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Want a Good Life? Get These 4 Essentials Under Control

Your daily actions determine the quality of your life. As the old adage goes, “You reap what you sow.” If you plant carrots, don’t expect your harvest to produce corn. What does this mean in practical terms? If you want a happy, healthy, productive life, start “planting crops” that are conducive to that brand of lifestyle. A chronic smoker and drinker, for example, does not get to enjoy good health because that person—through their poor lifestyle choices—has planted the wrong seeds.

With this concept in mind, how can you begin planting a more favorable crop? It starts with managing the variables that are within your control. And luckily, the factors that make the biggest impact on your life are well within your sphere of influence. Here are 4 essentials you must control to live a good life.

1. Your Health

Nothing matters if you have poor health; a good life begins with a healthy mind and body. The more you prioritize your well-being, the more energy and focus you will have for your family, goals, career, etc. And the best part? Good health is available to anyone willing to put in the time and effort to cultivate it. All it takes is a few simple lifestyle adjustments to begin reaping the benefits of a healthy life. And what are these “lifestyle adjustments?”

Simple acts such as:

  • Getting enough sleep each night
  • Being more physically active
  • Consuming a healthy and nutritious diet
  • Taking your vitamins
  • Drinking enough water every day
  • Limiting screen time, sugar, alcohol, etc
  • Quitting drug and tobacco use

When you gain control of this vital aspect of your life, you set the foundation for everything else. Imagine having the discipline, diligence, and determination to pour it on daily, attacking your goals with tenacity. This resolve comes from a healthy mind and body working in unison.

Simple Practices to Improve Your Health

Improving your health can be a simple process; all it takes is a commitment to a few small, easy disciplines. These minor shifts in behavior (if done consistently for long enough) can completely revolutionize your life in a relatively short period. Here are the fundamentals of healthy living and what you need to focus on to get started:

  1. Add an exercise program: Whether you decide on weight training, running, yoga, or anything in between, you need a consistent exercise regime. The idea is to move your body each day (even if it’s only for 10  minutes) to improve your health and physicality.
  2. Eat a nutritious diet: As the saying goes, “You can’t out-train a poor diet.” Instead, you must eat healthily to fuel your system and workouts. A nutritious meal plan combined with a consistent exercise regime works in unison to produce a healthy mind, body, and life.
  3. Stay consistent: All the exercise and healthy food in the world are of no benefit to you if you can’t stay consistent with these practices. So start a regime and stick with it; consistency is the key to taking control of your health.

2. Your Finances

They say, “Money can’t buy happiness.” I say money has bought a lot more happiness than poverty and deprivation. Whether you like it or not, money is, and will always be, an essential part of our lives. And with that being the case, don’t you think it makes sense to learn how to manage it and get it under your control? Of course, it does. As financial expert Dave Ramsay says, “You must learn how to make your money behave.”

No, money won’t solve all of your problems, but it does stabilize you. When you’re not worried about how you’ll pay your bills each month, you now have a firm foundation to build a great life.

Proven Ways to Gain Control of Your Finances:

  • Spend less than you earn: This is a straightforward concept you’ve probably heard many times before, but it’s essential, so it bears repeating. If your monthly expenses exceed your income, you’re getting poorer, not richer. So ensure you’re on the right side of this equation by not spending more than you earn. A good rule of thumb is to live on 90% of your income while saving and investing the other 10%.
  • Stick to a budget: A budget often carries negative associations until you realize what it does for your finances. Your budget is you directing your money rather than letting it escape from you. Most millionaires live on a monthly budget, while most people struggling with their finances don’t. This insight is very telling.
  • Build an emergency fund: Most financial experts agree you should have 3 to 6 months’ worth of living expenses saved for a rainy day. When your car breaks down, a medical emergency occurs, or you lose your job, your emergency fund cushions the blow, turning a serious situation into a minor inconvenience.

Follow these simple fundamentals, and, over time, you will develop a sound financial foundation. Of course, there’s much more to learn regarding this topic. However, these proven steps are an excellent place to start.

3. Your Relationships

Who you associate with plays a significant role in how you think, what you believe, and who you become. For this reason, if you want a good life, surround yourself with high-quality, high-integrity people. Such qualities should be non-negotiable. It doesn’t matter whether these relationships are with friends, associates, business partners, lovers, employers, etc.; strive for quality in those who you surround yourself with.

What to Look for in High-Quality People

  • Integrity: A person operating from a strong moral compass is an asset; hold on to that person as they are a rare breed today.
  • Respect: Do they treat you and others with respect? Are they kind and polite? Every person in your personal and professional life should treat you with respect.
  • Trustworthiness: Can you trust the people in your life? Hopefully, you can. If not, consider getting a new circle, as unreliable people cause more stress than they’re worth.
  • Ambition: If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with flees; you are who you associate with. So ensure the people in your life have some degree of ambition. They don’t need to aspire to become rich and famous; however, some drive that goes beyond the standard Netflix-and-chill, living-for-the-weekend mentality should be a bare minimum.

4. Your Mind

The quality of your thoughts determines the quality of your life; therefore, your mind is your most powerful asset and resource. Once you get your mind under control, the sky is truly the limit regarding what you can do, be, and accomplish. So how can you take control of your mind?

3 Simple Ways to Get Your Mind Under Control

  • Podcasts: Listen to motivational, inspirational, or educational podcasts daily. This input will help instil a growth mindset into your thinking pattern.
  • Read: Reading is among the best self-improvement habits you can develop. Your mind needs to be constantly fed. And the simple act of reading each day helps feed it with the encouraging content required to fill it.
  • Affirmations: The idea of affirmations may seem like whimsical hokiness to some. However, scientific evidence exists that proves their validity and effectiveness. I have been experimenting with affirmations for the better part of a year now, and I have found them incredibly helpful. However, you want to ensure you’re taking action steps that align with the affirmations you repeat. Simply stating something repeatedly without congruent actions to back it up will not benefit you. Like the late great Jim Rohn said, “Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.”

Start Living the Good Life Now

A good life is a life of self-control and moderation. You must be disciplined in all areas; however, you must also give yourself the opportunity to indulge from time to time as well. It’s not healthy to lean too far on either side of the spectrum. But by gaining control over the essentials listed in this article, you’ll set yourself up for a happy, healthy, and productive life for the remainder of your days.

If you need help developing self-discipline in your life, be sure to check out my ebook. It’s a step-by-step guide full of simple techniques and proven strategies to help you develop unwavering, long-lasting self-discipline.

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