This year has been a year of huge changes for me. I started my Masters, became a coach, transitioned to a vegan lifestyle, and now I’m tackling minimalism (more on this to come soon). I finally feel like I am living a life that truly aligns with who I am. My core values are honesty, integrity, love, kindness, and inspiration. I’m going to share how I finally stepped up to live a life that aligned with these values. A year ago I was feeling completely lost and confused about what I wanted out of my life. It wasn’t until I started coaching that I sat down and asked myself some tough questions.
How do I want to feel every day?
Who do I want to be?
What kind of impact do I want to have on other people and on the world?
What makes me happy and inspired?
Answering these questions was easier than I thought. I knew deep down who I wanted to be. The hard part was setting about creating a life that aligned with my vision. This is still a journey. I have to wake up every single day and remind myself what is important. I’m still working on breaking bad habits and replacing them with healthier daily habits that I know will lead to my success. I still have tough days where I question my path. The difference is that now when I feel those insecurities creep in, I can look back at my list of core values and I’m reminded of who I am. So how did I turn things around? How did I stop living a life that was making me miserable and step onto this new path?
1. I got brutally honest with myself.
I had to take responsibility for the fact that the choices I was making were the source of my unhappiness. Whether that was going out drinking all the time, saying yes to commitments I didn’t have time for, eating unhealthy, or placing blame. This last point was probably the most important thing I recognized. I often blamed my past, my parents, my teachers, my friends, and basically everything else around me for my unhappiness. I gave away all of my power. I had decided in my own head that my happiness was determined by all these external forces. When I finally sat down and asked myself those tough questions I realized that I was the only person responsible for my happiness. That was the moment that I committed to changing my actions and taking back control over my own life.
2. I made a list of simple things that bring me joy.
I knew that my happiness wasn’t going to come from reaching certain milestones. I had an extremely successful year winning multiple academic awards and traveling around the world. All of my dreams were seemingly coming true and yet I was deeply unhappy. I couldn’t reconcile how this was possible. I remember sitting on my bed in France having a breakdown and feeling so frustrated. I thought, “this makes no sense! You are in France! You should feel on top of the world! What is wrong with you!?” It took me a very long time to realize that my happiness was not dependent on reaching certain goals or milestones. I was still leading a life that didn’t align with my values and being halfway across the world couldn’t change or make up for that.
I started making lists in September. I made a list of all the little things that make me happy or bring me joy. I made a list of how I wanted to feel every day. I made a list of changes I could make in my life that would allow room for these things. Then I set to work on actually making these things happen.
3. I embraced change.
As humans, we naturally fear change. I stopped giving into that fear that was keeping me stuck. I said fuck the fear and started making some big ass changes. This was scary at first. My friends and family were surely confused as to what the hell had come over me. I mean I was a cheese addict who pretty much overnight decided to go full on vegan! I was really nervous that they would judge me or not accept me for me. I was happier, though. With every positive change, I felt like I was finally stepping into the life I was meant for. Some friendships have fallen away and that’s been painful but it’s a natural part of growing. I’ve had to accept that some of the people I was surrounding myself with were toxic. Some people will grow with you and support the changes you make. Others will criticize or try to pull you back down. These are not your people. Let them go.
4. With that said, I started surrounding myself with like-minded people.
How did I find these people? I started a health and wellness Instagram. Social media is your best friend when you’re embarking on a new journey. My new Instagram account attracted so many like-minded women from around the world. Soon enough I had a huge network of friends with similar interests and goals. I met my coach and found my tribe. Now I can’t imagine my life without them! Similarly, when I went vegan I found a facebook community for vegans in my city. They’ve been pretty damn inspiring too. The possibilities are endless with online platforms. There is a community or group for every interest you can imagine. So figure out who you want to be surrounded by and seek out those people. Take action! Don’t just sit around frustrated that your current friends don’t take interest in or support your new hobbies/lifestyle/etc. Go out and make friends with the people who are as equally excited about your interests, values, and goals.
These are the most important steps I’ve taken to living a life that makes me feel inspired every single day. It’s still a journey and I’m still learning a lot. I’m sure I will have tips to add to this list in the future. Let me know in the comments if this was useful or if you have questions. Drop me an email if there’s a particular topic you want me to cover in my next blog post.
Thanks for reading! xo