5 Tips to Live Your Best Life
By: Jovonni R. Spinner, MPH, CHES
Recently, I was asked to speak to a group of young girls who are embarking on their senior year of high school. High school was many moons ago for me, but I get nostalgic thinking of the advice that was once shared with me, the lessons I learned along the way, and the advice I wish I had known about now that I’m older. It is quite a humbling experience to be able to share my past experiences and how they have shaped and molded my present-day life. As my elders say, “When you know better, you do better.” Here are 5 tips to help you live your life to your full potential.
1. Be Brave
Stepping out of your comfort zone to challenge yourself physically and mentally can be a valuable experience. This can present itself in many forms like volunteering, taking a new job in a new city, or going to a networking event where you know absolutely no one. Routines need to be shaken up periodically to keep you on your toes and keep your mind sharp and energized. Bravery is a muscle that you must continually work on so you can get stronger and stronger. Living life helps you become braver, so do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and see what happens. You just might be surprised at the positive outcome.
2. Believe in Yourself
Building and maintaining self-confidence can be challenging, especially living in today's digital age of social media where everyone seems to have a "perfect" life. Thinking about yourself in a positive light is one of the best things you can do for yourself because when you believe you have it going on, no one can tell you otherwise. Another part of believing in yourself comes from being self-aware and knowing your strengths as well as how to highlight them. Everyone has value and a talent or skill that makes them unique. Do not be afraid to champion and cheerlead for yourself. Always know that you are enough and you are worthy. You showing up to the table is ENOUGH!
3. Better Yourself
Life is not stagnant and waits for no one. Always be in a position to learn and grow both personally and professionally. Traditional schooling is great, but you can also gain knowledge from talking to others about their experiences, reading books, or listening to podcasts, for example. Be sure to put yourself first and constantly practice self-care. Self-care is not something that should only be done when you are feeling down and out of it. Take time to regularly reflect on where you are in life and where you want to be. Find strategies to help you stay centered like meditating, working out, or seeing a therapist.
4. Be Selective
Many people will want a piece of your time and energy, but be selective of who you give it to because these are things you cannot get back! You need to be selective and only let the right people in your life. Think of being involved in your life as a VIP experience; not everyone deserves a back-stage pass. Toxic relationships can be devastating and suck the energy out of you, both physically and mentally. Sometimes, you may find yourself settling for people who manipulate you and do not give you the love and respect you deserve. Know the signs of toxic relationships and prepare an exit strategy to release that negative energy from your life.
5. Be Prepared
Make a plan for yourself. I am a big proponent of vision boarding, and it has helped me tremendously over the years to stay focused on what is most important to me for my life's journey. At least once a year, sit down, dig deep and strategize about your next moves and the tools, resources, and most importantly the people you need to help you get there. I promise you, it will change your life for the better!
These are just some of the principles that have guided my life and propelled me to where I am today. Along my life’s journey, I have learned that I must live my life for myself and I am in charge of my journey. Most importantly, the one piece of advice I wish I knew earlier in life is that I am only in competition with myself and to always strive to be better than I was doing yesterday.
Jovonni R. Spinner, MPH, CHES is a seasoned public health professional with over 15 years of experience. She is a visionary public health professional committed to improving health equity through research, communications, multi-sector partnerships, and leadership coaching. She has a breadth of knowledge ranging from public health program design, implementation, and evaluation; health policy; health communications; and health promotion and education, along with subject matter expertise in disease areas (e.g. cardiovascular, respiratory, and vaccine preventable diseases). She is currently pursuing her DrPH from Morgan State University. Her research interests include women’s health, mental health, obesity, and nutrition. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter @jovonnispinner.