First, wake up and think of something positive. Make it your first thought. Make it a prayer. Make it a thank you. Make it a word or phrase or simply a long, contented sigh. But whatever it is, start your day with a smile.
Then make a plan. This doesn’t have to be a step-by-step of every single thing you will do today; this doesn’t have to be long-term or even in depth. Just think of three things you want to accomplish—big or small—and write them in your memory. Or even better, write them down. Then sketch out a simple plan for the day. Include a mid-morning walk, a lunch break, time for socializing, and at least an hour to workout. This will guide your day, and give you purpose.
Get ready, eat a good breakfast and head to work. When you get to wherever you’re headed, or as you interact with people on the way, notice their presence. You can live a beautiful life if you take the time to acknowledge others. This can be as simple as offering a ‘hello,’ asking a thoughtful question, or even just smiling. But it shows people that you care about them and that their existence means something to you.
Then work with intention. Whether you love your job or absolutely despise it, you will live a better life if you do each task with diligence and effort. When you invest your focus and your heart into something, then it has purpose, even if you aren’t particularly enjoying the process. Instead of choosing to drag your feet through each day, be purposeful and committed to being the best you can be.
As you continue through your day, you will face negativity, opposition, and frustration. This will happen, inevitably, but the key to living a beautiful life is to remember to breathe and exhale the negativity. When you are feeling caught up in drama, when you’re in over your head with assignments, when you’re stressed or down in the dumps, take a deep breath. In. Out. Then let the anxieties, the fears, the anger, and the sadness out with that long exhale.
When your thoughts turn to yourself—your wants, your needs, your emotions, you, you, you—take a minute to change your thinking. The only things you can control are your own thoughts and actions, but this can lead to overthinking, which can be crippling in its own way. Instead of dwelling in self-obsessed thought, think how you can bless the lives of others. How can you make someone else happy? Make someone else laugh? Turn someone’s day around for the better? When you center your thoughts on another person, it lifts the burden off yourself and helps you see the world from a different lens.
About mid-day, (and every so often after that) it is necessary to refocus and repurpose. This means that you actively take a minute to change your physical location in order to change your mindset or emotions. This can be getting up and going for a walk, standing vs. sitting, or just taking a short brain-break. This helps you to return to whatever you were doing refreshed.
Keep yourself forward-thinking. The future can be terrifying, but it can also be incredibly motivating. When you are feeling nervous or down, lost or stuck, take a second to think of the future. What is something you’re looking forward to? Focus on that. Play that potential scenario out in your head. Imagine how it will feel, how much fun you will have. When you look to the future, it keeps you determined and encouraged in the present.
At some point in every day, do something for yourself, just because. This can be little, like treating yourself to a mango-pineapple smoothie, or it can be something big, like investing in a vacation. This is not selfish; it’s essential. You need to take a moment to appreciate and love yourself. Then you can continue with your day.
To live a beautiful life, you must also think of ways you can better yourself and the lives of those around you. Think healthy eating, exercising, and positive talk. These will enrich your life and make you better, physically and emotionally. But also think of others. What kinds of conversations can you start or engage in? Can you bring in positive words and actions, and eliminate gossip? Can you focus on compliments, laughter, and encouragement? Can you motivate others to make healthier choices alongside you?
You must also indulge in the simple things, like a good meal or time shared with loved ones. Like curling up on the couch with a blanket, or kissing your pet. These are often overlooked, but if you appreciate all these small things, you will live more beautifully.
And finally, end each day with positivity and thankfulness. Just as you began with a positive thought, end with the same. Look back on the high moments of the day, the blessings, and the things to be happy about. Be thankful for these. And then fall asleep with a smile on your face.