Being happier with your life: 5 small changes with big resultsSeptember 30, 2017
As we go through life, we tend to pick up some wisdom. Hopefully we learn a more stress-free manner of living, a style of engaging more confidently, with less conflict to our days. Below are five tips to move you in the direction of personal peace and being happier with your life.
Tips for being happier with your life
1. Identify what’s most important to you. Eliminate everything else.
We have so many choices in our lives, from TV shows, cereal boxes, restaurants, digital toys and the clothes we wear. We as a generation were told we could have everything, but it can be stressful trying to keep up with it all.
If you identify what’s important to you – is it exercise in the morning? A nap in the afternoon? Continuing education? Seeing your grandchildren regularly? Animal rescue? – then it’s easier to eliminate all those other things that fill up our lives and wear us out.
At first it might be hard to “prune the tree” or cut back on your calendar of events, but if you are feeling exhausted, stressed or scattered, the peace you will achieve by doing this will be worth it.
2. Declutter on a regular basis.
Clutter has a way of crowding our minds and bodies and making us feel chronically stressed and closed in. Time is lost trying to find an object and frustration levels rise. There are lots of books on the value of decluttering and how to do it effectively.
Try this: Pull everything off a shelf or out of a drawer and clean that shelf or drawer. Go through items you have pulled out and be merciless and efficient. Make a ball out of all that string, put rubber bands into a plastic bag. Throw away anything broken, unusable or that does not ring your chimes. Have two bags handy – one for the trash, and one for the give-away: church, Goodwill, the school down the street, the assisted living center.
If you declutter on a regular basis, this project can be done in a short amount of time. Do another drawer next week. Soon the simplicity accumulates and you will feel less stressed and more at ease.
3. There’s no wrong decision here.
Sometimes we get paralysis of analysis and don’t seem to be moving forward with something. Maybe we feel our decision has to be perfect or that the outcome must be guaranteed. We might be afraid of the results of our decision, who it might impact or that we might be perceived as less than intelligent.
In most situations, just make a decision. Get off the block of inertia. Sometimes you just have to get the energy moving before more ideas come in. You can always change your mind, make improvements, learn something new or gather more information which will guide you to your next step.
If you take the viewpoint that there is no wrong decision, it will be easier for you to flow through life with less tension and guilt.
4. Just Say Yes!
It’s easy to fall into a comfortable routine – tennis twice a week, a favorite restaurant on Friday night, bridge game on Thursdays… It gives us a sense of security, knowing what to expect out of the days and weeks ahead. It can make us feel calm, lulling ourselves to sleep and soon the comfortable routine becomes a rut!
How did that happen?
Taking a different route to the grocery store, trying a new item on the menu, taking an impromptu trip to the mountains or to the beach can interrupt that sense of security and be a bother. Or it can enliven you, challenge your mind and maybe cause you to meet someone outside of your social circle.
Even deciding to walk on the other side of the street or utilizing your non-dominant hand brings changes to your brain that are beneficial. New neurological pathways are created and that’s a GOOD thing!
Try saying “yes” to new things a little more often and see how it enriches your daily life.
5. If things aren’t going as planned, it’s time to change the plan.
We’ve all been there… in a situation where things are difficult, nothing is working and everything seems to be frozen stuck. The taxi arrives late, traffic is awful, a car hits a puddle and our white clothing is covered in street muck. Billy and I like to call this feeling “pushing the elephant up the hill.” And that’s a LOT of work.
If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it.
What can you change? The restaurant you were going to for dinner? Your airline tickets to a new location? Take your dog to the groomers on a different day? Reschedule a meeting?
Changing your plans in times such as these will bring you such a sense of relief. You can let that elephant do what it wants and you are no longer in charge of it getting to the top of that hill.
The break in tension will be so palpable that you might just laugh out loud — and that’s a GREAT idea. What other ideas can you come up with to add a bit of spice or change to your life?
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possibleavailable on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.