Living Life To The Fullest Is Something Everyone Should Start Doing

Today would have been my dad’s 63rd birthday. Last week, Wes’s grandfather passed away and my good friend found out some terribly sad news about her father. Due to these events, I want to dedicate today’s post to these three and talk about how to live life to the fullest. No matter who a person is,…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 26, 2023

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Living Life To The Fullest Is Something Everyone Should Start DoingToday would have been my dad’s 63rd birthday. Last week, Wes’s grandfather passed away and my good friend found out some terribly sad news about her father. Due to these events, I want to dedicate today’s post to these three and talk about how to live life to the fullest.

No matter who a person is, what they are currently doing, how much money they have in the bank, and so on, everyone can start living life to the fullest.

You just never know what may happen in the future, so taking advantage of the time you have now is very important. No one ever wants their life to flash before their eyes and wonder whether their life was meaningful or not, whether they had a good time, or whether they regret past decisions.

There are many ways to live your life to the fullest while also being a responsible person (as you will read below).

The many ways below will hopefully allow you to love life and teach you how to live life to the fullest.


Cherish moments with loved ones.

I had to put this one first. Living 16 hours away from family and friends now means that I really miss them. I have always cherished the moments with those that I love, but now I make sure that I make each trip even more special.

You should never take a moment for granted with those that you love. This will sound very doom and gloom, but you just never know what may happen to you or them. Plus, spending time with your loved ones is always a great time anyways so why not just do it more?!


Do what YOU want to do.

What makes you happy, excited, joyful, and motivated? That’s what you should be doing with your life (as long as it’s legal)!

Stop thinking about what other people want you to do and start listening to your heart. Who cares about what others think? If you spend all your time thinking about others, you will just be wasting a ton of time!

If you want to live a life of adventure – Go for it.

If you want to start a family – Start planning one.

If you want a better job – Get one.

If you want to change the world – Do it.


Gain control of your finances.

Yes, it’s still possible to live life to the fullest while also gaining control of your finances. You should pay off your debt, earn more money than you spend, stop keeping up with the Joneses, save for retirement, and so on.

Gaining control of your financial situation is important when learning how to live life to the fullest because you won’t feel as stuck when it comes to money. You may be able to do more because you won’t be held back by monetary problems.

Like I said in the post Important Money Lessons My Dad Taught Me – Money Doesn’t Have To Make Your Life Miserable:

Even though my dad passed away too young, lived on a budget, and saved for a retirement that he never got to experience, I truly believe that he still lived the life he wanted to live. He was still able to travel all over the world and he visited many, many countries. I think the most important money lesson that I learned from my father is that money doesn’t have to control you. Even though you will never know when your last day is, you can still save and spend your money wisely, while also living the life you want. Too many people believe that they can’t lead a good life on a budget. That is not true at all. You can still live a great life while managing your money, and without regret.

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Don’t let life pass you by if you want to learn how to live life to the fullest.

It can be really easy to let life pass you by. Before you know it, years or even decades may be gone.

Too many people have the mindset of “Oh, in 10 years life will be so much better because of so and so.” And then they just let their lives go by without ever thinking about the present.

Well, what about now?! 10 years is a long time! Reaching a goal is great, but you should try to fit in some happiness now as well (on a budget, of course).


Think about the present (and the future as long as the above doesn’t happen).

While a person can learn a lot from the past, it is usually best not to live in the past. Thinking about events and situations that you regret from your past usually won’t help you at all. It’s best just to learn from the outcome and move on.

Living in the present can help you move on and be happier. You can’t change the past so there’s no point in living in it.


Be open to new things and tackle your fears.

When was the last time you did something new? So many people live inside their comfort zone when they actually need to branch out every now and then.

Yes, stepping outside of your box can be tough, but what if it completely opened your eyes and changed your whole outlook on life? Wouldn’t that be amazing?

If you want to learn how to live life to the fullest, this is something you need to do every now and then. You could even give yourself a goal to try something new each day, each week, or each month.


Create a bucket list.

A bucket list is something I need to work on. I created one a few years ago but I’m sure some things have changed since then.

A bucket list can help make you excited about life and give you fun goals to reach. This will truly mean that you have lived life to the fullest if you are able to scratch everything off your bucket list!


Make time for fun.

All work and no play is never good for anyone. You should always make time for the things that you love, even if it’s just a few hours each week. This can help lift your mood, increase your motivation, and more.


Create a plan to reach your dream.

What do you often dream of? Maybe you want a certain career, you want to travel, or something else.

Whatever you want to do, why not create a plan so that you can reach your dream? You might live in regret until that happens! You only live once, so creating a plan to achieve your dream is a good first step.


Help others.

Helping others can completely change your life and change other’s lives as well. Whether you do something big or small, do something!

This is one that I am guilty of not doing enough, but I plan on changing that. Yes, I do little things for others, but I really want to go all out and do something big.


Be positive.

I say this in many of my posts but I truly believe in it. It’s also something that I think more people need to work on.

Being positive can completely change your life. This means you should laugh more, smile more, be happy with yourself (this is very important!), quit being jealous, complain less, have a better outlook on life, and more.

Are you living life to the fullest? Why or why not? What tips do you have for someone who is interesting in learning how to live life to the fullest?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Heather

    Great post. You make some good points. A few years ago my boyfriend suddenly passed away at just 33 years old and I’ve lost people in the military. Because of this I always try to live by the word “embrace” and embrace every day. It also causes me to handle my finances a bit differently. I’m saving and planning for retirement, but I also strike a balance and enjoy things in life along the way, when others may choose to save. I hope to live a long happy life, but I know retirement may never come, so I don’t want to save every penny and miss out on the days before retirement.

    1. Thanks Heather. Sorry for your loss.

  2. It takes courage to live life on your own terms and I think the biggest thing you need to do is insulate yourself against other’s beliefs. Sometimes all it takes is an off-hand comment to steal your dream. So, my tip is be courageous because even if you fail, you’re one step closer to success.

    It’s taken me a long time and a few losses (emotional and financial) to understand how important it is to live according to your own values.

    I’m much happier now than I’ve ever been. Life’s not perfect but, I’ll take this over being a wage slave any day of the week!

    Do it now!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Great job Diane on realizing this!

  3. Kimsea @Blog Marketings

    Thanks for sharing..! The above is great discussion about life and spending out time…

    Well, I went a long way with my life.I found success and then I fall down with hard situation. Sometimes, I think that life is most crazy. We do everything because just for living better.

    Sure, I create with you…, Every people create and they to achieve success, but some of them didn’t create a plan for achieve their dream. The worst is that they had dream and plan, but they didn’t tacke action for success effective plan.

    I love what you…, whatever decided to go with your life. You’ve got to enjoy, and it’s the most mean-full life.

    Positive is what you have to keep in mind because it is the core value of success.

    Thanks for sharing..

  4. Jessica Byrnes

    You wrote a very good article. Getting rid of credit cards and going off-the-grid was a major life changer for me. Not only does one never have bills to pay, you also suddenly have to become self-sufficient as in no dependencies at all on shelter, food, power, water, etc. Growing your own food, building, etc., is hard work
    and we started really late in life, and it has been very rewarding. You get to see how the American farmer operates and see what great people provide food for the USA. Many of the points you list are so important – I think helping others, as an example, is a lot more gratifying than rushing off and taking a vacation. I have found that being home with my dogs and my garden is a ton more fun than laying on a beach on some “exotic” island somewhere. I have been reading your recent posts and you are doing an awesome job of helping people.

    1. Thank you Jessica ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Great post Michelle, lots of food for thought!

    I think fear keeps us from living the life we want. We’re afraid of the ‘what if’ and it’s generally the negative ‘what if’ that we focus on. When we consider a new job, instead of thinking ‘what if it’s going to create better opportunities?’ we think ‘what if it’s not going to work out?’ It’s so much easier to focus on the negative and so we end up being stuck in a rut rather than living life to the fullest.

    I made a decision to start fulfilling my lifelong dream this year and I finally have. I’ve always wanted to be an author, I realised that wasn’t going to happen if I threw out every piece of writing before anyone could see it. This time around I went through the rewriting and editing and published it. I can finally say that I’m an author. I might not be making a living from it (yet), but I’m one step closer to living the life I want.

    If you want to live life to the fullest, you have to take a chance from time to time.

    1. Congrats! Reaching your dream is a great thing!

  6. I love this post ๐Ÿ™‚

    I too have had loved ones pass too early. It’s sad when they spent their whole life working and saving for a time they never got to experience.

    That’s why we are huge on experiences over things in our house. Our kids might not get much in the way of gifts or toys, but we try do fun things and enjoy each other instead. In the end, it will be the memories they cherish, not the “stuff”.

  7. This inspirational post is a wonderful way to honor your dad. I’m sure that he is very proud of you.

    The universe (including you) seems to be screaming at me to follow a new path. I am dreading my return to work after this maternity leave. I must, however, be responsible and first pay off debt. For now, I will heed your advice to cherish every moment with my family and continue to implement my plan for achieving freedom.

    1. Thank you! And yes, you should find ways to follow a better path ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I just enjoy every moment and try everything with excitement and without fear. And, I also keep thinking that I wake up each day to be the best I can be and and not to be mediocre. Nice post Michelle. These are indeed ways to live life to the fullest.

  9. I’m so sorry, Michelle. Tough times. I really like how you made this post about focusing on experiencing life. For me, I have to do what I want to do more than listening to others (which is my default). Great advice. Thoughts and prayers are with you!

  10. This is a great post Michelle! The thing about life is you really never know what’s going to happen from one day to the next. This is one reason why I’m working on changing how I view my money and what I do with it. It’s a slow process, but I’m getting there. One thing you can’t take away are memorable experiences.

    1. Memorable experiences are the best!

  11. This is a great post!! I love all of your tips, especially the one about helping others ๐Ÿ™‚

    While I love my current life, I know I could be doing more – spending more quality time with my kids and husband, volunteering my time more, calling friends more, etc. You are totally right in that life is short and it’s what we make of it! No time to sit around wishing for things to change. If you want a change, you have to take action!

  12. I’m sorry for your loss Michelle. And I truly agree that living life to the fullest is something everyone should try to do. For me, that means truly cherishing the time I spend with my family and friends, stopping to have fun and just live in the moment every now and then, and being positive and pursuing the things that make me happy. It’s so easy to get caught up in planning for the future (something that isn’t promised) and forgetting to live for today. That’s been one of my mail goals this year.

    1. Thank you. Good luck with your goal!

  13. Really inspirational post and just what I needed to read at 8am on a cold, wet Monday morning. It certainly lifted my spirits and now I’m going to get to work on a bucket list for myself.

  14. This is a very thought provoking post. It puts a lot of things into perspective. I found out a few hours ago that one of my former co-workers passed away over the weekend. I believe that we should really live in the moment. I agree with the statement where you said “be open to new things and tackle your fears”. I did just that in May. I volunteered at a conference and I took a gamble and visited my Dads side of the family for the first time. I was nervous before I did both, but I’m glad I did them.

    1. That’s awesome that you visited them. Good job! I bet that felt great.

  15. Ali

    This post is right on. I especially agree that it is important to get your finances in order so that you can be free to live life to the fullest and make the most of every opportunity. It is important to save money so that you can spend it on what you value and can derive joy from your money both now and in the future.

  16. I’m sorry about Mike’s mom. It definitely does make you think about life.

  17. Brittney @ Life On A Discount

    Inspiring post! I used to be so focused on the future and what I “wanted” to do, rather than being present and just doing it. We would love to start a family soon, but recognize it’s not the best time. However, we are actively planning a family in the sense we are getting our finances in order and working on setting up our careers so that it will be more manageable. It helps to be taking steps that are working towards a goal. I also agree with the part about cherishing moments with loved ones. Now that I am in my late 20’s, I really am starting to get more focused on family. My family lives 18 hours away and I miss them quite a bit. But any time we see them, I try to be present and enjoy the time together.

    1. Same here! Sounds like we are in a similar situation.

  18. Kim

    It’s tough to balance living in the moment with planning for the future. I think lots of people in the PF world are very focused on tomorrow and forget to enjoy today. I have been guilty of that myself. We don’t ever know how much time we might have so it’s important to remember and take advantage of the time we are given I’m sure your Dad would be very happy with how you’re making the most of every day.

    1. Yes, I was afraid of how people would take that. Many PF bloggers and readers are all about tomorrow and don’t think about having fun in the present at all.

  19. Kirsten

    You sort of hit on my tip, but I’ll go ahead and throw this one out there: Stop caring what other people think. The young generations seem to have an especially hard time with this – it’s why bullying stings so much. It’s why we stay in jobs we don’t love. It’s why we post the things we do on social media.

    When you can let go of what other people think, life becomes about YOU. You can’t really live life to the fullest until you do it for yourself.

    1. Yes, people care too much about what other people think!

  20. Alan S

    “Do what you want to do” is perhaps the best advice to give. Living out of his passion is wonderful, to get up and go to work without realizing we’re actually going to =)

    The bucket list is vital, I update it every year and it gives a great overview of our objectives (personally and professionnally speaking), very helpful.

  21. People think that they will live forever. That’s just not the case. That’s a huge reason why I decided to make such a huge life change at the end of last year. I also love the look of your site!! Pretty ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Kim @ YourFinanceProfessor

    I agree 100%! I’ve had a lot of health challenges over the past couple of years that brought this point home hard. If there is something you want to do, don’t make excuses and say you will do it tomorrow. Be in a position to always say yes to new opportunities!

  23. There’s always the age old question, “What is the meaning of life?” Life is a gift meant for us to enjoy….the meaning of life is to enjoy it – whatever that means to an individual. At 41, I’m finally wrapping my head around the type of person I want to be, and what makes me happiest. Suddenly life seems so much more meaningful.

    1. Always great to hear Travis ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Amy @ DebtGal

    I’m very sorry about the sad news you’ve received recently. This post is timely for me, as I’ve been thinking more about what I want out of life. Blame it on turning 40 this year. ๐Ÿ™‚ There are lots of good reminders in here – thanks for the inspiration!

  25. Lisa

    I love this post! I also want to add that everyone has a different definition of what living their lives to the fullest means. I think it’s worth it to take time and really reflect on what that means to you.

  26. Great time of the year to start planning how to make the coming year even better than the last. Really like the idea to be positive… like attracts like afterall ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Margie Abernethy

    I am a loyal follower and I would like to personally thank you! I, too have made major changes in my life after losing my family of origin – one by one. Then I suffered a life-threatening injury of my own that required three months bed rest to recover. I am certain that the Universe provided the time I needed to see how off-track I had gotten. I was 53 years old.

    This post is so true! It’s a wonder why we take so long to shift our priorities. I was stuck on a treadmill that never got me to where I wanted to be. I found myself like the dog on the old Jetson’s cartoon where the treadmill keeps going faster and faster – you’re working harder and harder but you’re still in the same damned place you started.

    Thank you for your inspiration! I’m just getting started on my own blog – I’m from Evergreen. Love to connect sometime if you’re anywhere near Colorado these days….

    Best Regards,

    Margie Abernethy