Check out these 15 tips for life and see which ones could help you live a simpler, more meaningful life.
We all want to live meaningful lives.
Lives where we focus on what matters, forget what doesn’t and savor each day…because we never know if it’s our last.
We never want to say “I thought we had more time” when it comes to spending time with a loved one, or “I thought I had more time” when it comes to doing the things that we’ve always wanted.
I often wonder if I’m living my life right. Will I look back on my decisions and wish I was braver? Or more cautious? Or more considerate? Will I wish I had saved more money or spent more of it on what I cherish?
We all ask ourselves these deep, meaning-of-life questions at times. And the truth is, I don’t think we’ll ever truly know if we’re living to the fullest in the moment—but that doesn’t mean we can’t try our damndest!
I went ahead and created a list of helpful tips for life that we can all implement as part of our daily lives. A tip for life always does me good when I actually follow it, so I hope these ones help you, too!
15 Simple Tips for Life
1. Do the Things That Scare You
“Leap and the net will appear.” – John Burroughs
You have unlimited potential.
But the only way you’ll know how far that potential goes is by pushing the boundaries.
It’s also the only way you’ll ever grow. Whether it’s overcoming some lifelong fear like the fear of open water, going on a date or trying a new sport as an adult, every little victory shows you how powerful you are and reaffirms that you can do anything you set your mind to.
I’ve dealt with anxiety and fear of tragedy for most of my adult life. I’d struggle to enjoy swimming at the beach for fear a shark would eat me. Struggle to try new sports for fear of looking like an idiot or getting hurt. And I’d deal with constant uncertainty and have trouble making decisions.
During college, I got so fed up with fearing everything and expecting tragedy around every corner that I promised myself that I would do anything that scared me. And from then on, anytime I get that uneasy, sick-to-my-stomach feeling about doing something that scares me, it’s my cue to know that I must do it.
Disclaimer: Of course I’m only referring to rational things that do not cause harm to me or anyone else. I only apply it to things that scare me purely because I’m afraid and insecure, not because they are inherently dangerous or stupid.
2. Be First to Forgive…and Apologize
Life is messy. We all make mistakes.
We lash out at our friends and family. Say mean things that intentionally hurt. And do things that are just plain wrong. So does everyone else.
In life, you’ll be on both the giving and receiving end of some pretty painful shit. You probably already have. It’s part of being human.
Life is too short to stay mad or hold on to grudges. Plus, it’s really bad for your health.
You never know which goodbye with someone will be your last, so be quick to forgive or admit when you’re wrong and apologize.
3. Want What You Have
Wanting what you have is one of the most life-changing shifts you can make when it comes to living a simple, stress-free life.
This goes for your body, possessions and circumstances. When you are always seeking the next thing and thinking “my life will be complete when…”, you completely overlook the fact that maybe, just maybe, you already have the life you want.
You miss out on the joyful feeling of true contentment with all the amazing things you already have.
You can want the body you have even if you want to get into better shape or be healthier. You can want the significant other you’re with, even though there will always be “someone better” out there. You can want the house or apartment or trailer you live in and be thankful you have a safe place to sleep, even if you dream of something nicer.
It all comes down to saying “This is enough. If this is all I ever have, it will be enough.” Because guess what? If you don’t do this when you have less-than-ideal circumstances, you never will. The goalpost always moves no matter how fit or successful you become. You’ll be stuck always waiting for “when…” to come.
4. Learn to Go With the Flow
“Adventures are never fun while you’re having them.” – C.S. Lewis
Get used to things not going according to plan, because it’s going to happen a lot in your life.
Life does not go according to plan.
You’re going to miss flights, get rejected and struggle.
When things don’t go according to plan, let it be your trigger to enter your “go-with-the-flow” state.
Let go of panicking, losing your temper and desperately holding on to your idea of how things were “supposed to go”. Instead, embrace the adventure you just got flung into and try to make it as fun, or at least, bearable as possible.
Your friends will thank you. Your family will thank you. You will thank you.
“Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.” – Author Unknown
5. Stop to Smell the Roses
AKA appreciate the regular, mundane moments in your life.
Often when someone has lost someone, they say they would give anything for [insert mundane moment] just one more time. Even when it’s things that drove them CRAZY when the person was alive—like finding their socks laying on the floor just outside the hamper every day.
6. Get the Most Important Tasks Done First
Humans are really weird.
We have this tendency to put the most important things off until the very last minute, or until tomorrow, next week or next year.
If we would just do the damn thing, we’d feel so much satisfaction and accomplishment. But that would mean we have to move on to the next thing, or worse, deal with possible failure at whatever we want to accomplish.
So, we procrastinate and busy ourselves with anything but that one thing we really want done.
Instead, force yourself to do the most important task first. If this is still too much, decide that you will dedicate just 5 minutes to it. That’s a doable chunk that’s not intimidating and it’s likely that once you start, you’ll get into the swing of it and spend more than 5 minutes.
7. Break Tasks Into Small, Digestible Steps
Nothing gets done all at once. Logically, we can understand this, but when you’re facing a big task or project, it’s hard to see the first step. Instead, all you can think about is all the work ahead of you and it makes you feel like a failure before you’ve even started.
Need to clean the bathroom? Eat breakfast, then clean the mirror. Go about your day with work or whatever and when you take a 5-minute break, clean the toilet. Continue with your day and on your next break, wipe the counters and sweep the bathroom floor.
When you break each down into small steps, you can get every task on your list done without facing the overwhelming “Ugh, must I do this” feeling.
8. List Off Everything You’re Thankful for Before Falling Asleep
This simple ritual has the power to help you feel inner peace as you fall asleep.
I got into this habit as a child saying nightly prayers. As an adult, it’s really helped me feel peace and reflect on everything I have before falling asleep.
Gratitude helps keep away bedtime anxiety and ends your day on a good note. Plus, gratitude is proven to be good for your health!
So the next time you’re saying your nightly prayers or struggling to shut off your mind, list off everything you’re thankful for—big and small—and I guarantee it will improve your outlook and help you feel peace.
You can start with thinks like:
- I’m thankful for my health and my parents’ health
- I’m thankful for my job
- I’m thankful for my car that gets me where i need to goI’m thankful to have a home I feel safe in
9. Find Something That Makes You Feel Truly Alive
When I travel to a new destination solo, or spend the day kiteboarding over crystal clear water or freedive past 20 meters, I feel like I’m buzzing.
Not in the sense like I’ve been drinking, but in the sense that my body is buzzing with happiness and fulfillment.
These are the things that make me feel truly alive, and you need to find what makes you feel that way, if you haven’t already.
It’s so important to have something you’re passionate about that gives you that buzz of excitement.
It doesn’t have to be something extreme or expensive either, it just needs to be something that excites you and causes you to grow. It could be making jewelry, building furniture or playing pickleball.
Having a hobby you’re passionate about gives you something to work at and look forward to—plus, hobbies are ideal for making new friends.
10. Focus Your Energy on Experiences & Quality Time, Not Material Possessions
Stuff doesn’t last. Plain and simple.
So when it comes to allocating your time and money, put it towards valuable experiences that teach you something, get you out of your comfort zone or are simply fun. Or, put it towards spending quality time with friends and family.
- Instead of spending $5 on a Starbucks coffee every day, take your grandma to breakfast on Saturday and really listen to her when she talks.
- Instead of saving up your money for a $400 Gucci belt, get your scuba diving certification.
- Instead of driving your dream car that requires a $300/month payment, save up for a car you can afford for cash and put those monthly savings towards taking your dream vacation to Bali or wherever.
This is what I’m talking about! Small trade-offs that mean nothing for what you’re giving up and everything for what you gain.
11. Don’t Talk About People That Aren’t Around
Gossip doesn’t benefit anyone.
It makes you look bad if you’re the one gossiping and it will likely hurt the other person when they find out.
Besides, how often do you feel good about yourself after talking about someone? I know I never do. Gossiping is fun in the moment, but after I reflect on what I said, I feel like a slime ball who can’t be trusted.
Do yourself a favor and quit gossiping cold turkey. An easy way to accomplish this is by making it a rule that you will not talk about someone that’s not in the room.
12. Be Independent & Get Comfortable Spending Time Alone
You can’t be happy with someone else until you’re happy with yourself.
This is one of the most valuable life tips when it comes to healthy relationships. Besides, there’s nothing more attractive than a confident, independent woman who is comfortable with herself.
This tip for life is one reason I’m a major advocate of solo travel. Not only do you get to know yourself and learn along the way, but you also prove to yourself what you’re capable of.
So do whatever it takes to love yourself and the thoughts in your head, because it’s a prerequisite for finding contentment in anything else in your life.
13. Learn to Examine Yourself
“Your ability to see yourself clearly is an opportunity to learn and rethink your current course of execution. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you determine the changes you need to make to become the person you want to be.” – Christine Hardy
While it is really painful to look closely and examine yourself for all your flaws, admit them to yourself and admit to others when you’re wrong, it’s a better place to be in than the people that never deal with their problems, selfish choices or pride.
Fortunately, life serves up plenty of opportunities to examine yourself everyday—with coworkers, friends and family.
Reading is one of my top methods for self improvement. I love reading books that challenge me to be a more loving, honest, lighthearted and courageous person. Books like How to Win Friends and Influence People, Daring Greatly and Man’s Search for Meaning have taught me skills that help me work with others, accept myself, maintain an attitude of faith and so much more.
14. Develop Strong Values & Stick to Them
“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
We’ve all heard it before and it’s because it’s true. If you let other people, the news, or your professors dictate what you know to be right and true, how do you do anything with certainty in life?
You must develop your own opinions and use your critical thinking to determine whether something is right or wrong. That’s right—because there is such a thing as right and wrong. We do not live in a world without moral absolutes no matter how many times popular culture repeats it. Once you know where you stand on important life issues, stick to it.
Not only does it help people trust you (because consistency inspires trust), but it also helps other people who believe the same things know that they aren’t alone and stand with you.
15. Work Movement Into Every Day
Our lifestyles are unhealthier than ever with desk jobs, video games, endless Instagram scrolling and processed food everywhere.
Getting enough movement throughout your day and using all your muscles is crucial for long-term health. You know what they say…use it or lose it.
But even if you’re hitting the gym every day, you may still be considered sedentary.
If you’re working a desk job where you sit for most of your day or are doing anything where you spend more than 6 hours of your day sitting, you are sedentary. Pretty scary, right?
I was freaked the F out when I realized that I am technically a “sedentary” person. I run, I do yoga and I lift weights regularly—how can I be sedentary? But it is what it is. My heart and body are not getting enough activity with my current occupation so I am willing to do whatever it takes to avoid the health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
I’ve found that the best way to improve the amount of exercise you’re getting is by increasing the frequency of movement for short periods of time. I’ve added in a few walks or jogs around my neighborhood throughout my day, and I try to start and end my day with yoga.
So whether it’s 15 minute morning yoga, going for more walks or hitting the gym, every bit of movement in your day counts.
Before you get stressed and feel like you have to follow every tip for life, think about what works for you.
When you read some of these life tips, you probably had an “aha moment”—go with those tips. And if the other ones didn’t resonate with you, forget them!
It’s simply about trying to be a little better each day so you can look back on your life and be proud of what you got and what you gave.
I know it’s not always pleasant to think about, but you are going to die one day. Keeping this revelation top of mind every day is one way to keep your life on track, but not from a place of fear.
It’s not about fearing death so much that you scare yourself into being better. It’s a reminder that time is precious and finite. Your loved ones are going to die one day, your pets and even versions of yourself will experience little deaths.
So why not try to live a simpler, more meaningful life why you still have the chance!
What are your helpful tips for life? Put those babies in the comment section below!