Don't lie to yourself--deep down inside, we all want to lead fantastic, exceptional lives. We want to find jobs we are passionate about, that we find fulfilling. We want to surround ourselves with people we love and from whom we receive love. We want to take care of our bodies and ourselves so that we are able to live long, happy lives. But few of us remember to take a step back and ask the simple question: Just how do we go about achieving all these important goals?

1. Write down five things right now that make you happy

Do it without any further thought. Simply put down in ink or graphite on a paper five things in this moment in which you find joy. Knowing what makes us happy is more often the battle than not. When we don't follow our hearts, we end up second-guessing our choices over and over afterward. We kick ourselves for not trusting our instincts and ultimately having made decisions that we came to regret later in life.

2. Don't forget your roots

Go back to all the dreams you had when you were sixteen. Try to remember how limitless you felt, and recall all the endless possibilities. Back then, the world was at your fingertips, yours for the taking. Before we began to carry burdens and responsibilities of adulthood, we thought we could do anything. Going back to that time allows us to feel that childlike wonder for the world once again. Take that youthful curiosity, and turn it into something you can apply to your passions today.

3. Call your mother

While something like calling your mother might initially seem quite clich, how much it can help might surprise you. Your mother is, after all, the first woman in your life. Chances are, she knows you better than you do yourself. Pick up the phone--in lieu of sending a text--and actually have a conversation with your mom. Ask her how she's doing, how the plants are growing, to where she'd most like to travel this summer. Share with her your dreams, your future, your aspirations, your worries. Even if she can't offer pertinent advice, her sage, soothing words can never hurt. Besides, it's always good just to pick up the phone and remind her you're thinking of her.

4. Eat better

This is, perhaps, the most simple-and-direct way to improving your physical health--and yet, it is the one we all shy from most easily of all. To this day, there is only one way to ensure your body is healthy, happy, and ready for life's battle. Limit the amount of processed junk foods you eat, instead choosing to ingest more complex carbs and protein. Take an extra glass of water with every meal. Find a way to stop snacking in the wee hours of morning. You never know, the small steps you take right now may end up saving your life.

5. Know your limits

We all have breaking points, no matter how varied they might be. So, when our bodies have reached their final limits, and we need to stop, there is nothing we can do but listen to our bodies and our minds and do exactly that--stop. Even though it goes against the grain of our motivated tendencies to give up halfway through, we need to remind ourselves it's okay. It's okay to stop, to cease everything you're doing, and leave. The people with whom we are working are human too--often, we forget that. They know what it's like to have reached the point where you can no longer find the capacity to continue. They know that, if you reach out, apologize, and ask to pull out, you tried your best. As long as you truly did give the job your all, you have nothing to lose by taking time to care for yourself.