One of the biggest mistakes we make in our short lives is wasting time trying to buy happiness when it’s readily available without costing a cent. Often we just wish and dream of a day when we’ll be able to afford the things we feel will make us happy and successful, like a new home, exotic vacations, and more.

But as the years of our lives speed forward and faster each year, we learn the hard way that happiness and success isn’t derived from tangible things. We are forced to accept that it’s a state of mind that allows you to further your progress in both your personal and professional life so that every day, you’re achieving goals and reaching new milestones toward a better life.

But how do we get to this state of mind? To get yourself into this state of mind, you have to develop daily habits that don’t hold you back, but instead help you get more done during the day, meet obligations with ease, and lie down at night with a smile on your face because everything’s headed in the right direction.

Account for Your Future

Your life is happening now. It’s being lived whether or not you’re in control. Every day that you wake up and go to bed is 24 hours of time that’s passed. For some people, those 24 hours really didn’t amount to anything special except the passage of time.

For others, they accomplished something that brought them happiness and contributed to the success that they envision for themselves. The difference in these two types of people is that one lets life drive him, and the other drives his own life.

Every day that you have to live is a day that you can control whether or not you’re happy – whether or not you’re going to be successful. It begins with a plan. What are you going to do today to take steps that create happiness?

What steps are you going to take to be successful? If you don’t know what steps to take, then you have no course of action. If that sounds like something you’ve struggled with, you can learn how to account for your future.

By doing this, you’ll start planning ahead for what you want – and making it happen. You can plan ahead each day for how you’re going to spend your time. Even your free time (and you should have free time) can be planned so that you’re living a life that’s full of happiness.

Planning ahead is one thing that the world’s most successful people have in common. They don’t fly by the seat of their pants and let things just occur – they craft the kind of life that they want to live.

They know that time is a commodity – perhaps one of the most valuable things to consider. They spend it wisely, just like they do the money they earn.

Most people are great at investing in the lives of others. You spend time doing things that bring happiness to people. You work hard to make others successful – whether those people are your work relationships or your personal ones – and there is nothing wrong with investing in others.

However, you need to learn how to invest in your own life. If you don’t, you’re actually withdrawing from the stores of happiness and success that could be yours and not making deposits.

Without banking on your happiness and success, it will be a long, hard struggle to get what you want – if you get it at all. Some people make plans well ahead of time, and others do it in smaller increments.

You might plan for something you want to achieve for happiness and success next month, or the next day. But have an idea of how you want your day to unfold. Be specific, not vague – that way, you have a way to measure whether or not the day was a “win.”

Picture the Realization of Your Dreams

Visualize what you want!  I used to think visualizing was so lame, amounted to nothing more than daydreaming, and didn’t work.

But over time I learned when you use visualize reqularly, you WILL keep your focus – and that keep you motivated. Studies have shown that motivated people are happier and less stressed than those who aren’t.

It’s also true that people who have a dream they want to accomplish find more inner satisfaction. The daily act of taking the time to picture your dreams leads you to appreciate the journey.

You’ll be able to find happiness – even when things go wrong – if whatever steps you’re taking focus on seeing your dreams come true. Close your eyes and visualize you decorating your new home, seeing your bank account with a specific amount of money in it, or being welcomed home with open arms by a loving family.

This act of imagination will help you start living the role of the life you want to be in. But you don’t want to stay chained to disappointment for what hasn’t manifested itself yet.

Being appreciative of your current situation and where you’re heading is important, too. Be grateful for the things and the opportunities that come your way that allow you to chase after what you want.

If you have good health that allows you to do what you want to do, be thankful for that. Whenever opportunities come along, recognize them for what they are, a step toward the future you want.

Even when obstacles crop up, appreciate them. Because obstacles mean that you’re moving forward -hat you’re taking action to make the picture of your dreams a reality.

Find a Daily Challenge

When you challenge yourself in any area of your life, you end up growing. If you stick to what you already know and you only do the things you know you’re good at, you stay stagnant

Choose an area of your life to challenge yourself in (and make sure that you cover each of them). For example, in the area of exercise, challenge yourself to do more than you thought you could with your exercise program.

Maybe instead of doing 30 minutes of walking each day, you shoot for 45 minutes. You’ll gain a sense of accomplishment that will make you feel both happy and successful.

Try a new food – something that’s outside of your comfort zone. This broadens your horizons and can help you learn about other cultures.

Learn something new. People that continually grow in knowledge challenge their brain. This can be a new language, book, or skill. It could be something like taking a dance lesson or visiting a place that moves you, shakes up your life, and gives you a deeper perspective.

Resurrect a failure. Every single person in the world has a failure of some kind in their life. They tried something and it didn’t work. They couldn’t accomplish a goal – couldn’t grasp enough of the knowledge needed to make an idea work.

Look back over something that you tried and really wanted but gave up on. Sometimes the passing of time can add fresh ideas and a better understanding of why the failure happened.

When you look back over your life at something that failed, it could be that you just weren’t prepared for that success. When you challenge yourself to be an “overcomer,” you’ll find a sense of happiness because of the completion of each task.

Finishing something contributes to success. It’s especially rewarding when you go back to something you previously failed at. Remember, it took many tries before the lightbulb finally worked!

Make It a Point to Give Every Day Your All

We all have areas of life that we hold back in. Maybe it comes out of fear of looking stupid, or fear of failure. But working hard every single day is the key to success.

But in everything you do, you have to give it your all, whether anyone else is or not! Don’t settle for “good enough.” Keep going – and even if you have to start the task all over again, work hard to make it right.

Keep your perfectionism at bay because otherwise you will never finish a task or be satisfied with a completed tasks because it’s just “not right” or there’s “just one more thing I need to do to make it better”.

Practice mindfulness. Be fully present in everything you do every single day. Refuse to let yourself go through life on autopilot.

When you’re fully present, it can give you an appreciation for what you’re doing and for what you currently have.You leave multi tasking behind and focus on one thing at a time – one conversation, one meal, one project, etc.

Stop Working When It’s Time to Stop

Remember that your life is a series of seconds, minutes and hours each day. It’s important to work hard because this contributes to your happiness and success. There’s nothing wrong with being the kind of person who works hard.

But if you’re working so many hours and you have such big projects on your shoulders that the line between work and your free time is blurred, it’s time to take a step back.

There’s a reason that taking time off work is important. This helps you recharge your batteries and helps you relax and not lose sight of the big picture of your life. Work is only one aspect of your life and when you allow work to take over, it throws everything else out of balance.

You’ll be happier if you set work boundaries. People that have a definitive line between their work and off time are far more successful. When you take time off, you can actually improve your work performance. Not doing this will lead to unhappiness, poor health, stress and can negatively affect your intimate relationships.

Protect Your Sleep Time

Striving to find personal satisfaction – especially if you’re trying to build a business – can impact your sleep.

Losing sleep leads to feelings of unhappiness, anxiety and irritability.  It leads to a loss of productivity because you will begin to slow down physically and cognitively because your body just can’t function at top performance when it doesn’t have the right amount of sleep.

If you’re not sleeping enough, start by examining your sleep habits. At you getting to bed early enough? Are you sleeping in a cool room with no distractions? Is your bedding comfortable?

Make Exercise and Eating Right a Priority

A daily habit of exercise can create happiness. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins or the feel good hormones that can lift your mood.

When you exercise every day – even if it’s just going for a walk around the block – your brain is more mentally alert because you increase the oxygen it needs. Better oxygen means an increased ability to think, work through ideas and attain your goals each day.

Eating the right kinds of food can have a positive impact on how you feel physically and mentally. Certain foods zap your energy after you eat them and you feel sluggish after your energy levels crash.

Always think of food as your body’s fuel to propel you through the day where and keep you working at an optimal performance level so you meet your goal each day.

Dress Successfully Every Day

Clothes make the person – and their attitude about themselves!  Clothes can increase your self esteem and make you feel more confident or they can make you feel sloppy and

Try this experiment. Wear a pair of worn out sweatpants and a baggy shirt out in public. Don’t take the time to style your hair. Then go back out wearing a nice outfit with your hair attractively styled.

What did you notice about how you felt each time? How did you act? How did you walk?

When you dress like it doesn’t matter, it will change how you see yourself. You won’t feel your sharpest because the clothes affect you mentally. But more than that, it changes how you’ll handle what you have to do that day.

When you dress for success, you feel happier. You feel like a success and then your actions will follow those feelings. So make it a habit every day to dress in clothes that make you feel good about yourself.

No need to spend a lot of money to dress for success. Whatever your budget allows is just fine. Just make sure the clothes are current style, neat, clean and that you feel good while wearing them.

 

Now when implementing this list, please don’t try to implement a bunch of new daily habits all at once. Build slowly. It takes awhile for a new habit to take root, so don’t beat yourself up if you’re slow to implement them on a routine basis. I might take a few weeks to get with the program, but you’ll start to notice positive changes and that will motivate you to continue each and every day.

My best to you.

To Your Beauty and Balance…

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