Whether you make New Year’s resolutions or not, it is always good to assess where you are with your life and the direction you want it to take.
As Lewis Carroll said, “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” But you do know where you’re going, right? Or at least want to?
Here are 12 things you should choose to do be happier and live life to the fullest:
1. Love yourself as you are right now.
This is first and foremost. As Louise Hay says, “There is only one thing that solves every problem, and that is to know how to love yourself.” If you want to make improvements by changing habits or anything else, you can’t do it by beating yourself into submission. Love yourself now, and gently make any changes so you can love yourself even more later. I promise you will be happier and your life will be better.
2. Don’t compare yourself to other people
You are unique and wonderful in your own way. Why compare yourself to other people? We don’t know what other people’s lives are really like, and certainly don’t get the real deal from their Facebook or Instagram profile. A lot of people use social media to make us think their life is gilded, rather than how things actually are. I have a friend whose life I envied. It was glamorous. She traveled a lot and did what appeared to be exciting things. I was living vicariously through her one summer until she returned and told me what a horrible summer she had. Things aren’t as they appear, and you have nothing to gain by comparing yourself to others.
3. Let go of trying to control how people think of you
Perhaps you’ve seen that Internet meme that says, “you can be the juiciest peach in the world, but there will always be someone who doesn’t like peaches.” Although I continue to work on not being judgmental, it is human nature to judge others. The good news is that judging is about the judge, not the person being judged. It isn’t the peach’s fault that some people don’t like peaches, right? So be yourself, and let go of trying to make other people like you or molding yourself into someone else for this purpose. Just keep walking your path. People will judge you regardless of what you do, so be yourself.
4. Accept people for who they are. I know this sounds obvious, but it still challenges me regularly. Even when we believe we are being helpful, we can’t change other people, so why muddle around in their business by setting our own expectations for them? Let go of those expectations, and accept what you can’t change.
5. Embrace failure and learn from it.
We are a society that fears failure. Fortunately, this isn’t true for everyone. Otherwise, there would be no progress. We have to make an effort and accept failure as a learning experience. Winston Churchill said, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” Look at your attempts to start a new business, lose weight, date someone new, or take up a new hobby as a scientist would look at an experiment. What went right? What do I need to tweak so that it works better? But do not avoid taking risks because you might not succeed. That isn’t living. Just keep trying and you’ll move forward.
6. Trim your oversharing
It seems like some people think everyone wants to know their every move in life. Frankly, I don’t know anyone who is interested in that. For example, even among the people I love, I don’t follow on Facebook anyone who posts more than three or four times a day. A little mystery is far more interesting than putting your whole life out there.
7. Be generous
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how some people have warm, open hearts and they radiate their warmth to others. It feels so good, and they are delightful to be around. These people are also generous and giving in other ways. On the other hand, there are people who are cold and keep their hearts locked up. These folks are usually just as locked up when it comes to other forms of generosity. They have stingy hearts. Which would you rather be?
8. Don’t think of yourself as a victim
Humans like to blame others when things don’t go the way they’d like. When you blame someone, you become a victim. This means you’ve given up your power to someone else. While you can’t control what others say or do, celebrate the fact that only you can control how you think and feel about it. This is a very powerful skill. Rather than thinking that someone “made me feel stupid,” think of what Eleanor Roosevelt said: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
9. Stop seeking external validation
If you are able to love yourself as you are (see #1 above), you will not need to seek feedback from others to feel good about yourself. Do you really want to be someone who seeks compliments by making self-deprecating remarks in the hopes that someone will contradict you or who showers others with fake praise in the hopes of getting some in return? Or worse, bragging in the hopes that others will confirm what you want to think about yourself? When others give you validation, it is about them and not you anyway. If you seek this kind of reinforcement, it is time to become an emotional adult and do the inner work of learning to love and accept yourself.
10. Make it happen!
This one is worth two quotes. Goethe said, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” And from Paolo Coehlo, “A boat is safe in the harbor. But this is not the purpose of a boat.”
Don’t let fear stop you from doing what your heart desires. Just go for it!
11. Figure it out.
I got this one from Danielle LaPorte. Delete the phrases, “I don’t know” and “I don’t know what to do” from your vocabulary. This is simply a dodge meaning, “I’m too lazy to think about this, don’t want to bother thinking, or don’t want to face the reality of the situation.” You’ll figure it out if you put your mind to it. Spend some time using that amazing brain of yours.
12. Say “No” when it is the right answer for you
“No” is a complete sentence. Don’t commit to do things you’d rather not, like being on that committee, going to that reunion, having that drink or whatever. Life is too short to do things you don’t want to do and have no real reason for doing.
I hope you have the best year ever! Coaching can be a game changer! If you want to see what it is like, try a free mini-session by clicking HERE.