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Now, more than ever, we desperately need to put meaning back in our lives, to reconnect with feelings of ease and happiness instead of constant stress, confusion and dissatisfaction.

Many hours can be spent educating ourselves on self-improvement, but without action none of this education matters. This seven-day journey will set you on the right path to clearing out the junk and making room for the meaning.

Note: Each of these steps needs to be infused with a meditation practice, even if it’s just five minutes a day. The reason is that meditation will support you and help you develop the rest of your habits.

Day One: Wake up early.

Waking up early is a habit you should develop today. This habit is the secret ingredient for success. If you want to make room and time in your life, get up early. The only way to make change happen is to implement it daily.

I’ve developed a habit of waking up at 5:30 a.m.; I write for an hour, meditate for 20 minutes, walk my dogs, make breakfast, then get ready for work. This leaves me the freedom after work to do many other things: go for a jog, spend time with family and friends or read.

Day Two: Declutter your life.

We need to throw out what we don’t need in order to make space for what we do need. All our stuff is like an anchor, it weighs us down. We are always terrified of losing all our “stuff.”

Start by cleaning out your closets, junk drawers and storage spaces. If you can’t do it all in one day, then schedule one day each week to purge a specified area of clutter.

Day Three: Try something new and look at the world through fresh eyes.

Do you ever feel that every day is a bit like Groundhog Day? Wake up, go to work, make dinner, clean up and get ready for bed? The alarm goes off and the day repeats. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut.

Recently, on my drive to work, I was speeding along, thinking about files and emails burying me, when I decided to stop my incessant planning and look out the window. Every morning I drive by a lake, and the rising sun gleams off the water; it’s beautiful, yet I never take the time to notice.

So the next morning (because I wake up early), I went for 15 minute walk, camera and tea in hand, before work on that very lake; it was simply refreshing. Even the smallest change in routine can make you feel excited about life again.

Day Four: Take a mundane task and make it interesting.

Choose a task that you would like to spice up, whether it’s eating, doing the dishes or going to work. Whatever activity you have chosen, take these steps:

1. Tune in to your senses.
2. Single-task.
3. Find a flow.
4. Breathe.
5. Ignore the future and the past, let the present be.
6. Use your imagination.

Day Five: Be kind.

Kindness isn’t just a feeling; it’s an emotion that leads to action. Kindness gives warmth to life and each kind interaction triggers a feeling of connection and pleasure.

Kind actions are something that gives meaning to your life AND makes you feel happy! So make an effort to do one kind action, whether it’s paying someone a compliment, buying someone a coffee or simply lending a helping hand.

Day Six: Let go of a resentment or grudge.

The recognition that you can choose emotional well-being even when things don’t turn out the way you want, will change you, in spirit, mind and body.
Holding on to resentment is bad not only physically and mentally, but also for your relationships and your instincts.

Forgiveness will enhance your life; it means that you’re ready to move on and be happy. Today, choose forgiveness — let it go, breathe it out.

Day Seven: Live with gratitude.

Living a life with gratitude will have profound effects on you physically, psychologically and socially.

Gratitude is expressing thankfulness for what you already have instead of focusing on what you don’t have.

Gratitude turns what you have into enough and more. It infuses your life with appreciation and awe.

Today write all that you are thankful for; post this list by your bedside table, and remember to take a moment and read this list every day.

Featured Photo Credit:  Drewski Mac

This article was originally featured and published on MindBodyGreen.

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