Arianna Huffington is the editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post and the author of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller Thrive, now out in paperback. Her new Thrive eCourse with Oprah.com starts May 3. Register now at Oprah.com/Thrive.
In the year since Thrive was published, I’ve been thrilled to meet people all over the world who are longing for change. People are rejecting the myth that burnout has to be the price we must pay for success. But again and again, I was asked, “It’s hard to change old habits -- how do I go from understanding what I need to do in order to thrive to actually doing it?”
I've partnered with the great team at Oprah.com to launch a six-week course on Thrive -- a bridge from knowing what we need to do in order to thrive to actually doing it and thriving!
Here are my 12 steps (because we are all addicted to our current way of living and working!) to help you move from merely surviving and succeeding to thriving.
Get 30 minutes more sleep than you're getting now.
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Unless you are one of the wise few who already gets all the rest you need, you have an opportunity to immediately improve your health, creativity, productivity and sense of well-being. Start by getting just thirty minutes more sleep than you are getting now. The easiest way is to go to bed earlier, but you could also take a short nap during the day -- or a combination of both.
Move your body.
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Walk, run, stretch, do yoga, dance. Just move. Anytime.
Introduce five minutes of meditation into your day.
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Eventually, you can build up to fifteen or twenty minutes a day (or more), but even just a few minutes will open the door to creating a new habit -- and all the many proven benefits it brings.
Listen to your inner wisdom.
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Listening to your inner wisdom, let go of something today that you no longer need -- something that is draining your energy without benefiting you or anyone you love. It could be resentments, negative self-talk or a project you know you are not really going to complete.
Start a gratitude list.
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Start a gratitude list that you share with two or more friends who send theirs to you.
Disconnect from your devices.
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Have a specific time at night when you regularly turn off your devices -- and gently escort them out of your bedroom. Disconnecting from the digital world will help you reconnect to your wisdom, intuition and creativity. And when you wake up in the morning, don't start your day by looking at your smartphone. Take one minute -- trust me, you do have one minute -- to breathe deeply, or be grateful or set your intention for the day.
Focus on your breath.
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Focus on the rising and falling of your breath for ten seconds whenever you feel tense, rushed or distracted. This allows you to become fully present in your life.
Pick an image that brings you joy.
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Pick an image that ignites the joy in you. It can be of your child, a pet, the ocean, a painting you love -- something that inspires a sense of wonder. And any time you feel contracted, go to it to help you expand.
Forgive yourself and let go of judgments.
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Forgive yourself for any judgments you are holding against yourself and then forgive your judgments of others. (If Nelson Mandela can do it, you can, too.) Then look at your life and the day ahead with newness and wonder.
Indulge in small acts of kindness.
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Make small gestures of kindness and giving a habit, and pay attention to how this affects your mind, your emotions and your body.
Allow and embrace random personal connections.
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During your day make a personal connection with people you might normally tend to pass by and take for granted: the checkout clerk, the cleaning crew at your office or your hotel, the barista in the coffee shop. See how this helps you feel more alive and reconnected to the moment.
Put a skill or talent to good use.
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Use a skill or talent you have -- cooking, accounting, decorating -- to help someone who could benefit from it. It'll jumpstart your transition from a go-getter to a go-giver, and reconnect you to the world and to the natural abundance in your own life.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Thrive. I very much hope you can join me on this six-week thriving journey, beginning on May 3!
This GPS Guide is part of a series of posts designed to bring you back to balance when you're feeling off course.
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