A lot of advice focuses on what you should stop doing. That’s helpful, but it’s also great to have a constructive plan for what to do—and to think of changes in terms of adding positives rather than removing negatives. In that spirit, here are 15 positive things you can start doing for yourself right away if you want to create a happier, more fulfilled life.
Focus On What You Can Control
Work towards your goals with determination, but focus all that powerful energy on the things you can actually influence. It’s a waste of time to obsess over things that are under other people’s control (or down to pure luck).
Be your real self, and be proud of your true identity! Your quirks, strengths and passions allow you to give something unique to the world, and you can only be happy if you’re being fully authentic. Don’t be held back by ideas of who you “should” be.
Be Open About Your Feelings
Instead of letting difficult emotions fester, let them out. Whether it’s to a friend, a journal or a therapist, find a way of processing those feelings so you can move on. Consider artistic approaches like painting or sculpting as well.
You’re fully responsible for your own life—this means you’re accountable for your successes, and for holding yourself back. Make the changes you want to make, rather than waiting for someone else to make them for you.
Take More Breaks
Start to monitor your own stress levels much more closely, and deliberately take breaks at regular intervals. Even jut a five minute walk, listening to a favorite song or calling a friend for a quick chat can leave you feeling calmer and more energetic.
Spend Time With The Right People
Gravitate towards those who accept you for who you really are—the people who love and appreciate you, and who actively support your attempts to improve.
When it comes to the people who don’t really add something positive to your life, let go of toxic grudges that leave you saddled with anger and resentment. Know that people have their own complex reasons for acting in the (sometimes hurtful) ways they do, and resolve to live your own life peacefully and without bitterness. Don’t forget to forgive yourself, too!
Face Your Problems
When you have a problem, take a deep breath and look straight at it—start generating ideas that will help you tackle it. If you take small steps towards overcoming a problem, you’ll eventually arrive at a solution (and you’ll have learned valuable lessons from your challenges).
Live in the Present
Immerse yourself in the current moment, rather than living with one foot in the past and one in the present. Experience life as it’s happening, and deliberately notice all the wonderful sources of beauty in the world.
Trust Your Intuition
Tune into that inner voice you may have suppressed or been taught to ignore. It will give you valuable information about what you really need, and about how to approach the task of getting it. Notice gut feelings, really connect with your imagination, and let your intuition grow.
Prioritize Your Happiness
Your needs matter, so value yourself and devote time and energy to meeting those needs. It’s always possible to take care of yourself and be a loving, compassionate friend to those you love. Plus, you’ll be better at helping others if you help yourself first!
You can never be 100% sure that a plan will work or a dream will be fulfilled—at some point you just have to take your chances and go for it. Either you will succeed, or you’ll learn something that will help you succeed next time.
Appreciate What You Have
If you have a safe place to live, food on the table and enough money to survive, you’re in a better state than many people in the world. Take a moment to feel grateful for the wealth you already have in life—and remember that being aware of this positivity will only help you attract more!
Only Compete With Yourself
It’s a waste of time to constantly try to compete with others, and it can really sour relationships as well. Instead, try competing with a past version of yourself—a version you’d like to improve on. Try to beat your own personal bests and records every day.
Shoot For “Good Enough”
Finally, remember that the illusion of perfection is the enemy. While you shouldn’t settle for anything less than what makes you happy, it’s incredibly valuable to learn how to accept good rather than flawless. Be proud of what you’ve achieved.