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12 Steps to Create a Better Life

When you smile at a stranger in the street they might go home in a better mood, compliment their partner, who will in turn show love to the next person they encounter. Your small acts of kindness can have a ripple effect on the world.
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Happy beauty woman in hat is back opened his hands, relaxes and enjoys the sunset over the sea on the beach
Happy beauty woman in hat is back opened his hands, relaxes and enjoys the sunset over the sea on the beach

1. Choose authenticity over conformity.

Decide that living a life that is true to you is more important than what other people think.

Begin listening to and trusting in the wisdom of your own soul over the noise of the world. No one is a better expert on your life than you.

2. Decide to love and accept yourself now.

There is an old Buddhist saying which goes: "We are all perfect as we are, and we could all use a little work".

Don't wait until you grow into the person you want to be to grant yourself your own love and acceptance. Paradoxically, it is only from a space of unconditional self-love that long-lasting inner transformation happens.

3. Get clear on your vision and goals.

Write down what you would love your life to look like in key life areas, like love and relationships, career and contribution, wealth and lifestyle, health and wellbeing, learning and creativity, and soul or spirituality.

Reflect on how you can make this vision a reality. Break it down into key bite-sized goals for the next twelve months.

4. Make the present moment your main focus.

While dreams and goals are valuable, don't make the mistake of putting your happiness or enjoyment of life on hold until you've achieved them.

Make every single day the most important day of your life. Be here now and savour the beauty and miracles around you, like your body, nourishing food, sunshine, loved ones and laughter.

5. Commit to connecting with your soul daily.

Your soul is your guide to your passions and purpose in life. It can also provide daily guidance on any issues you face, and nudge you in the direction of your dreams.

To tap into this wisdom, build a better connection with your soul by meditating for at least ten minutes a day. You can simply sit in silence and pay attention to the sensations of your breath. Every time your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath.

Create mini pauses throughout the day to reconnect with yourself. Pause and take a few deep breaths as you go from one place to another, or one task to another.

6. Make yourself accountable.

When you set out to change your life, the pull of old habits and the busyness of daily life can sometimes bump you off track.

Don't bury your head in the sand. Check in with how you are progressing with your goals by scheduling a weekly review with yourself. Block out half an hour of time at home or visit a local cafe for a coffee.

This is an opportunity to acknowledge what you're proud of (how often we forget) and lovingly look into what may not be working well or serving your highest good.

7. Bless what you already have.

Elkhart Tolle wrote: "Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance".

If you focus only on what you don't have, you are likely to perpetuate the same circumstances for yourself. True happiness is a state of mind, not a collection of material goods or a set number of goals achieved.

If you look on what you already have with gratitude and give thanks and bless it for being in your life, you will reprogram your brain to notice all of the good things in life.

8. Clean up your mindset.

The world is a reflection of your dominant thoughts and feelings about yourself and life. If you think and speak in negative terms all day long, your life will reflect that. If you think and speak in positive terms, your life will reflect that too.

If you want to make changes in your life, first look within at your belief system. Be radically honest with yourself about whether your inner dialogue supports your goals.

You can install new beliefs using affirmations and spending time visualizing what it would be like to be the greatest version of you. You can also 'play act' as this greatest version of you throughout the day, which will shift the way you think and act, in turn shifting your life.

9. Free yourself from the past.

In Buddhism they say that when we hold on to a past hurt or grievance, it ties an internal knot in our body. The more we hold on to past grievances, the more knots we have, blocking off our access to our life force, power, love, inspiration and joy.

Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself. Set yourself free by letting go of your past hurts. See past the mistakes we all make as human beings to the same light of consciousness within all.

10. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

What stops us from going for goals or trying new things is not fear itself but our aversion to experiencing fear.

Fear is a bundle of sensations and feelings in your body. It doesn't inherently mean 'stop' but many of us interpret it in this way. Reinterpret the discomfort of fear as a sure sign of growth and liberate yourself by moving forward anyway.

11. Redefine what success means to you.

Gandhi famously said: "Full effort is full victory".

Instead of defining success as something 'out there' that is dependant on external outcomes, define success as giving your best daily; as going for your dreams; as giving things a go.

It is far better to be in the arena dancing with life and taking some tumbles than to be timidly watching from the sidelines.

12. Think give.

The poet Rumi wrote: "Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love, which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing."

Giving and receiving are one in truth because both the giver and receiver are uplifted and nourished by the act. Make it a habit of waking up and asking: How can I serve you today Universe?

When you smile at a stranger in the street they might go home in a better mood, compliment their partner, who will in turn show love to the next person they encounter. Your small acts of kindness can have a ripple effect on the world.

Elyse is a writer, life coach and happiness teacher at NotesOnBliss.com. She teaches people to connect with their soul, create their dreams and expand their happiness. For updates and inspiration, sign up now.