I’ve been reflecting lately about those moments in the past that I wish I could change and what I can do to live without regrets. Sometimes when I take a step back I realize that I am not living life to its fullest and I seem to be rushing through, going from event to event instead of soaking in the joy of today. I know it’s not possible to live a perfect life, but there are things I can work on and give more attention to so that my life can be filled with as much love and joy as possible and as little regret as possible. Here are ten ideas that I am going to work on:
10 Ways to Live Without Regrets
1. When feeling rushed and in a hurry, slow down. Take a deep breath, and try to think clearly. Those are the moments that I end up forgetting something, not paying attention to what I am doing, or getting frustrated with my kids, myself, or others. The few minutes saved by doing things in a rush is not worth the possible regret later for saying something I shouldn’t, or doing something I wish I had not done.
2. Care less about what others think about you. Don’t let embarrassment from making a mistake in front of others or doing something dumb stop you from doing the right thing and fixing it or apologizing for it, even if others are watching.
3. Stay in touch with family members you don’t see very often. Make that phone call you’ve been putting off, write letters, and send pictures. Surprise them with a card or something in the mail to let them know you are thinking about them.
4. Forgive quickly and easily. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Most times we don’t intentionally do something to hurt someone’s feelings or cause them to feel frustrated. When someone frustrates you, assume it was accidental. Don’t hold grudges, they only hurt your heart and put distance between you and those you love. Forgive yourself too. We all make mistakes, we all do things that we wish we had done differently. Apologize, make amends if needed, and move forward. Keep trying. Don’t beat yourself up.
5. When you are with your family, put down your phone, laptop, and other electronic devices and be in the moment. Be available to listen to your kids and your spouse, ask them how they are doing, make eye contact, let them know you hear them and care about what is happening in their lives.
6. Make time for fun times with your family. Have a game night, go on walks or bike rides, make cookies together, share thoughts and ideas, plan a family vacation, go to the zoo. Show you love them by building happy memories together.
7. Take lots of photos of those fun times with your family and everyday living. Take videos too. Especially when the kids are little. It is so fun for them and you to look back on those days when they were small. These are times you will cherish later. Save your memories.
8. Write in a journal. This could be as simple as a gratitude journal or a personal history journal. Document your life so your kids and grandkids will get to know you better.
9. Try to speak to others with a calm heart and voice and stop the negative, loud tones. Don’t yell or lose your temper. If feeling that level of upset, instead try to take some deep breaths, go in another room or on a walk to calm down before calmly talking about what has frustrated or upset you. Come up with a mantra you say to yourself when you can feel the blood rushing and anger boiling. Maybe “I can be calm.” Or “Take a deep breath.” Or “It’s only a moment, this too shall pass.”
10. Say I love you and offer hugs more often. Take the time to notice when someone is hurting and stop what you are doing to comfort them. Be sure those you love know that you love them.
These are the things I want to work on to live a joyful life and cherish my loved ones so I can try to live without regrets. What ideas do you have?
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