the morning and before bed
Don’t check your phone for the first hour in the morning. Use that time for something you’re passionate about or just get some you time. If you check your phone when you wake up you will feel rushed and busy immediately. Not the best way to start living your best life now is it? And studies show we shouldn’t check our phones before bed – the blue light isn’t good for our melatonin production and it’ll just give us more to think and worry about as we’re falling asleep.
Make someone else happy every day
One of my favorite fool proof ways to have a great day and to get a boost of happiness is by making someone else happy as early in the day as possible – without expecting anything in return. It can be something as simple as a sincere compliment to a stranger or friend, leaving cute love notes for your significant other for them to find, or paying for someone’s coffee behind you in line. Try to do something that will make someone else happy every day and you’ll be in for a kickass year and on your way to your best life.
Write & update your life vision
If you want to be living your best life now you need to start by writing down what your ideal vision for your best life is. Without it you’ll be directionless and lack the motivation that’s necessary to really take action and create your best life. Spend a few minutes every day reviewing your vision to keep the fire burning and make sure you update it whenever you have new ideas or your vision changes. It should constantly evolve with you.
Define your year’s intentions
Instead of creating new years resolutions that feel very restrictive and often create guilt when we don’t follow through, try defining what you want your new year’s intentions to be. Intensions are much more flexible and allow us to build a foundation for our best life to create the change we want to see. When setting your intensions, think about the why behind what you want to change. Just like your vision, this will provide the motivation necessary to keep the fire burning. For example, one of my new year’s intentions is to bring more joy into my life and into the world.
Cancel your cable TV
We recently canceled our cable TV so that we would be more intentional about what we do during our evenings. Most of the time we are tired after a long day so we plop in front of the TV for a few hours before sleep. We decided to cancel our TV because we wanted to read more, catch up with each other and friends more, work on more productive things and when we wanted to, intentionally watch something on Hulu or Netflix. Instead of just channel surfing and watching whatever is on, if we want to watch TV we need to be intentional about it and actively select what we want to watch. The time we previously wasted on TV will now be spent on things we value more, including working on our goals and spending time with each other. But like I said, we still keep Hulu and Netflix…because I won’t lie, sometimes you just need a good TV sesh.
Is this list getting you pumped for an awesome life? You might want to download my free daily checklist and prompts printable worksheet that I made from this post! Click the image to download.
Let go of the past
This new year, commit to letting go of the past. Let go of past regrets, past mistakes, past problems and live in the present. Take the lessons you’ve learned and honor them by moving forward, growing and evolving. This also means letting go of beliefs or values that no longer feel right for you. We are constantly changing and evolving so let go of dreams, values or commitments that no longer make sense or that don’t inspire you any longer. It’s ok to move on from them without having met them if they no longer serve you.
Oh man, this one’s a doozy. This is probably one of the hardest steps on this list but by far one of the most important that people far too often neglect. It goes hand in hand with letting go of the past because in order to forgive we must let go of past indiscretions and things that have hurt us. It doesn’t mean we need to forget them but we do need to accept that they happened and let go of any negative feelings we’re harboring because they are only weighing us down and holding us back from living our best life now. Holding on to anger or resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It’s only causing you harm, negativity and stress. Let it go. Choose to forgive and you’ll find a huge weight to be lifted.
Do more things just for the fun of them
Not everything you do has to have a bigger purpose behind it. Do more things just because they sound fun. In other words just have more fun with your life! We only live once and to make it your best life now, in this present moment, just start having more fun right now!
Create your own personal mantras
Think of a couple mantras or affirmations that really resonate with you this year and repeat them on a daily basis or when you’re feeling frustrated or just in a funk. For example a few of mine are: “What would I do if I act out of love, not fear,” “You don’t have to be good at everything,” or “The little things I do every day matter more than big things I do once in a while” or simply “Be Ali!”
Lean into fear
Often the things that scare us the most are the things we need to be doing. Some of us have a fear of failing while others of us may fear the successful person they know they can become.
“We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents/children/teachers think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity. We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know.
― Steven Pressfield,
Many of us fear becoming who we truly are because it will drastically change us. We will lose friends, family, become estranged from the life we knew. BUT we will gain friends – truer friends – and find peace in our true self. We are just fearful of all the change. Don’t be afraid – lean into the fear. Fear tells you where you need to go to live your best life now.
Wake up earlier
If you want to start living your best life now you need to find more time in the day for yourself before you get interrupted by work, relationships, daily life, etc. You need to make time to work on you. For most of us the best time to do this is first thing in the morning, early before most people get up. By starting my days at 6am now I’m able to get all my “me-time” tasks done before 7:30am and by then I am energized and motivated to have an amazing day too.
Get out in nature every day
Connecting with nature is one of my favorite ways to feel more connected to my true self. We could all use those 15 minutes of natural sunlight every day anyway – it’s been proven that light is good for the psyche and stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine (the two feel-good hormones that are responsible for feelings of happiness). Want to live your best life now, dontcha? Get more sunshine!!
Get rid of things you don’t use or that weigh you down
I pretty much ignored my blog for the last two weeks because I was busy cleaning and decluttering my apartment. I was preparing for a fresh slate to the new year and wanted to be free of all the junk and clutter that I could physically feel was sucking my energy. Let go of all the useless things that are sucking your energy and creating more work for you. Those clothes you never wear? Donate them. Those drawers that keep collecting junk? Sort through them and throw away anything you haven’t touched in the last 6 months. That friend who is always negative, needy and takes, takes, takes without giving anything in return? Time to let her go too. If you don’t love it or you don’t use it, it’s time to throw it away. Start living your best life now by getting rid of everything that has been weighing you down.
Carve out scheduled time for friends
I get it, you’re super busy and your friends are super busy and no one has time to meet up! But friendships are imperative to happiness and if you want to start living your best life now, you need to prioritize your relationships. My friends and I try to get together about once a month, but sometimes we go months without seeing each other and the time just flies. Last year we started scheduling times to hang out the same days and times so that it’s on everyone’s schedule, making it much easier to commit to. For instance, we all gather on Monday nights to watch the Bachelor/ette. Even though it takes up a few hours on a Monday night and I’m usually tired when I get there, I actually feel more energized for the rest of the week just by seeing my friends, catching up and laughing.
Take on challenges and new experiences as often as you can
Challenges actually positively stimulate our brains and dealing with new experiences will often bring about unexpected satisfaction. Regardless of the end results, challenges and new experiences will always teach you something, you will grow and learn more about yourself and you’ll create new memories in the process. Think about it – when you don’t experience anything new for a few days, the days tend to blur together and you can’t really remember doing much of anything. But when you experience something new you build a memory that more often than not lasts a lifetime.
Read inspirational content in the morning
Instead of reading your emails or scrolling through Instagram during breakfast or in bed, try reading or listening to some uplifting and inspiring content to get you fired up and motivated to carpe diem, yo (seize the day, yo).
Listen to an uplifting song in the morning
When we hear a song that’s pleasurable, our brains release the feel-good chemicals, endorphins and dopamine, and lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Turn on your favorite upbeat song and jam out! Sing and dance your heart out! This is a great way to start every day off right. If you’re looking to reduce anxiety or just feel calmer try out this song too. Apparently, neuroscientists in the UK discovered that this one song in particular reduced anxiety at a whopping rate of 65%. I prefer something a little more mainstream that I can sing too. But just pick something that gets you in a great mood!
Keep a gratitude journal
Gratitude is known as a key to happiness so to start living your best life now, start a gratitude journal. Make it something really easy that you can keep up with. For instance at the end of the day write down one thing that you were grateful for, or the happiest moment of your day, or something that made today great but that you normally take for granted. Review it the next morning before starting your day.
Practice being present
Have you heard the greatest present you can give someone is being fully present? That’s because being fully present is one of the rarest things in the world. We are always distracted by something, our attention pulled in several directions all at once. It’s quite hard to give our full undivided attention to anyone, let alone ourselves. But when we are fully present, living in this moment (not the past, not the future, but now), we can fully appreciate the moment. When we practice being present we are more aware of our life, our being and our finite existence. This awareness enables us to perceive the happinesses of every day moments more intensely and consequently enjoy life more, even the more mundane moments.
Treat your body like the well oiled machine that it is
Feed it right, hydrate it right, rest it right, work it and challenge it right and you’ll find you’ll have more energy and all around happiness. So much of the problems people have today stem from our health and nutrition. Just by taking simple steps like drinking more water, getting 7+ hours of sleep, and eating more vegetables you can start living your best life now. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your body adjusts and how much energy you have. If you want to feel your best you have to be at your best physically.
Make note of things that make you happy and things that make you unhappy
A big part of creating your best life now is knowing what makes you happy and what doesn’t so you can avoid the things that don’t and pursue more of the things that do. It’s about living life with intention instead of letting things happen to you. Create your best life now by being an active creator and contributor to it.
Related Post: What’s Blocking Your Happiness: Self-Confidence
Well, that’s the end of my list y’all! I’m so excited to start this new year off with a bang and I hope you are too. I know these tips and methods will work wonders for you if you’re trying to rock your best life now. Let me know which ones work for you and what some of your own methods are for connecting with your bad-ass soul and living your best life.
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Related Post: What’s Blocking Your Happiness: Self-Awareness