Live Your Best Life in 7 Powerful Steps + Worksheets
This in-depth guide provides 7 powerful steps you can use to live your best life.
These steps tell you everything you need to know to help you create a happier, more purposeful, more fulfilling life.
So, if you have been asking, “how do I live my best life?”, then you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s get started.
The 7 Steps
Find your life purpose (your superpower)
Do work that uses your superpower
Choose a workplace that aligns with your values
Make values-based life decisions
Create a life plan
Take the small leap
Stay on your growth edge
1. Find your life purpose (your superpower)
The first and most important step you can take to live your best life now is finding your life purpose - what I call your superpower.
The happiest people are the happiest people because they know who they are and why they are here. They know how to live life happily because they have their life purpose figured out, and they are loving living it.
People who don’t know their life purpose often feel stuck or lost, like they are without direction in their life.
The good news is, once they find their life purpose, that all changes!
If you don’t know what your life purpose is, haven’t ever really thought about it, or don’t even know where to begin, then have no fear:
Finding your life purpose is now more straightforward then ever.
To find your life purpose, all you have to do is find your superpower.
Your superpower is the heart of who you are and what you bring to the world. It is the purest form of your life purpose.
Your superpower is the thing that is irrevocably you. It is the one thing that you do like no one else.
The two steps to finding your life purpose (your superpower) are finding your most important values and then using your values to find your superpower.
If you do nothing else but find your superpower, you will have made significant strides in finding your best life and finding the best way to live happily because you can live authentically in every moment.
You can also sign up for my newsletter to get step-by-step guidance on how to find your life purpose.
2. Do work that uses your superpower
The second powerful step you can take to live your best life now is doing work that lets you use your superpower - your life purpose and what you are best at - to do what you are most passionate about.
Engaging in purposeful work is one of the most powerful answers to the question of how to live your best life.
When you are happy and passionate about your work, life can feel swell and peachy, fulfilling and full of zest.
When you aren’t fulfilled by your professional work, it can have the opposite effect. You can feel stuck, lost, low energy, or even exhausted.
So, to really be living your best life, you have to find a job or position that lets you use your superpower all the time.
When you find work that lets you use your superpower, you are lining up what you care about most and what you are best at with the work you do. You are living your purpose.
If your superpower is helping people make smart money decisions, do work that lets you do that.
If your superpower is helping others declutter their lives, find or create a career that lets you help others declutter.
If your superpower is facilitating personal transformation, write a book and coach others!
When you line up the work that you do with your purpose and your passion, then life becomes so much more fulfilling.
If you can take the step of aligning your work with your authentic self, then you will truly be on your way to living your best life.
(Psst. If you aren’t sure how to do this, then read on, as step number 5 tells you exactly how to design a plan to create your best life!)
3. Choose a workplace that aligns with your values
Step number three, aligning personal values with your workplace’s values, is all about choosing a workplace that cares about what you care about.
Through my different coaching experiences, I have often found that the thing that makes people feel the happiest - or unhappiest - at work comes, in large part, from how their personal values align with their employer’s organizational values.
This step is almost as important, if not as important, as finding somewhere to work that lets you use your superpower. This is another important answer to the question of how to live your best life now.
When there is alignment between your personal values and your workplace’s values, that’s when your best life can really kick in.
Think about it like this:
Wonder Woman is incredibly powerful. Her power goes both ways though - it can be used for good or for evil.
It is up to Wonder Woman to figure out what she values and what she wants to fight for.
If she were fighting for evil, she would be upset and unhappy because it doesn’t align with what she stands for.
It is only when she is fighting for truth and justice that she feels she is on the right path.
The same is true for you!
So when you are wondering, “hmm… how to live my best life,” just remember:
You can do amazing things using your superpower, but it is up to you to decide what you stand for and what you want to use your powers to work towards.
If you love what you do but can’t stand the people or organization that you work for, then that isn’t conducive to living your best life!
Aligning personal values and corporate values or workplace values helps you truly feel like you are living your best life.
When your values align with your employer’s values, what you hold most dear is expressed in the work you do every day, and you are truly living your values through the work you do.
So how do you determine if your values and your workplace’s values match up?
The first step is discovering your personal core values (it is also the first step of finding your superpower). You can do that here.
Once you know your values, there is a simple method for determining if your values align with your workplace’s values.
Many businesses identify their top organizational values on their websites. See if your organization does that, too, or has some other internal document that identifies them.
Find those values and look to see if you share at least two values or have at least two values in the same family.
I created a worksheet to help you do this values alignment exercise called the Tomi Llama Values Mapping worksheet (enter your email below to get the worksheet!).
It helps you compare personal values vs. organizational values to see how they match up.
If no organizational values align one-to-one with your personal top 5 values (like a personal value of knowledge to an organizational value of knowledge), then look for alignment by identifying thematically similar values.
For instance, if you value honesty and the organization values integrity, that will work! You are looking for at least 2 thematically similar values.
If you don’t have any values in common with the organization for which you work, you might find yourself feeling unhappy and compromised.
More than likely, that organization will not be conducive to your being happy and fulfilled at work. It might also be detrimental to your personal growth and inner peace.
What I have found is that you can survive in an environment where you have at least one shared value with the organization.
It hurts, but you can do it. However, you thrive in an environment where there are at least two shared values (exact match or thematically aligned).
Obviously, the more values you share with your place of work, the more you feel like you are in the exact place you are supposed to be in increases.
Some companies don’t list their organizational values on their website (or they don’t live up to them).
If this is the case for your current workplace, then you can determine what your organization’s values are by paying attention to the behavior of those around you and your work environment.
If your company says they value people, but then they go laying off ⅓ of the office, then that probably isn’t true!
If your company says they value communication, but they never tell you anything, then that probably isn’t true!
When the behavior in the work environment is in conflict with your values, it can leave you frustrated and disappointed about your place of work and even the work you do.
Definitely not a living-your-best-life feeling!
Another area of potential challenge is if your values don’t align with your direct supervisor’s or team’s values.
Even if your values align with your company, they can possibly clash with the person you report to or with your team’s.
Maybe you value openness and communication, but your supervisor doesn’t fill you in on company updates, or your team keeps secrets from you. This can create conflict and frustration.
In this case, you might be working at the right place, but not working for or with the right people.
While you most likely can’t change who your boss or team is, you can try to change how you interact with them.
The way you can do this is by learning how to implement core values in the workplace. This can be done by learning how to set and communicate your boundaries to your team or supervisor.
It’s possible they don’t understand the way that you work best, and what you need to be successful. It could be as simple as letting them know this information to improve the relationship.
While there is always the possibility that they don’t listen, this is a good way to try to make the most out of a situation that may not be ideal.
If this is the case and you feel like sticking it out, then go for it. If not, then maybe it’s time to find a workplace with a supervisor that aligns better with who you are.
Working somewhere that shares the same values as you, or for a boss who does, can be extremely fulfilling and helps you feel like you are living your best life!
4. Make values-based life decisions
The next step to living your best life is making authentic life decisions based on your values.
Life has turning points, moments where the decisions you make will be life-changing decisions that may impact your life greatly for the foreseeable future.
If you make the right choice, then you will be on the up and up. You will be happy, things will be swell, and life will be amazing.
If you make the wrong choice, then who knows what will happen or where you might end up. Anyone want a side of buyer’s remorse with that choice?
Without a framework to help you make a decision or the knowledge of how to make big decisions in life, you could either make the wrong choice or spend hours, days, weeks agonizing over what the right thing to do is.
Either of these options keeps you bogged down and keeps you from living your best life.
So how do you know how to make difficult life decisions?
You make difficult life decisions using your personal core values. Your values are the most important factors to consider when making a decision.
Knowing and understanding your most important values gives you the basis for making decisions in life that are incredibly, authentically you.
It also helps you learn how to make decisions quickly and decisively, confident that you are doing what is right for you.
When you know clearly what you value most, you have a framework for making important life decisions.
This means significantly less time agonizing over the big decisions (and dealing with the fallout of bad ones), and significantly more time spent enjoying the fruits of your choices.
So how do you use your values to make life decisions?
The best model for making values-based decisions comes from Suzy Welch’s book 10-10-10: A Fast and Powerful Way to Get Unstuck in Love, at Work, and at Home.
Before discovering the 10-10-10 method, I discussed strategies for making hard decisions based on the short-term, mid-term and long-term.
People’s eyes glazed over. There was nothing “sexy” about evaluating decisions in those time frames. But Welch changed that with 10-10-10.
10-10-10 is one of the most powerful tools for making authentic decisions that get you closer to your best life.
To help you use Welch’s 10-10-10 process, I created a decision-making worksheet based on 10-10-10.
The worksheet invites you to examine the implications of your decision in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years in light of your core values.
So what are the steps to Welch’s 10-10-10 process?
The starting point for 10-10-10 is a clearly defined question.
Maybe your question is, “should I accept this job offer?” Or maybe the question is, “is it time to purchase a new, bigger house?” Or even, “is it time to end this romantic relationship?”
Now that you have your question to frame your decision-making, the second step for 10-10-10 is to use your values to determine the positive and negative outcomes of each option in 10 minutes (short-term), in 10 months (mid-term), and in 10 years (long-term).
If you value integrity, does your current job meet that value in the next 10 minutes? How about in 10 months or in 10 years?
If you value family, in 10 months, does the new house allow you to lean into that value more or less?
If you value freedom, 10 years from now, is the relationship you are in going to prevent you from living the free life you have imagined?
The final step is to analyze the information you have gathered. Welch wrote that this part of the 10-10-10 process requires you to ask yourself:
“Knowing what I now know about all of my options and their consequences, which decision will best help me create a life of my own making?”
To help you see what the analysis looks like, here is a decision making example.
I was trying to decide whether to go to a party being held in my aunt’s honor or stay at home and read (one of my favorite things to do on a lazy weekend).
Using the decision making worksheet, I could see that the pros outnumber the cons in the next 10 minutes, but in 10 months and 10 years the cons really show that the best choice would be to attend the party.
Often times the hard decisions are hard because two of our core values are at odds.
When you can identify the pros and cons for each top value and put them in front of you, it is much easier to see what the path forward is.
In this example, deciding between these two options was a hard for me because my value of family was in conflict with my values of freedom and wisdom.
I love my family, but I also like to be free on the weekends and I love to read and learn.
When I looked at the impact of not going to this party in the future, though, I realized that it was much more important to go to the party than just staying home for the afternoon.
Using the 10-10-10 process will allow you to make big life decisions easier, and the decisions you do make will be more authentically you.
So, whether you want to know how to make the right decision in love, how to make a decision about a job, or just how to make a decision between two things that are important to you, you can use your values to guide you.
Doing so allows you to start creating your best life because each big life decision you make will be aligned with who you are and where you want to go.
5. Make a Life Plan
If you want to be living your best life, you have to make a plan to get there.
Intuitive healer and energetic coach Christie Marie Sheldon often says, “Make a plan, get a life!”
So if you aren’t where you want to be right now, then it is time to make a plan to get there!
Creating a life plan involves figuring out two things:
where you want to be
and how you are going to get there
The first part of making a life plan is figuring out where you want to be.
This is where knowing your superpower becomes so powerful. Your life purpose is to use your superpower so when you are deciding where you want to be in the future, you automatically have something you can build around.
My superpower is facilitating personal transformation faster. I have made it my life purpose to help others find their life purpose and use it to live their best life.
When I am making my plan for where I want to be, I can keep that in mind.
So for example, what I want to do is:
Use my superpower to help people find their purpose and live their best lives in a way that provides for a fun, flexible lifestyle where I can be passionate about what I do, travel with my husband, and spend time with my children.
The more specific you can be the better!
Where you want to be doesn’t have to be tied to your superpower, although that helps.
Maybe you want to work 20 hours a week doing what you love and making six figures while having a home on the beach.
Maybe you want to go on a big trip out of the country for a month and see one of the wonders of the world.
If you don’t know what you want, you will be easily distracted by different opportunities that don’t take you in the direction you really want to go.
Once you know what you want, you can create a plan to get there.
So what does a life plan look like?
When I am coaching a client, I tell them that a life plan doesn’t have to be some complicated 10-page document.
In fact, it should be less than one page and be something that you revisit every week.
Your life plan should focus on just one thing.
Why just one thing?
The One Thing is the brainchild of Gary Keller, and it is a profound principle. It is about going small to achieve big results:
“Going small” is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do. It’s recognizing that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most. It’s a tighter way to connect what you want to do with what you want. It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.
The One Thing concept expands upon the 80/20 principle. Eighty percent of the benefits you receive come from 20 percent of the work you do.
With your life plan, you are going to focus your efforts on the One Thing that will get you closest to living your best life, because that is what you are going to get the most benefit from.
Keller explains the reason for this hyper-focus well:
You only have so much time and energy, so when you spread yourself out, you end up spread thin. You want your achievements to add up, but that actually takes subtraction, not addition. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects.
If you really want to get where you want to be, you have to let go of the things that aren’t as important and make your One Thing your priority above all else.
A few paragraphs ago you read about figuring out what you want. Whatever it was that you decided upon, that is your One Thing.
Every step that you take should be taking you closer to that One Thing.
Your life plan should then focus on taking the most important steps towards reaching your One Thing.
To make a life plan, you have to write down what you want, and then break down the steps you need to take to get there.
First, you are going to think big picture:
What are the 3 things you have to do this year to make your One Thing happen?
Then go a little smaller:
What 3 things do you need to do this quarter to make this happen?
Then go even smaller:
Of these things for this quarter, what is the one thing you need to be doing right now to make this happen?
I also created a One Thing life plan worksheet that helps you do this.
Completing this worksheet gives you a life plan template that helps you outline clear steps to achieve your goal. Making a life plan and then executing on it is how you achieve your goal and dreams.
In his book, Keller says his most powerful question is: “What is the one thing that I can do, such that by doing it, everything else becomes easier.”
You can also use this question to help you powerfully focus your efforts, making each step you take one that will take you closer and closer to your best life.
6. Take the Small Leap
Step six to living your best life is about taking the small leap.
It can be scary deciding exactly what you want and going for it.
Maybe it seems too far away and like you will never get there. Maybe you feel like you aren’t worthy of having exactly what you want.
Plus, it’s easier to stay where you are. This is especially the case if things are going good and you are comfortable.
But, if you really want to live your happiest and most powerful and purposeful life, then you can’t stay where you are.
Living your best life starts with taking the first step laid out in your life plan, and then doing it again and again.
These don’t have to be humongous, giant steps.
Your goal is just to head in the right direction, one small step at a time.
This begins with taking small steps, each day or each week.
In his book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown says.
Research has shown that out of all forms of human motivation the most effective one is progress. Why? Because a small, concrete win creates momentum and affirms our faith in our further success.
Small steps to success are the key to getting there.
If you are far from where you want to be, you just have to keep stepping in the right direction.
It is important to keep track of these small steps too, to make sure you stay on track. If you aren’t consistent in revisiting what your one thing is, you might lose sight of it.
When this happens, your efforts become less focused, and you do things that don’t get you where you want to be.
To keep you focused on your One Thing, you need to stay in touch with it.
For me, focus happens through a weekly One Thing check-in. I have some clients email me every Friday with this week’s one thing goal, the one thing they will do this week that takes them closer toward their quarterly goal.
The next week I ask them to rate their progress: did you do your best to accomplish your one thing?
Then they tell me their One Thing for the next week. This keeps happening until they get there!
You can do this, too!
At the beginning of each week, set a goal. What is the one thing you need to do this week to be on track for your One Thing?
Then at the end of the week, ask yourself if you did your best to complete that one thing.
If you can do this each week, you will eventually be there! (I find it helpful to put it in your calendar so you don’t forget!)
7. Stay on your growth edge
The first 6 steps will help you live your best life, but all of this stops when you stop exploring.
That’s why, to reach your best life, you have to stay on your growth edge.
In his book People are Idiots And I Can Prove It, Author Larry Winget says:
The edge is where only a few of us live. The edge is where people dare to defy their upbringing, their education and their situation to become wildly happy, successful and prosperous in spite of themselves.
There is always more to learn, always more to explore, and always more to find out about the world and yourself.
Living your best life requires a continual commitment to yourself. A commitment to keep exploring. Yourself, the world, life, love, friendship, you name it.
One way you can practice staying on your growth edge is by asking ever larger questions of yourself.
What else is possible for me that I might not be aware of?
What is the best use of my superpower?
What would the biggest, most amazing version of my life look like?
Rainer Marie Rilke said, “The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.”
I believe this is life’s response to you when you go about the work of finding your purpose.
The more you lean into who you are and your purpose, the bigger the opportunities life brings you.
Life is one great big adventure, and you have the opportunity every day to go out and make the most of it!
“Your best life” is not a destination, it is something that is always evolving as you grow and learn and become more authentically you.
You are in control of what your life looks like, and it’s up to you to go out and make it look like what you want it to look like.
And I have no doubt that you can do it.
Your best life awaits!
P.S. Got any thoughts? Comment below!