Are you looking for legal and ethical techniques for getting more out of your life, career, relationships, and spiritual goals? If so, you’re like many others who feel that the normal way of living falls short. Sensing this lack is the first step on the journey forward. Even though the initial impression is one of insufficiency, it’s that very sensation that can compel you to meaningful achievement.
For serious minded people, the quest is about gaining a more secure financial foothold in everyday life, stepping up the career ladder, or building a long-term relationship.
For others, the most relevant aim in life is physical and mental wellbeing, living a long and happy life, or taking care of a loved one. In short, there are probably as many specific goals as there are people.
Whatever is on your major to-do list, consider the following techniques below for getting that extra something that, up until now, has seemed elusive.
Dating Done Right
Want to make dating count? Follow the challenging but highly effective one-year rule before deciding to marry.
Couples who spend at least 12 months together before heading to the altar can hope to have more successful marriages because they’ve already been through all the seasonal challenges together.
Short engagements, especially those lasting less than three months, typically make for shorter marriages.
However, in today’s fast-paced, socially hyperactive world, the one-year rule has fallen by the wayside as couples rarely wait that long to marry.
Reduce Monthly Expenses
Hundreds of books have been written on the subject of expense cutting strategies, and many offer excellent advice.
But, if you want to get down to where the rubber meets the road and reduce cash outflow quickly, review your student loan situation.
Note that you can refinance current educational debts into a single loan with one monthly payment and more favorable terms in most cases.
It’s not unusual for working adults to pay on multiple student loans, each with its own terms that were set at the time the contract was signed.
Years later, those same people usually have higher income, better credit scores, and are ready to gain the most from a refinancing arrangement.
The best part of all is that borrowers can slice a significant amount off their monthly bills almost instantly when they opt for a refi.
Saving for a Comfortable Retirement
It’s ironic that some of the most financially stable and comfortable working people lack one piece of the money puzzle.
They have retirement accounts that are underfunded. Or, worse, they don’t have one at all.
What can seem like a nuisance to a 23-year-old new college grad is an essential part of financial planning.
Luckily, it’s never too late to start a retirement account through a bank, broker, or employer. The key to success is to make contributions automatic and set them at the highest level you can afford.
A workable goal is to set aside five percent of every paycheck for retirement.
If you don’t like the restrictions of traditional and Roth IRAs, consider creating a 401(k) or even a self-directed IRA into which you can put real estate, precious metals, and cryptocurrency.
It’s wise to speak with a financial advisor before deciding which investment vehicle works best for your particular situation.
Taking Care of Your Body
You don’t need to be a medical expert or fitness buff to take care of your health. Hundreds of millions of human beings do so every day. Step one is having a talk with your primary care physician.
If you don’t have a PCP, find one and sign up as a new patient. The next move is to get annual physical exams at least once per year or as often as your doctor advises.
Likewise, if you need to see a specialist for a particular condition or preventive screening, follow the physician’s orders about what kind of care to get and how often to get it.
It doesn’t hurt to have regular eye and dental exams, too, after speaking with a doctor to see whether you have any special needs. Healthcare is one of those things that many people are phobic about.
Some hate hospitals, doctor’s offices, and all things medical. But regular care can save your life, so it’s worth working through the phobias and getting the help you need.
Job Related Strategies That Work
Finding a long-term career begins with a first job. It’s common for entry-level work to be completely unrelated to your lifelong calling. Be ready to accept a few positions to pay the bills, particularly while you’re still young, in school, or both.
The single best career move you can make is to earn a degree in a relevant field.
Consider majoring in subjects like general business, engineering, education, marketing, IT-related paths, accounting, and pre-law or pre-medicine.
Other liberal arts majors can be excellent preparation for graduate school but are not always the best way to get ready for a financially stable career right out of college.
Another key job-finding tactic is networking, which far too many people neglect.
Even if you’re currently in school or working at a new job, start developing a written file of contacts who are in some way related to your chosen work.
Professional networking can save your skin if you ever find yourself laid off or otherwise unemployed after the age of 30.
Make Lifelong Learning a Habit
The happiest people you know are probably lifelong learners, the ones who never stop taking classes, seminars, and tutorials.
A constant diet of new information keeps the mind fresh and vigorous. It’s also a wonderful way to enhance a wide range of skills and pick up brand new ones at any age.
Always Have an Updated Resume
Resumes are strictly a job-related tool, but they’re distinct from other career-related skills and strategies in multiple ways. The one-page document sums up your professional and a bit of your personal life.
For prospective employers, it offers the quickest way to make a decision about whether to grant you an interview.
It’s imperative to have a fresh, updated resume at the ready. Checking it for accuracy every six months does the trick as long as you remember to add any new skills, tasks, or special experiences each time you revise it.
Make an investment in the services of a certified resume writer when you create the original document or make substantial updates.
Study a Second Language
The concept of constant learning covers most new skills, but acquiring a second language is a very special accomplishment.
If you choose to tackle the task, it will become a daily source of intellectual work.
However, once your skill level reaches near fluency, the rewards can be both financial and personal.
Job seekers soon discover the value of being bilingual, and travelers find that speaking the local language in a place like Mexico, Paris, or Tokyo makes visits much more enriching and enjoyable.
Attend to Mental Wellness
Stress has been a part of daily life for thousands of years and it just keeps morphing into new versions and forms. Stressful working conditions and living situations are nothing new, though many people seem to believe that they are.
On the practical side, what can you do to minimize stress at home and work?
Rule one is about never being afraid to ask for professional help if you feel overwhelmed. Speak to a licensed counselor or another healthcare professional if you sense the need.
For lower levels of stress, consider spending 20 or so minutes per day teaching yourself to relax fully and deeply.
Techniques include formal meditation, yoga, simple stretching, quiet contemplation, or short naps.
The goal is to allow the body and mind to shut down for one or more short intervals on a regular basis.
Millions of working adults can find meditation and stretching sessions to be an ideal combination for combating stress.
Volunteer, Donate, Give, and Help Others When You Can
Giving your time, money, or energy to someone in need can do wonders for your own wellbeing.
Individuals who volunteer for community causes typically find that helping others is a roundabout way of helping themselves.
It’s hard to define the feeling, but human beings who focus on the needs of others can develop a capacity for putting their own problems and challenges into perspective.
Put It All Together with a Combination Approach
It’s tempting to review a list of approaches and vow to use them all for maximum effect. In most cases, that’s not only impractical but virtually impossible.
For the vast majority of adults, it’s only necessary to select a few tactics for getting what they truly want from life.
After pondering each of the above suggestions, consider choosing the one that strikes you immediately as something you need to work on.
Gut reactions can serve as a worthwhile guide when it comes to self-improvement and lifestyle enhancement.
After making your selection, get busy putting it into practice and making a better future.