By: Matthew Jones
Adventure Expert at Universal Dialect
Fulfillment comes when we no longer want or need anything we don’t currently have.
However, we tend to rely too much on large achievements for our fulfillment. We set our sights on starting businesses, publishing books, running marathons, getting rich, etc.. But achieving these things is often out of our control.
So, instead, we need to focus more on the little things. We need to build our lives so that each and every moment counts for something, and so that each and every day feels like a new adventure.
Netflix, happy hour, and naps all have their place, but these activities can too easily become routine and mundane. To live a more fulfilling life, we need to find ways to break the routine and make life exciting.
Below are five daily routines that will help you do just that. Each one requires no more than an hour or two each day, and if you commit to one or more of them, you will surely start to feel better about your life.
Walk, Run, Skip, Dance...Just Move!
Our modern, highly-digital world has made us sedentary. But as humans, we’re meant to be active, which is why excessive idleness leaves us feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
As a result, it’s important to add physical activity to your daily routine. Yet this doesn’t mean you need to start training for a marathon or a weightlifting competition. Instead, it means finding ways to engage in physical activity you enjoy.
Some examples include walking around the neighborhood, running up the stairs to your office, throwing a dance party in your room, and playing pickup basketball in the park. But it doesn’t really matter, so long as you’re moving and having fun.
When you reach the end of the day and feel tired, but you also feel accomplished and proud. As a result, the goal should be to try and replicate this feeling every day, which you can do by adding physical activity to your daily routine.
Cook More of Your Own Food
Cooking your own food not only makes it easier for you to eat healthy, nutritious food, which is always a good thing, but it also allows you to slow down and make more of a connection with the food you eat.
Meals are opportunities to nourish yourself, not just fill your stomach. This is why shoving a sandwich down our throats while walking from meeting to meeting feels so bad, and a home-cooked meal feels so good.Preparing food is fulfilling because it requires us to allocate time for ourselves, and it’s a chance for us to experience a direct benefit from our time and effort. Sitting down to a hot meal you’ve spent time preparing serves as a reminder of just how important food is, and knowing you took the time to honor this significance can make mealtime much more rewarding and enjoyable.
It’s also an adventure. Trying new recipes, using unique spices, and tasting new foods instantly transport you to another part of the world, allowing you to travel using your tastebuds and experience new things without leaving your house.
If you don’t have time to cook every day, then carve out space in your schedule to cook for more than one meal. Taking homemade leftovers with you to work or wherever else will help you take the joy of a fresh, home-cooked meal wherever you go.
How often has your day been ruined because of something you cannot control, such as the news, traffic, or rude people? Too many to count, most likely.
But how often do you look back on these moments and wonder why you allowed something outside your control to have such an effect on you? Also probably too many to count.
Consistently giving in to these distractions will cause us to waste our time, which is almost always going to leave usunfulfilled.
By forcing us to focus on the present moment and observe ourselves, meditation can provide us with valuable insight about how to live better.
For example, when you first meditate, you’ll be shocked to see how easily random thoughts and feelings take complete control of your mind. This phenomenon is exaggerated while you’re trying to focus, but it’s happening all the time. We’re forever being torn in many different directions, and this hinders our ability to spend our time the way we want to.
Start with short, guided meditations. You can find free sessions on YouTube, or you can go to a meditation center in your area to practice in-person. But in the beginning, all you need is ten or fifteen minutes to go on an adventure within yourself to help you learn how to better handle your emotions and live a better life.Embrace Your Creativity
Most people say they aren’t creative or artistic, but this simply isn’t true. Everyone is creative in some way, and we all enjoy producing something from nothing. Even if it’s “bad,” the joy of doing it is usually enough.
However, we shy away from creative activity because we feel if it’s not “good” it’s not worth producing. We must fight this idea. The purpose of art is to feel joy and happiness. The end result does not matter.
So, if you can, try to add just 30-60 minutes of creative time to your day, and set no objective for it other than to create. Don’t worry about finishing something or showing what you do to others. This time is for you and no one else.
Buy yourself a paint set, a used guitar, a coloring book, or a journal, and spend some time each day using these tools to be creative. Over time, you’ll find it feels rather good to create something every day.
Go On an Adventure
No matter what we do, it’s in our nature to eventually get bored and frustrated with routine. This is why it’s so important to make sure you’re embracing adventure—new things—as a regular part of life.
Set some time for a daily adventure, and remember, you don’t need to jet set to a foreign land to have an adventure. An adventure can consist of wandering to a new part of the city to try some different food, or walking to a park you’ve never been to before. It can even be trying a new exercise class at your gym. As long as its new, and as long as you approach it as such, it will feel like an adventure.
This helps break up the monotony of life, and it makes us feel we’re making better use of our time, which almost automatically leads to more fulfillment and happiness.
If you can’t do a daily adventure, then consider a weekly adventure instead. Pick a time each week to do something new. Over time, you’ll begin to see just how important this is to your happiness, and you’ll start incorporating adventure into your daily routine.
Start Living Life to the Fullest
Wanting more fulfillment from life does not mean your current life is not good. In fact, it’s completely normal to want more than we have. But to make meaningful change in the way we live, we need to make it a daily goal.
The routines we outlined above will make a difference in your life, and none of them require more than an hour each day. Give one a try and then let us know how your life has changed.