The new year is a time when many of us reflect on the past and look to the future. It is a time when we find ourselves thinking about our purpose in life and how to achieve contentment and happiness. Some might say we start plotting the next steps to living our best lives. Of course, your best life is going to look different to every other person’s on the planet; uniquely yours to create and claim. Today, as we embark on a new year, we’d like to share some techniques that we hope will enable you to live your best life this coming year.
Live Your Best Life Through Resilience
Life often feels overwhelming, unmanageable or unhappy when we find ourselves in a state of unbalance. Your world is in constant flux and so imbalances are inevitable. But you can overcome them. The first step is to recognise when you are living with imbalance. You may find yourself drained, stressed, frustrated, disconnected, feeling like everything is ‘happening to you’ and out of your control, or struggling with your health. One coping mechanism is to build your resilience.
Resilience doesn’t deny your struggles, pain, or setbacks. It simply helps you on the road to recovery when you fall on hard times. Remember, life isn’t always going to be easy — but it shouldn’t always be hard.
Here are just a few strategies for building resilience to live your best life:
- Acknowledge and express your feelings and emotions and be kind to yourself
- Create a caring community around you for mutual support
- Take positive and inspired action to achieve your goals
- Reframe challenges and setbacks as opportunities
- Take time to unplug and recharge from things that create an imbalance
- Develop a realistic sense of what you can control and let go of what you can’t
- Develop a sense of humour and curiosity about the world around you
- Remember times when you have been resilient in the past or model someone’s behaviour who exudes resiliency in their life
Live Your Best Life by Setting Goals
Goal setting is an incredible tool in helping you towards fulfilment. First, you must analyse the imbalances that are stopping you from living your best life. There are six pillars in your life that all contribute to your overall wellbeing. They are the emotional, intellectual, occupational/financial, physical, social and spiritual pillars.
You might feel intellectually fulfilled but your physical health is lacking. Perhaps you feel content with your work and finances but would enjoy a stronger social pillar. This can be a hard process, but really take a look at your life and acknowledge what is and isn’t working for you. Then, you can start setting goals to create your dream life with a happy balance.
When it comes to goal setting, you should set SMART goals. These are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant, and Timely. The GROW acronym is also a helpful way to set Goals that are Realistic, give you Options, and establish a Way forward. Identify your goal, choose a starting point, identify the steps required to achieve your goal, and finally, take your first step.
Live Your Best Life by Engaging a Growth Mindset
A fixed mindset might be hindering you as you strive to live your best life. With a fixed mindset, you might perceive yourself, your character, intelligence or status as unchangeable and efforts to develop these as futile. A growth mindset is the opposite and can help us realise our aspirations by teaching us that we can grow, learn and change in a meaningful, creative and joyful way.
Developing a growth mindset will help you rise to challenges that come your way, persist in the face of adversity, learn from criticism and failure, and live a happier and more successful life because of it. So, how do you change your mindset from fixed to growth? The good news is that you can learn to do this and it’s all a matter of perspective. Start simply by altering the way you speak or think about things. For example, think of obstacles as projects rather than problems.
You can build and develop a growth mindset through relaxation techniques, affirmations, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques such as reframing and visualisation, and even self-hypnosis as you become the master of your mind and thus the master of your life.
Live Your Best Life Through Mindfulness
Another way to master your thoughts, feelings and actions on the journey to live your best life is mindfulness; the simple art of observing and being present in each moment. This will help you understand that your thoughts do not define you. Mindfulness teaches that it is okay to have pain or suffering and that when you are feeling negative thoughts, observing them and sitting with them will help them pass, moment by moment. It can help reduce stress, boost self-esteem, help you focus, heighten creativity, connect you with yourself, and even ease chronic pain.
It’s also simple to practice. You can start by trying deep breathing exercises, reciting mantras, journaling, body scanning techniques, or simply sitting in peace and taking note of how you feel. For when things get tough, try the STOP Method. Stop what you’re doing. Take a breath. Observe your thoughts. Proceed with something that serves you in the moment.
Live Your Best Life Through Meditation
Mindfulness and meditation go hand-in-hand. As a calm and relaxed state of consciousness, meditation can benefit your life physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. Not only can it open new doors to different ways of thinking, but it can also help you ‘go with the flow’, quieten the mind and even problem-solve when life deals you a rough hand.
To get started, you simply need to find a quiet and serene environment, choose a comfortable position and practice some deep breathing for five or ten minutes. Pay attention to the thoughts that enter your mind and observe them as they pass through, letting them go one at a time until your mind is clear. When employed regularly, meditation can become a powerful tool to release you from painful emotions and live your best life.
Live Your Best Life With the Law of Attraction
Many credit the Law of Attraction — which states like attracts like — as being the most powerful force in the universe and it could just change your life. The secret is simple — you create your own reality by what you choose to focus on. In other words, if you think negative thoughts about something, you put negative energy out into the universe and the universe sends negative energy back to you, because like attracts like. Conversely, positive thoughts and actions return positive thoughts and actions.
This law is about taking responsibility for your thoughts and actions — your whole life. When you make a conscious decision to think more positively, you begin to draw in positive energy and manifest what you focus on. In order to change your life, you must change your thoughts. To live your best life, become a vibrational match with your goal and use your vision for your dream life as a yardstick for your energy and get ready to receive all that positivity by asking the universe for it and allowing it to work its magic!
Live Your Best Life: Your Personalised Plan
One of the greatest barriers between you and your version of success and happiness is stress. Find a stress management tool that works for you and stick to it. Create a life purpose statement by combining your unique qualities, how you will express them, and to what end. This will help you stay focused on your goals, whatever they may be, while being able to authentically live your best life.
Here are some helpful prompts for bringing your best self to each day:
- Express gratitude
- Stay curious
- Connect with someone
- Stop procrastinating
- Express physical affection
- Be open to new experiences
- Develop your compassion
- Accept challenges in life
- Be kind to yourself
Remember, all of these practices can help you live your best life because they allow you to see that the world is exactly what you make of it.
Today is day one of the new year. The marvel of life is that this day is not unlike any other. Each and every day, you have the same opportunity to start afresh, to wake up grateful for new opportunities, to love yourself, and to live your best life.
Happy New Year from the CoE Team!