Browse Front PageShare Your Idea

13 Critical Things I wish I’d started Years Ago.

24 Heart it! Avesha Parker 47.8k
March 18, 2018
Avesha Parker
24 Heart it! 47.8k


I could share a long story about why these are critical exercises—but I don’t feel that is necessary. We all have our story and my hope here is to provide guidance to those who need it.

I am putting them into practice now—better late than not at all.

Embrace the difficult. There is power in the pain, strength in the struggle, and knowledge you receive from lessons you are meant to learn. My advice: learn your lessons the first time and there will be less struggle. Struggle = success, strength, and progress.

Exercise daily. I believe that exercise is the start of happiness. I believe the journey to happiness starts with giving your body the movement that it needs to release the essential endorphins and get the happiness flowing inside you. We were not made to be sedentary. Get moving, and start exercising today! Take a walk, get on your treadmill, do some yoga, or go to the gym. Whatever you fancy, do it.

Be grateful. Appreciate every single aspect of your life. Even the struggle. Wake up and be grateful you are alive, for your hot cup of coffee, for sunlight, a job that pays you, and friends that you spend time with. There is always something to be grateful for. Having gratitude allows us to manifest more things to be grateful for

Enjoy the simplicity of life. Wake up with the sunrise, take a walk in nature, read to your kids, cook a nice meal, make a hot cup of coffee or tea, sit on the deck and just listen to the birds, play in your garden, read a good book, take a walk at sunset, and thank the universe for another day. It is the simplicity of life that brings us the most happiness, believe it or not.

Keep a journal or two. I have multiple journals…one for my thoughts, one for my goals, and a small one that I carry around with me where I jot down ideas, stories, or things I simply want to try. Journaling is a fabulous way to release the ruminating thoughts that take over your brain. It is also one of the top keystone habits (after exercise). I journal every morning as part of my morning ritual.

Complain less and appreciate more. If things are hard and you feel like you’re at your wits’ end, instead of complaining, which solves nothing, find solutions. Make small changes (baby steps) and start implementing keystone habits—we can either do something or accept what is. Complaining creates negative energy.

Don’t settle for less than you deserve. If you are not ready for a relationship, do not start one. If you are dating and you know the person isn’t right for you…let them go. Learn how to be with yourself. Figure out what you want in a person and don’t settle for anything less. You know what you want, and what you are worth, so why settle for anything less? By settling, we are cheating ourselves out of something amazing.

Do not judge others. This was and is still a huge lesson for me. It’s very easy for us to make a judgment based off an encounter with someone. However, we don’t know their life story and have no idea what their struggle is. So, we might make a judgment about them that is completely unfair. You do not know where a person has been or what they are going through, so be kind and accept them for who they are and where they are at that moment.

Be kind for no reason. Smile at the cashier at Target—maybe she doesn’t smile back, or even know why you’re smiling, but it doesn’t matter. Say “good morning” to people as you walk down the street to your office. Compliment someone’s shoes, hair, or hat. Hold the door or elevator. Do something nice for someone; you have no idea what a person is going through, and you might just make their day.

De-clutter and simplify. You have read this before, but it’s true: get rid of clutter and remove all items you no longer use. If you haven’t touched it in three years, it is not a family heirloom and it doesn’t hold sweet memories, donate, sell, or toss it! Downsize, live within your means, and surround yourself with things that bring out the best in you.

Practice patience. This is another practice I am working on. I admit I am not very good at it, but I practice it daily. Patience is a skill that we are not born with—it needs to be developed. Those of us who are fire signs tend to have less patience and more energy than most people. For some people with a more laid-back approach to life, patience comes a little easier than for those of us who take a more aggressive approach to life. However, patience can be taught, learned, and implemented. It is critical to our success to have patience and to trust that the universe knows exactly what we need and when we need it.

Let go of the past. I have said it before and I will say it again: the past does not define us and it has no place in our present and our future. If you have learned your lessons and are on the right path, you will no longer need to revisit the past—it has nothing to offer you. Remember the good moments, but don’t focus on them so much that you are not mindful of the present because this moment is all any of us have. So “be here now” should be your mantra. If you find your mind wandering toward a memory, honor it, say to yourself “be here now,” and then move on and focus the now. Letting go of the past and being mindful is hard and it takes work, but your brain can be re-trained to not wander off to the past and get stuck there.

Love yourself. Madly and unconditionally. This is a hard concept for some—it was for me. I didn’t understand it until I started a self-love/self-care ritual and I learned how magical it is to put yourself first and to fall madly in love with yourself.

I pray a number of these exercises resonate with you. You don’t need to identify with all of them, but find the ones that are meaningful to you, and put them into practice.

Just do the best you can to be your best self every day, and you will start seeing changes and start feeling better about yourself and the choices you are making.

If you would like to work together to focus on these, please contact Avesha Empower.



16 Tidbits About Life From Your Cool Aunt.
32 Truths Every Adult Should Know.
36 Things I Know for Sure.


Author: Avesha
Image: lion heart vintage/Flickr 
Editor: Catherine Monkman



Browse Front PageShare Your Idea
24 Heart it! Avesha Parker 47.8k
24 Heart it! 47.8k

Read Elephant’s Best Articles of the Week here.
Readers voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares:
Click here to see which Writers & Issues Won.