Ten Tips for Living your Best Life

January 10th, 2013

By: Dr. Anoosha Avni
Registered Psychologist

What does living your best life mean? It means honouring your most important values, needs, and complexities. It means living a life you are proud of. If you’re ready to live your best life, follow these ten tips:

1) Know what is truly important to you and why.

Take the time to write down what’s important to you and what’s not. Some questions to ask yourself: What makes you feel alive? What gives you purpose and meaning? What type of person would you loathe to become? What are you planning for and why? Your values are your compass, which help to draw the map of your life and guide you in your daily decision making.

2) Make your health a priority.

The time to make your health a priority is all the time. When life gets hectic, our health is often the first thing we compromise. Make sure you eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. Exercise regularly and consistently. Be emotionally healthy. Find a faith or spiritual community if this is important to you. When you don’t have your health, what do you really have?

3) Throw away the people-pleasing scripts.

Take charge of your life by making your own decisions. Learn to recognize and throw away the people-pleasing scripts that have been holding you back. Write your own script and make it your mission to live your life for yourself and not others. Create a life you feel good about.

4) Make mistakes.

It’s easy to feel the pressure to excel in a society where our worth is largely dependent on how others evaluate us. Yet if you wish to learn and grow, you need to allow yourself to not only make mistakes, but to also learn how to handle the inevitable disappointment that comes with making them.

5) Take responsibility for your life.

Your actions cause your rewards and consequences. Take control of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Change the way you think. Take control of your feelings. Stop blaming your parents, siblings, friends, teachers, etc., for your problems. Don’t rely on anybody for your happiness, self-esteem, and financial security. Start taking control of your life.

6) Give back to your community.

Part of living your best life is sharing the lessons and gifts you were given with others. Volunteer. Be a mentor. Care about your community and the environment. Get involved in a cause that you’re passionate about. Think about the legacy you want to leave.

7) Re-think how you view romantic relationships.

A lot of people place too many expectations on their partner. Ask yourself why it is you expect your partner to meet all of your needs when you can have some of these needs met in other ways (e.g., through friends, family, hobbies, yourself). Don’t make someone your everything because when they’re emotionally or physically gone, you’ll have nothing.

8) Be kind and compassionate to yourself and others.

Treat yourself and others with the kindness, compassion, and respect that you wish to be treated with. Set and maintain healthy boundaries. Learn to give and accept compliments. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may appear. Give yourself permission to live the life you want.

9) Surround yourself with supportive people.

Surround yourself with people who love and support you and accept you for who you are. Let go of negative, toxic, and dishonest people. How do you know which relationships need to be reconsidered? One sure fire way to know is to monitor how you feel before, during, and after a get together with someone. If you dread seeing that person, feel like your time with them is forced, and are relieved when it’s time to say good-bye, chances are, this relationship has run its course.

10) Learn to forgive.

Forgiveness is giving up the hope of a different past. While it’s important not to deny your past, it’s also vital not to let it define your future. Reframe the trials and tribulations you went through by learning from them and forgiving yourself for what you did or did not do, as well as the person who hurt you. Forgiveness is not for the person who hurt you; it’s for you.

Take a good look at how you’re living your life: Are you surviving or thriving? If you’re surviving, you’re settling. When you’re thriving, you’re living a life that fills your soul with vitality and energy. Make it your mission to live the life you truly want: your best life.

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