Chances are if you were intrigued enough to read past the title of this article, there’s likely something (or maybe many things) nagging in the back of your mind that you want to improve in your life. It could be something as significant as troubles in your relationship or feeling unfulfilled at work. Maybe something routine came to mind such as needing to switch up your bedtime schedule so you get better sleep. Or perhaps you have a general curiosity to explore different lifestyles and ideas — in other words, to challenge your current status quo.
I won’t lie and tell you that creating your best life is as easy as reading this article and checking off the steps. In fact, it’s quite the opposite — the key is to open yourself up to other possibilities outside your norm and see if anything resonates with you. And luckily, there are many habits that enhance our self-awareness and prepare us to be more receptive when those opportunities do arise.
Habits that help you grow
Always keep learning
It’s no great secret that one of the keys to success in any avenue of life is to always continue to learn. Gaining new information helps you develop a deeper understanding of different perspectives and allows you to think outside the box. With the right knowledge and mindset you have a greater capacity to challenge existing systems and be more open-minded towards new ideas.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to bust out your old sociology and history textbooks to incorporate learning as part of your everyday routine. There is such an abundance of information available at our fingertips at any given moment, you just have to be willing to venture out into new territory.
Here’s just a few examples of easy and accessible ways (that you may already be doing!) to integrate learning as part of your every day:
- Check out these 7 amazing inspirational books I highly recommend
- Internet Search
Whether you are looking for something educational, inspirational, or just plain entertaining, you will never have a shortage of options to fill your time. And the great news here is that there is no “bad” option as long as you are engaged and open to learning something new. Yes, I’m even recommending those steamy romance novels! You never know, they may just spark something that influences your own concept of relationships and sexuality.
Hear a new term or want to dig into something that intrigued you in a book or podcast? When in doubt, you can always turn to our trusty friend Google. Just be careful to get your information from a reliable source. (Unfortunately the internet does not require fact-checking!)
I have a ton of helpful recommendations to share with you, but that is a post for another day! In the meantime, you can check out my Instagram stories as I love to share thought-provoking and inspirational information there.
Surround yourself with those you admire
Humans tend to model the behaviors and energy of those around them. Attitude is contagious, just like yawns. So if you are looking to create your best life, it is so important to surround yourself with people who encourage and challenge you to be your best.
Friends & Romantic Partners
“Friends hold a mirror up to each other … and it is this mirroring that helps them improve themselves as persons.” — Aristotle
Our closest friends and partners should be the ones who support us in our growth and truly bring out the best in us. There is an interesting theory that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So don’t you want to be the average of five pretty amazing people?
We may not always get to choose who we spend our time with, but we do get to choose how we let others impact us. Choose wisely.
Professional & Personal Mentors
If you have any professional and personal goals, the quickest way to achieving them is to find yourself a great mentor. This individual can provide guidance, advice, and, most importantly, be an example for you.
Looking to run your first marathon? Find a coach that has done it before and provide insights into how they trained.
Thinking of starting your own business? Talk to a successful entrepreneur that can provide details into how they achieved their goals and what strategies they used along the way.
What may be the most valuable aspect of finding an experienced mentor? Not only can you learn from their accomplishments, but they can share their mistakes and missteps so you don’t fall prey to the same ones!
Find your “magic time”
Ask yourself, when do you get your best ideas? Or maybe it’s not a when, it’s a where.
Scientific evidence shows that our minds tend to be more open and receptive to creativity doing certain repetitive tasks that allow our minds to wander. Did you ever wonder why you get your best ideas in the shower?
For me, I know that I think best in the morning. And if I can take a walk outside in the beautiful early morning light — that’s when the real magic happens! Knowing my “magic time” allows me to prioritize my day (as much as my hectic schedule allows) to create the right environment for myself when I am struggling with a problem or need to focus.
The next time you experience an “aha!” moment, take note of your situation; where you are, what time of day it is, and what you are doing. After a few times, chances are you will find a pattern — aka, your “magic time.” Keep this knowledge handy for whenever you are noodling on a tough dilemma in the future.
And if your magic time IS in the shower, maybe invest in a voice-activated solution nearby to take notes for you hands-free. (Alexa, I see you!)
Embrace your Intuition
You know that little voice inside your head whispering to you when something doesn’t feel right? Or the wave of joyful emotion that washes over you when it feels like everything is as it should be? I’d like to introduce you to your Intuition.
Sometimes referred to as your “gut feelings,” your Intuition serves as a valuable source of insight to your innermost beliefs. It presents itself as an uninvited physical or emotional response to an event or thought, whether you’re ready for it or not.
Do you already know the answer?
While trusting your gut is not the guaranteed solution for every problem, it often tends to be the answer you already know (but may not want to admit).
We often try to shush Intuition, keeping ourselves busy and moving forward in the direction we have laid before us. I know I ignored her for years several times in my life, scared of what would happen for challenging a status quo that seemed good enough. But let me tell you from the bottom of my heart — once I decided to listen to her, my life (however uncertain or scary at the time) finally became my own.
So when that moment hits and you hear Intuition’s call, really tune into her. What is she trying to tell you between the shoulds and the should nots of the status quo? Because once you actually listen and acknowledge her, the only thing left to do is figure out what to do about it.
So what now?
Still struggling? Waiting on some big revelation to hit you? Don’t worry, it will come when you are ready for it.
The tricky thing about creating your best life is that you are the only one that can define what that means. I can’t say what that looks like for you, and your definition will most likely evolve throughout your life. However, you can adopt certain lifestyle rituals to enhance your self-awareness and fortify your beliefs, such as those outlined above. These habits can help alleviate your doubts and prepare you to adapt more easily during your journey through life.
The life-altering revelation that I needed to take a career break hit me during a quiet morning walk (like I said, magic time!) while listening to an inspirational podcast. I attribute my ability to finally hear my Intuition to incorporating all these other habits as part of my weekly routine. Once the timing was right, I was much more receptive to hear the message loud and clear — and ultimately take action as well.
Try incorporating these habits into your life in small ways that feel natural and that your schedule allows. Reflect on what brings you joy and what drains your emotional energy. Explore those feelings and work to align your rituals to feel authentic to you. And most importantly, enjoy the process along the way.
Good luck! I hope you find what you’re looking for, even if you’re not sure what that is yet.
What habits have you incorporated into your life to broaden your horizons? How have they helped you challenge your status quo? Tell us all about it in the comments!