Contrary to popular belief, one size does not fit all especially when it comes to advice. I think one person's path to happiness is a journey and everyone should remember this.
Years ago, I would freely dispense wanted and unwanted advice, but today, I just mostly listen (although, I can't say I keep my mouth shut 100% of time, but try). The other night I was having dinner with a friend when she shared with me that she's basically in a 'funk' without admitting she's sad with the circumstances of her life. She's in a routine that has become a rut and trying to figure out how to get out of it.
I wanted to scream "Well, why not just try something new?", but instead, I chose to ask "When is the last time you've nurtured yourself?"
I think it's easier for most to share what works for them other than to throw the right question back to the individual -- the type of question that leads the individual to the answer of their own problem. I want to believe if it works for me, and we're friends, it should work for them. The truth is, it may work for them, but if the person who is at the tail end of receiving the advice isn't really open to making the changes, it's about as useful as reading the dictionary to someone. I'm also a firm believer that it can often take many attempts to change your circumstances or lifestyle. You can easily stumble, but the next time you attempt to make a change, it may stick just a little longer until finally the change you wanted to make sticks.
I know most people believe if they're not successful with the first attempt at making a change, you're a failure, but I disagree. For me, I believe you learn from your mistakes, tweak them and carry them forward when you want to make that change again.
I did share with my friend that twice a week I go to Panera's where I write this blog and was surprised how this one act had such a significant affect on me. I was purposely carving time out of my daily routine, my own rut, just for me. Because I work out of my home, I have a tendency to grab what is in the fridge, eat in the house, and go back to work. I explained how this one act refueled my passion for writing and has become one of the highlights of my week.
Not all changes have to be over the top. Sometimes it is the small changes that make us the happiest.