Each person has their own definition of what makes a good life. It becomes a constant compass with which people follow in the hopes of achieving their goals and meeting their expectations. While everyone is different, Grant Hilary Brenner, MD, compiled a few milestones you can check off your list to see if your life is on track in a recent article for Psychology Today. These signs, which are rooted in scientific research, are based on his personal experiences, his studies, and his work. They draw upon factors that have been proven to contribute to resilience and address things like anxiety, mindfulness, and self-care. If just one of these signs sounds familiar, your life is probably on the right track, and that's something to feel good about.
You Have Something to Look Forward to Everyday
"If you have been thoughtful about your own needs, you will have set up your days so that there are at least two or three experiences each day, most days, for which you have positive expectations," Brenner writes. This could be something as simple as meditating for a few minutes, a new episode of your current Netflix obsession, or connecting with a friend. "Even when life is challenging, and perhaps more so, the times during the day you have made for yourself serve as anchors."
You Go to Sleep Satisfied
Brenner urges you to pay attention to how you feel toward the evening and reflect on how each day has been lived. Think about what worked, what was challenging, and what you learned. "If we have a general sense of satisfaction free from perfectionistic expectations, we can sleep well knowing we have tended to our concerns and plan to continue to do so," writes Brenner. While it's necessary to reflect on each day and make goals for the next, it's best not to dwell on making improvements and let those thoughts rest before you go to bed. "Looking forward to sleep, rather than dreading it, is a good indicator of managing our days well."
You Feel Appreciated and Appreciate Others
No matter what kind of social interactions you have throughout the day, just knowing that you have significant relationships with others is a good indicator that you're doing all right. "When we have meaningful relationships, even with people we don't talk to all the time, we hold those relationships within ourselves, an important source of resilience and companionship which frames each day with the perception of solid social support, and the experience of loving and being loved," writes Brenner.
Whatever challenges life throws at you, taking a moment to remember all the good things you've accomplished and what you have the privilege to experience can go a way in reminding you that you're on track and you're doing just fine.
Head to Psychology Today for the full story.