Do you wish you could hit the reset button on your life? Maybe you’re in a job you hate, or just wish you had more time for the things that matter to you and knew how to say no to those that didn’t. These steps will get you headed in the right direction, and you can get started today.
- Look at your current life
The first step to making a change is looking at where you are now. Grab a notebook and write down everything about your life. Include things like your job, your relationships, where you live, anything you can think of that impacts how you currently feel. Don’t be critical, anything and everything counts. Only once you take inventory of where you are can you see where you may want to make changes for the future.
Now that you’ve looked at where you are, you have to work on what your ideal life would look like. The first step in this is deciding what you want your quality of life to be. This includes all aspects of your life, focusing on your values and life goals. If you want to be more family oriented, or work for yourself, what kind of quality of life do you want?
Next you have to decide what success looks like to you. This is not the success that society may be broadcasting, or the success you think you need. It’s the success that you want in your life. You can start defining your success by writing down what a perfect day looks like to you. Be sure to include where you spend your time and whom you spend it with. This is all about what you want if you could do anything. Don’t hold yourself to only what you feel is attainable, just write down everything you’d want in a perfect day.
Now that you know what your perfect day looks like you need to think about your environment, and where you spend that day. This is your ideal space; the sky’s the limit. Think about things that would provide you peace and would allow you to breathe, not just the biggest best house and car. You must focus on how you feel while you’re in this environment, not just what it looks like.
Focusing on your feelings is the key to defining your success and lifestyle. You want to get rid of those not-so good feelings and bring in more good ones, so take inventory of how you feel right now, or lately. Write down any words that come to mind in a list. After you finish your list, review it and write down how you’d want to feel. Once that list is complete write down activities and situations that make you feel those wants already. This will help you find your purpose because those things that don’t feel like work, those things you enjoy, will provide direction for your life.
Now that you have done some brainstorming it’s time to start visualizing. You’ve probably heard of a vision board, gathering images either physically or mentally that represent how you’d like to see your life. Now this is a great practice, but we need to take it a step further and create a plan so you can actually live that new life. What you want to end up with is what I call smart success, a recreated life based on your own definition of what you want. Nothing will happen on it’s own, you’re going to need a plan to make this ideas a reality.
Before you create a plan you’re going to need to create a mental fortress. This is your decision to change how you live and understanding that it’s a necessity. Once you decide to do it you need to set up boundaries to protect yourself and stay focused on why you feel this change in necessary. Only once you have those things clear and in place can you start forming a plan of action.
Okay, now that you’ve brainstormed your ideal life, you need to take those ideas and specifically list what in your current life needs to change in order for you to live that ideal life. Write down all the things that need to happen in order to get to your personal utopia. What things need to be changed or removed from your life? Don’t worry about how to make those things happen right now, just focus on what needs to be changed.
After you’ve finished your list of things that need to be changed, you need to decide what items can be delegated, or done by someone else. This can be tough, especially when you feel like you are the only one who can do them right, but in order to make your ideal a reality things are going to need to be shaken up. If you aren’t ready to delegate and let some items go then you aren’t ready for that new reality. Perhaps you feel you can’t afford to pay someone to do a job you’re already doing but chances are your probably can’t afford to keep things going the way they are.
The next step here once you’ve decided what to delegate and where, is needing to tackle those big items that you either need to get into, or get out of. What I mean is you probably have a big change you’d like to make either by getting into something new or getting out of something old. Now is the time to focus on the how portion that we ignored earlier. This is called reverse engineering. Say you want to leave your job to work from home, now is the time to break it down and find steps and a timeline to accomplishing your goal. It will take time, but nothing is impossible when you have a plan. Break it down and start with one step at a time, and make sure to have a timeline for each item in order to hold you accountable.
This is the fun part, where you take action after all that preparation. Your blueprint is the stuff you need to do, and your execution is how you do that stuff. This is where all the questions are answered after all that brainstorming and planning. Once you’ve outlined your steps, now is the time to act on them.
Part of acting on your new plans has to do with the people you include in your life. By deciding to change your life you’ll probably have to change the people in it too. This can be very difficult but you need to take inventory of who is around you and see how they behave and live. We only play to the level we’re surrounded by, so if your crowd isn’t uplifting and inspiring it’s time to get a new one.
Now that you’re acting on your plan it’s also important to think in terms of seasons. What I mean is that certain crops grow in certain times of the year and are harvested in other times. You have to view projects as seasons and decide what needs the majority of your focus. By focusing on that item you also have to remember that something else will be put on the back burner. The season metaphor also works here because the crops rotate, so something that’s forward now will be pushed back for something else to come forward later. We only grow when we rest, not when stress and pressure is put on us, so it’s important to prioritize your items and remember it’s okay to focus on one thing and rest on another.