You can wake up every day with a smile on your facing knowing you’ll be spending each moment doing the things that are important to you.
Life is short. In the last year, I lost the man I consider one of my father figures — my grandfather. He died in December at 87 years old. When I think back on our time together, my memories are filled with love, tears, education, and strength. He lived a full life and taught me how to live through the example he set in his life.
It doesn’t take a death for you to realize that life will quickly pass. I’m sure you can remember a time when you were younger or a memory that was years ago but feels like it was just yesterday. Days and weeks seem to drag up, but often we look up and realize another year is almost gone.
How you spend each moment is important because those moments are limited. You can never get time back, which makes time a precious resource in each of our lives. There are six ways for you to love your life and use each moment on the things that are important to you.
1. Do Meaningful Work
Studies from Gallup have shown the average workweek is now 47 hours. You can spend that time doing something you love or hate. Either way, it will affect the other areas of your life. Despite the recovering economy we live in, you can find or create work that you love. Don’t spend day in and day out waking up to a job you hate. Use the Internet and technology to create your ideal “work” situation.
2. Cherish Relationships
I, for one, cherish my alone time, but I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for healthy relationships. It can be family, friends, or a romantic relationship, but that connection could be the difference between happiness or misery. Good relationships can lift you up or be the shoulder to cry on when things don’t go as planned.
3. Purge Negativity
Good relationships are necessary but negative ones will hold you back in life. As much as it hurts, purge yourself of relationships that don’t encourage and strengthen you. Besides relationships, purge negative habits, or activates that don’t bring you closer to your goals and dreams.
4. Live Fully Present
It’s easy to get distracted with the 101 things each of us has to do in life. You are busy with work, family, responsibilities, and the curveballs life throws at you. In all that chaos, it’s easy to forget to stop and enjoy the little moments in life. Living fully present means you embrace each moment. You put away the phone at dinner, you turn off the TV and enjoy a conversation with someone you love.
5. Stop Waiting for Permission
A major reason too many of us don’t chase our dreams or a big goal is because we’re waiting for permission. We’re waiting for someone to tell us it’s OK or for all the stars to align before we take the leap into uncertainty. Don’t wait for permission because no one will give it to you and you don’t need it. Claim the life you truly deserve today.
6. Don’t Apologize
This is YOUR life. Don’t apologize if you are taking action on the kind of life you want to live. Chase your dreams, travel, live, love, and do the things that matter. Don’t feel bad about wanting more because you deserve more. Be grateful for what you have but never give into complacency.
You can have all the things you want and the kind of life you want to live. It starts with the things you tell yourself. If you don’t believe it or believe it’s possible, you won’t take the necessary steps to make your dream a reality. Change impossible to possible in your mind and then do something about it!
What are you doing to create a happy life?
This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post.