10 Steps to Create a Life You Love
Here are my favorite 10 ways to create a life you love by changing your mindset and building a life based on your own values. Personal growth and self-awareness can help you create a happier life!
June 2023: In the years since I first wrote this post, my life circumstances have changed so much. I have built positive relationships, grown in self-confidence, and now enjoy a life of purpose. In these years, I have:
- Created a successful blogging and life coaching business
- Bought my first on-my-own car with all the features I wanted
- Traveled and fell in love a few times
- Bought my first ever on-my-own home and I wake up full of gratitude every day
- Reached about a million people every year through my work
- Started a podcast called Midlife Spotlight and have now recorded 20 episodes
Now at 61, I am so excited to see what I can create this decade!
You don’t need a plan, or be a certain age, or lose 20 pounds to design a life you love. Building a wonderful life is something anyone can do!
Why You Want to Create a Life You Love
After working with over thousands of people over the years, I believe that we are hard-wired as humans to grow and with a growth mindset we can reach specific goals and you can take hold of the steering wheel of your life.
This is why, even though in many ways you have a great life, there may still be a part of you longing for more.
Our versions of a life we love are as unique as we are. Even as we simultaneously appreciate all the we have or have done, we also want more.
I want to note here that having a life you love does not mean that your life is always secure, free of uncertainties, comfortable, or perfect. It also doesn’t mean you have to have a lot of material things.
Seeking comfortable is actually going to keep you from having a life you love. Lives we love are not some idealized version of our lives.
Often we keep putting off what we actually want or dream of because we are trying to stay comfortable, not make waves, or do something other people might not approve of.
Or we think we can’t have a life we love until certain conditions are met: a new job, a new love, losing weight, moving, etc.
Sure, some of us get stuck or feel like we’re in a rut. But it’s not because we don’t want to grow or change; it’s usually because we aren’t sure how we can or even if we can.
And sometimes we even judge ourselves for wanting more or for feeling like something is missing. I’ve got you covered. Wanting a life you love does not mean you are not grateful for what you have.
In fact, a part of creating a life you love is being grateful for what you already have!
To make the most of your life, you do have to become more intentional in how you live your life daily. Autopilot doesn’t help you create a life you love!
Along the way, I believe you’ll also experience some miracles as you embark on your new path of creating a life you love.
What a Life I Love Doesn’t Mean
I created a life I love. There isn’t a sense that something is missing or that I need more.
There are things that I want. I have goals that I’m working towards.Being a grandmother is also part of a life I love and while I can’t take credit for that I am thankful everyday!
This doesn’t mean that I feel happy 24/7. In fact, I don’t even pursue happiness anymore.
I’m present and connected enough that I can enjoy happiness, yet be comfortable with other feelings.
I purposely work at creating feelings like commitment, determination, calm, playful, and loving.
In addition, I am learning to do more things where I feel uncomfortable. One secret to a life you love, is to do things even when you feel uncomfortable.
How Long Does it Take to Have a Life You Love?
On most days it may not feel like not much is happening. Yet, over time, with consistent intention and effort, change does happen and you will begin to love the life you have.
And that feels like a BETTER LIFE! You change inside first and then the outside changes to match.
Having a Think Big Life is amazing. To be truthful though, it often looks like a very ordinary life.
That’s because much of life is made up of very ordinary moments. However, those moments all hold the seeds of your future life.
That’s why it’s so important to spend time in the ordinary moments building a life that you love.
What it Takes to Create a Life You Love
If you too are trying to create something new in your life; there are three things to remember.
Creating a life you love is good for you
I believe that having a life you love is actually good for you. It’s good for you physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Even deciding to create a life you love can create hope and optimism. The more we can see our lives in a positive light, the more we can benefit.
Research is really clear on this. Positive emotions are good for all aspects of our life.
We don’t have to feel good in every moment and for sure you won’t. But shifting your focus from what is wrong to what is right can have a huge impact on how you view your life!
Living a life you love starts in your own mind.
Change begins with you and your thoughts. Today, you might not know how to do it or how long it will take. Yet, you can begin with a belief that it is possible.
I love to write out things by using possibility language. If there’s something I want that I don’t quite have, I write it like this:
“It IS possible for me to…..”
Be open to possibility!
Creating a life you love can be accomplished in small steps.
TV and movies show huge changes happening overnight. Yet, that’s usually not the case. Committing a tiny amount of time, each day to something you desire can help you create a life you love.
10 Steps to Create a Life You Love
Take responsibility for your own actions
When my children were young, we lived next door to another family. One day we heard the dad yelling at one of the boys, “Johnny, take responsibility for your own crap!” (It sounds way worse in writing than it did in person. He was a very loud but extremely good-hearted man.)
We loved that phrase. It kind of became a motto for our family.
Take responsibility for your own actions and results. Yes, there are jerks out there and stuff happens.
However, if you can try to own and understand your own part in every single thing that happens to you; you actually gain power.
Sometimes you might need to make amends in your close relationships. Often this means understanding how your actions create your own results. You won’t depend on others to make you feel good.
Usually, in any experience of mine that doesn’t go well, I can pinpoint some of my own actions that contributed to my own results. Of course, it’s easier to see these in hindsight.
By being aware of my own part; I can now better avoid some situations in the future.
I like to think though that by taking responsibility for my own actions—I’ll be better prepared the next time to make better decisions. Better decisions in the now create better results in the future!
Design a life you love with forgiveness
Along with accepting my own part in any situation or relationship, forgiving is probably the most essential thing I do to have a successful life.
Honestly, forgiving is so good for the quality of your life.
In fact, forgiving is such a cornerstone to the way I live, I’ve written three posts about it and produced one guided meditation.
Forgiving is not to benefit the other person or say what they did is okay. It is for your benefit. It is so you can release that energy and not have those situations again.
When you hold onto crap that people did to you, you keep it active in your own energy. Have you ever wondered why the same things keeps happening to you over and over?
It’s because you haven’t resolved it yet. Taking responsibility for your part and forgiving the other parties goes a long way in clearing that stuff out.
Create a life you love with gratitude practices
I am so thankful that I had parents that always actively looked for ways to be thankful. They were openly appreciative of anything beautiful, of different kinds of people, of their family, of the blessings they received.
They did not live a charmed life. They suffered through many set-backs and my dad came close to being killed or disabled for life.
In his thirties, with three children and one on the way, he was in a work accident that put him in the hospital for months and left him disfigured.
This accident was caused by another person who was not hurt and never took responsibility.
And it was during a time, when you didn’t sue and you received no benefit. My parents felt lucky that he had a job to go back to after 11 months of recovery.
Talk about things that you could be negative about.
My dad’s accident was a huge part of my life, yet I never heard my parents express hatred or bitterness.
They never ever sugar-coated it for anything but a horrible painful event. But they both made the decision to not let this terrible event disable them in any other way.
They stayed positive about their lives and continually looked for things to appreciate and be thankful for.
My parents taught me to see beauty, love, and value in ordinary things: a beautiful garden, the love of a special pet, in the people in our lives.
My mom, especially can find something to appreciate in the most mundane of things: a cup of coffee, a bite of something delicious, or a call from a child.
Here are some ways to build a gratitude practice today. While a gratitude journal is nice, alone it can seem kind of dry.
Love your life by releasing toxic relationships
Even with an attitude of love, forgiveness, and appreciation, sometimes you’ve got to release people from your life.
I struggled with this. I had some relationships that were not serving me but I was loathe to totally release them.
I quietly let go of contacting certain people. Some were even family. Sometimes our paths cross and I can be genuinely polite but these people do not get to take up my time or my energy anymore.
Seriously, it was one of the BEST decisions I have ever made. I didn’t even realize at the time that it would be life-changing. I mark that point as the beginning of THINGS GETTING BETTER.
These days, I focus on nurturing my relationships and doing everything that I can to make them work. This doesn’t mean being a doormat or not having boundaries.
It means I have so much love inside of me and I want to share it with people. Through my own coaching, I’ve learned that the only person I can change is ME.
This is true power!
Follow your own compass
This is your life to live. Sometimes we buy into how we need to live because so many other people are doing it. But your heart’s desire may be very different than other people’s.
We buy houses, drive cars, choose jobs, and have certain relationships based on what is culturally accepted and these things can morph into a routine-filled blur.
And while none of these things are inherently good or bad, many of us are on auto-pilot about what we should do and when.
It takes true courage to live, even a little bit outside of the box.
However, it is outside the box where the magic happens.
It is only by following our own compass in our own time, that we create that special feeling of being comfortable in our own skin which is essential to creating a life you love.
Buy less stuff!
In my previous life, I was the buyer of stuff. I had a big house full of stuff. Now, I am not anti-buying all stuff but I am definitely more careful about it.
I’m also not the judge of how much stuff anyone needs. It’s your business. Some people need more at a particular time in their life and others need less.
Just because I have become a less-stuff kind of person doesn’t mean you need to do that too. However, I can tell you that living with less and buying less is freeing in a way I’ve never known before.
Remember, following your own compass? It’s much easier to do with less stuff.
Here’s my story of my life-changing, no-spend month.
I live with less and because of that, I can live in a nicer place in a part of town that makes me happy. I don’t feel like I am living just to buy more stuff or to have nicer stuff. I am simply living.
Nurture your relationships
Some people are better at this than others. I fall into the not-so-great at this group. I tend to be very self-involved and introspective.
I like people and I’m fairly social but I forget birthdays and important dates. I get paralyzed over what to do when someone is going through bad times.
Yet, in the past few years, I’ve made the conscious decision to do better. I call people. I make plans to get together. I really really try to remember important dates.
Relationships usually don’t end because of one thing. They often end because of long periods of neglect. My relationships are truly one of the reasons I live a life I love.
I nurture relationships with family, with friends, with online acquaintances, and with co-workers. All relationships don’t have to be of the best friend quality but all can be better and enriching.
As a blogger, I express myself almost daily. I love this experience of finding ways to express deeper parts of myself.
I have always been drawn to art and writing. Writing publicly has taught me to express myself in personal relationships better.
It’s tough sometimes to say what we mean or to say what we want. I believe in civility and being polite. I also believe it’s important to express the truth as best we can.
Speaking your truth leads to conversations and opportunities you couldn’t have otherwise.
Take care of your body
Your body is your vehicle that you’ll need to get you to a life you love. It’s fairly resilient for a while. But without proper care it begins to break down and get sick and we are seeing that happen at earlier ages.
When I was growing up, almost every kid was healthy, thin, active, and energetic. I don’t remember any kids that were obese. We didn’t have special diets and most of us weren’t involved in organized sports.
It’s just how it was.
I’m not going to get all preachy. Eat real foods. Eat meat, eggs, vegetables, and healthy fats. Avoid sugar and grains. Your body will thank you.
Reach beyond “I can’t” and “I don’t want to”
Over the years, I avoided doing or learning certain things. Because I was told early that I didn’t have rhythm or musicality, I’ve avoided most things related to music.
As it turns out, I really love music. For a long time, I believed that I couldn’t dance. I can’t and because it doesn’t come easy, I didn’t even want to try.
I can’t even tell you how many things I haven’t done because of the belief that I can’t or that I didn’t want to. Harsh comparisons with other people kept me stuck!
However, a life you love dwells in doing things that are beyond Can’t and Don’t Want to.
In the past half year, I’ve gone to two huge music festivals, sailed, ridden a bike, and danced. Lots and lots of dancing—even in public.
I’ve hiked up mountains for the first time. I road my bike through Central Park in NYC and the French Quarter in New Orleans.
These things make me happy. They make me smile. They make me laugh with joy.
Each time I go beyond what I thought I couldn’t do or what I thought I didn’t want to do, I expanded my life experiences and felt a joy like I had never felt as an adult.
It’s Not Selfish to Create a Life You Love
Loving your life allows you to bring your best to everyone you interact with. It’s not selfish to want to have a life you love.
Most of my steps to creating a life I love—have benefited the people in my life as well.
Yes, most of the time life is ordinary. Yes, there are times of pain. However, by consciously taking these steps, you create a life you love and you become a person that other people love to be around.
I help other women create a life they love through my blog posts and my one-on-one coaching. I know that every single woman who creates a life she loves affects a hundred more people in some way.
Keep showing up my friends,
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Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! Big changes can happen with a shift in thinking. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life and weight loss coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.