9 Ways to Live Life on Your Own Terms

9 Ways to Live Life on Your Own Terms

Sometimes, it can feel like much of our life is controlled. Working an 8hr-workday with just two days off, coupled with other obligations that we must fulfill can feel overwhelming. Here's my list of ways to still be in control of your time:

1. Don’t carry emotions with everything. It can be hard to not take some situations personally, but the best decisions can be made from an objective perspective. In other words, don’t do or say things in a rush when you're excited, nervous or angry.

2. Identify your priority people, your undeniable squad. Doing so can make it easier to say no to things and people who are not a priority. Other than my parents, I have 5 people I talk to on a regular basis. 5 people who are closer to me than anybody else. Life became a lot easier once I realized I don’t need to feel obligated to go outside the realm of my friends if I don’t want to. And what's so special about these individuals? In a lot of ways, they prioritize me. I once heard the phrase, "Choose people who choose you," which in effect made it a lot easier to identify the people I'd rather spend my downtime with.

3. Create boundaries when needed. Someone keeps wasting your time and energy? Create rules that will erase their neediness from your life. Focus more on the things you need to work on more than helping other people.

4. Escape the fear of missing out. This is, in fact, the most challenging task for me. I like socializing with people and sometimes feel guilty if I don’t go. But in actuality, there will always be a time to hang out. The fear of missing out can lead to feeling drained and deprived.

5. Maya Angelou, “If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, don’t complain.” When you are approached with situations beyond your control, it's important to not stay stuck on what you wish you could’ve done or said. Reflect on it, but don’t let it control your thoughts for too long.

6. Wear, say, eat and do what makes you feel good.

7. Limit the distractions. If you respond to every outside stimulus (ie. Tweet, text, call) then you’ll never get things done. Distractions will manage your time unless you develop self-control over them.

8. Find what it is that you like to do and make it your passion. Your passion could be a hobby or a side hustle. The more skills you acquire the more opportunities you run into for networking and personal development. It's also a good feeling to do something that allows you to wind down and takes the stress off your demanding schedule.

9. Do not live to work. Yes, it is a noble characteristic to have a great work ethic. But if work becomes the center of your stress and time, then create a plan to take some time away from work. It could be taking some paid leave or fighting the urge to stay overtime.

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