Louis E. Boone once said, “The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have and should have.” July 20 is Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day. This day is designed to focus on living a life with no regrets. How sad would it be to wake up overcome with feelings of regret and failure, and knowing that you will never be able to make up that time again? It is possible to live a life of joy and satisfaction, but it takes some effort. You may have to step out of your comfort zone.
1. Express gratitude
Gratitude is like a magical medicine that can turn dark, depressing moments in our life around. When we express gratitude, we eliminate any pessimistic attitudes from our lives and focus on the good. Gratitude is one of the fastest ways to change your mood and turn a terrible day into something good. By looking for the good in our lives and thanking those we associate with each day, we learn to appreciate what we do have. We don’t worry about what we don’t have or what we could have. Instead, life is all about the good. It is about the blessings we experience and enjoy each day of our lives.
2. Turn your weaknesses into strengths
Our weaknesses bring to our lives overwhelming feelings of frustration. We often give up the things that we could have done, or the things that we should have done because our weaknesses get in the way. Each day strive to turn your weaknesses into strengths. Yes, it will be hard. And yes, it will be frustrating but, it can be done. And, after you have overcome your obstacle, your weaknesses won’t lie in your way anymore. You will find that you feel much more confident and are able to do things you never once expected you could do.
3. Do not be idle
Idleness is one of the fastest ways to build regrets in your life. There are so many distractions in this world that can prevent us from doing things that we should do or that we want to do. Facebook, TV, movies, email and video games can create an idle individual. Instead, focus on being productive. Create a to-do list and stick to it throughout the day. Give yourself time limits when using the computer or watching TV and make sure you stick to it. Give yourself time to enjoy relaxing moments in life, just don’t make it a bad habit.
4. Become goal oriented
When you set and reach your goals, you are improving yourself. You are doing something that you weren’t able to accomplish before. Setting both short-term and long-term goals are key to living a no-regret life. When you set a goal, you are helping yourself step out of your comfort zone. You are putting extra effort into some type of project. Don’t live life and stay the same. Improve yourself. Step out of your comfort zone. Strive to accomplish a goal that you previously wouldn’t have been able to realize.
Regrets can tear us down. They can make us dwell on the past and bring about feelings of depression, frustration and low self-worth. By applying a few of the above principles, you can easily toss away those “could haves” and “should haves” and live a life you are proud of.
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Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.