14 small changes to make to live a more fulfilling life

The days blur from one to the next. You’re unsure about what you’re doing or where you’re going with your life.

You constantly get into the cycle of feeling feverishly motivated one day, to stumbling back on your old habits the next.

Your dreams feel more and more impossible to achieve. But there’s hope for you yet.

Nothing is going to change if you change nothing.

You might’ve tried a big change like going all out to the gym or working extra hours, but those aren’t sustainable.

The most effective changes, in fact, are the ones you can keep up for a long time.

So here are 14 small changes you can try doing to your life that might just yield life-changing results down the line.

1. Make It Clear What You Want in Life

Everyone wants a life of happiness and success, but those tend to be very subjective.

One person’s version of success might be to own a yacht.

If you have no interest in sailing, then that would give you no fulfillment.

Without being clear with what you want out of life, you’ll never have the direction needed to get to where you want to go.

So a small change you can do is to slowly clarify the picture. What kind of life would you want to be living?

What would be your job? What does the ideal ordinary week look like for you?

2. Be More Grateful

While it’s important to understand what you truly want in life, it’s just as important to not lose sight of what you already have.

We might get so lost in chasing success that you forget how much you struggled to get the job you currently have.

Or forget how lonely you felt until you met your spouse.

One way to be more grateful is to list 3 things you’re grateful for when you wake up or before sleeping.

A study has shown that gratitude can lower feelings of depression and anxiety.

3. Get Better Sleep

The importance of sleep cannot be overstated.

Studies have shown that the amount of sleep you get affects your health and overall quality of life.

Without enough sleep, you’ll feel foggy, more clumsy, and slower; you might already know that feeling.

It isn’t exactly an ideal state to be in, especially if you want to enjoy your life.

Working hard is important.

It’s just as important to be just as dedicated to resting.

To help, you could try having a dedicated bedtime and wake time.

Leave your phone out of reach so you don’t stay in bed scrolling your time away.

4. Learn to Forgive

Holding grudges will only serve to weigh you down mentally and emotionally.

It hinders your progress forward because you’re so stuck in the past.

So try to learn to forgive.

It’s certainly easier said than done, but such is everything else meaningful. Make peace with others.

Apologize for your own shortcomings.

And learn to forgive yourself. Only then will you begin to feel much lighter, and even happier.

5. Venture Out of Your Comfort Zone a Little

Imagine your 100-year-old self.

What would your 100-year-old self be happy that you did?

Would they be happy that you played it safe and stuck to the same old routines, habits, and jobs?

Or would they have wished that you weren’t so affected by the opinions of others so you could try new and exciting things?

Growth begins outside of the comfort zone.

If you find yourself being unhappy after all these years, it might be time to make a change.

Learn a new instrument, take a dance class,, start a YouTube channel.

Who knows? It might just reveal to you a passion that never had the chance to come out.

6. Start Keeping Things in Moderation

It’s easy to think that, since you love something, happiness must be where you get to experience it forever.

But that’s not always true.

Having too much of a good thing is real.

You may love chocolate, but eat too much and you risk health complications.

You may love graphic design, but taking on project after project might burn you out fast.

So instead, try to find areas of your life that you can slightly cut down on.

Finding balance is going to be a lifelong endeavor; balance today can be toppled over by an emergency tomorrow.

7. Get Moving

Success and happiness can’t be felt if your body isn’t in shape.

After all, it’s your body that carries you through the day.

That’s why taking care of yourself should be your highest priority.

Physical activity doesn’t need to be intense.

Stand up to get water, stretch your legs, go for a 10-minute walk around your village.

It’s important to talk to your doctor about the right physical activity that’s healthiest for you.

8. Cultivate Relationships

No man is an island, they say.

Countless times we’ve heard stories of successful stars and businessmen fall into a deep depression because of how lonely it is in the top.

Sure, achieving something great is important and can be fulfilling – but without having anyone to celebrate it with, it might still feel incomplete.

Sometimes, simply sharing a meal with a close friend can be one of the highest forms of happiness and success in any person’s life.

So reach out to your friends. Check up on your older relatives. It’s easier now than before to stay connected, so try to take advantage of it.

9. Make Your Bed Every Morning

Often it’s difficult to feel motivated to do our work for the day.

That’s why naval admiral William McRaven shares to make your bed every morning.

It’s the first task of the day. It’s small, but teaches that the little things matter in life, and that small wins matter.

Making your bed in the morning could give you just enough sense of accomplishment to take on the day with confidence.

You finish another task, then another, slowly moving towards your goals.

And, he says, if you had a bad day, then at least you’ll get to come home to a well made bed.

10. Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others

They say comparison is the thief of joy.

Living in a hyperconnected world, where people share mere snippets of their entire day, it’s far too easy to use them as a metric of success.

But that will only lead you down a path of mental health issues, as countless studies have shown.

People only choose what they want others to see; you surely do that too.

So learn to realize that what you see online doesn’t tell you the bigger picture.

And if you want to grow as a person, it’s better to compare yourself to whomever you were before.

11. Learn to Accept Things as They Are

Much of our sadness and despair come from imposing our expectations on the world.

The truth is neither totally good nor bad; neither exciting nor disappointing.

The world just is.

The faster you accept reality, the faster you’ll find happiness.

No matter how much you plan, you will never have the final say of the outcome.

Learning to accept the way things are isn’t just about being complicit.

It’s about seeing the world for what it is.

This will help you be clear with knowing what exactly you can do about it to change your circumstances.

12. Make Room for Error

You’re bound to make a wrong call, or feel too lazy to exert more energy into something, or even feel sad at some point in life.

Setting your expectations for a perfect life – one with no problems and only happiness 24/7 – might just be setting yourself up for disappointment.

No life is perpetually “happy” and that’s OK.

What might better save you from disappointment is make room for these shortcomings.

Save more than you think you should.

Stop expecting perfection out of yourself at all times.

You’re still a human after all.

13. Start Small

Habits are notoriously difficult to break.

That’s why it’s important to start small.

The name of the game is consistency.

While everyone wants to reach their dreams as fast as they can, it also makes burning out much more likely.

Going slowly, they say, is the fastest way to get where you want to be.

If our lives are simply made of days, and you make each day as fulfilling as you can, then it will follow that your life will become fulfilling.

14. Journey Before Destination

There’s no shortcut to success, no matter what others say.

It takes years for relationships to develop, to master a craft, to establish a business, or to even gain experience.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the goals that we forget that you need to actually take steps to get there.

So learn to enjoy the process. Savor the journey.

Once you reach your goal, life will just keep moving anyway. So make it a point to just keep moving.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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