I never watched The Oprah Show, but I LOVE her magazine. One thing she often talks about is living your best life. Your best life. It sounds amazing, right? My best life would be a little glamorous with elegant dinner parties, walks on the beach, snuggling with Max while I read and a closet full of stylish clothes in a size that feels good. The dream is so alluring but always seems out of reach, especially when I play the comparison game. I’ve spent too much time comparing my life to others or worrying about what they think versus creating the life I want for myself. One of my resolutions this year is to live my best life on my terms.
Stop Waiting for Perfection. Enjoy Life Now!
Don’t worry — I’m not advocating a #YOLO lifestyle or mindset. I am, however, definitely encouraging you (and me) to stop waiting for the perfect moment to begin living. Life doesn’t wait. It keeps going and going and going until it’s over. I don’t want to have a woulda, shoulda, coulda life. The kind of life where I live in limbo, waiting on the sidelines for some sort of milestone to occur before I can be happy. You know … If I’m married, then life will be good. Or if I am a size X, then someone will fall in love with me. Or if I grow three inches, then I wouldn’t be so darn short. 🙂
The ironic — and somewhat sad — truth is whenever I ponder what my best life looks like, many of the things are already in my life. I just couldn’t or wouldn’t see them. And I still battled the belief that my life paled in comparison to others. And maybe it does. My life will likely never mimic Beyonce’s life. Even more importantly, I don’t want her life. Her savings account — yes, but her fishbowl life — not really. While my life may never be as exotic as her life, it doesn’t mean my life is less valuable.
Living My Best Life Today and Every Day
My days of sitting on the sidelines as life passes me by are over. I figure God put me here for a reason and I might as well enjoy the ride. Here’s how I going to live my best life:
Give Thanks Every Day
I am a big believer in the power of gratitude. We may not always have control over what happens to us, but we do choose how we respond. And the darkest days are when I need gratitude the most. To remind me of the many things in my life that I am thankful for. These gratitude exercises will continue to play an important, ongoing role in my life.
Take Time for Me Every Day
It seems like my to-do list never shrinks but only grows. My guess is you feel the same way. And it’s hard, so hard, to take time for yourself without feeling guilty. I’m gonna give up guilt because there is no reason to feel bad about valuing oneself. There is a reason why flight attendants instruct us to first put on our own oxygen mask before we assist others. A little me-time, whether it’s watching a favorite TV show, reading, chatting with a friend, taking a bubble bath or whatever recharges your batteries, is time well spent.
Honor My Body by Getting Healthy
Have you seen Oprah’s Weight Watchers commercial? I am 100% onboard with 2016 being the year of my best body. Getting healthy has been a goal of mine for so many years that it is a little embarrassing. If I truly want to live my best life, then I have to honor my body and treat it far better than I do today. I’m talking more about my plans to get healthy over at my sister site, Eat Laugh Purr, for those who want to join me in becoming mindfully healthy.
Go Outside My Comfort Zone
A fully realized and happy life also means not getting complacent and stuck in a rut. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a routine, but we all need to occasionally shake things up. It is especially important for a creative person, like myself, because it helps me see life in a new way that can be utilized in my work. I’m not going to pledge to say “yes” to everything because that is too big of a commitment for me at this point, but I am going to say “yes” once a month to something new that is outside my comfort zone. Yup, I’m going all Kenny Loggins on you and entering the Danger Zone. 🙂
Prioritize How I Spend My Time and Energy
The reason I created A Mindful Migration was to become more intentional or mindful with how I lived my life. To be sure that I was giving my attention to the things that mattered most and bring results. While there will always be a few items on the to-do that don’t excite me (like doing dishes) but need to done, I’m committed to making sure the work and activities I do support living my best life. There are so many things I want to accomplish in life, and I need to figure out what I am truly committed to achieving, so that I focus my energy on those things. Otherwise, they will never be more than dreams.
Do Things That Bring Me Joy
This is definitely a companion to prioritizing my time. I want to make sure that my spare time if filled with things that bring me joy. Things like reading, spending time with friends and family, snuggling with Max, continuing my eduction, exploring new places and trying new recipes and restaurants. Too often we do things “just because”, which is a lot like wasting calories on subpar food. It’s just not worth it.
Be Mindful with My Money
I am a recovering mindless spender. I spent a lot of money on stuff that I regret and never, ever want to go to back to that mindset where I don’t value money. It is not my desire to be ultra-frugal, but I also want to make sure that I spend my money with joy, as my mentor, Shannon, taught me and on the things that matter most. If her kids were able to do this when they were 6 years old, I can definitely do it at age 40. 🙂 Because, what I know for sure (yup, stealing from Oprah), it’s not about having the most, but the things that matter to me.
I Got the Power and You Do Too.
I always saw my best life as happening later in life — that I somehow needed to earn the privilege to live it and be happy. This was a false belief. Your best life can begin today, even if you have debt. It starts by knowing what your best life looks like. Like me, you’ll probably realize that many of the elements that make-up your best life already exist in your life right now. And those that are still out of reach, become what you work towards and help you stay mindful and intentional with your choices.
Go on — live your best life today. I dare you.
What does your best life look like? Are you already living it? Or did you think it was some far off event like me? How are you living your best life today? Or not?
Tonya@Budget and the Beach says
I think your best like looks a lot like I want mine to look. I think as I get older, the less I want to do anything that creates major stress and/or drama. I’m good about the second part, but not so good about the first part. I hope this is a great your for you..and for me!
Hear! Hear! I’m all about a low-stress, no drama but fulfilling, joyful and fun life! Some days it seems like the opposite occurs but that’s life too. 🙂 Here’s to a great 2016 to the both of us!
Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore says
I am trying to take time for myself everyday too and also trying to be healthier. I am working out each morning and trying to take time to de-stress at the end of the day too.
Good for you, Kayla! I really need to work on the exercise part, which is admittedly my least favorite things to do, but I remind myself how much better I will feel because of it!
Laura Beth @ How to Get Rich Slowly says
I too thought that I needed to wait until I earned the “right” to be happy and I believed that I would then begin living my best life. But I am learning to live in the now, at least sometimes 🙂 I love the tips you’ve given. This article is especially full of value. Love it!
I’m glad that you’re learning to live in the now too, Laura Beth. It’s a little exhilarating to decide that you can be happy now and don’t have to wait, but it’s also a little scary too. Now it’s up to me to go live it! I know we can both live our best live now if we put our minds to it. 🙂
Jana @ Jana Says says
I absolutely love your strategies but my favorite parts of your post are the words “choosing” and “for me”. It’s such an important distinction to say that you’re choosing to live your best life because, let’s face it, it is a choice on some level to not accept what you’re dealt and/or to make the best of it, even if it’s bad. And the “for me” is a CRUCIAL distinction because this stuff doesn’t look the same for everyone. There’s no one size fits all for living a life that makes you happy. You have to know you and make those choices for you.
I’m can’t wait to follow along and see how this all turns out for you!
Thanks, Jana! I appreciate the support! It is definitely a choice and I’ve spent enough time playing the victim or sitting on the sidelines. It’s very boring there! And yes – “for me” is so important. I’ve definitely made the mistake of assuming what’s true for others is true for me and that’s not always the case. There is definitely no one size fits all when it life and happiness and we should give ourselves permission to live our truth.
Kristi @ Femme Frugality says
I definitely struggle with this. I feel like I’m constantly looking around the bend for the next best thing. I want 2016 to be a year of slowing down and enjoying what I have.
Oh, I do that too, Kristi! I always assume something better is coming instead of enjoying the moment and appreciating what I do have. Good luck with slowing down this year!