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How to Show Up for Your Life and Make It Meaningful

How to Show Up for Your Life and Make It Meaningful


How do you create a purposeful life and make the most of your days? Here are some tips on how to show up for your life, make it meaningful and why it’s important.


Life is precious. To use the words of Mary Oliver, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.” We know that we’re meant to make the most of it, make our time meaningful and purposeful and hopefully, leave the world a better place than we found it. But, how exactly do we do that when our daily life already feels so full and busy? Many of us find it hard enough to get through the challenges of the day, let alone show up as the best version of ourselves we can and ready to present our best self to the world!

Sometimes life happens to us and we find ourselves in circumstances that we hadn’t anticipated or planned. We’re a bystander in our life, not quite sure which path we took or the direction we were meant to choose instead.

At other times we look to make changes. Perhaps you want to re-train for a new career, set up your own business, travel, buy a new home, have kids, give yourself less stress and more ease. These changes require us to be motivated, decisive, open to new opportunities and resilient to challenges. To get the best out of life, it seems that it’s also about getting the best out of ourselves.

No matter whether life changes things for you, or whether you are directing those changes, life doesn’t stay static. How you show up for your life every day and make the most of it, is up to you.

Gretchen Rubin said “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” There’s so much truth to this, from the power of small habits effecting big change to the mindset work we put in to protect and nourish our mental wellbeing, showing up for your life is an ongoing, daily commitment.


Showing up for our life, and ourselves, is important. To get the most out of life I do believe you have to put the best of yourself into it. For me, this includes having a positive mindset, taking ownership of my life choices, being confident in myself and not being afraid to try things out and learn from my mistakes.

When I feel and do all these things, I’m a better parent, partner, daughter, friend and business owner. And, when I’m all these things, I feel like I’m contributing better to my life and the lives of those around me. I’m more resilient to the changes in our everyday lives, more able to make a positive impact and have more peace, calm, ease and fun in my days. We all measure success differently but this, to me at least, feels pretty successful. What does success look like to you?

“Showing up for your life means you’re able to give the best of you to those you love.”

Antonia Colins


All this showing up sounds like hard work doesn’t it? It means you’ve got to be on top form every day and never let life get you down. Well, no… that wouldn’t be very realistic!

I think showing up for your life doesn’t have to be hard work. What I do think it means is that you’ve learnt to listen to your body, heart and mind and what it needs.

In doing this, you’re creating space for offering the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.

  • Less rushing and more time
  • Less stress and more peace
  • Less clutter and more freedom
How to show up for your life


Here are some ways to help you show up for your life so you can get the most out of yourself and your time!

1. Clear your clutter

Clutter comes in many different forms, but whatever clutter looks like to you, it removes and distracts you from the important things in your life. Too much stuff weighs heavy on our hearts and minds and saps our energy as we manage it. Free up your time, space in your home and the weight of your bag every day by decluttering your home and life.

2. Clear your time

When we have too much to do and too little time to do it in, we feel over-busy and overstretched. We race through our days, rush from A to B, eat too fast, don’t concentrate on the task at hand and don’t switch off when it’s bedtime. Declutter your schedule, give yourself downtime, do less and choose wisely. If you really struggle with managing your time, getting organised and being productive, take a look at this.

3. Clear your mind

When our minds are frazzled, we can’t think clearly. We find it difficult to focus, make (good) decisions, think objectively and feel motivated. Your mindset is key to every decision and action you take, so make the best decisions to support your best life by taking care of your thoughts. Brain dump, journal and declutter your mind on a regular basis.

4. Clear your mornings

What you do in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. As your life is made up of a series of days, how you spend those days (and therefore those mornings) is vital. Set yourself up for a better day by feeling calm, supported and prepared through a consistent morning routine that really works for you.

5. Clear your To Dos

When we have too much to do and too many priorities competing for our attention, we feel overstretched and confused. What’s most important, what requires your attention right now? Is it work, family, money, health?

Sometimes we have to juggle many things, sometimes our focus has to shift if there’s a pressing deadline at work, or an elderly relative needs our help. The balance in our lives can shift to wherever and whoever needs us most at that time. Yet, too many jobs, tasks and errands give us little wiggle room and flexibility. Clear your To Dos and get clear on your true priorities.

6. Limit screen time

Screen time, and perhaps more specifically, social media is one way for me NOT to show up for my life. It’s so easy to waste time on social media looking at everyone else’s life whilst failing to be present in and for our own. That’s not to say that we can’t get inspiration, ideas and motivation from others but perhaps not when it comes at the expense of something else. Use the ‘create before consume’ motto to guide your social media consumption. Draw, write, think, learn or whatever creating looks like to you before you consume what others have created. Here are some other ways you can use your phone more productively.

7. Value yourself

Sometimes we don’t show up for our life because we worry whether we’re worthy. We don’t give ourselves enough credit that we can face whatever life will throw at us, opportunity or challenge or a mix of both. We’re frightened to try something new, push ourselves out of our comfort zone from time to time, expand our horizons, meet new people, face old fears or that finding fun and excitement means we’re letting go of our responsibilities and commitments.

Many of these things come down to not having courage in ourselves, belief in our strengths and capabilities, or that we don’t give ourselves permission and space to enjoy the rich rewards of life. Value yourself more highly, be proud of what you’ve achieved, play to your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Try these positive daily affirmations to set yourself up for a positive day.

8. Accept tough times

Difficult times happen to all of us, even if we choose not to display them on those perfect social media feeds I mentioned above. During these tough times, it’s often more difficult to show up for our life. Physical limitations, chronic illness, mental health problems, the effect of menopause in midlife, old age, grief and loss, financial struggles, work issues, parenting challenges – there’s a whole load of reasons why we don’t have the bandwidth to face life head on.

This is where a minimalist approach, inspired by simplicity and the understanding that there’s more life to be had with less clutter, can help us show up in the best way we can in that moment. There’s no competition or medal for the winner, but there’s usually a need for space, freedom, time, connection, awareness, understanding and fulfilment, no matter your age and stage. I think these are what help us show up for our wild and precious life.

9. Choose your own definition

So, what does ‘showing up for your life’ mean to you? For me it means having a purpose, setting goals, using my time productively, being an engaged and present parent, having a plan and dreams for my business, being proud of myself more than I am critical, doing something every day to laugh, learn and love and actively trying to make a difference to my family, my community, myself and (for this blog) my readers. These are just a few of the ways that I define how I show up for my life.

What’s your definition of ‘showing up’ for your life and what will that look like for you? How would you answer these questions:

  • When I show up for my life I will feel…
  • Showing up for my life means…
  • I want to show up for my life because…
  • Currently I don’t feel able to show up for my life because…


I hope this article has given you some ideas on how to show up for your life by creating space, time and clarity. A decluttered home is a great starting point and there are many benefits to decluttering which go beyond just having less stuff to manage and move around! However, a decluttered home and life is just really a stepping stone or tool to help you create a life that fits your needs and dreams.

We hear about the benefits of decluttering and various strategies to help us declutter but really this is just the first step to something new. What does showing up for your life mean to you and how do you go about showing up for yourself? I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment and share your thoughts!

How to show up for your life



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Sunday 2nd of July 2023

After getting laid off at the beginning of May, at a time when my mind and body were greatly in need of some downtime, I've been asking myself this very question, of what it means to show up for my life. I've asked it in various ways and thought about numerous strategies to make it happen. What I'm learning is that I need to begin by focusing on my health, which will support anything and everything else. From there, I need to declutter my home, and also my beliefs about "should" and "ought". The rest will come in due course, as I re-learn how to listen to my intuition and my gut feelings. I can tell the answer is simmering on the back burner, but it won't come to a full boil till the rest of my physical and mental clutter is cleared away.

Thank you for this article, Antonia. It was a good reminder for me today, and thoughtfully written as always. I love the photo at the top!

Balance Through Simplicity

Monday 3rd of July 2023

I'm very glad you enjoyed the article Laura. Showing up isn't always easy and it can't be forced. As you say, it's more about the journey and finding easy ways to show up for ourself, even when we don't feel like it. It's about knowing ourselves and what motivates and encourages us. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!