We all crave a life that we love. A life that is less stressful and more enjoyable. A life where we aren’t bogged down with work or distracted by the pressures of the daily grind. One where we actually get to spend time with the people we love and do the things we enjoy doing. But these days life is so stressful. With ‘to do’ lists that never get any smaller and bills always needing to be paid, achieving this can feel like mission impossible. So just how do we reduce the overwhelm and take back control? Is it actually possible to create a life you love?
Thankfully, the answer is yes! Whatever your current situation might be, whatever stresses you’re facing, there’s always something that can be done to make things better. No matter how overwhelmed or unhappy you feel, creating a life you love is easier than you might think. Here are five steps you can take that’ll have you living a life you love before you know it. Follow these and very soon you’ll be enjoying a life you won’t need to take a vacation from.
Step 1: Be grateful for what you already have
The first step to happiness and creating a life you love is being grateful for what you already have. It’s easy to associate being happier with having a bigger home, with earning a better wage, with having the next best thing. But happiness isn’t created by ‘things’ or ‘stuff’ and the constant wanting can make us forget how fortunate we already are. Whilst it might be nice to have a bigger home, drive a fancy car or earn more money, these aren’t the things that make us rich. Being rich is about being surrounded by people we love and who love us; our spouses, our children, our siblings, parents and friends. It’s the fact that we have four walls, a roof over our heads and that we’re able to put dinner on the table.
Practicing gratitude can make a massive difference on how we view our lives. When we stop to think about all the things we have and the things we’re grateful for, suddenly life is a whole lot better than we thought it was. Take a moment to think about all the things you’re grateful for. Big or small, write them down. If you struggle to get started try separating your list into each area of your life (home, family, friendships, money, work, etc.). When finished, read back through the list. Guaranteed you’ll feel more grateful and a lot happier about your life than you did before you wrote everything down. Keep the list somewhere safe, pull it out and re-read it every time you need a gentle reminder.
Step 2: Ask yourself what a ‘life you love’ means to you
Craving a better life is all very well, but what are you wishing for when you’re thinking that? You can’t just switch things up in the hope your life will improve without first thinking about what a ‘life you love’ means to you. It’s very easy to just start changing parts of your life in the hope it’ll make things better, but unless you’ve identified what it is you want to change and why, it’s a pointless exercise. Taking the time to think about what a life you love means to you before doing anything else is key. Figure this out and you’re more likely to pick changes that have a positive impact. They’ll be easier to implement too because you can see the benefit of doing so.
So what does a happier, more contented life look like to you? Ask yourself which areas of your life you’re happy with and which cause you stress and frustration. Think about what you like and what you wish you could change. Where do you want to be a year from now? Five years from now? What about ten years? Don’t be afraid of digging deep with your answers. When you begin to question how things are and start thinking about where you want to be, it becomes so much easier to work out what needs changing. It might be hard at first and it may force you to confront a few demons, but this step is vital if you really want to make a change for the better. All the decisions you make here act as the springboard from which you begin to build the life you really want.
Step 3: Be really honest about what you makes you happy
When answering the question of what a life you love means to you, you have to be honest about what it is you really want. There’s absolutely no point in trying to make a change for the better if the changes aren’t aligned with what really makes you happy. It’s all too easy to compare our lives to others and to want what they have. It’s also easy to bow down to the demands of others and live our life just to please someone else. But everyone’s definition of happiness is different, and what makes one person happy simply won’t cut it for someone else. By not being true to yourself the only person you’ll be disappointing is yourself and you’ll be setting yourself up for a life full of regrets.
Be honest about what you really want. What are your hopes and dreams? What do you want to accomplish? Which career do you want to pursue? What sort of relationship do you want to be in? What do you want your home to look like? Giving real, honest answers to these questions will make it so much easier for you to answer the big question of what a life you love looks like to you.
Step 4: Address every area of your life
In order to be truly happy you need to achieve a balance across all areas of your life. It’s of course impossible to be 100% happy all the time, but you should be aiming for a happy medium. Things are never going to be stress-free, there will always be ups and downs, and life has a habit of throwing a curveball or two when you least expect it. The idea though is to establish a level playing field where you’re as happy with each area of your life as you can be.
This means taking the time to assess all areas of your life. Ask yourself what you’re happy with and what you want to improve. Take a look at your finances, question your friendships and relationships with those closest to you. Ask yourself if you’re really happy at work and if you’re happy with your home life. This can be a tough exercise to do. Don’t ignore an area just because you don’t know where to start or because it’ll force you to address a few home truths. If you’re really honest you’ll probably find you want to make a few changes and that’s OK. Recognising what you want to change in each area is the first step to achieving that happy medium.
Step 5: Remember that change doesn’t happen overnight
Now before you start to feel overwhelmed and let panic set in, remember that change doesn’t happen overnight. Switching your life up to one you love is a work in progress and it’s going to take time. Change can be scary and stepping out of our comfort zone isn’t easy. It can be tempting to throw in the towel and go back to what we know when things get a little tough. But if you really want to make changes, stick with it and keep going. Take baby steps, be consistent and make little changes every single day. Over time you’ll begin to see things improve and soon you’ll be living a life that is happier and more contented than before.
We all have the power to switch things up and create a life we love but change doesn’t happen by itself. We have to want to make a change for the better and be prepared to do the legwork. There’s no point sitting there feeling sorry for ourselves, moaning about the hand we’ve been dealt if we’re not prepared to do something about it. Unless you genuinely want to improve things and you’re committed to making them happen, you’ll fail at the first hurdle. Creating a life you love really is possible – but you have to want to do it!
Follow the steps above and you’ll be living a life you love before you know it! Download your FREE CHEATSHEET to help you get the life you love, by clicking on the link below.
Find out more about author Sarah Dew on her website – A Simple and Contented Life.
Image by Brooke Cagle via Unsplash Brooke Cagle