Have you ever started a new exercise regimen to improve your health? Have you ever become consumed with drive and dedication in order to reach a certain goal in your career? What about the dream of having a partner who is the perfect fit for you?

Most of us relate to having dreams, goals and hopes for our lives. After all, these aspirations are often what ignites the fire that drives us to get up and go after our deepest desires.

Big dreams create the magic of our lives and are meant to be approached with a curiosity and thirst to fully experience life – the bumps and all. When we warm to the idea that the journey is the magic, rather than reaching the actual dream itself, we open the floodgates to love our lives right now.

When we give ourselves the gift of seeing and experiencing all that is amazing in our lives at this very moment, we no longer need to delay happiness until we meet some future goal.

Here are some of the practices I’ve been enjoying to settle into loving my life, no matter where I’m at with reaching my dreams. Give them a try and see how they fit.

1) Self-Awareness

Adopt a self-awareness practice that works for you. When you step outside of yourself and take a good honest look at how you are showing up, over time you begin to take yourself a whole lot less seriously. There is a real lightness and sense of ease that comes from being able to laugh at yourself and see the humor in a situation.

When you regularly check in with yourself, you may also start to notice patterns in how you show up and where there may be room to shift and grow. Being self-reflective in a healthy way helps strengthen your relationship with yourself. 

Healthy self-awareness also helps us become more resourceful and resilient because we learn to tap into our inner wisdom. Over time it becomes second nature to trust ourselves to make decisions and steps that are congruent with who we are at our core.

2) Give

Give what you can, whenever you can. It could be spreading kindness through your words, smiles, helpful acts or simply being present for others you share space with out in the world. When you live daily life with a generous attitude, it becomes easier to let go of beliefs and judgments that create an “us against them” mentality.

Giving without strings attached, not only brightens the receiver’s day, it fills your heart and moments with joy. It feels good to give from a genuine place. We gain a sense of personal freedom every time we shift from comparing or competing with others, to celebrating and supporting them.

If there are times where you can extend your reach out to your local or global community, then do that too. The ripple effect you will create by leading with a generous spirit may very well become contagious.

3) Move

Our health and well-being is deeply connected to our feelings and overall attitude. When we feel good in our bodies, it becomes natural and easy to be happy with life. We all vary in our abilities and types of physical activities we enjoy. What may feel great for one person, may not for another.

The key thing is to engage in activities you enjoy and movement that fits your lifestyle and needs. Do what works best for you to create a regular habit of moving your body to help you feel the very best you can.

4) Breathe

Deep, intentional breathing is one of the most powerful ways to calm ourselves and ease feelings of stress and anxiety. Often when we find ourselves in a stressful situation, we are more than likely holding our breath. In these situations, if possible, take a few deliberate deep breaths – holding each for the count of four and slowly exhaling.

Mindful breathing helps create space to connect to our higher selves and refocus our minds away from destructive thought patterns. When we practice focusing on our breath, whether through yoga, meditation or at certain scheduled times throughout the day, we are creating a habit and foundation we can draw on to help ease stress.

Intentional breathing may not solve the world’s problems, but it certainly helps to soften the daily stress and tension that often accompanies full lives.

5) Gratitude

Gratitude is my No. 1 favorite way to get out of any funk and into the joy of life. When we focus on what we are thankful for, we relive all of the beautiful stories and reasons why our lives are worth loving right now, and that feels so good! There are countless reasons to be thankful.

Getting to wake up each day to the miracle of being alive is just one of them. The air we breathe, the sights we see, the opportunities and possibilities before us. Your list of reasons to be grateful is as unique as you are – it’s yours by design.

The more we engage in a regular gratitude practice, the more natural it becomes to see why our lives are worthy of loving right now in this very moment.

Don’t delay your happiness for later, jump in and love the life you are in. You are worth it!

Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com


  • Emily Madill is an author and certified professional coach, ACC with a BA in business and psychology. Emily is one of Thrive Global's Editors-at-large. She has published 11 titles in the area of self-development and empowerment, both for children and adults. You can find her writing in Chicken Soup for the Soul:Think Positive for Kids; Thrive Global; The Huffington Post; TUT. com; Best Self Magazine; MindBodyGreen; The Muse; WellthyLiving.ca; TinyBuddha; Aspire Magazine and others. Emily has a private coaching practice and an online program offering courses that support others to create lasting habits around self-love, well-being and all things related to time and weekly planning. She lives on Vancouver Island, Canada, with her husband, two sons and their sweet rescue dog Annie. Learn more at: emilymadill.com