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25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

Have you ever been confused by a snack label?

It can be time consuming to check and decipher every ingredient. Many processed snacks promise low fat but are packed with sugar!

The best way to ensure fresh and fully in-tact nutrition is by preparing simple snacks at home. Each of these healthy snack recipes are simple, delicious and provide nutrients you just can’t get from a vending machine.

1. Mini Burrito Bowl

    Burrito bowls make great snacks or small lunches. There’s endless combinations to mix and match meats with rice and grains, veggies and cheeses or salsas. They can be altered to be allergen-friendly, vegetarian and vegan.

    ~ Get the recipe!

    2. Paleo Sweet & Spicy Meatballs

      For those who want a little extra protein, these paleo meatballs are sure to please. They are also packed with iron and Vitamin C which means you’ve got a snack that’s working for you, not against you!

      ~ Get the recipe!

      3. Southwestern Sweet Potato & Lentil “Jar Salad”

        Jar salads are quick to prepare and easy to store. They make fresh salads easy to take anywhere!

        ~ Get the recipe!

        4. Moroccan Chickpea & Quinoa Power Salad

          This winner uses minimal ingredients and a short prep time for a fast and easy snack or side dish. The recipe also gives you homemade honey-lemon dressing which you can save in the fridge for other on-the-go meals!

          ~ Get the recipe!

          5. Grain-Free Tahini Granola

            Making your own granola ensures that you are not consuming excess sugar and preservatives in many store-bought brands. Natural Granola is packed with healthy nutrients and can be enjoyed by itself or with your favorite flavor of yogurt. This knockout recipe can be made with oats or dried fruits too!

            ~ Get the recipe!

            6. Nut-Free Granola

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              This recipe will keep your energy high whenever you need a little boost at work![1]

              Ingredients

              • 9 cups rolled oats (or combination of oats, rye, barley, etc.)
              • 1 cup unsalted, roasted hulled sunflower seeds
              • ½ cup flaxseed meal
              • ½ cup pure maple syrup
              • ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
              • ½ cup honey
              • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
              • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
              • 1 teaspoon sea salt

              How to prepare:

              1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare baking sheets with parchment.
              2. In large mixing bowl, combine oats, sunflower seeds, flax seed meal, cinnamon and sea salt. Stir to combine.
              3. In medium saucepan, whisk maple syrup, honey, applesauce and vanilla over low heat until combined. (about 5 minutes)
              4. Pour hot syrup over oat mixture. Stir to combine.
              5. Pour mixture in a single layer onto prepared baking sheets.
              6. Bake for 50 minutes, stirring granola every 10 minutes. (For ease I set my timer five times for 10 minute increments)
              7. Let cool and store in airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature and up to one month in the refrigerator.

              7. Copy-Cat Bistro Boxes

                Look no further for a quick snack with almost no prep work or cooking needed.

                You just need boiled eggs, apple slices, celery, grapes, and a side of peanut or almond butter. You could mix it up with different berries, cherry tomatoes, multigrain cracks, and humus instead of peanut butter. Swap the cheese for an extra egg to make it dairy-free.

                In case you need it, here’s the recipe!

                8. Chicken Pita Pockets

                  Another filling snack for those who may have to skip breakfast every now and then. These pitas will keep you satisfied and focused. Swap the chicken with tofu for a meat-free option.

                  ~ Get the recipe!

                  9. Sweet Potato Quesadillas

                    This dairy-free option is best prepped the night before for one or two servings. You can use coconut oil to crisp the tortillas and mix in other veggies for more flavor.

                    ~ Get the recipe!

                    Sometimes we just need a little extra something to satisfy mid-morning or afternoon hunger pains. Each of the following twists on favorite snacks can be stored in bulk to get more out of your prep time.

                    10. Cinnamon-Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

                      Ingredients:

                      • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
                      • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
                      • 1-2 packets stevia
                      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                      • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
                      • 1 small pinch sea salt

                      How to prepare:

                      1. Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl or mix together in a blender until smooth.
                      2. Refrigerate to set and stir occasionally.
                      3. Makes about 2 fresh servings that can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge.
                      4. Optional: Top with fresh fruit, chocolate chips, or nuts before you leave the house for more delicious varieties.

                      11. Chocolate & Avocado Pudding

                        Ingredients:[2]

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                        • 1 medium ripe avocado
                        • ½ cup coconut or almond milk
                        • ¼ cup creamy unsweetened peanut butter or almond butter (optional: use almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter to keep it paleo)
                        • 4-6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
                        • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
                        • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
                        • 2 pinches sea salt
                        • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)

                        How to prepare:

                        1. Place all ingredients except the unsweetened coconut flakes into a food processor and mix until smooth.
                        2. Transfer to serving dishes, top with coconut if desired, and enjoy! Best eaten fresh, but can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

                        12. No-Bake Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Bites

                          Ingredients:

                          • 2 ½ cups old fashioned oats
                          • ½ cup unsweetened coconut
                          • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
                          • 2 tablespoon ground flax seed
                          • 1 teaspoon salt
                          • ¾ cup peanut butter or almond butter
                          • ¾ cup honey
                          • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

                          How to prepare:

                          1. Mix the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, flax seed, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
                          2. Stir the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil together in a separate bowl.
                          3. Add this mixture into the oats and stir together until all of the oats are coated.
                          4. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to set for rolling.
                          5. Once chilled, roll into 1” rounds and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
                          6. Allow them to set in the fridge for 10 minutes before diving in. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

                          13. Dark Chocolate, Cranberry & Pumpkin Granola Bites

                            Ingredients:[3]

                            • 5 cups old fashioned oats
                            • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
                            • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
                            • 1 cup brown sugar (or ¾ cup stevia)
                            • ¾ cup almond slivers
                            • 1 cup dried cranberries
                            • ½ cup toasted sunflower seeds
                            • 1½ cups pumpkin puree
                            • 1 cup applesauce
                            • ½ cup honey
                            • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
                            • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
                            • 1 teaspoon salt

                            How to prepare:

                            1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10” by 10” baking pan and line with baking paper.
                            2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, spices, dried fruit, almonds, seeds, chocolate chips,  and salt.
                            3. In another medium-sized bowl, mix the sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour over oat mix and stir everything together until all of the oats are moist.
                            4. Pour the entire mixture into prepared pan and evenly spread the mix. Bake for 30-35 minutes to a golden brown top.
                            5. Allow 15-20 minutes for cooling and lift the paper to remove the entire bar.
                            6. Cut into desired shapes and sizes and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week, store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

                            14. Parmesan Kale Crisps

                              Ingredients:

                              • 1 head of Kale
                              • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
                              • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
                              • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
                              • 1 tablespoon olive oil
                              • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

                              How to prepare:

                              1. Preheat the oven to 275°F. Line a pan with baking sheets
                              2. Wash the entire body and cut off the stems. Then cut across the leaves into 2-inch slices.
                              3. In a large bowl, toss the Kale leaves in the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, cheese, and pepper flakes.
                              4. Lay the leaves on the sheet and place in the oven when ready. Bake until crisp for about 20 minutes, turning the leaves over at the 10 minute mark.

                              *This recipe will make 4-6 servings. The chips can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about 3 days. (You could also try this with seaweed if you really want to show off your new snack skills.)

                              15. Curried Beet Chips

                                Ingredients:

                                • 12 small beets, red or golden
                                • 1/2 cup olive oil
                                • 1 teaspoon curry powder
                                • 1.5 teaspoons sea salt

                                How to prepare:

                                1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
                                2. Wash and peel the beets, or use a veggie brush to remove outer skin. Use a mandolin slicer to cut them very thinly. Place the beets in a large bowl and mix with the olive oil, salt, and curry. Stir or toss the slices until they are fully covered. Allow them to marinate for up to 20 minutes.
                                3. Drain the oil and lay slices on the baking sheets. Bake for up to one hour. The thickness of your chips will affect baking time, for thinner slices bake for 45 minutes. Remove them from the oven once they are crispy and allow them to cool. Store them in an airtight container for up to a week.

                                See the original recipe.

                                16. Apple-Cinnamon Chips (Vegan, dairy free)

                                  This recipe only takes 3 ingredients and you can alter the amount of sugar to your preference. The thicker the chips the softer they will be and the thinner, the more crispy.

                                  Ingredients:

                                  • 4 Apples
                                  • 1-2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
                                  • 1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
                                  • Cooking spray

                                  How to prepare:

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                                  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
                                  2. Wash the apples and remove the core. Slice them thinly across the apples, cutting them into circles.
                                  3. Toss the slices with cinnamon and sugar.
                                  4. Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray and line the slices on the pan without overlapping them. If you’re using larger apples, use two pans.
                                  5. Bake the chips for around 2.5 hours, until they are slightly soft but dry. Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

                                  17. Roasted Green Bean Fries

                                    Ingredients:[4]

                                    • 1 pound fresh green beans
                                    • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
                                    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
                                    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

                                    How to prepare:

                                    1. Preheat oven to 425. Wash green beans and remove stems if desired. Let them dry off.
                                    2. Add green beans to a bowl and drizzle oil over them. Mix with your hands to coat them evenly.
                                    3. Lay the greens on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
                                    4. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, flip them once about halfway through.

                                    *Mix honey with fresh garlic and chilis for a sweet and spicy dipping sauce!

                                    18. Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash

                                      A hearty and simple dish that is prefect for upcoming fall. You can also swap the squash for sweet potatoes, zucchini, or a mixed vegetable medley.

                                      ~ Get the recipe!

                                      19. Edamame and Chickpea Salad with Lime Dressing

                                        Ingredients:[5]

                                        Dressing

                                        • 1 large avocado, flesh removed
                                        • 1/2 inch slice of ginger root (1/2″ – 1″ piece)
                                        • 1 shallot
                                        • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
                                        • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
                                        • ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup
                                        • 1 tablespoon olive oil
                                        • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

                                        Salad

                                        • 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
                                        • ½ tablespoon olive oil
                                        • ¼ teaspoon salt
                                        • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
                                        • ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
                                        • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
                                        • ½ cup cashews
                                        • 10 oz. shelled edamame, cooked
                                        • 1½ cup chopped apples (about 2 small apples)
                                        • Salt & pepper to taste
                                        • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (optional)

                                        How to prepare:

                                        1. Create the dressing by placing ingredients in a high-speed blender and blending until smooth. Store extra dressing in an extra ajar or airtight container for up to one month in the fridge.
                                        2. Heat a skillet over high heat and add the chickpeas. Cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until they start to brown. Drizzle olive oil over chickpeas.
                                        3. Str in all of the spices and then add the cashews. Keep mixture over heat and stir until cashew are slightly toasted or brown.
                                        4. Add mixture, edamame and apples to a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper as you desire. Add desired amount of avocado-lime dressing and toss to coat salad evenly. Garnish with chopped basil and serve warm or chilled.
                                        5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days for freshness.

                                        20. Kale, Clementine and Feta Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing (Vegan option)

                                          Ingredients:

                                          Salad

                                          • 1 head of kale
                                          • 1 avocado, diced
                                          • 1 medium pomegranate
                                          • 4 clementines, peeled and sliced into rounds or small strips
                                          • 4 small radishes, sliced into thin rounds and then into skinny strips
                                          • 1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
                                          • ⅓ cup crumbled feta (skip for vegan)
                                          • ¼ cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds

                                          Dressing

                                          • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
                                          • 3 tablespoons olive oil
                                          • 1 medium jalapeño, membranes and seeds removed, finely chopped
                                          • 2 teaspoons honey (or agave nectar)
                                          • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
                                          • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
                                          • ⅛ teaspoon fine grain sea salt

                                          How to prepare:

                                          1. Create the dressing by whisking together all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
                                          2. Prepare the kale by slicing away the stems and chopping the leaves into small, bite-sized pieces.
                                          3. Move the kale to a large salad bowl and sprinkle a small pinch of sea salt over the kale. Lightly toss the leaves and scrunch handfuls at a time until the leaves are darker in color and fragrant.
                                          4. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over the kale and toss so the kale is lightly coated.
                                          5. Add the prepared avocado, pomegranate seeds, clementines, radishes, cilantro and feta over top.
                                          6. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until they smell fragrant and toasty.
                                          7. Transfer the seeds to the salad and toss the salad to mix all ingredients.
                                          8. Store leftover dressing for up to one month in an airtight container, refrigerated. Leftover salad can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

                                          See original recipe.

                                          More adventurous snackers will enjoy using a dehydrator. Dehydrator recipes include endless varieties of homemade granolas, dried fruit mixes, veggies, and jerky. These snacks from Dried and True will take longer to prepare but can be made in bulk and last for a couple weeks when stored properly.

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                                          21. Dried Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes

                                            Ingredients:

                                            • 3 cups fresh cherry or grape tomatoes
                                            • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
                                            • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
                                            • 2 sprigs Thyme
                                            • 1 sprig rosemary
                                            • 1 cup olive oil (more as needed)

                                            How to prepare:

                                            1. Bring a medium pot of water to a slight boil on medium-high heat.
                                            2. While waiting for the water, line a dehydrator trays with nonstick mesh sheet and lightly coat the sheets in olive oil.
                                            3. Once the water has boiled, place the tomatoes in the pot until most of their skins break open. Remove the tomatoes and use a knife to peel off the skins.
                                            4. Place tomatoes on the prepped trays. Set dehydrator for 135°F, for about 22-24 hours. Careful not to dry them so much that they become too tough.
                                            5. Remove and place them in a large bowl with the sea salt and vinegar.
                                            6. Layer the herbs into a large jar, add the tomatoes overtop, and pour in the olive oil. Add additional oil as needed to cover all of the tomatoes.
                                            7. Marinate in the jar for 24 hours, then move to the refrigerator for up to one month. Viola.

                                            22. Dried Shrimp

                                              Ingredients:

                                              • 1 pound of peeled and cooked bay shrimp
                                              • 1 teaspoon olive oil for coating trays
                                              • Optional topping ideas: sea salt, cayenne pepper

                                              How to prepare:

                                              1. Line dehydrator trays with non-stick mesh sheets and coat them lightly with olive oil.
                                              2. Toss shrimp with a topping (if desired).
                                              3. Spread the shrimp on the prepped trays and dry at 160°F for 8-12 hours until dry and slightly cracking.
                                              4. Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

                                              23. Yogurt Covered Raisins

                                                Ingredients:

                                                • 1 pound seedless black grapes
                                                • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
                                                • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
                                                • 1 tablespoon honey
                                                • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

                                                How to prepare:

                                                1. Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat.
                                                2. Line dehydrator trays with non-stick mesh sheets and lightly coat them with olive oil.
                                                3. Soak the grapes in the boiling water and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 2-4 minutes until the skins begin to crack open. Remove them with a slotted spoon and allow them to cool completely.
                                                4. Place them on the prepared trays and dry at 135°F for 16-20. Check frequently for chewiness. Remove them once they are no longer squishy through the center.
                                                5. Place the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and melt them in the microwave for 30-second intervals. Stir in between to ensure the chips melt thoroughly. Mix in the yogurt and coconut oil until the mixture is smooth.
                                                6. Stir in the freshly dried raisins until they are fully covered.
                                                7. Spread raisins out on thin, mesh a cooling rack and allow them to set.
                                                8. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks, or in freeze them for up to 6 months.

                                                24. Ginger & Soy Green Bean Crisps

                                                  Ingredients:

                                                  • 1 pound fresh green beans
                                                  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
                                                  • 1 garlic clove
                                                  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
                                                  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

                                                  How to prepare:

                                                  1. Wash, stem and diagonally cut the green beans into 1/4 in slivers. Peel and mince the garlic an place in a small bowl. Peel and grate the ginger.
                                                  2. Boil a pot of water over medium-high heat and add a pinch of sea salt. Add the green beans once boiled for about 2 minutes.
                                                  3. Strain and run cool water over the beans for about 1 minute to cool them completely.
                                                  4. Line a dehydrator tray with non-stick mesh sheets lightly coated in cooking or olive oil.
                                                  5. In a medium bowl, mix together the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. Add the beans and toss them until fully covered with the sauce. Marinate them for about 15 minutes, stirring them every 5 minutes or so.
                                                  6. Drain the beans (save the sauce if you’d like), and lay the slices onto the prepped trays. Dry at 135°F for 4-6 hours until crispy.
                                                  7. Let them cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks at room temperature.

                                                  25. Garlic & Sage Turkey Jerky

                                                    Ingredients:

                                                    • 2.5 pounds turkey breast
                                                    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
                                                    • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
                                                    • 8 sage leaves
                                                    • 2 tablespoons molasses
                                                    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
                                                    • 2.5 teaspoons sea salt

                                                    How to prepare:

                                                    1. Remove skin from the turkey breast and place turkey in the freezer for 2-4 hours until it is firm but not frozen. Cut into diagonal strips that are about 2 inches wide.
                                                    2. Warm the olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sage to the oil and simmer together for 1-2 minutes.
                                                    3. Stir in the molasses, black pepper, and then remove from heat. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
                                                    4. In a large bowl, toss the turkey slices with the salt and oil mixture until all slices are evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
                                                    5. Line dehydrator trays with non-stick mesh sheets and lightly coat them with cooking or olive oil. Lay the turkey slices evenly on the trays and dry at 160°F for 3-5 hours. Blot excess juice occasionally and remove them once them have dried but are still slightly moist to the touch. Allow them to cool completely.
                                                    6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or freeze the jerky for up to 6 months.

                                                    One of the best places for snacking inspiration is a local farmer’s market. Shopping for what’s in season will inspire simple, creative dishes that are easy to include in your schedule. Here are some other ways to achieve lasting effects in your workplace.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                                    Reference

                                                    [1] Tesco Real Food: Nut-free Granola
                                                    [2] Further Food: Avocado Date Chocolate Pudding
                                                    [3] Infinitebalance: Dark Chocolate, Cranberry & Pumpkin Granola Bites
                                                    [4] Food Networks: Baked Parm Green Bean Fries
                                                    [5] Mother Thyme: Edamame and Chickpea Salad with Lime Dressing

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                                                    Alexa Sponaugle

                                                    Holistic Health Coach

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                                                    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                                                    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                                    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                                    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                                                    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                                                      Why You Need a Vision

                                                      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                                                      How to Create Your Life Vision

                                                      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                                                      What Do You Want?

                                                      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                                                      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                                                      Some tips to guide you:

                                                      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                                                      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                                                      • Give yourself permission to dream.
                                                      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                                                      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                                                      Some questions to start your exploration:

                                                      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                                                      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                                                      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                                                      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                                                      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                                                      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                                                      • What qualities would you like to develop?
                                                      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                                                      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                                                      • What would you most like to accomplish?
                                                      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                                                      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                                                      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                                                      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                                                      A few prompts to get you started:

                                                      • What will you have accomplished already?
                                                      • How will you feel about yourself?
                                                      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                                                      • What does your ideal day look like?
                                                      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                                                      • What would you be doing?
                                                      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                                                      • How are you dressed?
                                                      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                                                      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                                                      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                                                      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                                                      Plan Backwards

                                                      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                                                      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                                                      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                                                      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                                                      • What important actions would you have had to take?
                                                      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                                                      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                                                      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                                                      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                                                      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                                                      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                                                      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                                                      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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