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5 Simple ways to live a life you love

5 Simple ways to live a life you love

    The quickest way to living a life you love is through learning to love the life you live.

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    You’re waiting for something to change in your life before you can be happy. You might think if only you had a different partner (or one at all), a better job, or kids that did their homework then surely you’d be happy. Surely then you’d wake each morning with the glow of one living a life worth loving. Enough! Here are 5 ways to get started:

    1. Be present – You must be aware of your current existence and that you have control over your perspective. Whether you’re willing away early morning grouchiness or seeing a messy house as a chance to teach teamwork, your choice of perspective will make all the difference between just living and loving.

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    2. Practice gratefulness – Every day, no excuses. Pretend to be grateful if you must. It’s one of those things that catches up to you quickly as life reciprocates your emotional generosity. Seeing the good in your life will allow you to keep your heart fed while you work to change the more unsavory parts. Try it. Live it. You’ll love it.

    3. Pursue balance – As a person given to extremes this has always been a tough one for me. I’ll go from taking great care of myself and communicating well to abandonment and silence as I let work consume me. The pursuit of balance requires constant adjustment as your life shifts but every time I really try for the middle I end up happier about my life. And that’s truly the point.

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    4. Nurture friendships – You know the people who for some reason or other welcome you into their lives? Treasure them. Make time to spend with them. It is those relationships that you’ll look back on with satisfaction when you get old and begin to wonder what your life was worth. Many of us spend far too much time thinking about how some material possession will improve our lives. An iMac would be nice. A good friend is worth just about everything though!

    5. Embrace simplicity –  You don’t need to have all your gold-plated ducks in a row in order to love the life you’re living. You don’t need lots of stuff and relationships so driven by drama that you often wish just to be left alone in silence. Instead you might try for a simpler approach and enjoy things because they are useful and not because they are expensive. You might join a friend just to talk and not worry about all the expensive trappings we so often heap on get-together’s. Try for simplicity and if complexity sneaks up on you, so be it. In learning to love the basics you’ll find a wondrous appreciation for the nicer things that come along.

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    What have you found helps bring you back to the moment you’re in and really start to enjoy the life you’re living right now?

    image: adam foster

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    Seth Simonds

    Seth writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on November 18, 2020

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
    Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

    1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
    2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
    3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
    4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
    5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
    6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
    7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
    8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
    9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
    10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
    11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
    12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
    13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
    14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
    15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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