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Last Updated on December 9, 2020

How to Get a Life and Live to the Fullest Every Day

How to Get a Life and Live to the Fullest Every Day

When you look back at the end of your life, you want to be able to confidently say, “Yes! I am satisfied, content, and feel like I lived my life to the fullest.” In order to do this, each of us has to learn how to get a life and live that life in the best way possible.

Sure, you will likely be faced with setbacks, obstacles, stress, and frustrations along the way. Some days you’ll feel on top of the world, jumping out of bed in the morning; other days you’ll feel like the proverbial stuff has hit the fan, and you’ll just want to pull the covers back over your head.

Part of living life to the fullest is completely experiencing all that life has to offer. After all, we cannot fully appreciate joy unless we have felt pain. We cannot fully experience love until we have lost. Experiencing the full range of good and bad is what gives life meaning and purpose.

Whether you are in a period of thriving, or a time of just trying to survive, here is how to get a life and live it to the fullest.

1. Take Care of Yourself

“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live”. –Jim Rohn

If your body is falling apart, if you’re unhealthy and struggling with disease, you will never be able to live life fully. Taking care of yourself isn’t just about taking care of your body. It’s taking an integrative approach to your health and wellness.

This means taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. So many of us focus on one area and forget the others.

Try this: Find ways to take care of yourself holistically. Start with the basics: stay hydrated, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, eat nourishing foods, spend time in nature, take deep breaths, and meditate.

Check out 30 more ways to take care of yourself here.

2. Be True to Yourself

“To thine own self be true.” –Shakespeare

If you are going to learn how to get a life you love living, you must first know what that means to you. What is your life purpose?

From a young age, there are many competing expectations, demands, and dreams coming from every direction: family members, friends, and your community. This leads many people to live a life that others want or expect of them, not the one they would choose for themselves.

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Often, people are living a life that looks good to others from the outside, but inside they are unhappy, stressed, or feeling insecure or like a fraud.

Add to that the constant and relentless messages from social media, books, and resources that tell us how we should do things and how we are meant to succeed, and it can be easy to lose yourself.

Bronnie Ware is a palliative care nurse who has worked with hundreds of patients in the last few weeks of their lives. When she talked to them about the most common regrets they had or things they would have done differently, the number one answer was this:

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.[1]

Try this: Get to know yourself and what you need to thrive. Take personal responsibility for identifying and honoring the visions, dreams, and goals you have for your life. Make a commitment to dedicate time and energy to the things that are important to you.

3. Get a Job You Love (Or at Least Like)

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” –Confucius

Most people spend at least a third of their lives at work, and yet 85% of the world’s full-time workers hate their job. That’s a disheartening statistic. Are you bored, hate your job, or feeling unfulfilled and unhappy as you go to work each day? If so, it’s time to make a change.

There are likely realities about what job opportunities might be available where you live, how much money you need to make to support your family, and the skills required to start working at the job you really want. I also know and have worked with hundreds of individuals to confirm that there are always other options — even if you can’t see them right now.

Try this: If you’re unhappy or unfulfilled in your role, actively seek out other options. If, for some reason, you truly can’t change jobs, find a way to make your job work for you. Ask for a raise, flexible work hours, or an increased level of responsibility or experience. Perhaps you can start a side hustle, go back to school, or do something to make progress towards what you really want to be doing.

4. Find Your Tribe

“Choose people who lift you up.” –Michelle Obama

We are social beings hardwired for connection. That means we need to spend time engaging with others to thrive as we learn how to get a life we can enjoy. Studies have shown that people who socialize often have higher levels of happiness than those who don’t.[2] In addition, in the longest study in history on happiness, Robert Waldinger found:

“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”[3]

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However, it’s not just about spending time with people. You must spend time with people who you love being with, who understand you, and who you trust. They should be people who support you and make you feel safe and loved, as well as heard and seen.

Try this: Make an extra effort to grow and nurture healthy relationships in your life. Spend time, in person, with friends, family, and colleagues. Schedule a regular date night with friends or family. Find more ways to create a sense of community and be social in your life – and have fun in the process!

5. Let Go

It is only when we let go, that new, untold possibilities present themselves.

Sometimes living life to the fullest is as much about what you let go as much as what you hold on to. Remember in the movie “Up” when Mr. Fredricksen is trying to get his house to fly? It was too heavy, and he had to dump his belongings until the house was light enough to lift off. 

The same is true for your life. What do you need to let go of so you can get a life, move forward, and ultimately fly?

Try this: Identify what you need to release to move forward. What are you holding on to that’s holding you back: an old habit, limiting belief, or a story you are telling yourself? Let it go. 

Perhaps it’s resentment, anger or frustration. Then forgive. When you wake up each day, treat it as a clean slate. If things didn’t go the way you wanted yesterday, leave that behind and move forward.

6. Be the Best YOU Can Be

“All of us are seeking the same thing. We share the desire to fulfill the highest, truest expression of ourselves as human beings.” –Oprah

We are all here to become the fullest expression of ourselves. That means being the best YOU that you can be. Take every opportunity to learn, grow, and evolve. The only way you can do that is through new experiences that push beyond your current capabilities, beliefs, and boundaries.

Try this: Make a goal to have one new experience a month or take time for your own personal and professional growth and development. With each new experience, ask yourself, “What did I learn? How can I progress? How can I move forward on my life’s journey?”

7. Be Thankful

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” –Eckhart Tolle

The best way to live a life you love is to love the life you live. Studies have proven a multitude of benefits from expressing gratitude, ranging from how it improves relationships, physical and emotional health, sleep, mental stamina, energy, and overall happiness. Being grateful is one of the simplest and most powerful things you can do to live a full and happy life.

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One study found that “gratitude training significantly affected all domains of psychological well-being and happiness”[4].Gratitude training can simply include writing down three things you’re grateful for each day. When you do this, make sure you remember why you’re grateful for these things, and let it really sink in.

Try this: Start a daily gratitude practice. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

8. Listen More

How often do you find yourself somewhere, but not really there at all? Your mind has wandered far from the moment and the people you are with. Maybe you’re talking with someone, but you’re distracted, in your head, multitasking, or thinking about something else.

Take the time to listen and tune in to the world around you. Listen with focus, love, and intention[5].

Active Listening Skills

    Try this: The only way to truly listen is to be still. Try living in the present moment, and focus on what is in front of you. If you’re in a conversation, focus on hearing what’s being said, ask questions, seek to understand at a deeper level, and find out more. Listen to yourself by being mindful, doing one thing at a time, journaling, or tapping into your inner voice.

    9. Have Fun

    “Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin.” –Grace Hansen

    In order to learn how to get a life and live it to the fullest, we must experience all that life has to offer. The only way to live life to the fullest is to truly live life. Set goals in many areas of your life, and take advantage of every experience and opportunity you can.

    So much of what we do is wrapped around what we have to do or what we should do. The result is that we often don’t do things just because we want to. Find things that bring you joy, invigorate you, and light your fire.

    There will always be a reason you can’t do something, and the timing will never be perfect. If you want to do something, do it now, or at least make a plan. Don’t get caught in the “when, then” trap. “When I get the promotion, then I’ll go on that trip”; “When I have enough money, then I’ll start volunteering.”

    What can you do now?

    Try this: Identify what brings you joy and makes you feel happy or fulfilled. Do more of that! Plan more time for fun and adventure, and say yes more often. Make an effort to truly live a full and happy life.

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    10. Be Generous

    We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.

    Studies prove that the act of giving lowers blood pressure, increases self-esteem, improves happiness, and even helps you live a longer life![6]

    Not only that, but giving provides so many benefits to others, ensuring that you are not only living life to the fullest for yourself but that you are contributing to a positive, greater good for the whole—and helping others have the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest, too! You can leave people, animals, or the earth a little better for having been here.

    Try this: Identify how you can serve, contribute, and give back. This may already be part of your daily life or job. If not, find a cause you care about and jump in.

    Giving back can come in many forms. It can be as small as smiling at everyone you see on the street or as big as starting a foundation for a cause that’s important to you.

    The Bottom Line

    Your life will likely be full of ups and downs. How can you ensure you live your life to the fullest?

    Imagine yourself many years from now, at the end of your life, looking back on the life you lived. What will you wish you had done? How will you wish you had spent your time? What will you be proud of, and what will you regret?

    Ask the questions, get clear on the answers, and then work your way back to now.

    Remember, our lives are made up of moments. Those moments make up hours, the hours make up days, the days make up years, and the years create your life. Ultimately, the best way to live life to the fullest is to live each moment to the fullest.

    “You think this is just another day in your life? It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you today. It’s given to you. It’s a gift. It’s the only gift that you have right now, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness.” –Benedictine Monk Brother David Steindl-Rast

    More on How to Get a Life You Love

    Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Tracy Kennedy

    Lifehack's Personal Development Expert, a results-driven coach dedicated to helping people achieve greater levels of happiness and success.

    Why Negative Emotions Aren’t That Bad (And How to Handle Them) How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation to Calm Your Thoughts 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment How to Build Self Esteem (A Guide to Realize Your Hidden Power)

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    Last Updated on January 25, 2021

    How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today

    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.

    What Stops You From Living Your Best Life?

    While living your best life is all about you, what other people think can have an impact on your quest to live your best life.

    Social media, for example, puts us under a lot of pressure. There are specific expectations of what “happy” looks like, and we’re under pressure to conform to what society expects.

    For example, we are pressured to look a certain way, wear the “right” clothes, have exciting adventures with eye-catching friends, eat ethical and healthy food, and do charity work.

    These are only a few of society’s expectations. It’s a long list.

    Social media claims to connect us, but often it can do the opposite.

    We can spend so much time worrying about what other people are doing, trying to live the life that society expects of us, that it can be easy to lose track of what makes us happy and what our best life actually looks like.

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

    10 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.

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    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. 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?”[1]

    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.

    5. 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.[2] Be deliberate in being grateful for what you do have, rather than resentful of what you don’t.

    6. 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.[3]

    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.[4] 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.

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    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.

    7. 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.

    8. 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.[5]

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

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    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.

    More Tips on How You Can Live Your Best Life

    Featured photo credit: Juliana Malta via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Kon Mari: Tidy your space, transform your life
    [2] Harvard Health Publishing: In Praise of Gratitude
    [3] University of Rochester Medical Center: Journaling for Mental Health
    [4] Daniel H. Pink: Dan Pink on Motivation
    [5] Sleep Foundation: Healthy Sleep Tips

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