If you went around and asked your family, friends, classmates, or co-workers what their definition of success is, you would receive a wide range of answers. Based on an individual’s personality, environment, family upbringing and many other factors that impact our goals in life, it’s rare for two people to desire the same exact thing and consider that success. For the purposes of this topic, let’s all agree to disagree and instead learn a few ways to truly cultivate our own version of what it means to live a successful life.
Find what you love and honor it
This is easier said than done, in most cases. Throughout our lives, we’re constantly being encouraged to follow our passions and dreams, yet most of us still have a realistic understanding of what we truly can and cannot afford to do. Although it might sound ideal to travel the world, eat extravagant meals, and freelance in our spare time, the truth of the matter is, most of us must maintain a 9 to 5 job. With that being said, there’s valid reasoning behind pursuing things that bring you the most life and honoring the impact it has on your future happiness and growth.
So, while you might not be able to travel the globe and freelance, there are still practical ways to fill your desires while promoting a sustainable, joy-filled life. Consider booking a weekend getaway on the lake with a few friends. If you prefer to do something alone, research top weekend activities in a town nearby and spend the day doing, eating and seeing things you’ve never tried before. If you like to maintain a healthy lifestyle, one way to pursue this passion is to pick out a new recipe or a new workout class to try each week. Allow yourself the grace to fuel your desires while staying in line with your personal budget and lifestyle.
Become an expert at scheduling
With adulthood comes a greater need to schedule and organize our lives if we want to be successful. Yes, you can get by with doing things at the last second, but for most people, that’s not sustainable and can catch up to them. There is value in learning to schedule and create a life that you desire. This may sound crazy, however, when you schedule in your responsibilities and commitments upfront, you open up the rest of your time as entirely your own. What many people underestimate is the fact that planning allows for more freedom and reduces stress within your life. Not only are you completing tasks that are required, but you’re making it possible to schedule you-time.
Plan for the Future
What they say is true, it’s important to live in the moment. But always keep in mind the value of planning for the future. Although you’re busy and it seems far out of reach, the weeks turn to months and months to years. If you’re considering starting a family in the near future or already have, it’s time to evaluate if you’re financially protected and secure, should your life circumstances change. If you have yet to purchase life insurance, you should take steps toward selecting a policy that best fits your needs and supports your lifestyle. If this is your first time looking into life insurance, reviewing with a professional or reading about your options online can give you peace of mind knowing you’re protecting your family and loved ones.
Learn to save money and budget
Speaking in terms of planning for the future—improving your financial management techniques is a lifelong practice. The sooner you start, the better off you’ll be when things get more complicated and you take on larger financial endeavors. It’s probably worth your time to create an easy-to-follow budget method for yourself if you have not already. Similarly, consider downloading banking and budgeting apps to help you manage your finances from your mobile device. You might want to keep an excel sheet or a log of your larger payments to keep reminding yourself you owe money and have a plan to pay it back. Focus on getting a better handle on your monthly expenses and find simple ways to reduce your spending where you can. You can even write down days that your bills are due on your calendar to ensure you never miss a payment or are charged additional late fees.
Cultivate meaningful relationships
Never underestimate the value of friendships or any capacity of a meaningful relationship. In this day and age, with social media shifting what it means to be social, it’s more important than ever to focus on quality over quantity. There is so much worth in maintaining healthy friendships that allow you to be challenged and supported. Having a social circle promotes many positive physical and mental aspects of wellbeing. It’s not only a stress-reducer, but having the right kind of relationships can provide you with a sense of comfort, purpose and can motivate you in a productive manner. Consider how you feel after being around a specific person or group of friends. Start to evaluate the different social groups you’re a part of and think about what value your friendships and relationships are bringing to you.
Be willing to work hard or take an alternative route
As we know, life is not a straight path and it’s certainly no walk in the park. Throughout the course of your life, you will take on various obstacles and go through some amazing moments. The important thing is to keep sight of where you’re going and not give up. Take incremental, actionable steps towards your goals and don’t be afraid to change courses or achieve a goal in a different way than you initially anticipated. Life is about embracing uncertainty while maintaining control of the things you can, such as your attitude, beliefs, and daily actions.
While trying to propel forward and set yourself up for a meaningful, successful life—don’t get caught up in the process of perfection. Instead, embrace what is coming and know that you always have a chance to revisit and refine your life’s plan. If you’re putting in the daily effort, there is no right or wrong step, only the opportunity to learn, grow and improve the next time around.