Everyone complains. Sure, there are a few people who think life is amazing 24/7, but the rest of us, we complain at least occasionally. Maybe it’s about the heat or the cold, or the car or our kids or the traffic or cooking or clean up; we complain. It’s the little stuff of life that can sometimes feel like the big stuff.
“I hate my life.”
It’s something that I hear often, and whether you’re willing to admit it or not, everyone has passing moments when it feels like life sucks. It doesn’t mean you (or I) hate everything, it means we need to make a change. We need to change the way we see the minutiae and the way we internalize our daily experiences.
I read a lot, and in the most recent novel I finished, the main character used to complain about daily life too. The kids were a pain to wake in the morning, work was annoying, and nobody picked up after themselves. Then, remember this is fiction, her daughter was abducted and killed, and she wished that the worst things in her life were those small things.
The problem, or maybe it’s the excuse, for most people is time. They tell me they don’t have the time to change their lives because they are busy every second of every day, getting things done, worrying about the future, and slogging through it all.
Doesn’t sound great to me.
You Can Create a Deeply Satisfying and Fulfilling Life
Here’s what you need to know: Creating a fulfilling life starts with one choice followed by one small action at a time. This is not a “do it all or bust” moment.
This is also not a list of 101 things to do today. See what calls to you; you know where to start. If you want a more fulfilling life now, instead of waiting for a random time in the future when everything will magically be different, start with one.
1. Smile at strangers.
2. Ask for help when you need it.
3. Read a book.
5. Write a book.
7. Take a nap.
8. Coffee break without your phone.
10. Watch TEDx.
11. Deep breaths for 10 seconds.
12. 6-8 hours of sleep at night.
13. Eat more veggies.
14. Share your opinions. It’s ok to rock the boat.
15. Care about things. Invest your energy into creating good.
16. Don’t apologize when you need something.
17. Reach out to an old friend to say hello.
19. Turn off CNN or BBC or whatever news source is feeding your stress 24/7.
20. Tell someone you love them because you genuinely do.
21. Compliment others freely. You won’t look silly.
23. Don’t let your phone be the last thing you look at before you close your eyes for the night.
24. Share a meal with someone instead of eating at your desk.
25. Find a mentor.
26. Mentor someone.
27. Take a Coursera class – audit is free!
29. Send a thank you note.
30. Get a massage.
31. Take a long shower.
32. Prioritize progress over perfection and mean it.
33. Have a conversation that matters.
34. Forget playing it safe.
35. Pump up the jam.
36. Go hear live music.
37. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing.
39. Ask for the promotion/raise/responsibility instead of assuming that someone will know you want it.
40. Help your colleague.
41. Stop spending time with people who don’t treat you with respect.
42. Do something that scares you and discover that YOU CAN do whatever you set your mind to do.
43. Love yourself.
44. Put away the pile of laundry you washed but never folded.
45. Clear the clutter from your desk.
46. Eat something you’ve never tried before.
47. When you see something wrong, speak up.
48. Speak up to make a positive change in the world.
49. Take action even when it’s imperfect.
50. Don’t get caught up in a loop of over-thinking and miss out on taking action.
51. Stop worrying that other people will judge your choices. They will, and who cares?
52. Yell less.
53. Take a break.
54. Change your sheets.
55. Get a pet.
56. Purge your closet.
57. You don’t need to solve everyone’s problems.
58. Instead of keeping up with the Joneses, do you.
59. Make choices instead of defaulting to the “I guess no choice is a choice” option.
60. Quick, make a list of three things that were good about your day.
61. Now make a list of three things you’re grateful for no matter how small.
62. Art. Put something that makes you feel good on your wall where you can see it often.
63. Scent. Smells can change your mood for the better. Spriiz a fave or light a candle.
64. Pick one thing you’ve always wanted to do and do it. Skydiving, write a book (even if you never publish…)
65. Stop comparing yourself to others. You are on your own journey.
66. Leave your phone in another room while you have dinner.
67. Clean up that mess you keep walking past and wishing that someone would clean it up.
68. Notice when you’re making an excuse and take a beat to understand why.
69. Close your email, forget text, and FaceTime someone just to catch up.
70. Don’t go through the motions. Whatever you’re doing, go all in.
71. Hug more.
72. Watch a favorite movie.
73. Decide to spend the day 100% off of your tried and true. Shake it up.
74. Take a class – at the local community center or Coursera doesn’t matter. Do it.
75. Apologize to people you’ve hurt.
76. Forgive people who’ve made mistakes.
77. Forgive yourself.
78. Love fiercely.
79. Acknowledge success, whether it is your own or other’s.
80. Get back up when you fall. Again and again and again. Be both persistent and resilient.
81. Set a goal. Make your life better by working towards something rather than floating along.
83. Try meditation. There are an array of apps to support you from Breathe to Calm.
84. Practice moderation. Coffee? Dessert? TV time?
85. Embrace patience. Not everyone and everything will happen on your timeline. Patience, young grasshopper.
86. Do something that challenges you.
87. Play a rousing game with other people. Be invested in the moment.
88. Travel; see the world.
89. Be caring and honest with people instead of burying your message under a mountain of politeness.
90. Be honest with yourself about your choices and behaviors and if they are serving you or hurting.
91. When you get feedback that you disagree with, take a beat to ask yourself what could be true before you dismiss it.
92. Block time on your schedule to avoid getting locked into back to back meetings that last all day.
93. Write a letter to someone and pop it in the mail.
94. Use your good plates, wear your special occasion jewelry, don’t wait for a celebration. Celebrate today.
95. Toss the old clothes in the back of your closet that you’re hoping will fit again someday.
96. Go somewhere by yourself. A cafe, the movies… bring a book or people watch and breathe.
97. Create a vision board or at least jot down what you want to create in your life. It’s the first step to making it happen.
98. Pull up a try not to laugh video on YouTube and, well, try not to laugh.
99. Surround yourself with pictures and things that remind you of who you are at your best.
100. Listen to your heart and gut instead of ignoring your inner-knower.
101. Be unapologetically you. Show up in all of your incredible you-ness. Live in the light.