4 Ways to Start Living Life to the Fullest

Man.
Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
-The 14th Dalai Lama

Do you feel like you’re in a rut? In need of new hobbies, adventure, travel? Maybe it’s a side effect of January 1; a New Year’s Resolution mindset. Or maybe it’s a sign that you’re not living your life to the fullest. I have definitely been feeling this way lately. I spend more time with my F.R.I.E.N.D.S on Netflix than my actual friends. I go to work, watch TV, go to bed, repeat. This is no way to live. Life is too short to miss out on being happy.

So call it a New Year’s Resolution or call it a kick in the pants, but I’ve decided that I need to take the reigns on my life and do something about this problem. Here are some ways I’m working to light that inner fire:

1. Focus on Mindfulness & Conscious Living
I call myself a “poorly practiced Buddhist” because it’s my “religion” but I’m not good at following through on portions of it, like meditating…I’m too much of a professional napper. However, the one Buddhist practice I enjoy the most is Mindfulness. I try to practice mindful walking, especially in crowded areas where I’m likely to become frustrated. With each step I remind myself how lucky I am to have the ability to walk, how blessed I am to have comfortable shoes, how happy I am that my joints don’t hurt that day. Being mindful can be as simple as stopping for a moment to admire the sunset, listen to the birds chirping, or feel the wind. Too often we rush through life & don’t take note of the things around us that make up our world. I’m going to aim to do this more often & appreciate everything I have.

2. Pursue Your Passions
There’s a saying that goes something like, The things you daydream about are your true passions. If you’re not sure what you’re truly passionate about, start there. Then find ways to turn those into a full-time thing & you’ll find your life’s happiness.
For me, those things are Writing, Travel, Helping People, and Fitness. Is there such a thing as a Travelling Fitness-consultant Columnist?! Sadly, that’s unlikely. But it doesn’t mean I can’t create something out of my passions. I’m an online health & fitness coach, with the goal of helping people on the same journey as me. I travel at least 1-2 times each year, visiting new places & learning about new cultures. I’ve started writing here to keep my creative flow. I’m going to work on building on these passions, so they’re more than just occasional time-consumers.

3.  Turn your Bucket List into a Goal
We all have that Bucket List in the back of our minds – things we all want to do…someday. Few of us actually act on that list. But think of it this way: what if you only had a short time left to live? What things on that list would you regret “not having time for?” We all need to start ticking those items off the Bucket List, and the way to do that is to make them GOALS rather than WISHES. When something is a goal, you can set concrete steps to making it happen.
If reaching your ideal weight is on the Bucket List, set some goals to get there: Commit to a workout program for a month. Start eating more fruits & veggies. Limit sugary sweets.
If visiting Europe is on the Bucket List: Put a percentage of your pay in a savings account. Take lessons to learn a new language.

4. Stop Settling
Don’t settle for a job you don’t like. Don’t settle for someone who’s not making you happy or for friends who make you feel like a lesser person. Don’t settle for a weight you are unhappy with. Go for what you really want. Walk away from anything that doesn’t help you grow or make you happy. I definitely have some of those things in my life and that may be part of why I’m stuck in a rut. Remember that you are responsible for your own happiness. It’s time to get out there and make it happen.