At some point, you might find yourself dreading the start of each day, feeling as though your life lacks meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. You lose touch with your passions and yourself, get caught up in the day-to-day, and forget what makes you come alive.
It might not seem like that big of a deal — is waking up excited to greet a new day all that important? But study after study has shown that leading a happier, more fulfilled life matters not just for your own emotional well-being but also for your physical health, relationships, career, creativity, and impact on society as a whole.
If you’re feeling unhappy — if you’re stuck, lost, or just plain tired of the same ol,’ same ol’ — it’s time to revive your life. These 10 steps are a great place to start.
1. Do one thing to take better care of your body
Whether it’s drinking half your body weight in ounces of water, moving your body for 30 minutes, cutting out a bad-for-you item from your diet, or going to bed earlier, commit to ONE thing and do it every day. Do it until it becomes a habit (an average of 66 days, not 30!). Then pick another and start again.
2. Get quiet for 10 minutes each day
Your brain works really hard processing the billions of pieces of data coming at you every day. Getting quiet for just 10 minutes, whether it’s through meditation, yoga, mindfulness, or even progressive relaxation, has been shown to have remarkable effects on your well-being.
2. Make more time for joy
Take a moment and write out all the things that bring you joy. Big and small. Simple and not-so-simple. Make a big, long list. Note: These are things that bring YOU joy. Just you. Not your kids, not your whole family, not the people you follow on social media. YOU. Now, pick up your calendar and schedule a time to do one of those things every week.
4. Practice gratitude
Whether you keep a journal, download an app, or just make it a point to think the thoughts, set aside time each day to reflect on the things you’re grateful for. Not big, abstract things like “my health” or “the ability to use all my appendages” but small, day-to-day things like “a cup of warm coffee in the morning” or “the sunset I caught on my way home.”
5. Get connected
If you’re already a part of a community or have a solid group of friends, make sure you’re participating in activities and conversations, scheduling time together, and reaching out for support when you need it. If you don’t have a community, join one or create your own.
6. Become your own best cheerleader
What’s that running dialogue in your head saying to you? Is it positive and encouraging? Or is it mean, degrading, and critical? Does it make you feel hopeful or anxious and afraid? Your thoughts affect how you feel and how you feel affects how you behave. So, essentially, your thoughts control the decisions you make, the actions you take, and the way you interact with the world. Try this: Pick 3-5 positive self-statements or affirmations and set alerts on your phone to remind you of them throughout your day. Read them over and over until they come naturally to you.
7. Let your heart guide you
Living a revived life starts with your heart. It starts with trusting yourself and listening to the stirrings of your soul. Those stirrings are what make you come alive because they’re what make you YOU. Practice tuning in through writing. Ask yourself what it is you really want. Make a list of all the things that matter to you. Then use those answers to guide your decisions.
8. Don’t be afraid to dream big
Take a moment and ask yourself this question: What’s the biggest, most audacious, amazing life I can imagine for myself? Now picture it in vivid detail. Where do you live? Who are you with? What do you do for fun, work, creativity? What have you accomplished? How do you feel?
Create an image in your mind and write it down. Then post visual reminders where you’ll see them every day. Having something to work towards has been shown to increase not just your energy, purpose, and sense of fulfillment but your overall happiness too. Don’t be afraid to want more for your life. Don’t be afraid to dream BIG.
9. Be honest about what’s getting in the way
I’m guessing a whole slew of negative, limiting beliefs came up for you as you challenged yourself to dream big. Now’s the time to look at those beliefs and where they came from. Are you doubting your abilities? Do you question your worth? Are you burdened by shame, fear, or your past? Or bound by rules and limitations that no longer serve you? Shine a light on what’s getting in the way so you can work on overcoming them.
10. Get to work
Reviving your life takes work, both internally and externally. Use that image of your dream to motivate you to keep going, no matter what. Set goals and take action on them every day. Turn those obstacles into problems to be solved. Don’t give up until you wake up in awe of the life you get to live.
As you start taking better care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, you’ll find it easier to get out of your head (that place full of doubt and fear) and into your heart. You’ll feel more energized and empowered to follow your dreams and your health, relationships, and the world around you will be better off because of it.