People who live fulfilling lives usually practice these 9 habits

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Fulfillment doesn’t come from the digits in your bank account, how many cars you have in your garage, or how defined your abs are. 

Fulfillment comes from deep down within.

It is also mostly rooted in balance–the balance of accomplishing personal goals, being healthy and having satisfying relationships. 

If you want to truly be fulfilled, realize that changing your day-to-day habits should be the priority. 

Remember, your habits ultimately define you. It’s the little things that count after all. 

Let’s get to it!

1) They have structured morning routines

One generally doesn’t feel too fulfilled rolling out of bed at 11 a.m. hungover on a weekday morning. 

How you start your mornings often sets the tone for the rest of the day. 

Now, nobody is telling you to get up at 5 a.m. to run a marathon, but some semblance of a morning routine will surely benefit you. 

Things like meditation, journaling, cooking a nutritious breakfast, and exercise (not necessarily a marathon) will do you wonders. 

Trust me, the hardest part is actually finding the strength to get started. 

Once you get into the swing of things, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner. 

2) They limit their screen time 

There are different routes to fulfillment, but spending your days mindlessly doom-scrolling through reels isn’t one of them. 

Fulfilled people understand that as great as technology is, too much of a good thing will inevitably have adverse effects.

If you spend an excess of time stalking people on Instagram or playing NBA2K on Xbox, you’re sacrificing precious hours to tend to more productive matters like nurturing relationships or getting immersed in the physical world. 

Truly fulfilled people make a concerted effort to moderate their screen time, pursuing a balanced life as best they can. 

I loved my ex. 

During the tenure of our union, she was a bit of a micro-influencer on social media–something that started as a hobby but gradually morphed into an intense preoccupation. 

She and her phone became inseparable. 

Date night at a nice restaurant meant her being glued to her screen, barely acknowledging me. 

When we watched movies, she’d be checking her phone for updates–roughly every 45 seconds, by my estimates.

She’d also complain about her lack of productivity and exhaustion throughout the day; yet denied her lethargy stemmed from staying up till the wee hours, refreshing for virtual updates. 

Eventually, we broke up. It was mutual for the most part. 

We both had our reasons; but for me, I’d be lying that her addiction to social media didn’t play a significant role in the fall-out. 

Moral of the story? If you want fulfilling relationships, limiting screen time is a smart move.  

3) They focus on deep work 

Generally speaking, when fulfilled people work, they really work. 

They don’t half-ass things. 

Personally, the sense of contentment I feel after a day of taking care of business is irreplaceable. 

My self-worth levels shoot up; I feel accomplished and ready to tackle life. 

We live in a world that is designed to distract. Hence, I actively avoid things like social media or YouTube while on the job. 

You don’t have to slave away like a Tokyo salaryman to produce at an efficient rate, all you need is to engage in sustained periods of deep work. 

When you’re productive, you feel good. 

And when you’re simply coasting through the day, the opposite is true. 

4) They eat mindfully 

Whether done consciously or not, many see food as a crutch. 

They might even eat when they’re not hungry, since like any addiction, it provides quick relief for a more deep-seated issue. 

The fulfilled person has a unique relationship with eating. They don’t use food to fill a void. They don’t thoughtlessly scarf down meals to gain some fleeting satisfaction. 

They eat at a pace where they can enjoy and appreciate every bite of their meals, honing in on the quality of the ingredients, all the while being aware of what they’re putting into their bodies. 

In addition to making you feel good, this approach also helps mitigate potential physical and mental health issues. 

You are not only what you eat. You are how you eat too. Think about it.

5) They go on walks in nature 

Fulfilled people know that you can attain things from being in nature that you simply cannot within the four walls of an apartment or office.

Hence, they regularly make it a point to spend time outdoors. 

This can mean weekend trips to the beach, hiking in the mountains, or simply lengthy walks in a nearby park. 

They consider it a time for rejuvenation of mind, body, and spirit while simultaneously reestablishing a deeper connection with their environment. 

Nature is therapeutic, an instant mood-lifter. 

I’m fortunate to live in a city with access to vast expanses of greenery. 

I don’t take these perks for granted. 

Most mornings I like to go on light jogs through my neighborhood, intentionally leaving my phone at home. 

These outings typically have a meditative effect on me that manifests as a feeling of serenity and clarity… 

Pretty decent benefits for a morning stroll through the park, don’t you think?

6) They get creative 

As you may have gathered by now, fulfilled people tend to be well-rounded

Sure, they may spend the week going through spreadsheets, but they also make time to work out the right hemisphere of the brain.

Artistic pursuits like writing, photography, painting, or playing an instrument all provide a feeling of catharsis and self-expression. 

As a bonus, art provides an outlet for healthy escapism and relaxation. 

The myriad stresses and anxieties from life once loitering at the back of your head begin to suddenly fizzle out.

I think legendary Spanish painter Pablo Picasso said it best:  “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

7) They do volunteer work 

Here’s the thing: Fulfilled people are often aware that the world is bigger than them. Thus, they might seek out opportunities to volunteer and give back to the community. 

Fulfillment often comes with empathy and the knowledge that nobody is immune to struggle and bad luck–and that, at the end of the day, we’re all pretty much the same.

Volunteer work provides us with a powerful sense of humility.

To live for something greater than ourselves makes the pettiness of the world all the more meaningless. 

As a teenager, I would regularly whine to my parents about how bored or depressed I was. 

They suggested I participate in volunteer work. The drastic change in the setting would help me gain a greater perspective, they claimed. 

So I somewhat hesitantly spent the summer volunteering to help construct homes for the less privileged. 

In less than two months, I can confidently say I emerged from the experience, a new, more compassionate young man, no longer overwhelmed by trivial, hormonal anxieties. 

That was the first of many summers I spent as an amateur bricklayer. 

8) They travel and explore 

As mentioned earlier, fulfilled people are all about balance. 

They know that to get the best out of themselves, the occasional change in setting goes a long way.

Hence, they might enjoy venturing to new places and experiencing fresh cultures and food whenever they get the opportunity. 

They like to immerse themselves in local customs and cultures. They embrace the diverse nature of the world, something that simultaneously keeps them inspired and grounded.  

As someone who has been thoroughly bitten by the travel bug, I’d like to quote travel writer and essayist Pico Iyer: “A person susceptible to ‘wanderlust’ is not so much addicted to movement as committed to transformation.” 

9) They organize finances 

You might have a stable income but if you have no concern for budget or spending, you can very well end up broke. 

Maybe you spend too much on food deliveries, Lululemon, or the latest Apple gadgets. 

I don’t mean to sound like your dad here, but with adulting comes the ability to manage your finances responsibly. 

Being good with money is such an asset in life. It means independence and self-sufficiency. 

Pretty badass. 

Being concerned about your finances doesn’t mean conforming to ‘The Man’, it means coming to terms with the reality of living. 

So if you want to gain a bit more fulfillment, start budgeting, saving, and investing wisely. 

Not only will you sleep better at night, you’ll feel significantly better about yourself as well. 

Final words 

When it comes to genuine fulfillment, realize that achieving it won’t happen overnight. 

If you already identify with some of the items on this list, then you’re in a good place. 

And if you don’t, then that’s fine too. 

Fulfillment is around the corner if you want it to be. Be dedicated to transformation and shifting your mindset.

Chances are, you’re just a few habits away from realizing your best self. We all are. 

Don’t let up. 

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Hack Spirit! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

7 signs you’re in the right relationship, even if you have different life goals

If you display these 8 traits, you have high emotional intelligence