Purpose means different things to different people. To one person, a purpose driven life might look like building a creative work-from-home business that allows plenty of flexibility for raising a family. Someone else's purpose might involve traveling the world or launching a non-for-profit. For you, all or none of these might resonate. The good news is, you don’t need to have a sole purpose in life – you can (and should!) have many as you grow, learn and change. Whatever purpose looks like for you at this moment, here are 37 ways to stay on track. Why 37? Because there are roughly 37 trillion cells powering every move and action you take. We believe living with purpose begins with them.
1. Understand cell stress
Cells are the microscopic units that form you – helping you move, think, breathe and live. When they get “stressed” - by things like aging, UV exposure, environmental pollutants, etc. - they, and you, can’t function properly. By taking MitoQ, you can combat this cell stress – enabling you to put more time and energy into the things that matter most in your life.
2. Write down your goals
Get clear on how you want to line your life up with your purpose. Write down your goals and put them somewhere where you’ll see them often – it should provide a frequent reminder of what direction you’re trying to move in.
3. Get visual
An inspiration board is another fun way to ensure your purpose doesn’t take a back seat in your life. Look for images online or in magazines that align with your purpose, stick them on some cardboard or a pinboard and hang the board up in a place that will enable the images to serve as daily inspiration.
4. Build healthy foundations
As we’ve already established with cell stress, you need to be functioning well to be able to give your all in life. So don’t let your basic needs fall through the cracks of a busy lifestyle. Get enough sleep, eat balanced meals, exercise and take care of your physical and mental health.
5. Surround yourself with inspiring people
As Nipsey Hussle is famous for saying, “If you look at the people in your circle and don’t get inspired, then you don’t have a circle. You have a cage.” Surround yourself with people who motivate you and help you to live the type of life you want to be leading – not people who have the opposite effect.
6. Create a morning routine
Yes, morning routines may be the latest trend, but plenty of research suggests they’re worth the hype. Surveys have shown that people who follow morning routines may be more likely to maintain a positive mindset throughout the day and may even earn a higher income than those who don’t (although, there will obviously be a few factors at play here).
7. Work to live, don’t live to work
It’s a motto MitoQ’s Chief Marketing Officer lives by: “work to live, don’t live to work.” To get that balance right, his advice is pretty simple: be present at work but leave work at work – don't take it home with you. Once you’re home, be present there.
8. Create a night routine
Just like morning routines can set you up for a positive day, a good night routine can set you up for a positive night – of sleep, that is. The Sleep Foundation recommends performing the same few activities in the same order every night before bed – they'll act as a signal, telling your body that it’s time to wind down.
9. Manage your time wisely
You’ve only got so many hours a day – so manage them wisely. Do an audit if you need to, see if your current schedule really supports the type of life you want to be living and, where possible, make adjustments.
10. Lead by example
There’s no easier way to create a positive ripple effect than by leading by example. You benefit from the positive behavior and habits that come with leading by example, and anyone being influenced or inspired by you does too.
11. Keep learning
Whatever your purpose is, keep learning about it and keep educating yourself about how you can go about living it. Watch educational YouTube videos, listen to podcasts, download audiobooks or take courses – whatever type of learning works best for you.
12. Find work that feels meaningful to you
“Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it” - according, at least, to Stephen Hawking. The average person is estimated to spend 90,000 hours of their life working – no one should spend 90,000 hours of their life doing something that makes them miserable or leaves them feeling unfulfilled. If you’re not happy at work, start looking for ways to align your career with your purpose. If you’re not sure where to start, a career counselor’s office might be your first stop.
12. Find a mentor
If you don’t currently have someone in your life who you look up to and admire, it might be time to find them. Depending on what’s important to you, this might be a career mentor (someone who’s already in a similar position to the one you want to be in) or a life mentor (perhaps a parent, grandparent or life coach).
14. Find time for stress relief
While, yes, it’s good to plan and prioritize the things that are important to you – it's also just as important to take a break. If you don’t, you might burn out before you reach your goals. Schedule in massages, schedule in holidays, schedule in a nap – whatever allows you to rest and recharge.
15. Use goal-tracking apps
If you’re struggling to stay on top of all of the things you want to achieve in life, get yourself an assistant – in the form of an app. Apps like HabitNow - which track your goals and remind you what’s coming up next on your to-do list - can be extremely helpful when your mind is overflowing with to-dos.
16. Build quality relationships
Research shows that the quality of our relationships significantly impacts the quality of our lives – so the importance of taking care of meaningful relationships should not be overemphasized. If you’re like many people, some of your relationships may have suffered during the pandemic due to social distancing. Reconnect if you can, even if it’s just by video or phone call, and/or take the time to form new quality relationships.
17. Know your “Ikigai”
Ikigai is a Japanese concept that encompasses the need to have a purpose in life, something that keeps you motivated to wake up and enjoy each day. Research shows that having a sense of Ikigai may promote health and wellbeing, particularly in older adults. Your Ikigai doesn’t need to be huge or complicated, it might simply be giving time to a creative project or volunteering for a cause that you support.
18. Seek out inspiration
Need some inspiration to figure out what purpose means to you? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite Ted Talks on finding your purpose, here: 5 best Ted Talks for finding your purpose.
19. Ask someone who’s done it
When in doubt, ask someone who’s already living the type of purpose-fuelled life that you see yourself living. Reach out to them and ask for their advice. Find out what steps they’d recommend you take to get where they are. Also, be sure to ask them if there are any downsides to your aspirations – it pays to be aware of any challenges ahead of time, so you’re prepared for them when they arise.
20. Remove distractions
Want to start a business, write a book or figure out a way to leave your mark on the world – but YouTube keeps getting in the way of your big plans? Set an alarm to remind you to put your phone on airplane mode for a set time each day so you can focus on the things that are important to you (ahem, more important to you than cat videos, that is.)
21. Take small steps
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again – start small. Trying to achieve all of your goals at once will only leave you exhausted and wondering if the end result will be worth it. Work away at your life goals bit by bit, and it will be much easier to maintain your motivation. Harvard Health refers to this “start small” approach as utilizing micro habits: breaking big goals down into small ones so you can gradually achieve your overall goal.
22. Be prepared to work for it
That being said, if your goals are big, don’t kid yourself – it's going to take work. A little advice from Margaret Thatcher: “What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.”
23. Get to know the world around you
The more you understand the world you live in, the better prepared you’ll be to lead the type of life you want to live amongst various ups, downs, opinions and maybe even cultures. Traveling the world can change how you view your own country, culture and self. As Gustave Flaubert said so well, “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
24. Get to know yourself
We work with some amazing health experts – one of which is Integrative Nutritionist Kaytee Boyd. Her top tips for finding your purpose are 1) figuring out your needs and values, 2) finding a coach that can help you understand yourself better and, 3) believing that you have the power to change anything.
25. Explore your passions
If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, chances are you won’t figure it out but sitting around thinking about it. Get out there and try new things. Maybe you like surfing. Maybe you hate surfing. Maybe you’re a great public speaker. Maybe you love working with animals. Attend classes, volunteer and see what brings you the most fulfillment.
26. Be mindful of your self-talk
Research has shown that internal dialogue can impact performance, something you might want to keep in mind next time you’re putting yourself down or telling yourself you can’t do something. According to Health Direct, positive self-talk can contribute to good self-esteem, positive body image and helping you to feel more in control of your life.
27. Figure out what motivates you
What motivates you? Helping others? Having the freedom to travel? Seeing your ideas come to life? Whatever your motivation is, use it as a driver when you’re going after your purpose. If you’re building a business but challenges are arising, keep reminding yourself why you started in the first place and why it will be worth it. The same goes for any other goals you’re trying to reach.
28. Start your day in inspiring surroundings
Something that MitoQ ambassador and Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Mark Menolascino finds helps him start the day off right is his surroundings. “...that first part of the morning seems fresh and reminds me that today is a new day. Living in the mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming with the Teton Mountain range as my backdrop - every day shows new light and images.” While you might not be able to move to the mountains at the drop of a hat, try to create a home environment that inspires you. Alternatively, aim to get a change of scenery every once in a while, it could provide just the inspiration you need.
29. Keep note of what brings out the best in you
Try to be mindful of when you’re feeling your best and what brought that feeling about. Was it the person you were with? Was it a project you were working on? Was it the environment you were in? Keep notes in a notebook or phone, so you can try to build more of those things into your life.
30. Pay attention to your body
If you push your mind too hard, you’ll burn out. The same goes for your body. Celebrity trainer and MitoQ ambassador Gunnar Peterson sums it up perfectly when he says, "Sometimes your body sends up flares, and sometimes there’s just smoke. Regardless, you have to be aware and take the necessary steps to put the fire out."
31. Pay it forward
A lot of life’s purpose can be found in helping others. In fact, multiple studies have shown that there are both mental and physical benefits to doing so. Giving support to others has been shown to reduce stress, while donating money to a good cause has been shown to contribute to a more positive outlook on life.
32. Design your life
What better way is there to live with purpose than to weave it into your life? Bill Burnett, co-founder of Standford University’s Life Design Lab, says “Get curious, talk to people and try stuff and you will design a well-lived and joyful life.” For his 5-step guide to life design, watch his TEDx Talk.
33. Be patient
Figuring out and attaining your purpose is not a project that’s completed in a day. It takes time to figure out who you are and what direction you want to take – and you’ll likely do this time and time again as you evolve. Be patient with yourself as you figure out this funny thing called life.
34. Be grateful
Practicing gratitude is an easy way to add more positivity and purpose to your life. According to the University of Southern California, practicing gratitude (e.g. saying thanks to someone who doesn’t expect it/writing down things you’re grateful for) is associated with better health and increased generosity. Give it a try.
35. Add your goals to your calendar
It’s all well and good setting goals that are linked to your purpose – but how are you going to make them happen? The simple answer? Break your goals down into small, achievable steps and then add them to your calendar. It’s an easy way to keep yourself on track in the upcoming weeks and months.
36. Give yourself some downtime
While planning your goals into your calendar can be helpful, it shouldn’t come at the expense of your wellbeing. Downtime should also be a part of your schedule. Even busy CEOs, like MitoQ’s Mahara Inglis, prioritize this. “I try to keep weekends almost entirely clear so that I have some downtime”, says Mahara. “The most powerful analogy I’ve heard comes from rowing: the longer your rest and return stroke is the more powerful the forward stroke will be. And I think that applies to how we approach life.”
37. Live every day like it could be your last
Yes, it’s cliché, but life goes fast – especially when you’re busy. Try to find the value in every day and spend some time every day doing something that’s meaningful to you. As sports endurance coach and MitoQ ambassador Paul Cadman puts it, “Just think that, as cliché as it sounds, today could be your last day. Holy shit! Do everything you can now and just cherish what you’ve got.”
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