This article was co-authored by Guy Reichard. Guy Reichard is an Executive Life Coach and the Founder of HeartRich Coaching & Training, a professional life coaching and inner leadership training provider based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He works with people to create more meaning, purpose, well-being, and fulfillment in their lives. Guy has over 10 years of personal growth coaching and resilience training experience, helping clients enhance and transform their inner worlds, so they can be a more positive and powerful influence on those they love and lead. He is an Adler Certified Professional Coach (ACPC), and is accredited by the International Coach Federation. He earned a BA in Psychology from York University in 1997 and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from York University in 2000.
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Feeling happy with your life can be difficult. It is easy to get distracted by obligations, work, technology and health problems. If you are currently unhappy with some aspect of your life, you can commit to making changes throughout the year that will make you happier and healthier. You can learn how to get a life by embracing physical, work, leisure, and social goals.
Part 1 of 4:Assessing Your Life
1Define what a life is to you. This notion of "a life" is subjective. You need to reflect on what is important to you. What do you want to achieve in life? What makes you happy? Only once you think about those kinds of things will you begin to realize how to attain a life. X Expert Source Guy Reichard
Life Coach Expert Interview. 19 March 2020.
- Don't let others define a meaningful life for you. While it is true that many people will tend to see certain things as more indicative of "a life" than others based on human universal needs, such as having kids or family, having fun experiences, or having meaningful work, ultimately, what matters most is what you personally find to be important. X Trustworthy Source Simply Psychology Popular site for evidence-based psychology information Go to source
2Write in a journal. Write about the things that are bothering you in your own life or that excite you. Keeping a journal has been found to increase well-being and can help you find patterns in your life both positive and negative. More specifically, writing in a journal can help you clarify your thoughts and feelings, allow you to get to know yourself better, reduce stress, or solve problems by looking at them in a new light.  X Research source
- Figure out whatever kind of journal works best for you. You could write with pen and paper or keep a digital journal on your laptop. What matters most is getting your thoughts on paper and reflecting on them.
3Discuss your life with others. Sometimes, the act of expressing yourself to another can give you an in depth view into what you want and need. In addition, other people may have insight into your life that you may be blind to.
- Consider booking an appointment with a counselor, if you do not want to talk to family or friends. Talk therapy can be very effective both at treating underlying emotional issues but also at giving your thoughts life and helping you sort through them. X Research source
4Break your life down into domains. List the main areas of your life, such as social, work, spiritual, family, leisure, health, community and charity. Once you have broken your life down into these domains, reflect on whether you are happy with these aspects of your life. Getting a life usually means creating a balance among the domains of life you find to be important. X Research source
- Take to heart the phrase "everything in moderation." Reduce activities that are not done in moderation to achieve a more balanced life.
5Brainstorm ways to create more time for areas that are lacking. Say, for example, that you identify that you are not doing enough for your community and for your health. Spend some time thinking of ways to create more time to improve your life in these specific domains.
- For example, you could make a list of a few charities you would like to inquire about.
- Regarding your health, you could take some time adjusting your budget to see if you can afford a gym membership. You could spend some time researching local sports teams you could join.
- If you are particularly busy, you may also have to think about where to cut back on to gain the extra time or resources. The best places to start are domains you think you are spending too much time on (e.g., work).
6Reassess your life every few months. Review the state of your life (you can do this in part by reading your journal) and decide if your life is more fulfilling with the changes you have made. The best way to decide is if you personally feel happier about your life. Remember not to think too much about what others may think about your life. You are the one living it, after all.  X Research source
- Give yourself time to change your life, as it won't be easy. Try to focus on making small changes over a year. After a year is over, you should have a better idea of what makes you happy.
Part 2 of 4:Making Life Plans
1Practice letting go of the things you cannot control. Inevitably, things will come up in your life that are largely or entirely out of your control. This is just part of life. While you cannot change certain circumstances, you can change your attitude towards them. Trying to control the things you can't can often backfire and make you more stressed out. X Research source
- Every time you think of something that you cannot control, write it on a piece of paper. Place it in a box and move on. Letting go of stressful situations or people will allow you to work on the things you can control.
2Live in the present. Think about how you will make today better, instead of always working toward a future goal. If you life too far ahead in the future all the time, you are missing out on life. Life only happens in the present moment. X Expert Source Guy Reichard
Life Coach Expert Interview. 19 March 2020. While this isn't a recommendation to live every day like it is your last, because every day is not actually your last, it is a good idea to spend some time each day enjoying the present moment. To live more in the present, you can: X Research source
- Do only one task at a time; avoid multitasking.
- Put some space in between your day to day tasks to give you some time to reflect and not feel too rushed.
- Set aside 5-10 minutes each day to do absolutely nothing at all but sit in silence.
- Eat slowly and focus on the flavor and texture of your food.
3Do something new every week. Get an activity guide for your city, ask some friends, or dig around online for fun things to do near you. Take a risk and try some new activities. Go by yourself or ask a friend or your significant other. What matters most is that you are trying something novel and being open-minded about it. Trying something new can have a number of benefits, such as: X Research source
- Giving you courage by facing the unknown.
- Fighting off boredom.
- Allowing you to grow via new experiences.
4Learn something new. Take a class online or in person or watch some free lectures online. A lifelong learning center can provide an inexpensive opportunity to learn photography, social media or another skill you've been wanting to master. You can try these websites to search for classes or lectures that interest you:Advertisement
Part 3 of 4:Setting Work Limits
1Do not work on weekends. Make sure you have two days per week to devote to yourself and/or your family. Make the working weekend something that is abnormal, not normal. If you can cut down time in the work domain, you will find more time for other important life domains.
- Try to keep in mind that work is like a gas, it will continue to expand if you let it. It will take up more and more of your time. You can always work more. There will always be more work to be done. Just save it for a week day!
2Turn off electronic devices when you get home. Ask your family to do the same for several hours per day, so that you can connect. Studies show that checking your email less can make you happier, so turn your phone off and spend some quality time with those you love. X Research source
3Take a risk at work. Volunteer for something or go the extra mile on a project. Showing initiative and using more of your intellect can make work more fulfilling. X Trustworthy Source Harvard Business Review Online and print journal covering topics related to business management practices Go to source
- That said, keep in mind that balance in your life is important, too. You will have to ask yourself whether it is worth putting in that extra work time to do something fulfilling even if it means taking time away from other important life domains. Only you can answer that question for yourself.
4Remember why you work in the first place. Most of us work in order to be able to enjoy life. If you are spending all your time working and you are not having any time to spend with your family or to do the things you love, then you need to find ways to cut back.
- Keep in mind, however, that if you get lots of meaning out of your work and view your job as giving you the life that you want, then it is totally fine to work a lot. What matters is what you view as important in defining your life.
Part 4 of 4:Getting Healthier
1Get exercise. Working your heart and muscles for at least 30 minutes a day will actually help you live healthier and longer. X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source Try some of these ideas to improve your physical life:
- Plan outdoor and adventurous activities with your family. Make exercise fun several nights a week or on the weekend. Go hiking, biking, explore your local city on foot or play a sport.
- Join an adult sport league or active hobby group. If you miss being part of a team, join a soccer, kickball or basketball league. Most cities and suburbs have many options, and they schedule games after work and on weekends.
- Try a new workout. If you usually go to the gym, try new classes or get outside to walk or run several days a week. Break up your routine.
2Walk in nature. Experiencing the beauty of nature can lead to feelings of awe and make you feel more wondrous. X Research source So, get out in nature whenever you can for your health and for getting a sense of wonder.
3Get plenty of sleep. Give yourself 8 hours plus an hour to get ready and an hour to wake up. The result can be a relaxed, happier self. Make sure to stick to a routine; falling into a typical pattern of sleep can help you fall asleep each night.  X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source
- Make sure to create a dark, noise free room that can help you sleep. Also, avoid drinking caffeine close to when you go to sleep or you may have trouble falling asleep.
4Volunteer for a charity. Donate your time and connect with people who need your help. Studies have shown that volunteering for a charity can make you happier, improve empathy and make you feel fulfilled. X Trustworthy Source Greater Good Magazine Journal published by UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, which uses scientific research to promote happier living Go to source
- To find a charity, search online, ask around in your neighborhood, or look in your local newspaper for opportunities to volunteer.
5Build your relationships and support system. Pick at least an hour a week where you can interact with people who are important to you without distractions from work. This will increase your mental well being and decrease your stress; social support is very important for health.  X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to sourceAdvertisement
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QuestionHow can I find my purpose in life?
QuestionHow can I identify my personal values?Through inquiry and reflection. This can involve reflecting on your peak moments, gratifying experiences, violating or hurtful experiences, ideal days, etc. This kind of reflection can help you find certain themes and patterns that reveal some of your values. This process also reveals values and beliefs (or rules) that are not truly your own but are inherited, which we sometimes need to challenge and even discard since they can limit and disempower you.
QuestionHow do I choose goals to set for myself and focus on?You should aim to set goals based on your values and needs. Be careful not to set goals that you think will make you happy once you've achieved them. Many people choose achievement-based goals, believing that if they work really hard to achieve that goal, they will be happy and that’ll be that – as if they will validate themselves and feel a sense of worth and esteem. What often happens when they reach that goal is either they are momentarily happy and then back in the state they were in prior to setting the goal (and sometimes worse) or they’re not even happy. They may think, “This is it? This doesn’t feel like success,” and possibly assume they need to work on another, bigger goal. Instead, you should focus on goals that honor your values and reflect who you truly are and what you truly care about.
- ↑ Guy Reichard. Life Coach. Expert Interview. 19 March 2020.
- ↑ http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
- ↑ http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-health-benefits-of-journaling/
- ↑ http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/06/03/11-intriguing-reasons-to-give-talk-therapy-a-try/
- ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/transitions-through-life/201111/happiness-is-balancing-act
- ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fighting-fear/201306/caring-what-other-people-think
- ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/just-little-anxious/201205/you-can-t-always-control-what-you-want
- ↑ Guy Reichard. Life Coach. Expert Interview. 19 March 2020.
- ↑ http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/10-steps-to-mindfulness/
- ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201004/trying-new-things
- ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201004/trying-new-things
- ↑ https://hbr.org/2013/01/how-to-have-a-year-that-matter%20http://blogs.hbr.org/haque/2013/01/how_to_have_a_year_that_matter.html
- ↑ http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/basics/fitness-basics/hlv-20049447
- ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201505/the-power-awe-sense-wonder-promotes-loving-kindness
- ↑ http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379
- ↑ http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/5_ways_giving_is_good_for_you
- ↑ http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/social-support/art-20044445
About This Article
If you are working to get a life, spend some time reflecting on what "a life" means to you. Consider whether it means more friends, more outings, more time with family, or something else. Once you have specific goals in mind, start trying new things each week to help you reach your goal. You could try hiking, biking, or finding something fun to do in your city. Invite your friends or family to come with you. If you can, practice living in the present by only doing 1 thing at a time so you can enjoy your life more. To learn how to make life plans for the future, keep reading.