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Ways to Improve Your Life

How to Live Your Best Life in 5 Simple Steps

Ever find yourself scrolling through an abyss of #mybestlife hashtags and begin to ponder where it all went wrong? How is so-and-so from high school "finding herself" in Tulum, while you're home watching Island Life, dreaming of what could have been? Friend-of-a-friend is showcasing her Sunday meal prep in color-coordinated Tupperware, while you're wondering if there's an age limit to eating chicken nuggets. What's-her-name is posting pics of her new job, which looks really similar to having no job, and you're counting down the hours to the weekend like, 96 . . . . 95 . . . 94, when you will attempt, wholeheartedly, to live your best life.

I'll be honest; I'm currently NOT living my best life. Good life? Yes. But definitely not my best. I know this, because at one time, I was. Luxurious business trips, exotic vacations, workouts on the regular, and looking and feeling better than ever. But somewhere in between my best life and my current life, life happened — babies were made, jobs were lost — and the gap between who I am and who I want to be grew wider.

Maybe, like me, you're discontented with your current trajectory and feeling drawn toward something greater, but you're just not quite sure how to make it happen. You've made the resolutions and the many promises to yourself, feng-shuied your apartment, decluttered your wardrobe, and deleted social media from your phone. But here you are, not much further from where you started, watching everyone else around you seemingly "thrive."

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The good news? In this moment, you and I are on the cusp of greatness — closing the door on where we are and opening up to where we're meant to be. Every big shift begins with a small change and the acknowledgment of what's not working is the first step to finding what does.

My self-tested tips will help you reject your everyday bad habits, make choices with purposeful intention, and be the person you want to be. For example, if you want to be a gluten-free, dairy-free yogi, put down the bread, pick up the coconut milk, and trade your Netflix for spandex. Let's live our best lives together. Here's how to start.

1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

The greatest obstacle standing in the way of living your best life is comparing yourself to others. Bring your focus inward, and cultivate the life you want and how you are going to achieve it.

Someone's success does not mean your failure. The universe only wants you to be happy and will continue to show you what is possible by means of a friend's engagement, your coworker's promotion, or your neighbor starting her own business. Rather than focus of what they have that you don't, thank the universe for showing you what is possible for you to achieve.

I don't claim this to be an easy feat. Jealousy is a real, energy-sucking emotion. However, don't get comfortable in its discomfort. Instead, harness the best of these emotions to better serve you. The sooner you shift your attitude from infatuation to motivation, the more opportunities the universe will give you to get what it is you truly desire.

Flip the script. Preserve your energy. Invest it in yourself. The dividends will be worth it.

2. Be Honest With Yourself

Now that the focus is solely on yourself, close your eyes. Scan the phase of life that you are currently in. Observe the fluidity or shortness of your breath, the softening or tightening of your muscles, as the mind wanders to a particular person, place, or thing. This is your authentic self's best means of communication — indicating to you when you are living aligned with your soul's purpose in any given circumstance.

The more you practice this grounding exercise, the more you will recognize, in real time, the truth about who, what, and where in your life is creating peace and who, what, and where is not. These are the moments that empower you to begin shifting from your "good life" to your "best life."

This can be the scariest step of all — not necessarily making the change, although that comes with its own set of fears and domino set of emotions — but accepting the power that comes with this newly found knowledge of what needs to change. Once we admit to ourselves what is and isn't working, we accept responsibility for a different outcome. It's much easier to sit back, complain, commiserate, and blame external factors for what we do and don't have, rather than take full accountability and ownership for changing the direction of our lives.

This work right here, this is your golden opportunity — the opportunity to stop going through the motions of your life, day in and day out, no closer to your desired outcome, and start making purposeful decisions and intentions that will begin to reshape the trajectory of your life.

Be unabashedly truthful with yourself; there is no change scarier than making no change at all.

3. Make a Plan

With knowledge comes the power to cultivate your best life.

Step two is intended for you to tune into your life — like a radio scanning the frequencies of your body's energy, indicating what in your life is filled with static and what in your life is in perfect harmony. Step three is intended for you to use that knowledge to create the blueprint of your best life and replace involuntary repetition with purposeful intention.

With a notebook and pencil, begin your letter to the Universe, letting it know that you have made your first major decision — and that is to change your life — and all the ways you intend to do so.

Dear Universe,

This is my very best life that I intend to live with your help. I am open to you helping me achieve it.

Ready, set, go!

Continue with writing out the many categories that shape your life (i.e. work, love, career, personal development, money). Under each category, list all of your desires. All of them. Don't be shy, and don't hold back. Be as specific with each as possible. Each desire should be clear and concise. How much is your raise? What is the name of your book? How far will you hike? The outcome of this list isn't determined by luck, but by how specific you are with your intentions.

Rewrite your list. Rewrite it again. Then rewrite it one more time.

This is your blueprint. You are building your foundation that will shape the many best life moments for years to come. Make it strong enough to weather any self doubt or fear that might stand in the way of you getting what you want.

4. Visualize — See it, Feel it, Own it

At this point, you've got your list, you've checked it twice, and you can practically see it float on by as you flutter your eyes closed. Now you just need to feel it. Breathe it into every fiber of your being. You need to own it.

This can be done anywhere, at any time. You don't need a yoga mat or the smell of patchouli oil lingering in the air. You just need to ground down, stand tall, close your eyes, and visualize just one small shift at a time.

Stand up. Place your feet firmly on the ground, and feel all four points of your feet root into the earth beneath you. Imagine roots of a tree wrapping around your ankles, creating a steady and firm foundation. Breathe. This is how you begin to claim your space.

Close your eyes, and call to mind one clear, concise shift that you intend to make as you begin to live your best life. Visualize who, what, where, when, and how you will make this shift. Feel how it will feel as you follow through and what your life will look like on the other side.

As soon as the mind is made up, as soon as we decide to make a shift, our mind gets cluttered with the what ifs, hows, and worst-case scenarios. Observe these thoughts, fears, and mantras as you claim your space, and remember that when you make the decision to act in accordance with living your most authentic, best life, the noise will dissipate, and the end result will only be positive. So, take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. Clear your space.

With your space clear, you can fully breathe your intention into every inch of your body. Fill your body, fill your mind, and fill your heart with purposeful intention — this is how you begin to own the decisions of your best life.

5. Do

You've reclaimed your energy that was spent focusing on someone else and put the focus on back on yourself. You've gotten real with yourself — who, what, and where isn't helping you live the life you want to lead, so what shifts do you need to make to do so? You've cleared your fears out of the way and visualized exactly what living your best life would look, feel, and be like. All that's left for you to do now is live it.

This is truly the most simple step of all. If the person you want to be reads autobiographies, drinks peppermint tea, discusses politics, and hikes the Himalayan mountains, then be that person. Buy a book, sip tea, watch C-SPAN, and book your flight to India. Your fantasized image of yourself is just a reflection of the person who is already inside of you, asking to come out, and all you have to do now is let them.

And if a flight to India or launching your brand isn't quite in the cards just yet, act as if it is. Act as if your trip is around the corner — talk about it, shop for it, plan it. Act as if you are prospecting clients — network, hand out business cards, promote yourself. Act as if you are living your best life, because chances are, you are on your way.

Who is the person you want to be? Be that person.

What is the life you want to lead? Lead it.

Your best life is inside of you. Live it.

You are exactly where you are meant to be. Enjoy it!

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