We finally made it. Yes, we stepped into 2018 with ease. There’s so much newness and excitement in the air about everything like achieving your goals, becoming a better person, and living your best life. Yes girl, you are going to win even more this year. Have you set your goals yet? If not, don’t worry. It’s okay if you’re still setting your intentions and thinking about what you want to accomplish.
Either way, I hope you can find some goodness in this article to focus on for your personal growth to help you live your best life. For the past few years I’ve implemented many of these tips and I know that they work. Enjoy!
Here are 20 ways to live your best life in 2018 without any regrets.
1). Learn to focus on the positive aspects of any situation.
Let’s face it: being in a stressful situation is not fun. But being in a stressful situation that progressively gets worse just sucks! Especially when you have no control over it or you simply don’t know what to do. What can you do in a stressful situation like that to find something positive to focus on to keep your spirits up?
A small attitude adjustment is all it takes. You can take a timeout to go for a short walk or a car ride, call a friend to vent, listen to music or dance, color in your coloring book, write in your journal, or do something else that allows you to take a mental break. Then come back to the situation feeling refreshed because it allows you to have a fresh perspective.
Next, focus on something positive, such as how much worse the situation could be (but thank goodness it’s not!). You will immediately start to feel more grateful and a lot calmer. When you intentionally look for the positive in any situation from a slightly different perspective, you can find it, and the situation instantly gets better.
What if you can’t take a timeout because things are happening so fast? Immediately close your eyes and take five or six big deep breaths. Think about what has happened to process it. Then, think about how much worse the situation could be for about 30 – 45 seconds. Take another deep breath to think about what you want to say or how you want to react. Also, remember to stay calm and positive no matter what comes your way.
2). Ask for help when needed.
Asking for help takes humility, courage, and a measure of vulnerability, because you have to bear it all in order to explain why you need help and then to ask. It took me a few years, to learn that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of great strength.
It’s okay to not walk around with a cape in your purse or trunk because you think you have to be super everything in order to matter and make a difference. You do not have to wear yourself out and be near death to matter. You’re worthy just as you are. It’s not okay, and it’s foolish to put yourself through the wringer for your family and friends when they don’t expect you to.
Learn to ask for help with household chores and errands, and mental and emotional support when you’re feeling depressed, burned out, and overwhelmed in 2018.
3). Understand that you are worthy.
You are good enough. Yes girl, you are worthy because just by being born into this world as a human being says you are. You are worthy to receive dignity and respect. You are good enough to sit where you want to, work where you want to, go to school and bank where you want to, shop where you want to and drive whatever kind of car you want to. You are worthy to start that business. To live there. To write that book. To start that show. And do so much more. Your mistakes and your past don’t erase your value or your self-worth. Just because diamonds are found in a filthy mine does not erase their value! Period. Know that you are worth more than diamonds. Period. Understand your true worth in 2018!
4). Get more sleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages of 26 – 64 need seven to nine hours of sleep. In order to find your sleep sweet spot, which is the actual amount you need to function properly, you’ll need to go to bed and wake up for a week without an alarm clock. Then, calculate the amount of time you slept each night to wake up feeling refreshed.
Research shows that getting enough sleep affects your body by enabling your brain to release mood-enhancing endorphins, helping maintain strong immune systems, and helping the body heal and repair itself at night, which is key for maintaining gorgeous skin. And when you get enough sleep, you feel fuller longer after you eat. The amount of sleep you need will be different from the amount your family and friends need as well. Please get enough sleep in 2018.
5). Practice self-care more often without feeling guilty.
This is a big one. There’s no room in 2018 for feeling guilty about practicing self-care. If you work hard, you deserve to practice self-care often. As long as you’re not hurting anyone or yourself, you are free to practice self-care by fitting it into your schedule. Please stop feeling guilty about doing something nice for yourself or enjoying fun activities. Also, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about it either.
Engaging in regular self-care activities is one way you can properly care for your mental and emotional health. The benefits are improved mood, lower blood pressure, increased self-esteem, and a stronger immune system and a more positive attitude. The cool thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way to practice self-care, and no one has the right to judge your choices, because that’s personal.
To learn more about the benefits of self-care, what kind of free and low-cost activities you can do for your own self-care, or how to create a simple self-care routine you can stick to, sign up for my free 5 Day Lit Self-Care Challenge here: bit.ly/5dayLitChall
6). Create a simple exercise routine.
When you mention the word exercise in a room filled with people you may get a ton of different reactions. But why? It’s because exercise means different things to different people. More often than not, it means no pain no gain, or create this killer exercise and diet regimen that you can’t even keep up with.
What if you created an exercise routine you actually liked? I mean something simple like exercising two or three days a week for thirty minutes to an hour, mixing cardio and weights. You could even add a day of walking or bike riding in there if you wanted to.
Who said exercising had to be ridiculous? If it sounds crazy, chances are you’re not gonna stick to it, and it means you’re not gonna reach your health goals. My advice is to write down your health or weight loss goals in your journal or a notebook on one page. Then, on another page write down your desired workout routine that details how you’re gonna achieve your health goals. Now you’ve created your new exercise routine. Yasss!
7). Find a great therapist when necessary.
Going to therapy still carries the negative connotation it once carried although it’s changing a bit. Ultimately, you have to do what’s best for you, which is caring for your mental and emotional well-being.
Going to therapy involves talking to a board-certified therapist of your choice about certain issues and situations that trouble you. It allows you to do the necessary work involved to let go of past or current anger, hurt, or hate and understand why you’ve done or allowed certain things so that you can become a better person. Everything you discuss with your therapist is strictly confidential and will not be discussed with anyone, even your closest family members. Find a great therapist in 2018 so you can become a better you!
8). Eliminate self-doubt.
Self-doubt kills more dreams than failure and being unprepared ever could. I mean one minute we have a first-class bomb idea, and within the next five minutes, you’ve already talked yourself out of it by listing all of the reasons why the idea won’t work and by listing everybody who won’t like it. Really? That’s self-doubt at its best. It’s unfair, unloving, and very selfish so stop it! Yes, it stops today.
Your self-doubt stops today because it’s unfair. It’s unfair to you because it’s a slap in the face to your self-esteem and to everything you stand for. What would you say to someone at work, a neighbor, or friend, who constantly told you your ideas wouldn’t work?
Your self-doubt stops today because it’s unloving. It’s unloving because it’s definitely not a form of self-love to discount or shoot down your own ideas.
Your self-doubt stops today because it’s selfish. It’s selfish to hold on to your fabulous ideas and not share them with the world because you think they’re not good enough. Not only are they good enough, but they are probably great. How will you ever know if your ideas are great if you don’t share them with anyone to find out? What’s the worst that can happen? Your idea isn’t as great as you thought and you’ll have to revise it some more? Revisions are a part of any great project.
What would you say to someone at work, a neighbor, or friend, who constantly told you your ideas wouldn’t work? I rest my case.
9). Stop procrastinating.
Procrastination is a huge goal killer because it causes you to put off important tasks that should be completed to the very last minute. People who procrastinate claim they work better under pressure and have everything under control. Obviously, that’s not true because if things were under control the necessary tasks would be completed, and they wouldn’t be working under a strict time crunch.
A few of the best ways to overcome procrastination are to start working on a project as soon as it’s received, and create a detailed schedule of the task to be completed and necessary steps with completion dates. If necessary, find an accountability partner to make sure that you stay on track. And, reward yourself for staying on task! Be proactive and stop procrastinating in 2018.
10). Stop being a perfectionist.
Being a perfectionist holds you back from reaching your true potential by keeping you stagnant in a miserable circle of self-doubt. One minute you want to do something epic, then the next minute you’re anxious, unsure, and procrastinating because it’s not perfect to your liking. Even if you think it’s perfect, somebody somewhere will likely find something wrong with it if they look close enough because everyone’s view is subjective.
People are not usually worried about us as much as we think they are. So it’s okay to create that project and launch it without spending an extra five hours trying to get that one thing on it just right. Nobody’s gonna see the one thing that’s really driving you crazy anyway!
Also, remember you can always revise your project later if necessary to fix any errors that are really bothering you and relaunch it. Don’t get caught in the trap of perfectionism and not do anything because someone really needs what you have to offer. Give yourself some grace and stop being a perfectionist in 2018.
11). Stop people pleasing.
When I was in my early 20’s I was quite the people pleaser. If you said it, I did it. If you asked for it, I tried my best to make it happen. Even in my late 20’s I still had the people pleaser disease. But when I hit my 30’s I started to become more assertive and it got better. And when 37 came, it was all over. I was in try me, girl bye, and boy bye mode! The turning point for me was when I started to figure out who I was, became more assertive, and increased my self-confidence.
I think people pleasing takes a small bite out of your self-esteem every time you fall into its trap because it erodes and melts it. People pleasing puts everyone else’s needs above your own, and makes them the center of your attention. Again, this is unfair to you and very toxic. Be your own everything and focus on taking care of you. See number five.
One thing you can do is to practice being more assertive so you can say goodbye to people pleasing in 2018. It’s not you anymore.
12). Learn to say no.
Learning to say no was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do because I’m not naturally assertive. I had to learn to be assertive. I learned to advocate for myself, which took a long time and a lot of practice sessions. Being your own advocate, saying no, and not being a people pleaser is so empowering. Try it to see how it makes you feel.
You have the right to say no to anyone and anything you do not want to participate in or do without an explanation because no is a complete sentence and you are a grown adult. Period. It’s really that simple. And, don’t let anyone guilt you into feeling otherwise. Learn to say no in 2018.
13). End draining friendships.
Do you have any friends that leave you feeling exhausted, angry, disappointed, confused and negative after you spend time with them? Girl, you need to get rid of that kind of friends because they are sucking the life and any positive vibes you have right out of you! Your true friends will listen to you, uplift, and encourage you almost every time you talk to them, and be your confidant and rock when you need them the most.
Even if you don’t want to permanently end lifelong friendships, you can certainly distance yourself from those negative people by refusing to answer their phone calls, texts, and emails. Eventually, they will get the message that they are not a priority anymore. Although it may hurt a little, you’ll feel so much better in the end.
Then, begin hanging out in more positive sister circles in order to find more like-minded friends. For example, research interesting Meetups, Eventbrite events, and a variety of brunches to attend and make meaningful connections. Before long, you’ll have new friendships where you can lift up and rely on each other.
14). Forgive yourself.
What are you holding on to? You deserve to forgive yourself for any past offenses and hurtful things you did when you were younger and less experienced. You can’t continue to hold onto the hurt you caused for offenses that happened over 10 years ago because it’s so unfair to you. You’re not the same person you were then, and you’ve matured, grown, and learned so much about life since then.
You deserve the same amount of compassion you would give to your best girlfriend. What would you say to her if she were holding onto something for 15 years that she couldn’t forgive herself for? Would you beat her down to the point of tears with your words? Or would you comfort her and show her compassion and empathy? Try to put yourself in your best girlfriend’s shoes. Be kind to yourself because you deserve the same compassion and forgiveness in 2018.
15). Forgive others.
Experts say that extending forgiveness is more about you than the other person. It’s for your benefit and not them. Forgiving someone does not condone or excuse their bad behavior. Forgiving frees you from the hurt, anger, regret, and anxiety associated with the offense so you can move past it to the best of your ability and continue to live your life.
Can you try to show a little empathy to the other person to understand what they were going through so you can forgive them and move on? It’s a lot to think about, but it’s worth it. Try to forgive more so you can move forward in 2018.
16). Spend quality time with your besties.
Despite how busy you are, spending time with your besties is important and a special part of your self-care routine. You deserve to spend quality time with your friends to catch up, share information, hugs, tears, and a lot of great laughs! Keeping in touch with your besties via phone, text, FaceTime, and email is just as important as spending one on one time with them because the communication is still there.
What are some things you can do with your besties? The possibilities are endless. You can do anything from having coffee, lunch, dinner, talking on the phone, going to the gym, taking a walk, going to the movies, getting a manicure, going to the spa, traveling to concerts and music festivals and much more. The activities can range from free to low-cost events.
In addition, it’s okay to take the initiative to reach out to your besties to invite them to do activities. You don’t have to wait for an invitation. Please don’t be shy. If you can’t find anyone to do anything with, don’t be afraid to spend time alone doing things you enjoy doing as well.
17). Practice gratitude.
I remember when I used to think practicing gratitude was a secret society practice that only gurus practiced. Sigh! Now I realize that practicing gratitude is one of the easiest ways to lift your spirits, change your attitude and your entire perspective, and gain a grateful demeanor.
How do you do practice gratitude? You can do one of three things. You can meditate each day and give thanks for everything you’re grateful for. Or, you can meditate about what you’re grateful for and write about it in your journal. And, you can simply write in your journal about what you’re grateful for. It’s really that simple.
Amazon and most bookstores have adorable gratitude journals that have prompts, quotes, and more to motivate you to write and share your thoughts. Being grateful in tough situations has helped me to get through those circumstances and to have a better attitude overall.
18). Stop comparing yourself to others.
Comparing yourself to others can act as a great motivating force or it can be a toxic, joy-stealing thief. When you see someone who’s writing a book, going back to school, starting a business, taking a class, and working in a fab career or doing something you want to do, comparing yourself to them can inspire you to take action. It can inspire you to reach out to them for a cyber chat, or to learn from them to find your own path. In that case, comparisons are great.
When you’re comparing yourself to others and it leaves you feeling empty, unfulfilled, depressed, and unworthy, those comparisons are toxic. If you have the habit of making unhealthy comparisons, what can you do about it?
When you’re tempted to make unhealthy comparisons, focus on several of the positive things you’re already doing. Are you volunteering at your kid’s school or in the local community, leading a focus group at work, facilitating or participating in a mastermind group, teaching or taking a health or exercise class, taking a class after work or online, pursuing an extra degree, starting a new business or adding new products or services to your current business, or supporting someone who’s doing any of these things, or doing anything else that’s amazing?
If you’re doing any of the above things you’re graceful and fabulous, and you shouldn’t discount them because you’re doing big things too! They seem so insignificant and routine because you do them so easily every day. Stop comparing yourself to others in 2018.
19). Create and enforce healthy boundaries.
Do you create and enforce healthy boundaries for yourself so your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues know where they stand, and what you will and will not tolerate? It’s a serious act of self-love to not only establish boundaries, but to also enforce them. Just as a new mother establishes limitations with her young toddlers to keep them safe, you have to create and enforce healthy boundaries to protect your mental and emotional health, also known as your sacred space.
There are three important things to remember about setting great boundaries. The first one is to understand why you want to establish them. Are your needs being ignored, or are you constantly being treated disrespectfully? Next, figure out what kind of boundaries you will set. In other words, what do you want to happen, when, and why.
For example, if you want your coworker to stop taking your extra Keurig pods or accusing you of being jealous of their accomplishments, you need to slowly and carefully look them in their eye to state exactly what you want them to do from that moment forward.
Third, when she tries you again, determine how you will you react. While continuing to be assertive, calmly address the issue by stating what you previously asked them to start or stop doing. Restate your desire again, and immediately walk away with a ginormous smile on your face. The discussion is over. Period.
Please don’t let anyone guilt you into feeling bad about boundaries you’ve put into place that may inconvenience them or make them feel some type of way because that’s not your problem. You’ve set these healthy boundaries to protect your sacred space.
20). Trust your intuition more.
As women, we have a God-given intuition that is absolutely priceless! It tells us when a situation we’re in isn’t right, when facts don’t add up, when our children are in danger and when we’re in danger, and when we have a phenomenal idea. Terrible things happen when we ignore our intuition. I mean things go straight crazy!
For example, how many times have you thought you knew how to get somewhere and you knew you were supposed to turn left but you turned right anyway? Then you ended up lost, very late, and going out of the way. But if you would have followed your God-given women’s intuition and turned left, all of the confusion could have been avoided?
Simple stuff like that happens to me all of the time. But I’m bad with directions too. There have been serious things that my intuition has given me the right answer to in my personal life that I’m grateful for. Always listen to your intuition because you have it for a reason.
You will feel so full and fulfilled when you implement many of these ways to live your best life in 2018. For the past few years, I implemented several of these tips until I finally mastered them. And, I am a better woman as a result. If I can do it, you can too. Yes girl, we are well on our way to living our best life in 2018!
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