We’ve all heard the expression “live life to the fullest,” but what does it really mean?

Naturally, your mind may wander to the extreme: cliff jumping, sky diving and other adrenaline-inducing experiences. While that may be someone’s version of living life to the fullest, it may not necessarily be your own.

 

With the New Year around the corner, it’s a great time to start thinking about what your own version of the expression is. Here are some tips to help you get there:

 

Be a ‘Goal Digger’

Not content with the life you’re currently living? According to Mick Ukleja, co- author of Who Are You? What Do You Want?: Four Questions That Will Change Your Life, that’s much better than being too content, which leaves little room for personal growth. Desire fuels us, which explains why, as per Time, people with goals are 20% more satisfied with their lives.

 

Focus on Feeling

According to transformative life coach and author Bernadette Logue, one of the best ways to live life to the fullest is to write down what it means to you and how you would feel if you were living your fullest life. Better yet, revisit those feelings once a day. The more in tune you are with your feelings, the easier it is to avoid giving in to negative thinking.

 

Do Something You Love

An easy way to feel good is to do at least one thing you love each day. We spend so much time fulfilling other people’s to-do lists and our own chores that we often neglect the things we actually enjoy doing. Love to play an instrument, hike, or cook? Whatever it is that makes you happy, make time for it in your day; you won’t regret it.

 

Leave Your Comfort Zone

We all know life isn’t always easy, and why would we want it to be? Easy is boring. As Lewis Carroll famously said, “We only regret the chances we didn’t take.” Every reward has risk, but that’s what makes life exciting. Psychologist Amy Bucher notes that “running away from fear intensifies our anxieties.” The more you face fear, the more control you have over it.

 

Pay it Forward

Kindness is contagious. In a study on the topic, Shawn Achor found thatindividuals who completed five acts of kindness over the course of a day reported feeling much happier than control groups and that the feeling lasts for many days.” Whether it’s as small as holding the door open for someone or buying the person in line behind you at Starbucks a coffee, why pass up an opportunity to make yourself – and others – feel good?

 

Before you take up sky diving or cliff jumping, realize that it’s the decisions you make in each moment that add up to your happiness, and thus a life that feels full. Taking things one day at a time will be more effective than making big, dramatic changes to your life all at once. As Logue says, “No one else misses out if you don’t live your life to the fullest, it’s just you that misses out.”

 

So, what are you waiting for?

 

Laura D’Angelo | DBPC Blog