How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today

As human beings, one of our deepest-rooted desires is to have a meaningful and happy existence. You’ve probably heard of the saying, “Live your best life.” It’s good advice.

We all want to feel connected to both ourselves and others. We want to feel that we’re part of something important and that we’re making a difference in the world.

We want to look back at our lives and our achievements and be proud. In short, we want what the saying says: to live our best lives.

But what does it really mean to live your best life?

You are a unique individual, so living your best life is exclusive to you. Your best life will reflect your true values. It will be made up of what makes you happy and will be colored by what making a difference means to you.

3 Questions to Ask About Living Your Best Life

For me, in the moments we faced death during that harrowing experience on the plane, I became intensely aware of these three questions by which I was judging how my life had been up to that point.

How Am I Experiencing Love?

The love I felt in that moment for my husband, our loved ones who were on the ground, and all others in the world was truly profound. I became aware that love—both my ability to receive it and share it—matters more than anything else.

How Authentically Am I Sharing My Unique Gift?

We each have a unique gift—the unique energy and essence that is who we really are. Each person has a unique gift to offer that no one else can or ever will again.

Living our best life means finding creative ways to share our best selves, whether in our work, our creative hobbies, or simply how we live.

What Am I Grateful for?

It’s easy to focus on our worries and anxieties or the distractions of everyday life. However, when we remember our own mortality, we realize that each moment is a gift.

What matters most in the big picture perspective of our lives is very personal. However, figuring it out is how we uncover our formula for living our best lives.

Start the Journey

What does it look like to live your best life? The following are some practical tips and tools to move from living your current life to living your best life.

1. Be the Best Version of Yourself

To live your best life, you must be the best version of yourself. Don’t try to be something or someone else. Don’t try to be what other people want you to be.

Focus on who you want to be. Play to your strengths and be proud of what makes you different. You are brilliant.

Gretchen Rubin, in her book Happiness Project, created her own commandments. The first one was “Be Gretchen.” This gave her permission to follow her gut feeling and make up her own rules.

For example, she stopped forcing herself to enjoy parties, cocktails, and fashion just because that’s what she thought society expected.

So, inspired by Gretchen, create your own commandment: “Be more YOU,” and remind yourself of this every day, unapologetically.

2. Observe Yourself

To work out what the best you looks like, you must get to know yourself better. It’s your best life after all – not anyone else’s.

Start to notice how you respond to various situations. What are your habits? What makes you happy? What frustrates you? How do you behave under pressure? What gives you energy? What drains you?

Spend a week simply noticing. Write your observations down so you remember.

3. Identify Your Bad Habits

As part of your observations, start to notice your bad habits. Consider the things that don’t ultimately make you feel good.

Does scrolling mindlessly through Instagram make you happy? For 5 minutes, perhaps, but for longer?

That last glass of wine was delicious, but do you pay the price later?

That chocolate was enjoyable at the moment, but now that the sugar high is over, are you feeling regretful?

Observe yourself first. Then, start to deliberately do more of the things that make you happy and give you energy.

At the same time, work on reducing then eliminating the habits that squander your time, drain your energy, and ultimately don’t make you happy.

Need help conquering your bad habits? Read How to Break Bad Habits Once and For All.

4. Set Intentions

After having thought about what makes you happy and what drains your energy, focus on what living the best life looks like for you.

One of the keys to this is being intentional about it. When you deliberately set intentions, you are more likely to act with purpose and drive.

Setting intentions is different from setting goals. Goals are your list of things you want to achieve. You can set them daily, monthly, yearly, or a combination.

A common practice is to define goals and write them down. This makes them more tangible and makes you more accountable, therefore, making the goals more likely to happen.

The subtle yet important difference between goals and intentions is that when setting intentions, you decide what kind of positive feelings and emotions you are seeking.

For example, “This week, my intention is to approach my admin tasks with gusto in order to complete them more quickly.”

Intentions can be more motivating than goals because if you don’t achieve your goal, it can feel like a failure and can ultimately hold you back.

If you don’t achieve your intention to approach something in a specific way, you can more easily regroup and have another try.

Write down your intentions every month, week, or day, using whichever time frame works best for you.

For example, “I intend to enjoy going swimming three times this week” or “I intend to assertively build my network in my local area this month.”

Setting intentions gives you something to focus on, and it also helps to manage the feeling of being overwhelmed that often happens when we set ourselves goals.

5. Visualize Living Your Best Life

Visualization can help you to cement your intentions. It involves visualizing how it would feel to live your best life once you achieve it.

It can help you to further establish what you want and allow you to settle into a positive mindset.

To visualize, first choose your focus. Choose a specific intention and how you will feel once it is accomplished. Then, take the time to daydream and allow your imagination to wander.

For example, if your intention is going swimming three times a week, imagine what you will look and feel like:

  • What will you wear?
  • How do you get there?
  • What time of day do you go?
  • How do you feel when you’re in the water?
  • How do you feel afterward?

Ask yourself these little questions and allow yourself to feel the same feelings you would feel if you were currently fulfilling your intention.

16 Ways to Live Your Best Life

Now that you’ve decided and visualized what your best life looks like, let’s look at some more practical steps you can take to achieve it.

1. Focus

Whatever you do, focus. If you swim, swim. If you study, study. Multitasking is a myth. It’s not possible to do more than one thing at a time well. Focused work is the least tiresome and the most productive type of work.

Michael LeBouf, the author of The Millionaire in You, said,

“Winners focus, losers spray.”

2. Take Responsibility for Taking Action

Taking action can feel scary. We fear failure, but we can also fear success. It can be easy to feel too busy to achieve your intentions.

However, you have the choice to take action and live your best life or stay the same. It’s up to you, so take responsibility to take action.

3. Live in the Present

Every day is a new opportunity to live your best life. We so often get stuck because we put things off.

We can think, “When I’ve lost 10 lbs I’ll go swimming,” or “When I feel more confident I’ll look for a new job,” or “When I get my new running shoes I’ll start running.”

How about starting from where you are? How about using what you already have?

We often put off taking action until we have the newest phone/camera/game/course/book/shoes as if they are the keys to happiness. In the process, we forget about what we already have.

Grab the camera that you have, put on your old running shoes. Go and do something interesting today with what you’ve got. Fancier gadgets, better clothes, or a slimmer body won’t make you better. Action will.

4. Practice Mindfulness

Research has revealed that a simple way to be happier and live your best life comes from developing the ability to fully experience each moment. Mindfulness is the ability to observe the present moment without judging it.

Mindfulness has many impressive benefits for physical and mental health. Diabetic patients who were taught mindfulness skills experienced lower blood sugar and increased happiness.[1]

Mindfulness on the job has been proven to reduce exhaustion and increase job satisfaction.[2]

Mindfulness is not difficult to learn and is something we can do in a moment. Right now, take a deep breath, and notice how the breath feels as it is going into your lungs.

How does your body feel? Are your muscles stiff or relaxed? Do you feel warm or cold? Use your five senses to describe your immediate experience.

Use your five senses to describe how your body feels and your immediate experience. This is all it takes to be fully present.

5. Declutter

This applies to the environment you live in as well as the people you spend time with. Use Marie Kondo’s decluttering method of asking, “Does it bring you joy?”[3]

If your answer is yes, you keep the item. If you hesitate or say no, you donate it or throw it out. Simple.

This also applies to people. If there are people in your life that make you feel bad, drain your energy, and don’t bring you joy, let go of them.

Instead, spend time with the people and activities that give you energy and make you feel good.

6. Relish the Simple Things

When we’re busy, we can forget to appreciate what we have. Take time to focus on the simple things. Even when you’re feeling low, there’s always something to be grateful for.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.[4] Be deliberate in being grateful for what you do have, rather than resentful of what you don’t.

7. Journaling

Journaling is simply writing your thoughts down.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, writing your thoughts and feelings down on paper not only helps you get your thoughts in order, but it can also help ease symptoms of depression and manage stress and anxiety.[5]

In the chaos of life, it is easy to overthink, feel anxious, or not appreciate what you do have. Journaling can help you manage your thoughts and feelings and productively cope with life.

Be curious and keep learning. Ask more questions and keep pushing yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and learn.

What are you interested in or curious about? Perhaps it’s learning more about where you live, or reading up on a particular topic? Maybe it’s traveling to a new town or country?

According to Dan Pink’s research, learning is a key motivator.[6] Whether you feel like you’ve gotten stuck in a boring routine or you’re stressed by the tasks of daily life, learning something new is a way to step outside yourself and your comfort zone.

Create a bucket list of all the things you’d like to do and learn and the places you’d like to go to, and start ticking them off.

8. Make Someone’s Day

Being kind to others makes them feel good, and it also releases chemicals in your body that make you feel good. Think about a time you gave someone a gift that they loved. How did you feel?

You don’t have to start giving people gifts to make someone’s day. Think about small, thoughtful gestures: a genuine compliment, opening the door, offering to help someone.

All these things can make a big difference in someone’s day.

9. Look After Your Body

Eat what nourishes you, including plenty of vegetables and fruit and food that’s natural and unprocessed. Drink plenty of water.

Exercise because you like it, not because you’re supposed to go to the gym.

Reject the idea that you have to push yourself really hard at exercise, and instead try out a variety of things – for example, walking the dog, gardening, yoga, swimming, or dancing.

Find what you enjoy. When you enjoy something, you’ll be motivated to do it more.

Get good rest! We’re all different in terms of the amount of sleep that we need. However, most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep.

If you’re not getting that much, then check out healthy sleep tips from the Sleep Foundation.[7]

More tips for staying healthy: Powerful Daily Routine Examples for a Healthy and High-Achieving You.

10. Manage Your Inner Critic

Most people have an inner critic that tells them they are not good enough, that they’re a fraud, and that they are going to be found out.

This happens especially when we step out of our comfort zone and change things. If you are living your best life, your inner critic likes to jeopardize that.

The next time it appears, acknowledge what’s happening and call it out. Whatever it is telling you, list all the reasons it’s wrong.

11. Be Prepared to Change the Plan

You may have set intentions to live your best life. However, life is not linear, nor does it work in lists. You must expect to be flexible and change the plan as life throws things at you.

The end game remains the same: to live your best life. It’s just the route to get there that will inevitably change.

12. Learn to Flow

One of the most powerful ways to connect with our true selves and experience positive emotions is through flow.

Flow is like mindfulness in action. Flow is when we are so engrossed in what we are doing that we get into a zone and stop thinking about anything else. We can experience this when playing an instrument, playing a sport, creating artwork, writing an essay, reading a book, etc.

Being in flow increases our happiness, helps us reach optimal performance, and boosts our creativity.

According to researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, one of the best things about flow is it puts happiness in our control.[8] Rather than being happy because of outer events, we are in flow as a result of an inner experience we create for ourselves.

Find things that transfer your mind to a flow state in order to start working toward living your best life.

13. Hit the Reset Button (Often)

Sometimes, life sends us curveballs we aren’t prepared for. It’s important to know how to get back to the center—to who we are and to reconnect with our goals and priorities. If you ever find yourself feeling off-course or negative, imagine hitting a pause button.

It only takes a minute to re-focus. Some great tips for resetting include stretching, taking a deep breath, setting goals or intentions, and then beginning again.

Knowing how to reset our energy is important when it comes to navigating minor distractions and major life changes for personal growth.

14. Commit to Your Connections

The COVID-19 pandemic showed us firsthand how important our social connections are. Community is an important factor in how happy we are with our lives, and our long-term well-being and health.

If you feel disconnected or like you want to strengthen your sense of belonging and improve your life, consider calling a different friend each day; joining a church or spiritual group, support group, or book club; or exploring cultural or community events that might be attended by other people with shared interests

To reconnect with favorite friends, try scheduling a weekly hike, coffee hour, Zoom call, happy hour, or email/text check-in.

We get what we put out there. Show up when people you love ask for help or seek connection. Let go and create healthy boundaries with people who drain your energy.

15. Move Your Body

Exercise is an important key to staying healthy and happy and reaching your full potential. Research shows exercise can prevent depression, limit long-term illness, improve our moods, and increase our longevity.[9]

We now know that it’s not only exercise that matters, but also how we hold and move our bodies when we are going through the motion of our lives, including working at our desks. Recent research shows that simply sitting up straight can make us more likely to think positive thoughts about ourselves and what is possible for our lives.[10]

16. Spend Time in Nature

One of the best ways to live our best lives is to spend time in nature. From the benefits of vitamin D from sunlight, to simply getting outside of our own world and connecting with something greater, the benefits of nature are well-established.[11]

The more we learn, the more we realize how important it is to protect our natural spaces, parks, and trees, not just for our enjoyment, but also for our physical and mental well-being.

Conclusion

Live each day like it counts, and remember, it’s your choice. Your best life is unique to you. Don’t compare yourself to others – focus on living your best life, and enjoy the learning, exploration, and experiences along the way.

Newsletter, 8/9/22 Living Your Best Life

The Joy of Living Life on My Terms

From the Desk of Michele C Foster

Ahh! The Joy of Living Life on My Terms . . .

If that sounds easy, it’s not always been. If that sounds trite, I can assure you it’s not. To be responsible for myself first has been the greatest gift of love and self-respect I could have ever done.

If I am asked to do something for another – two things happen;
– I see how it benefits me or doesn’t.
– Yes means yes, and no, means no.

The reasoning behind this is simple, desiring to feel good about my decision comes quickly when I evaluate the situation and see how it makes me FEEL. Then, if I say yes, I honor that commitment, and if I say no I honor that too.

There is a great story told by Oprah Winfrey. When we all found out how “rich” she became, her dear friend Stevie Wonder came to her and asked her to donate to something he was orchestrating. She thought of how if she said no, (and he knows she has money) he may never talk to her again or be her friend anymore. However, she decided to stay true to herself and she declined the “opportunity”, and Stevie Wonder said “ok”! It was that simple . . . get it? READ MORE

8 Ways to Choose Joy Everyday

One day many years ago, I was taking a shortcut through a car park. A sudden spontaneous thought came into my mind with such force that I actually said the words out loud, to no one in particular: “I’m so ANGRY!”

Hearing those words stopped me in my tracks. I knew I’d said them, but I couldn’t figure out why. Nothing had happened that morning to make me angry, and there was no specific incident the anger was about.

In that moment I saw myself as if my mind had taken a photographic snapshot. There I was, standing in the middle of the car park – jaws clenched, brows knit in a frown, shoulders tensed.

I knew then that anger had become my default state. My most spontaneous thought was one of anger. Until now I have no idea how I’d gotten that way, though I suppose it was the result of allowing the cares of the world to shape my subconscious. READ MORE

Why Is Saying ‘No’ So Important?

Do you consider yourself a people pleaser?

Do you find yourself saying “yes” to people only to regret it moments later?

Do you tend to put others’ needs before your own?

If you answered in the affirmative to any of the above questions, it may serve you to become better at saying “no.”

William Ury, in his book The Power of a Positive No: Save the Deal, Save the Relationship—and Still Say No, suggests the dilemma we encounter in saying “no” often stems from an internal struggle between plugging into our own sense of power and a simultaneous desire to cater to, or foster, a relationship. Ury says we often find ourselves doing one of three things in response to a request… READ MORE

How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today

As human beings, one of our deepest-rooted desires is to have a meaningful and happy existence. You’ve probably heard of the saying, “Live your best life.” It’s good advice.

We all want to feel connected to both ourselves and others. We want to feel that we’re part of something important and that we’re making a difference in the world.

We want to look back at our lives and our achievements and be proud. In short, we want what the saying says: to live our best lives.

But what does it really mean to live your best life?

You are a unique individual, so living your best life is exclusive to you. Your best life will reflect your true values. It will be made up of what makes you happy and will be colored by what making a difference means to you… READ MORE


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A simple, heart-centered relaxation and meditation you can do every day

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Newsletter, 7/19/22; 7 Day Reset

Introducing: 7 Day Reset

Whether you’re getting back into the wellness lifestyle, need a week of nutrient-dense meals, or want to look and feel your best before a big event, the 7-Day Reset is for you! This straightforward routine was created to help you get results in one week.

  • A simple, complete body reset.
  • Based on a clinically validated 30-day weight loss system.
  • Convenient system for maximum nutrition, help managing daily stress, and supporting natural detoxification.*

Welcome to Your 7-Day Wellbeing Reset

What’s Inside

Adaptogen Elixir™ to help your body better handle stress.

Stress Less with Adaptogen Elixir

Stress happens. Mother Nature has a few tricks up her sleeve to help you stay focused and conquer stress, and we’ve bottled them up to create your daily dose of serenity.

Adaptogen Elixir Ingredient Breakdown

Help your body combat the negative effects of stress the natural way with the best ingredients our planet has to offer.

Isalean® Shake for a scientifically supported, nutrient-dense superfood meal.

IsaLean Shake: A Scientifically Supported Superfood Meal

A core component of any Isagenix System is IsaLean® Shake – a delicious superfood meal to fuel your body with essential nutrients to support optimal health.

Undenatured, High-Quality Whey Protein Powers Isagenix Shakes

Undenatured, grass-fed whey protein is at the core of our dairy-based shakes. Whey offers outstanding benefits on its own, but Isagenix sources exceptional whey protein to ensure our shakes deliver both excellent nutrition and outstanding taste.  READ MORE


What to do after the Isagenix 7 Day Reset?

Whether you’re getting back into the wellness lifestyle, need a week of nutrient-dense meals, or want to look and feel your best before a big event, the 7-Day Reset is for you! This straightforward routine was created to help you get results in one week.

* A simple, complete body reset.

* Based on a clinically validated 30-day weight loss system.

* Convenient system for maximum nutrition, help managing daily stress, and supporting natural detoxification.

I would love to have a chance to mentor you; answer questions, give advice and cheer you on!  NEXT STEP

Go Be Great!

Michele Foster

askmicheletoday.com

Newsletter, 7/12/22; From Job to Self Employment

Tips for Transitioning from a Job to Self-Employment

Many would-be entrepreneurs dream of the day when they get to become their own boss. However, this dream can get derailed for entrepreneurs who do not plan the transition to self-employment correctly.

Many tend to focus on the good things about being a freelancer Transitioning from a Job to Self-Employment— such as freedom and job satisfaction — without spending enough time planning for contingencies. But not planning for contingencies early on can set you up for failure. READ MORE

How to Run an E-Commerce Business As Your Side Hustle With Just 15 Hours a Week

44 million Americans reportedly have a side hustle.

It seems like just about everyone is looking to get a piece of the gig-economy action.

And it’s no surprise why.

Running a side-hustle can give you an incredible sense of freedom.

You can be your own boss, bring in some extra income, and work on projects you’re genuinely passionate about.

Unfortunately, it all takes time.

If you’re not strategic about how you run your e-commerce side hustle, it can actually feel restricting.

Growing an online business is no simple task.

But when you’re trying to balance it on top of a full-time job, it can easily become too much to handle.

However, you don’t need to give up your e-commerce dreams just yet.

If you know how to make your side hustle work for you, you can achieve full-time results in part-time hours. READ MORE

From Employee to Self-Employed

Make that final transition by making your business a full-time gig.

Q: I’ve had some success with my business, but I still maintain a part-time job in addition to my self-employment in order to make ends meet. How can I make that final transition to full-time entrepreneur, and when will I know that it’s the right thing to do?

A: The first thing to remember is that you are always your own employer, regardless of who writes your check. Even if you are in a traditional employer-employee relationship, you are still a company of one, engaged in the selling of your time and expertise to a single client (your employer). Think of your part-time job as an entrepreneurial exercise–a step in the process of achieving a goal. If a job, whether it be part-time or full-time, doesn’t give you some sense of entrepreneurial spirit, excitement, and ownership, then it’s time to think about making a change.

Six key transition steps can help ensure your company and employees thrive, and you get the value you need and deserve from owning the business. READ MORE

A Transition to E-commerce

E-commerce, or commerce conducted over the Internet, is the future of business with over 1.8 billion people worldwide purchasing products online in 2018. By the year 2040, it is estimated that 95% of transactions will be done online. This rush for online products has only been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a majority of the population are forced to shop online, companies adapt, adding additional services to accommodate consumers such as more shipping options and a larger range of goods available online. Even after pandemic restrictions are lifted, the changes in e-commerce are expected to be long-lasting, permanently changing the retail market (valued at 23.46 billion USD in 2017). At the same time, the virus does not favor physical stores, being especially hard on small businesses. As the future moves toward e-commerce, investors must take note of its impacts on the marketplace and the opportunities it opens. READ MORE

Newsletter, 7/6/22

Sunday Night Blues and Work-Life Balance

When Sunday afternoon rolls around and instead of relishing that time with family, friends, your significant other, or beloved pets, you have these thoughts racing through your head:

“What meetings do I have tomorrow?”

“What deliverables do I owe my boss?”

“What time do I have to wake up to make that morning meeting?”

Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

What Are the Sunday [Blues] Scaries?

Do you find that as your weekends come to an end, your feelings of anxiousness start to go up? Anxiety on Sunday nights is sometimes referred to as the “Sunday Scaries.” Learn what causes Sunday anxiety and how to help it go away.

What Are Sunday [Blues] Scaries?

The Cleveland Clinic defines Sunday Scaries as “feelings of intense anxiety and dread that routinely occur every Sunday.”(1) While these feelings generally begin to appear later in the day, someone with higher levels of anxiety may start to experience them earlier, even upon waking.

Along with having anxiety on Sunday nights, someone with the Sunday Scaries might notice other symptoms as well. Symptoms of Sunday anxiety can range from increased sweating, upset stomach, headache, and trouble sleeping to more severe manifestations such as depression or even a heart attack. READ MORE

5 Strategies To Beat The Sunday Night Blues

report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) revealed that 40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful and 25% view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. So, it’s not surprising that we’re seeing a phenomenon called the Sunday night blues (or Sunday scaries)— that anxiety you experience on Sunday when thinking about the impending workweek. It’s not a figment of your imagination. It’s real. According to a poll by Monster, 76% of Americans report having “really bad” Sunday night blues. Here are five strategies that will help you beat that Sunday evening anxiety so you can truly enjoy your well-earned weekend time

1. Schedule a fun activity

2. Disconnect from email

3. Plan for the week ahead

4. Employ mindfulness techniques

5. Consider a new career or job opportunity  READ MORE

How to Maintain Work-Life Balance Like a Pro

Many people think that maintaining a work-life balance is primarily based on cutting out activities from one’s schedule. Indeed, setting priorities, simplifying your schedule, and learning time management techniques are all a significant part of work-life balance, in that these steps may be required to minimize the “work” portion enough to allow the “life” component to have a balanced role.

However, even those who have a heavy amount of work requirements that cannot be eliminated can maintain a comfortable level of work-life balance—it’s an ongoing endeavor. Being busy with work and life can still include maintaining a balance.

1. Understand What Work-Life Balance Means

2. Engage in Leisure Activities

3. See Where You Can Multitask… READ MORE

Got the Sunday Blues? 7 Signs it’s Time to Leave Your Job

It’s Sunday night, but instead of getting amped to catch a new episode of Breaking Bad, you’re just feeling the impending doom of the work week to come.

Your job—the one you once saw as an exciting leg up on a promising career path—now seems like a rut that your feet are glued to, rather than a career-propelling rung into that corner office.

But with a staggering amount of employees unhappy over their current gigs—Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workforce survey found that 70% of workers are either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” from a job—how do you know if it’s just a bad week or a larger problem?

We spoke to career experts to help us suss out the seven surefire signs that it’s time to clean out your cubicle.

1. You’re Habitually Contracting the Sunday Blues

2. You Spend More Time Daydreaming Than Doing Your Job

3. You Just Passed the 10-Year Mark at Your Company (Without a Promotion)… READ MORE


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