Along the way of working on the prompts, after a few installments, I decided to post the remainder of the prompts at one time. This post has a mismosh of life prompts and actions. It's important. Because I'm all about love and living your best life, these prompts are dedicated to both and some are dedicated to a little bit of imagination.
What do I mean by Best Life? I mean reaching a place where you enjoy your life. You're not reaching back in the past for lost moments. You're not always anticipating the future. You're content where you are while appreciating what's happened and are looking forward to the future. Your best life can look different at different moments. What I needed or wanted in my twenties changed in my thirties. On the brink of my forties there's another shift beginning and I suspect it may change again. There's no right way, there's no one answer and you have the ability to change your mind, change your course at any moment. Always keep that in mind. If you want to change your life and you're reading this, you have the power to do so.
1. What does it mean for you to live your best life? List the components of what you believe looks like the life you want to live. Now, write down what you believe is holding you back. Do you think you need more money? A partner? More education? A better wardrobe? Most times, our best lives hinge on the smaller things and making the most (and best) from what we have.
2. What do you think of your life right now? Is it amazing? Are you satisfied? This isn't a trick question but a gauge. It's a barometer to better understand where you are in this moment. It took me some time to be able to manage through my issues. My twenties and most of my thirties were spent trying to hold on and figure life out. There were many dark nights of soul. There were many moments of insecurity. However, I'm a firm believer in attitude, prayer, faith and a lot of hard work. Somehow, I'm here today to write and talk about it.
3. As the days pass, we have to understand there's something about getting to that moment where things begin to fall into place. Let's talk about your long and short term goals. What do they look like? By short term we're talking five (5) years and by long term we're talking ten (10). This isn't a new concept. People talk about it all the time. But here, I need you to describe what your life will look like in five and ten years.
4. What's your current living space look like? Is it liveable? Goal : unfuck your space. Clean it. When you're in a good place and the space is clean, you can think. I've mentioned this before, but it's so important to have a place where you like to be. Buy a new set of sheets from Marshalls, Target or wherever. Get yourself a good meal. Sometimes we have to break things back down to the simple basics.
5. Who are the people who have been there for you and who've been a blessing to you? I'd like you to send them a thank you card and a small gift. The gift can be under $20 but send them something thoughtful - a journal, a candle. a bottle of wine / whisky / flask, a gift card to Starbucks or a small store. But something small. Please note: You're not allowed to send me anything. You have to pick someone that's not me. I have to say that because some of y'all will mail stuff - you know who you are....
6. I was talking with a good friend of mine one day and he told me that every day, he does one thing he wants to do. Not something he has to do, but wants to do. Today, and for seven days after this I'd like you to do one thing you want to do each day. It could be sitting at a bookstore and reading, taking a long walk or nap (both?), sitting down and organizing something or even doing something creative. It can be whatever you want it to be, as long as it's something you've been wanting to do.
7. I don't believe we have to travel far or great to have the best experiences or to learn. Have you visited the free museums in your area? The parks? Other spaces? A local farmer's market? A specialty grocer? There's something about heading to local attractions within your city or town. Make a list places that are within an hour of your home (longer if you're rural) and plan out a few day trips.
8. Tell two (2) people you love them. Give them a word of encouragement and thank them for being in your life.
9. If you know of someone in need today, please offer a helping hand. Even if it's the donation of your time. It doesn't have to be money. Offer to babysit, run errands, cook a meal, clean up or just head over there to sit and talk. People in need don't always ask for help. I'm sure if you look around and you typically don't have to look far, you'll find a close friend in need of a bit of love and assistance.
10. Write five (5) writing prompts for yourself. My gmail notes, Evernote, notebooks and other elusive places are filled with ideas. If you're anything like me, there's something everywhere. Inspiration everywhere. use what you have.
11. Time waits for no man. We're often waiting for someone to encourage us, do things with us, tell us that we're enough. So here it is, I encourage you, you have the power to do it and you're enough. List 10-20 things you're putting off because you've been waiting for someone else's approval or arrival. Go get your shit done.
12. When we talk about best life and such, sometimes it means there are things we need to let go. What is it you need to let go?
13. Write about the best day you've had. You can choose any day. What made it good? Was it the place? The people? What were you doing? I've read that when you have those amazing moments, you attempt to recreate them as often as possible. This is why it's important to think about them.
14. Challenge: sit at dinner with your significant other or best friend or yourself and don't use your phone. Don't even look at or touch your phone.
15. Say the word no. Maybe you have something coming up that you really aren't into, just don't want to do. We have to learn how to politely decline offers, situations and things. Just practice it today. But say it.
16. Part of feeling and being empowered can begin with something small. What makes you feel powerful? What makes you feel beautiful? Is it eating better? Working out? Getting a massage? A mani pedi? Getting your hair done? Do something for yourself that's small but is the basis of making you feel better. I know for me, I love getting a mani pedi. I also feel amazing after I've worked out. It makes having the pizza feel that much better because I've worked to be able to have it.
17. Say yes. What have you been turning down that you've always wanted to do? What have you been talking yourself out of? Or have you been afraid to try new things? Say yes. Learning to say yes - happily - is just as important as learning to say no.
18. Go to the doctor. So many of us avoid the doctor because we don't want them to tell us that we have to lose weight, we should stop eating the way we're eating, we need to work on making some changes. Maybe you've had bad experiences with the doctor, but I'm a believer in making sure your health is in order. You can't have the best life when you avoid and neglect your health. It means getting tested, listening, being honest and being ready to make changes. If you're not insured, sometimes there are places that offer low to no cost physicals. In DC, Bread for the City does excellent work and care. It's so important to take good care of ourselves. The body you have is the only one you'll get in this lifetime. It has to take you where you need to go. Do right by it.
19. This is more a piece of advice than it is anything else. Determine to be happy. I actually am prone to episodes of melancholy. I had to find things that would and could snatch me out of that space. For me? It's sharing here, writing and taking photos. I didn't realize when I bought the camera what it would do for me. It's been a friend and a companion and a way to see the world. It's kept me moving. It's kept me inspired. For some they don't quite understand it, but there has to be a determination to be happy. This is barring any sort of true clinical depression or anything (that's a very different scenario and during those times we have to seek professional help). Determine that you will have a good life. Making that decision alone can change everything.
20. This is also a piece of advice. It's all up to you. There's no one else on the hook for your life. You are the captain of this ship. You can complain, fuss, choose to not make choices (which is a choice) but at the end of it all, it will have been up to you. There are many people who have risen from the ashes to go on to do great things with their lives, with what seemed like nothing. It's the movement and the determination that will carry you. Be tenacious about your life.
So that ends the series of prompts. I do hope they've at least made you think, take a few moments to consider things in your life. It's important for us to make the best of it, make the most of it and still enjoy the time we have on this earth while leaving a legacy. I'm thankful to have reached this point in my life. I feel more confident, more sure about the things I want to do and where I am. I wish you all the possible good, joy and love you can stand.
If you're just discovering the prompts, here are the previous installments: