21 Tips for More Meaning and Less Regret in Your Life

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well. ~ Diane Ackerman 

A life without fear and regrets begins today. No matter where you live or what you do for a living, the quality of your life is up to you.

We often think that when we have more money, fame, or success we’ll spend more quality time with our families, get out of debt, or take better care of ourselves. 

Life doesn’t work that way. 

Don’t wait until the New Year to make a change. The time to begin is now! 

If you have an addiction, get help.

If you need to let go of a toxic relationship, end it.

If you need to forgive someone, do it.

If you need to save money, simplify. 

Make the most of your life today. Tomorrow never comes.

21 tips to add more meaning to your life: 

Gracefully begin your day. Go within. Decide to be a loving person. Use prayer, silence, meditation or yoga. Connect with God, Buddha, or whatever is right for you. Keep your heart open. Renew your spirit and strength. 

Give more than you take. Anticipate someone’s needs and meet them. Go the extra mile. Make others feel important. Share your knowledge. Do something for someone who can’t pay you back. Look for the good in others. 

Self-reveal. Give others a peek into your inner world. Disclose your thoughts, experiences, feelings, and dreams. You have the power to light up a life or brighten a room with your presence. 

Genuine self-knowledge. Ask close family members and friends how they perceive you, “am I honest, kind and loving?” Your only response is to say, “thank you for sharing.” Be bold and listen to the truth. Accept your weaknesses and shortcomings. Celebrate your strengths and successes. Have the confidence to be who you are.

Thrive on simplicity. Get rid of clutter. Stop recreational spending. Eat mindfully. Ride your bike and walk more. Begin a good habit. Eliminate the need to complicate your life and then complain how busy you are.

Spend time with people who matter.

The people you associate with have great influence on your life. Spend time with those who encourage you, lift you up and enrich your life. Do the same for them. Relationships need face-to-face and flesh-to-flesh time. Make time for it.

Discover new people, places & ideas. Expand your comfort zone. Don’t hold back. Be open to new ways of doing things. Visit new cities and countries. Introduce yourself to new people. Make your life interesting, adventurous and meaningful. 

Be your own loving caregiver. Practice feeling affection and appreciation for yourself. Allow yourself to feel pleasure. You are worthy because you exist. Rejecting and neglecting yourself is painful.

Absolute "No" list. Say no to judgment, gossip, complaining, competition, criticism, jealousy, procrastination and greed. 

Absolute "Yes" list. Say yes to truth-telling, promise-keeping, living fearlessly, kindness, compassion, gratitude and the willingness to serve. Live on life’s edge. Say yes to love.

Rise above the ordinary. Express your uniqueness. Turn off the media. Schedule digital breaks. Let go of distractions. Go in the opposite direction of the crowd. Don’t settle for a life of quiet desperation.

Take delight in life. Learn to savor. Take life one sip at a time. Refuse to gulp. I take delight in my family, friends, good food, a variety of music, children, the elderly, blue skies and sunshine. Fall in love with life. Engage in it. Give it all you've got. 

Believe the best is yet to come. Bet on the positive. Think good thoughts, make good choices and take action that makes you feel good. Write that book, make that phone call or call that date. Choose to create and amazing an adventurous future for yourself, one wonderful day at a time.

Appreciate nature. Swim in the ocean. Plant a garden. Climb a mountain. Ride in a dune buggy. Walk barefoot in the grass. Watch the sunrise and sunset. Anything you do outside is energizing and refreshing. Being in nature creates calm.

Let go of urgency and striving. Learn to relax and go with the flow. When you live in the pain of the past or the fear of the future, you feel anxious and stressed. Shift your energy by changing your thoughts. Recognize the fear-based stories you tell yourself and drop them. 

Create a health care plan. Don’t wait for the government to fix things. Eat healthy and exercise. If you’re having a tough time, hire a counselor or a coach. You are responsible for your health and wellness. 

Say, “I love you” often. Express your affection and appreciation to friends and family. What matters is connection. Connect as often as possible. Every human being wants the same three things to love, to be loved and to know they matter.

Dare. Face your fears. Name your fears in your journal. Next to each fear, write down the worst case scenario if the fear came true. Question how each fear is holding you back. Take an action step within the next 24 hours toward a personal goal. 

Handle setbacks with ease. Life can be difficult; it's what makes us interesting, human and capable. When life is crazy, take it easy. Look for a lesson in each experience, learn from it, and move forward.


Appreciation and gratitude lead to prosperity. Don’t count sheep, count your blessings. It’s impossible to be grateful and unhappy at the same time. It’s impossible to be grateful and fearful at the same time.


Follow your dreams. You are capable of way more than you can imagine. Create a plan and take action. Learn to prioritize and focus. Focus on how much you love what you’re doing, instead of how much you can accomplish and gain. 

Please share on Facebook and Twitter! Grateful:)

Gregory Berg, of Radio Enso, interviewed me and you can Tune in at 6pm PST/9pm Eastern or pull up the archive anytime later. We had to tape this chat  last night and it was a lively and inspiring conversation on habits, goals, fears, dealing with the tragic events of the past week, and my own life and journey!



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Dan Garner December 17, 2012, 5:59 pm

    Great article and congrats for making the list for top self-help blogs of 2012.

    Dan @ ZenPresence

    • Tess December 17, 2012, 6:02 pm

      Thanks so much and I appreciate your support. Happy Holidays.

  • Warren Talbot December 17, 2012, 5:59 pm

    Hi Tess,
    What a great list, filled with excellent guidance to live a full life. Thank you for sharing. I agree with so many, but the one area I believe is the greatest value is in saying yes. Saying yes to adventure. Saying yes to the unknown. Saying yes to your dreams. Saying yes to possibilities.

    Thank you for an inspiring list which we can all do better following each and every day. Good luck to you in your own quest towards a more meaningful life.

  • Tess December 17, 2012, 6:04 pm

    Hi Warren,

    I love saying yes to life, to all things fun and scary! I’m happy we’re on this journey together. I appreciate your support.

  • Sandra / Always Well Within December 17, 2012, 9:30 pm

    I love these tips. Especially, “Give more than you take.” That’s uncommon insight but it can really turn your world around. You are always on my top list of blogs. πŸ™‚

  • Elle December 18, 2012, 11:52 am

    Another powerful list Tess – you’re so blooming good at this stuff – but maybe you could stop now because my fridge door is full of your lists. Maybe I need to schedule them weekly!

    Love give more than you take – my absolute favourite.

    Love to you

  • Tess December 18, 2012, 11:57 am

    You are so funny! Just rotate your list, cross out what you implement as you go and soon you won’t need any;)))) xo

  • Christina December 19, 2012, 10:19 am

    Great tips, Tess! I particularly like the tip on health care aka self-care and not waiting for things to break before implementing healthy habits πŸ™‚

  • Tess December 19, 2012, 10:37 am

    Hi Christina,
    Yes imagine if everyone exercised and ate healthy. Imagine!!! Nobody is coming to resuce us;)) Thanks for stopping by.

  • Fran Sorin December 19, 2012, 8:53 pm

    Dear Tess-

    First- I love the Diane Ackerman quote.
    Second – don’ t talk to me about eating healthy. I have been on a baking rampage this past week. πŸ™‚

    The one that hit me the most was ‘Spend time with people that matter’. It took me years to clear out the clutter of having people because they were ‘old relationships’ or who knows what other reason. How different it is today for me. The richness and love I have in relationships is a ‘work of art in progress.’

    A great post as always, Tess. Have a beautiful holiday..xxoo-Fran

  • Kimbundance December 21, 2012, 4:01 pm

    Hey Tess,
    First time reader. But, yes I do agree with spending time with people we love and care about is key to experiencing more meaning in life. Wonderful post.

  • Inspirational Sayings About Life December 23, 2012, 1:00 pm

    These are great tips for taking control and being proactive in my life! I agree with almost all of the suggestions, and I plan on implementing quite a few of them in my life.

  • karen January 4, 2013, 10:12 am

    so easy to say ‘be this. do this’. How ?? eg ‘Think good thoughts, make good choices’. I think a lot of people know what do to, but don’t know how to do it
    how to think good thoughts when your mind is spinning?
    how to make good choices when bad ones give immediate gratification?

    strategies needed.

    lovely thoughts and inspirations though. x

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