1. De-clutter your living space
Go through your house or apartment and get rid of everything you don’t need – the clothing you haven’t worn in years, the knick-knacks that litter your living room, the mementos you no longer look at. The less you own, the more you realize how little you actually need to be happy. And that’s a freeing notion.
2. Stop apologizing
Stop invalidating yourself by contradicting your actions with your words. If you’re not sorry, don’t say so. Own your actions and your thoughts. It’s a damn freeing feeling to stand by what you do without apology.
3. Move your body daily
It’s so easy to become dormant in our everyday lives and forget that our bodies are the most liberating tools we have for exploration and discovery. When we find a type of activity that invigorates and refreshes us, there’s no reason not to do it daily. It could be as intensive as scaling a rock face or as relaxing as low-key yoga. Either way, it is a celebration of what you are capable of using only your own body and spirit.
4. Start saying no
Start small. If you don’t want to finish the movie, turn off the TV. If you don’t want to go to the party, don’t go. Getting into the habit of saying no to small things helps us to repeat the practice when it comes to the bigger issues – and it frees up so much more time for what we actually do want to do in our days.
5. Spend money on experiences, not things
Realize which purchases are investments for your wellbeing and which purchases will eventually just become clutter. Budget your money to save up for adventures and experiences, not just objects that will collect dust on your shelf.
6. Lean into discomfort
Most of the limits we face in our lives are self-imposed. We strive for freedom but we also regulate our lives mercilessly. Practice freedom by breaking down the regular structure of your day and saying yes to activities that challenge or scare you a little. It could be as small as trying a new cuisine or as nerve-wracking as asking someone out on a date. Whatever it is, just don’t let fear get in the way. Let it serve as a reminder that you’re onto something good.
7. Stop making comparisons
Measuring ourselves up against the successes and failures of others narrows our lives down to the tiniest, pettiest versions of what they could be. Let go of ideas of what you ‘should’ be doing based on what others are doing. You are your own person and your life will be infinitely different than the lives of those around you – if you let it be.
8. Envision the life that you want
Don’t hold back when it comes to envisioning the life you wish you were leading. Let your fantasies run wild and then let them serve as a basis for what you should prioritize. Giving your mind permission to elaborate on reality will help you feel freer in every way.
9. Commit to continuous learning
Discard the idea that you’re too old or too busy to learn anything new. Open your mind up to new ideas, new concepts and consequently new challenges. Free yourself from your usual way of thinking and recognize how quickly it translates to new ways of doing things, too.
10. Reserve judgment when it comes to others
Silence the voice in your mind that criticizes and belittles the people around you. Instead, take note of what you admire about others – if they’re incredibly conscientious with their work or if they made an especially bold move with a particular outfit. Re-training your brain to identify the positive things around you also trains it to recognize the potential.
11. Realize what you need to let go of
Hone in on your thoughts and recognize which ones are dragging you down. If you’re holding in anger, resentment or fear, find a way to release it. And relish in the positive mental space you’ve cultivated as a result.
12. Define your own freedom
Consider what the word ‘Freedom’ actually means to you. Is it financial independence? Is it intellectual stimulation? Is it having the time and resources to travel or is it as simple as making a little more time to read and visit friends? Whatever freedom means to you, take the chance to define it – and then pursue it with everything you’ve got.