11/12/2014 04:29 pm ET Updated Jan 12, 2015

5 Steps to Creating a Beautiful Life You Love: Part 1

"I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again." -- Eric Roth

Creating the life you want to live is a journey, an adventure, and completely possible.

In this five-part blog series, I want to share with you my personal experience of coming to a horrifying realization about my life: It just didn't fit me.

I had two choices: to bury my head in the sand and continue on my path to nowhere out of inertia and fear, or take action and create a life better aligned with my soul.

This time five years ago, my life was looking ideal (from the outside). I had a promising legal career, a boyfriend, and weekends filled with friends and brunches.

But my gut told me something was off. I was living someone else's life, not my own.

Everything felt like a huge effort. So few things made my heart sing. Every day was grey and the same. The dust was building up on my unused soul.

Nothing was hugely wrong. But alarmingly, nothing felt right. The years were slipping by. There had to be more to life.

Then I discovered philosophy, universal truths, and most importantly, my own soul. And step by step, I completely transformed myself and my life.

Through a mix of deep soul searching, vision boarding, living authentically and persistence, I created the beautiful life that I'd always wanted to live.

As a simple place to begin, I wanted to share with you five steps to changing your life and creating the beautiful destiny you're entitled to.

Step 1: You must commit to living a life true to yourself

When a palliative nurse with over 15 years experience surveyed her dying patients on their top life regrets, the No. 1 regret was:

"I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, and not the life others expected of me."

That's why when you're setting goals and envisaging the life of your dreams, it's vital to be true to yourself. You've got to rise above the pressure to follow the status quo and the expectations of well-meaning family and friends.

There will never again be another person like you in the entire existence of humankind, with your beautiful and unique combination of passions, gifts, ideas, quirks and desires. Your primary purpose in life is to be fully and completely you in every possible way.

By working, dating, eating, living, creating, indulging and adventuring in ways that feel right to you, you are living in alignment with your soul. And when you live in alignment with your soul, you come alive, and the whole world benefits.

"Your playing small does not serve the world." -- Marianne Williamson

If your dreams seem so far away or impossible to achieve, remember that when you do what you love, it feels effortless. The right ideas, inspiration and energy bubble up from an unlimited spring within you. The right people, circumstances and opportunities come your way. You will be provided for.

Exercise: The River

Imagine you're in a small boat in the middle of a long, flowing river.

When you're on the right path in life, you're facing downstream, and you journey along with the natural current of the river. The Universe has your back, serendipity follows you everywhere and you wake up excited about the possibilities of life.

When you choose a path in life based on the status quo or what's expected of you (whether it be a partner, career, lifestyle or home), even though it doesn't quite feel like the right fit, it's like you've turned your boat around and you're trying to paddle against the current of the river. Everything feels hard, the days are long, you dread Mondays, and you're left feeling flat.

If you resonate with this description of slugging your way through life, it might be a sign that you're going the wrong way on your river. Take note.

Too many people go to their grave with their gift to the world still inside of them. Don't be one of them.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life." -- Steve Jobs

Elyse is the founder of, your guidebook to happiness and creating a beautiful life. For more tips, wisdom and inspiration, sign up now.