Are you ready to learn how to live your best life? It may sound impossible but I promise it isn’t, and I want to show you how! Follow along as I share five habits that were hindering me from living an abundant life. Once I let go of them I felt a lot freer…and you will too.
How Pruning Trees Reminds Me That Living My Best Life Is Possible
I’m the tree pruner in our family. (I know, it sounds totally random when you’ve clicked on an article to learn how to live your best life and I start talking about pruning trees, but I promise there’s a correlation. Please just hang with me and you’ll see how it all connects.)
When we were first married I decided to prune a few trees in our yard. They were in desperate need of help.
I was so proud of how good they looked when I’d finished my job but my high spirits were quickly deflated when my husband came home from work and said, “You’re going to kill the trees.”
I’m proud to let you know that the trees didn’t die…in fact they’ve grown and flourished! Now, years later, Trent trusts my skills and realizes that pruning the trees actually helps them.
Your life needs to be pruned of unhealthy habits.
Your life is much like the trees in my yard that desperately needed to be pruned. Over the years you’ve accumulated unhealthy habits that you need to get rid of.
Trent thought that our trees would die if I cut off the overgrown branches. Perhaps you feel the same way with letting go of habits that you are clinging tightly to. Let me remind you that my trees didn’t die, they did the exact opposite and flourished. I want the same for you and your life…to grow and flourish!
Today I want to share 5 habits that I pruned from my life that have help me live my best life. (This doesn’t mean my life is perfect, but it does mean it’s healthier.)
Are these 5 things hindering you from living your best life?
1. Social Media
How many times have you opened social media only to see that Debbie Downer has posted again. (Did someone just come to mind?)
Perhaps Debbie Downer isn’t your problem but when you see the posts from celebrities, health and fitness gurus or even successful business people you compare yourself to them. You see what they have or are doing and think your life isn’t good enough.
Negative people will drag you down; and constantly comparing yourself to others is not healthy for your emotional state of mind. (Trust me, I’ve been there!)
My friend, if this is happening, it’s time to start unfriending or unfollowing.
Action Step: Who is it that’s dragging you down or you’re constantly comparing yourself to on social media? Unfollow them for 30 days. If you decide you miss their content after 30 days you can always follow them again.
2. TV Shows and Music
Years ago there was a show that I loved to watch. It had a lot of sexual innuendos, bad language and didn’t fall in line with my values. Sure, it was entertaining and funny but I knew deep down in my heart that it wasn’t good for me, and I definitely didn’t feel inspired after watching it.
The Holy Spirit kept prompting me to delete the show from my DVR. After His continuous nudging I finally obeyed and deleted it.
I’m not going to lie, it was hard to obey.
But I kid you not, I didn’t miss it. Eventually this show that I didn’t want to miss an episode of became a thing of the past and I haven’t watched it since.
Philippians 4:8 tells us “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Are the things you’re filling your mind with through music and tv excellent and praiseworthy? If your answer is no, then it might be time to start filling your mind with different music and shows.
Action Step: What show do you need to stop watching or delete from your DVR? Is it time to find a new radio station or playlist to help you feel inspired and encouraged. (One of my favorite radio stations is K-Love.)
3. A Busy Calendar
How many times have you looked at your calendar and immediately become overwhelmed because you have so much to do and not enough free time?
Having a calendar that keeps you absolutely crazy busy with no down time is not healthy, not to mention the fact that we weren’t intended to live that way.
You may be in a season of your life where you can’t volunteer as much as you’d like because you’re caring for your children. Is it time to step down from that volunteer position, if just for a season?
I understand how hard it is to step down or say no, but having that downtime for yourself and your family is much healthier for you than running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I promise!
Maybe there are some things that you fill your calendar that aren’t life giving to you and you’re just doing them because you feel like you need to. I love what Jon Acuff said, “When you say yes out of shame or guilt you’re not serving that person, project or ministry.“
Action Step: Grab your calendar and decide what you can let go of, reminding yourself that it might just be for this season of life. Next, make the necessary phone calls or send emails letting them know that you’re stepping away from these responsibilities.
4. Unhealthy Eating Habits
Years ago I was the person that would say, “I’m only going to live once, I might as well eat what I want.”
Thankfully I don’t say that anymore…having a child made me realize that I need to take care of myself so I can be the best mom for him.
Please hear me clearly, when I talk about having healthier eating habits. I’m not asking you to eat kale chips or never have a treat. What I am asking you to do is make smarter decisions for you and your family.
Maybe you’re asking yourself how eating better helps you live your best life! As someone that’s eaten all the junk food, I’ve learned that when you eat better you feel better. And that, my friend, makes a huge difference in your life.
Make One Simple Change At A Time
The key to eating healthier is to make one simple change at a time. Make a change, stick with it for 4-6 weeks and add another simple change. When you do this you’re more likely to stay on track!
If you’re not sure where to start I recommend cutting out high fructose corn syrup from your diet. It’s amazing how many things it’s in and it would be huge for your health to remove it from your diet.
Action Step: Grab a few items out of your cabinets/fridge and take a look at the ingredients. Are these items that you really want to filling your body with? If the answer is no, what simple change can you make towards a better option?
Think about the restaurants you frequent. Whether it’s a healthier menu option or a different restaurant altogether there are always healthier options to choose from. Make a list of new restaurants you’d like to try…make it fun!
5. Not Taking Time To Refill Your Tank
Do you constantly feel run down or empty inside?
If you said yes to this question know that you’re not alone!
If your emotional tank is empty there’s no way you can be the best person that God created you to be. He doesn’t expect us to live our lives running on empty. In fact, John 10:10 tells us that “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
He wants you to live your best life!
Learning how to live your best life means learning how to refill your tank when it’s empty so that you can be the best co-worker, friend, wife, mom…the best YOU that God has created you to be.
Action Step: What’s something (big or small) that you can do for yourself that brings you joy? Not sure where to start or need some ideas? Check out #5 on this article with 8 self-care tips for when you’re feeling empty.
What Unhealthy Habits Do You Need To “Throw Off”?
Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Much like the runner of a race doesn’t want to carry around anything heavy, living your best life means removing unhealthy habits that are weighing you down.
When you are bogged down you can’t run the most efficient race of life as possible. What is hindering you in your day to day life that you need to “throw off” and let go of?
Adding This Healthy Habit Will Help You Live Your Best Life!
Up to this point we’ve talked about habits that you might need to consider removing from your life. Now it’s time for me to share one habit that I strongly encourage you to add to your daily routine.
What is it? Diving into the Bible and spending time with the Lord. I promise this small habit will change the course of your day!
Now, I’m not asking you to read 12 chapters of the Bible every day or spend hours doing a devotional. What I am asking you to do is to start somewhere.
James 4:8 tell us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us. When you take a few minutes to show up and dig into the Word, He’s going to show up to!