This title was inspired by Oprah’s book, What I Know for Sure, of which I read a few years back. Still, it was one of those books I haven’t stopped thinking about. Not only because it was an incredible read about what we must acknowledge and change for a better life, but it also inspired me to come up with my list of specific things that empower and gear me towards a positive life.

As my writing develops, so do I. Everyday I change, think of something new, or contemplate a subject. I’m open to change because I know that I am a work in progress. One thing that keeps coming up consistently, however, are the specific things that I know I should be putting into practice daily. My life aims at a more positive direction when I put the methods to use.

Admittedly, I have gone through a lot of trial and error and much more to come, just as you have and will as well. It’s a big world, and we are all trying our best. Below is a list I compiled of things that have benefitted my life. To me, each of these things is a way of loving myself more and taking care of myself honestly.

So, here we go:

Flow: Now don’t confuse this with laziness. You must be determined to do whatever it is that you think you should do, but be flexible in what comes your way. You’ll have plenty of obstacles and errors, but it matters more how you respond to interferences. They ultimately determine where you end up. The line to success isn’t straight; it’s curvy and jagged. Sometimes things will come up that will lead you into a path you couldn’t have even imagined. Don’t take things so seriously and just go with it. For example, I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and then went on to teach. After giving it a try for a year, I decided it wasn’t where my heart was. Currently, I am a receptionist. Am I going to be that forever? No, but I’m trying to be flexible with what hits me in life and how I handle it and gear it in a direction that I want.

Meditate/Practice Zen: I notice that when I meditate I can think more clearly and my actions go towards where I want to go. When I am practicing Zen, I am more content, and things come to me naturally. When I exclude these activities, things get to me more. Additionally, unnecessary problems begin to arise from all directions.

Exercise: This one I dislike the most, however, it’s a not secret that exercising our bodies (and consistently) will enable us to stay healthy long-term. I, personally, can come up with any excuse possible to not work out. However, deep down we all know we need to exercise and that it makes us feel good when we do. So here’s a small tip I use for myself: set a time limit. 5 minutes of exercise is better than no minutes of exercise, just make sure you’re sweating by the end of it. Not sure what to do? Let YouTube do the work for you. Just pick something you like, whether it’s dancing or rock climbing and get to it. Make it fun and, perhaps, it won’t feel like tedious exercise after all.

Practice Gratitude: I have repeated this a lot throughout my articles, but honestly it’s the most life-changing thing you could do for yourself that requires minimal effort. I don’t know about you, but every time I practice gratitude things just fall…together. It’s not difficult to do this; I say five things I am thankful for each day, and I try to do the same thing at night. If I can’t come up with anything then a simple thank you is enough. I recommend getting a cheap gratitude journal and writing a little bit each day. Before you know it, remarkable things will begin to happen.

Go after your dreams: Everyone’s got dreams and goals. If you’re not going after them then what else could you possibly be doing? I still haven’t figured out what I am supposed to be doing, but this goes back to my #1 on this list which is to flow. Sometimes we are stuck in a place, but perhaps, those are the spots we need to be to figure out what’s next. However, if you know what your dreams are and you’re still deciding not to go after them, then perhaps it’s time to get serious about committing to yourself. You’re only one choice away from changing your life completely. Too many people have regrets, don’t be one of them.

Commit: This, I think, is the most difficult one out of all of these, but at the same time; it directly applies to each as well. I have ideas, and I start things, but I don’t always finish them. How far can I possibly go if I can’t even commit to completing a task? After all, there was a purpose of why I started it initially. I just can’t allow that to slip away and lose sight of what it is that I am after.

Again, this is my list. When I write things down, I am more likely to go through with them. I wrote this list not only to share with all of you but for myself as well. A reminder of what small steps I can take each day for a guaranteed positive life.

Recently, I read such a great book by Mel Robbins, The 5 Second Rule, which gives you a tool on how to follow through with things you want to do by counting down from five and then immediately taking a physical action towards it. Following this rule has enabled me to be more productive than ever before. I recommend you check out the book if you’re looking for something to motivate you and help you get things done.

But firstly, you must sit down, get rid of the distractions and compile your very own list. Things you know are right for your soul. Then, you begin to implement them. Little by little every single day. You don’t have to do everything at once. Progress is progress. Let it develop, and it will grow, and so will you!


  • Olya Barnett

    Personal Growth Coach and Writer

    Olya is a twenty-something blogger and personal-growth coach. She is the creator of Her goal is to empower people to live their best lives through positive thinking and self-growth one article at a time.