When you think about what life may be like five or ten years down the road, how do you feel about it? Are you excited about your future prospects? Depressed? Unfortunately for many, planning for the future can be an anxiety inducing act. If this sounds like you, the good news is that not only are you not alone but you do have the power to change your life for the better. There is no magic formula when it comes to life but there are several proven methods that will help. Below are the top five ways to get your life moving in the right direction. Some may take longer than others to see results but they will all make a positive impact on your life!
1) Meditate – In today’s world of constant connectivity it is often difficult to “unplug” from daily life. We are constantly processing information, whether it be from a smartphone, PC, or tablet. It is important that we learn to slow down every now and then so that we can recharge our batteries. One of the best ways to energize the mind and body is through meditation. Meditation has many benefits including reducing stress, calming the mind, regulating the heart rate, and increasing energy. In fact, meditation has long been known as a way to treat stress and anxiety related disorders. Meditation can be done pretty much anywhere and at any time of day. It does not require anything except a quiet place, but you can use props such as music, candles, or basically anything that will help you to relax. Taking a few minutes to relax your mind each day will help you to better deal with all that life may throw your way.
2) Goal Planning – One thing I have always been encouraged to do by my mentors is to regularly write down and review my goals. I have to say that this type of strategic planning has been a very effective way for me to consistently achieve my goals. Effective goal planning allows you to see your life vision on paper and guides you in developing an action plan that makes your dreams achievable. Take a few moments to sit down and plan out what you would like to happen over the next year or maybe even five years. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and dream bigger than you thought possible. What do you want to accomplish and in what period of time? Where do you want to live? Where do you want to work? Do you want to open your own business? Do you want to obtain a degree? Whatever it may be, write it down and put it in a place where you will see it regularly. Nothing is impossible with a little planning!
3) Diet Changes – This is almost a no-brainer but I have to mention it because it is one of the best ways to improve the quality of your life. Learn how to properly portion your meals and cut back on extra sugar and oils – most of which aren’t needed to make flavorful food. Purchase as much unprocessed whole foods as possible as they will not only taste better and be more nutrient dense, but they also have far less damaging chemicals in them. If you are not ready to remove everything from your diet, start with an unhealthy habit and begin by making changes to eliminate it. For example, if you have a love for soda, start by eliminating or at least reducing your consumption of soda. For every soda that you do not consume, you will be saving more than 35 grams of sugar and over 100 empty calories from your diet. Even small simple changes can make a big impact!
4) Exercise – As we age, it becomes more common to develop chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. However, many of these conditions can be alleviated or even prevented with regular exercise and a proper diet (see tip #3). If you plan to live a long full life then taking care of your body should be a priority for you. So get up and get moving! Exercise has tons of amazing benefits both physical and emotional. Not only will you look better but you will feel better too. Exercise does not have to be boring and in fact can be quite enjoyable. Take a hike at a nearby park or participate in a baseball or soccer game at a local rec center.
5) Make Time – If asked, most people would rate their family and friends pretty high at the top of their priority list. But why then does it seem as if these relationships are the last to get our time and attention? In order for a relationship to thrive, it must be nurtured. If your desire is to have a closer relationship with a friend or family member, then you must put in the time to develop the relationship. It is our relationships which help us remain grounded and feel supported and cared for when times are tough. Making time to take a friend to lunch or going roller skating with your kids will not only help you but will let your loved ones know that they are important to you.
Regardless of whether you are just starting out on your journey or if you consider yourself an experienced pro, the one thing everyone can agree on is that happiness is an extremely important part of life. And the best way to live a long happy life is to laugh and love as often as possible!