We are all on this planet to thrive, to flourish, to reach our highest potential and the great news is that you don’t need to spend any money to do so. Unfortunately, clever marketing tactics are thrown at us left, right and center luring us in, to each new sale of a product claiming to either fulfill us, make us look younger, make our lives easier or score us that dream partner.
While I too like having a few nice, material things in my surroundings, I’m a firm believer that you need to get your foundation right before any number of pretty things will rock your world.
This is my list of 5 activities you can pursue to literally change your life. Combined, they will broaden your horizons, make you stronger and give you a sense of perspective.
1. Volunteer. Whether you’re a student, working part-time, or in full-time employment, if you have the means to get in the mix and join a volunteering project or group, get involved. I have made some of the most invaluable friendships and connections of my life through volunteering. This activity is a collective of like-minded individuals giving up their time without expecting anything in return. They are there because they want to be, whether it’s fighting for a cause or a gentle act of kindness. It’s a beautiful energy to be around a group of people happy to be where they are, not counting down the minutes until home-time.
2. Engage in regular exercise. There is a common misconception that you need to spend a hefty sum every month on a top-of-the-range gym and personal trainer to look your best. Wake up and smell the Youtube already if you still think that’s the case! There are a plethora of free tools online, right at your disposal so you can maintain a trim physique without spending a single cent. You just need to stay active, so this can be anything from running around your neighborhood to cycling to and from work, to at-home yoga workouts.
3. Learn another language. Finding ways to open more doors for yourself and welcome new opportunities is the kindest thing you can do to further your progression in this life. In the world we live in, being bilingual creates opportunities for travel and growth. If you’re able to communicate with others in faraway lands, or even serve as a translator in your own country, you are expanding the circle you operate within.
Now, while classes may benefit you, there are plenty of free tools you can use to learn another language. I recommend starting with Duolingo and then looking for a local language exchange. This is usually a pair or small group of people wanting to speak each others’ language. You get together somewhere like a café and spend half the time speaking your your language and the other half in theirs. It’s a great way to really learn the skills as well as make a potential new friend in the process!
4. Read whatever it is that carries your mind to the realm of dreams. Whether it’s fiction, instructional, speculative, non-fiction, or anything in between, read about what inspires you or entertains you or makes you want to create. And if you don’t want to spend a dime, head to your local library or borrow a friend’s latest find. Simply incorporating more reading material into your life will expand your vocabulary, ignite ideas, and spark imagination.
5. To leave you on a soothing note, I thought I’d touch on meditation. This works in much the same way as Tip 2. You don’t need to pay to go to a fancy retreat or expensive class; simply practice in the comfort of your own home or somewhere quiet that you can easily access, and spend time focusing on your breathing and relaxing your mind. It is called a ‘practice’ because you won’t be very good at it when you begin. It’s surprisingly difficult to simply sit with yourself and be present, without getting carried away with all your worries. But keep it up by engaging in this activity regularly and you’ll quickly notice an improvement in your anxiety levels, more stable mood throughout the day, and a renewed sense of being present. This means you’ll have your eyes and arms open to the opportunities as they float on by. No more letting them get away!
Try these tips and notice the opportunities come flying in. Nurturing yourself to become the strongest, happiest, smartest and healthiest you that you can be is the best thing you can do to live a purposeful and inspired life. Now what are you waiting for?!
Photo: Kat Kennedy