We all wish to live the life we really want. If that’s the case, why does it seem that so few of us actually do? Creating the life we want should be easy, but for many reasons it isn’t. Sometimes we’re too busy working, paying bills or picking up kids to give it much thought. Sometimes we don’t know how to get clarity so we put it off until “later.” Or, perhaps, we have ignored what we really wanted and, instead, created a life that others wanted for us (or themselves) — ouch.
How to Create the Life You Want
If you aren’t living the life you want, how do you get back on track? How do you get clear on what you want? And how do you stay committed to it? Here are some steps that can help you get started:
Before getting what we want we must first know what that is. This may seem obvious but it trips up even the most intelligent people right out of the gate. Take out a blank sheet of paper and write “My Dream Life” at the top. List everything you want to have, do, be and share. From this list generate goals to help set you back on course.
Avoid the “Shiny New Object Syndrome”
It’s easy to lose momentum by getting distracted with new, exciting opportunities. Having clarity makes it easier to distinguish those opportunities that help move us forward from the ones that throw us off track. The next time a new opportunity arises ask yourself, “How will this help me achieve my ultimate goal of “x”? If it doesn’t, you probably want to dismiss the opportunity and move on.
People who focus on the destination as opposed to the journey also tend to be more critical of their failures. When you enjoy the process along the way, it’s easier to appreciate the end result — whether you consider it a “success” or “failure.” The next time you do experience failure, however, re-frame it. Consider that you have just learned how not to do something, and then acknowledge yourself for what you’ve learned.
Give in to Your Primal Instincts
Craving new challenges is hard-wired into our DNA. If it weren’t, we never would have left the cave, invented the wheel or flown to outer space. Ignoring this primal code over the long term can lead to disappointment. So how do you happily succumb to this urge? With more clarity and structure.
Create a list of things you haven’t done yet, but want to do. Be specific and remember the three, guaranteed “no fail” rules when it comes to goal setting:
1. Write it down. 2. Write it down. 3. Write it down.
Putting your list in writing transforms it from a desire into a personal contract with yourself.
Taking time to care for ourselves, guilt-free, is difficult for many people. Sometimes it feels as though things will fall off the rails if we “let go.” But when we do let go, something amazing happens: the earth still spins — people find a way to manage without us. Taking time off leaves us feeling refreshed and makes us better workers, parents, spouses and citizens.
Plus, going guilt-free can be contagious. As with anything worthwhile, there is no quick fix when it comes to designing and building the life you want. However, these steps can help guide you along your path to living the life you want…and loving the life you live.
Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications