An A to Z Guide on Living a Fuller Life
Many of us want to improve ourselves and add it to our daily goals to achieve it. While there are tons of books, blog posts (like this one!) & general suggestions on how you can go about this, what better way to lay out a few ideas by making it as easy as your A-B-C’s? While this blog post is set up in a fun format, it contains great tips on how you can achieve living a fuller life!
A is for Active. Incorporating exercise into our daily routines is not just to help control a healthy weight. Exercise helps boost your energy, helps keeps many health issues at bay and releases endorphins which makes you feel happier. Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym and working out. You can go for daily walks with your dog or a friend, join a class or join a recreational team like volleyball or dodgeball.
Set a goal & try to run a 5K – get prepared with this 5k Beginners Guide.
B is for Budgeting. As tempting as it is sometimes to live like we’re Beyonce, our bank accounts tend to remind us we aren’t. Setting up a budget you can easily stick to will help you live a full life while still having some coin for a rainy day. Take baby steps when planning your budget; setting yourself on a strict budget will shock you once you have to actually stick to it which means you’ll be more inclined to jump ship.
Create a household budget & keep organized with a Finance Binder.
C is for Create. We’re not all born with creativity coursing through our veins but you don’t have to be talented to create. You can be creative by baking or decorating your home. However, you can also be creative in the traditional sense of painting, scrapbooking, or knitting. Who knows, you might actually find you’re quite good at something you didn’t realize!
New at the whole DIY thing? Try something easy like these Personalized Cork Coasters!
D is for Detox. We’re all guilty of excess in our lives. Too much drinking, too much junk food, etc. Help recharge yourself by not only cutting down on your intake of these things but to make yourself healthier & improve your energy levels with a detox. There are many to choose from, ranging from short term to long term detoxes. You can also choose the intensity level of your detox (probably best to start out small if you’re a beginner).
Make a batch of this 5 minute Detox Water to get you started!
E is for Eating. I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’. If you’re constantly eating terribly, you’ll feel terribly. Food provides you with so much like nourishment, health benefits & energy so try making healthier choices when and where you can. The point is to make healthier choices but not completely flip your lifestyle on its head because you’ll never stick to it. In addition, make sure you’re eating 3 square meals a day, especially breakfast. I know it’s tempting to hit the snooze button & use those extra minutes to sleep but eating something in the morning improves your brain power.
Out of lunch ideas? Check out these 8 Adult & Kid-friendly options!
F is for Friendship. Surrounding yourself with good friends is more than just having someone to go to brunch with. A great friendship provides you with support, laughter & companionship. Having friends as an adult versus when you were in high school is MUCH different. It’s not about quantity but quality. If you only have 5 close friends that you know you can count on, that is literally all you need. Make sure you are nurturing your friendships by staying in touch and making the effort to spend time together, even if it’s once in a while.
Making friends as an adult is HARD – here are a few ideas to try!
G is for Gratitude. This is more than just saying thank you to someone who holds open a door for you or a friend who buys your coffee. Having an appreciative mindset will make you all the wonderful things you have in your life instead of focusing on what you don’t have. Nurture what you have so it can continue to thrive. Besides, a positive mindset opens up the door to let in more positivity into your life.
Say thank you with these 20 creative ways!
H is for Home. Your home is where you eat, sleep and spend time with your family. It’s a sacred place where you feel safe and comfortable. We may not live in multi-million dollar homes (at least not yet!), it doesn’t mean we can’t feel like a million bucks while we’re there. Move furniture around to create a new feel or decorate on the cheap via the Dollar Store, garage sales or Thrift stores. Creating spaces that reflect who you are and make visitors feel warm, cozy & invited will help you feel less stressed and more happy to get home after a long work day.Frame one of these 30 printables to update your decor on a dime.
I is for Independence. You may own your own home or car, maybe even run your own business, but that isn’t the independence I’m referring to. Do you ever do things alone like sit at a coffee shop and read or attend a class? If not, you’re missing out on learning more about who you are. Instead of enlisting one of your BFFs to join you at that hot yoga class you’ve been wanting to try, push yourself to go on your own. Not only will you open yourself to meeting new people, you may even find you enjoyed yourself & will probably feel empowered to go again alone. Baby steps: This weekend, go to a coffee shop & read a book alone.
J is for Journaling. Writing is more therapeutic than most think. It’s not about being an out of this world writer or being particularly creative, just writing down the events of your day or something you’re excited about is cleansing for your soul. Go to Indigo or a store that sells stationary of your choice (even the Dollar Store!) and pick up a cute notebook and maybe some coloured pens & markers and start challenging yourself to write in your new journal daily!Give Bullet Journaling a try. Haven’t heard of it? Read about it here.
K is for Knowledge. Just because we’re no longer in school, doesn’t mean we have to stop learning. It can be as simple as reading a self-help book to improve your networking skills, attending a cooking class to master the art of making specialty dishes or watching online videos such as TED.com to learn more on a topic you may know little about. Make it a personal mission to have a thirst for knowledge & taking the steps to learning more every day.Pick up a new hobby & learn how to knit here.
L is for Love. Just as it is important to foster your friendships, it’s important to do so for your relationships. If you’re in a relationship (dating or married), it’s important to spend quality time with your significant other and making them feel loved and appreciated.
Instead of a typical date, try one of these 2-player games at home.
M is for Maintenance. In order to be your best self, you need to put the work in to maintain yourself. While a lot of these tips have to do with your health and wellbeing, don’t neglect your outer self. One of my favourite ways to unwind while doing some deep cleaning is my weekly treatments. I deep condition my hair, use a microdermabrasion treatment & apply a deep cleaning mask for my face, update my mani/pedi & scrub my body. This not only makes me look like a million bucks, I also feel it. Doing this stuff at home saves you the money for more important things but treating yourself to a spa day here and there doesn’t hurt either.Try one of these 5 DIY Face Mask Recipes tonight!
N is for Naps. Unlike Trix, naps are not just for kids. Taking a power nap after a long, stressful day can recharge your batteries, improve your mood, performance & alertness. While a short 20-30 minute nap can do you wonders, don’t replace it for a regular good night’s sleep of 7-8 hours.Want to maximize your nap time? Check out these 13 tips.
O is for Outdoors. Nothing like the great outdoors to put things into perspective. Even us homebodies can enjoy a nice walk around our neighbourhood. If you’re trying to make an important decision or have a lot on your mind, take a walk to get some fresh air & perhaps some clarity on what’s on your mind. Even spending time at a cottage or camping can give you a break away from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and bring you back feeling ready to tackle anything.
1st time Camper? Here’s a list of top camping ideas to get you started!
P is for Play. Do you ever miss those carefree days of being a kid where you’re biggest problem was what game to play outside with your friends? Although we can never go back, we can incorporate that fun spirit into our daily lives by mixing up our routines with more play. While I don’t mean go hang out at a playground after work, do simple things like going out dancing with your friends once a month, make more time for your creative hobbies or play with your kids (if you have them). Being an adult may be tough but it doesn’t mean it always has to feel that way.Host a backyard party & try one (or all!) of these 25 awesome games!
Q is for Quiet. If you’re a city girl like me, you’re constantly surrounded by the sounds of sirens, car horns, cell phone rings & pings and the constant ebb and flows of the city. While most of us are able to tune it out, you can really appreciate the sound of nothing when you make an effort to surround yourself with quiet. Instead of having the TV on for background noise while you paint your nails, save the electricity & keep the TV off (maybe even play soft music). Having quiet time can help you become more in tune with yourself and your thoughts.
Check out this link for 2 hours of peaceful & relaxing music.
R is for Reading. More people than you think actually turn up their nose at the thought of reading as they associate it with school and being forced to read things that didn’t interest them. If you count yourself amongst these people, I am here to tell you that while reading is a great source of learning, it’s actually fun! Think about a topic you’re interested in and look for books around this topic. If you need some help, head over to Indigo or your local bookstore and ask an employee for help or recommendations (they are a great source to tap into!). You’ll not only be invested in reading but it more than likely will open the door up to other topics and books you can get yourself into. Reading can also be therapeutic. I often find myself completely lost in the world of the novel I’m reading, shutting out my own problems temporarily.
Interested in your own growth? Check out these 5 self-help books.
S is for Social. I’ve already talked about the importance of nurturing your friendships and relationships so this takes it a step further. Not only should you be maintaining your existing ‘ships, you should try making a new friend! It’s all about getting out there and having fun, not staying locked up in your house (as much as we all want to!). Try going to one of those places where you can play game boards and drink or go sing karaoke. Make yourself available to new opportunities and fun!
You can be social at home too: Host a kickass wine and cheese party.
T is for Travel. While we can’t all whisk away to a gorgeous bungalow over the water in Bali, we can still get travel to some fantastic places. If you’re lucky enough to get 2 weeks vacation from your job, use it for more than just taking a week off to sleep in and binge watch Netflix at home! Every January, think of a new place you would like to travel to that year and plan accordingly. Figure out if there is anything fun going on in your locale and plan your vacation around that timeframe. Once you have determined your location & time, book the time off in advance (if you can). Make sure you leave yourself enough time to save for the trip and REALLY try to stick to your regular contribution so you can get away when the time comes. Travel is a great way to learn about other cultures, peoples and even yourself!
Need help saving for your big trip? Here are 50 Easy Ways to Save!
U is for Unplug. We are surrounded by technology no matter where we turn. We’re constantly on our smartphones, laptops, iPads, etc. All that screen time is no good for you though as it causes eye strain (fatigue) and can trigger headaches (or even worse, migraines!). Take steps to give yourself (& your eyes) a break from all those screens by giving yourself a digital timeout. Every night before you go to bed(about an hour or so before), turn off your TV and put your phone on mute. Instead of mindlessly watching TV or stalking your instagram feed, try spending that time reading, getting yourself prepared for the next day or spending quality time with your significant other. It will be hard at first so start small (30 minutes pre-bedtime) and gradually work your way up to an hour (or whatever time you would ideally like to aim for).Here are 11 tips to try out for your digital detox.
V is for Vision Board. This may sound like a very hipster thing to do but vision boards DO work. Believe it or not, visualization is one of the most powerful mind exercises you can do. When you physically can see what you want for yourself, you not only start working towards those goals but are putting that energy out to open yourself up to receiving it (law of attraction). Take some time out this weekend to think about some of the things you want to accomplish and find images associated with those goals and mount them on a board. Be sure to hang it up in a place where you will see it all the time to keep you focused and on task.
Not sure where to start? Check this post out!
W is for Water. I’ll keep this one short & sweet since you’ve been hearing this one forever – DRINK MORE WATER. While it is recommended to drink a daily intake of 8 glasses of water daily, I (personally) know it can be a struggle that’s why just upping your water intake gradually will help you to get to those 8 cups a day. Set your own pace otherwise, you won’t stay committed.Here‘s a way to make sure you get those 8 glasses a day!
X is for eXplore. I know, I know. I cheated. There aren’t exactly many words that begin with an ‘x’ that I can turn to! Now that we have that out of the way, exploring is a great tactic for seeking knowledge. Are you new to a city or neighbourhood? Why not spend a day walking around, learning all about your new place. If you’ve been in your city forever, why not play tourist for a day and explore the city as if you were new. You never know, you may actually learn a thing or two you never knew!
Download one of these 5 apps to help get you exploring.
Y is for Yes. I’m sure you’ve read articles or blog posts telling you to be more selfish and learn how to say no to others. This is exactly what I’m trying to tell you but in a positive way. What I mean by this is instead of looking at it as saying no to others, think of it as saying yes to yourself. We are our own biggest critic and tend to not let ourselves have a little fun and indulge with the worry of how we’ll look and/or feel. Let your hair down a little and LIVE. This is our only life, after all. So say yes to dessert, yes to having a glass of wine and yes to buying those cute shoes you don’t need but really want. Life is too short to make yourself miserable!
Here are 10 things to say yes to in order to live a more fulfilling life.
Z is for Zzzz’s. As I’ve already mentioned, it is important to get a regular night’s sleep of about 7-8 hours. While you will feel more rested, alert and energized after a good night’s sleep, it also has positive effects on your physically, such as healing & repairing your heart and blood vessels. If that’s not enough to get you to call it a night at a reasonable time, ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. So instead of watching another re-run of Seinfeld, turn off the boob tube and hit the hay at a decent hour.
Skip counting sheep & try one of these 7 tips to getting better sleep.
While these are some great ways to bettering yourself and your life, not all of these may work for you or may be things you’re already actively doing in your daily life. This list provides you with 24 ideas but I’m not suggesting you take on implementing ALL 24 at once. Take it one step at a time.