When I first began my journey to become the best, healthiest and happiest me, I spent a ton of time online reading blogs and browsing other people’s sites. While I used the excuse that I was connecting and finding inspiration… I was really just avoiding the reality of my own life.

The reality was that I felt a lot of fear around creating positive changes.

So instead, I read blogs. I dreamed up my perfect life. I imagined what it would be like to have interesting experiences of my own, feel happy, filled with creativity and living a life I loved.

And I planned. A lot. The perfect little Etsy store and what I would create. Business outlines and plans for all my dreams. My future… the things I would do and see… and be. I would create list after list of goals, prioritized, color coded and perfectly planned out. And if they weren’t perfectly planned out, or maybe I left something off, by golly, I’d start again!

But after I’d spent all day lost online and absorbed in my perfect plans, I would lay down to sleep feeling a deep sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction with my life.

It was a viscous and painful cycle.

If you’ve found yourself doing something similar, here are some tips to help break the cycle!

How to Really Start Living a Life You Love

Stop Living Vicariously through Others

Living vicariously through someone else means you’re wasting your own precious life.
@StephenieZ (Click to Tweet!)

Think about it. If you’re constantly following someone you admire, eagerly awaiting an exciting story from your globe-trotting friend or reading romance novel after romance novel, dreaming of the perfect relationship, you’re not living your life.

You’re wasting it in your own head.

Figure Out What It Is That Inspires You

Instead of living completely absorbed in what someone else is doing, think about what inspires you and how you can take that inspiration and create something similar in your own life.

Do you love your friend’s sense of adventure and the freedom she has to travel the world? Think about how you can create a new and exciting travel experience in your own life. Is there a nearby town you’ve never been to that you can make a day trip out of?

Or maybe you’re an aspiring photographer and spend your days stalking the Flickr accounts of your favorite artists. What is it that you love about their work? What are some things you can do right now to work on creating the skill set you’d need to take those same photos?

Stop Planning. Start Doing.

One of the biggest ways we avoid living our life is by planning it. Planning is a great tool, don’t get me wrong… it’s when you spend all of your time on the plan, the details, the strategy and the vision, and zero time bringing it to life that you run into trouble.

I know that action can feel scary. Especially when you’ve been in dream mode and you’ve spent a lot of time absorbed in the big picture and what it takes to get there. It can seem overwhelming! But, like anything, it all begins with a single first step.

What is one thing you can do right now to move yourself in the direction of your dreams? Can you schedule that day trip to the next town? Sign up for a photography class that teaches you that new skill set? Put down the romance novel and get on a dating site or out to a single’s event?

Commit to at Least a Week of Disconnecting

Whatever it is that you use to distract yourself from your own life, commit to one full week without it. No blogs, social media, romance novels, reality TV shows or stalking Flickr accounts.

Once you’ve eliminated your biggest distractions, you’ll be forced to face your life head on! You’ll also find yourself with plenty of space to explore new things, time to get out and live your life and openness for new, amazing things to fill the void!

I want to know, how have you been distracting yourself?

Leave a comment below and share your insights, “aha” moments or other tips and tricks you use to stay totally engaged in your own life! xo

Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service life purpose development, design, and branding boutique. Through her Mastery Program, she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help men and women build passion-based lives and businesses they love. Click here to access her free Foundations for Unshakable Joy™ video training series and learn the unexpected trick to transforming your life with one single question! Connect with Stephenie on Facebook and Twitter!

Photo Credit: 55Laney69 via Compfight cc