Real Ways to Live Your Best Life in 2018

     Too many of us spend every December complaining about how awful the year was and how it will not be missed.  While looking forward to the coming year and embracing new beginnings is a positive thing, summing up year after year as "terrible" is no way to go through life.  The truth is, no matter what happens over the course of a year that is beyond your control, you still always get to choose how you respond to it.

      I consider myself to be a pretty optimistic person.  My life has not been without hardships and heartaches but I typically am able to bounce back fairly quickly and focus on the positive things.  To me, happiness is a choice.  Happiness is not something that comes to you but something that comes from you.  Here are some real ways to take ownership over your life in the new year so that come next December, looking back on 2018 will make you smile.

Don’t hold yourself to being perfect

Since the reality is that nobody’s perfect (cue the Hannah Montana song), it probably isn’t very healthy to be too much of a perfectionist.  Set achievable goals and expectations for yourself but accept the fact that part of being human is making mistakes.  Start viewing your mistakes as opportunities for growth rather than as failures.  

Set personal goals for yourself

The purpose of having goals is to find happiness in the journey. Goals give you something to work towards which will bring a sense of purpose and excitement to each day of your life.

Stop comparing yourself to others

I know that it is natural for us to compare ourselves to others some of the time.  But too much time spent doing this can be really self-destructive.  It is also important to remember that no matter how perfect someone's life may appear on the surface, everyone you meet is fighting a battle that you know nothing about.

Be grateful

Even at your lowest points, there will always be somebody out there who had a worse day.  Focus on what you do have rather than what you don’t.  We all have so many blessings to be thankful for.

Smile and laugh more

Smile and laugh as much as you can each day.  Try to find a way to joke about the things that don’t go according to plan. Once you are able to laugh at yourself, you will find that you sweat the small stuff less and less.

Try new things

Get out of your comfort zone and make this the year that you try that new thing you have been wanting to do!  In order to get something that you’ve never had, you need to do something that you’ve never done.

Make peace with your past

This one is a lot easier said than done, but as soon as you can figure out how to stop dwelling on what happened yesterday, you will open up the space in your heart and mind to truly make the most of the day in front of you.

Take care of your body

Nobody is too busy to invest time in their health.  Make sure you are eating well, getting enough sleep and doing whatever you need to do in order to feel your best each day.  Keeping your body healthy will improve your mental and physical wellbeing and leave you feeling much stronger.

Embrace the unknown

College is great but it is also a time filled with lots of question marks and uncertainties.  Try to relax and remember that you are young.  It is ok to have no idea what your future holds.  Some mystery is what makes life so exciting!

Eliminate any negative influences

Try to become aware of patterns when it comes to any negative/unwanted emotions that you are experiencing.  Do you feel more anxious after reading the news? Does spending time with that friend who is always complaining about life tend to leave you feeling unhappy? Make 2018 the year that you cut anything toxic out of your life.

Learn to forgive

A strong person is able to forgive someone who isn’t sorry and accept an apology that they never received.  Forgiving those who have wronged you will bring you peace and make you feel free.

Do random acts of kindness

You will be amazed how quickly your spirits will be lifted when you do something kind for someone else. There is nothing more uplifting and rewarding than being the reason behind another person’s smile.

 

Let’s all wake up each day determined to make 2018 an amazing one!

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