You have decided to make some life changes. You have realized what is important in your life, and decided what your ideal life looks like. You even wrote it down.
As I said previously, “People often try to make too many changes at once. This is when they become frustrated, and give up.”
Choose one item from your ideal life list to focus on. Be sure to select an ideal that is not the biggest challenge on your list. Work up to that one by achieving some of the smaller, perhaps easier goals. This will give you a boost and help you realize you can achieve your dreams.
Take your first challenge item and break it into smaller pieces and tasks. Ask yourself the question ‘what do I need to do to achieve this goal?’
When you begin analyzing these smaller tasks, you may feel overwhelmed, that your dream is unrealistic, or feel defeated. There may be a lot of big questions that involve investigation, consideration, and above all some hard work. Remember: living the life you want and being fulfilled and happy is worth the effort required to get there.
If you attempt to tackle a life-change without doing any planning, when questions do arise, you may be stressed to get the answers. By taking some time to plan journey, you are addressing how to take on some of the bigger challenges up front. There will still be things that come up that you didn’t think of, but if you were to wait to begin working on achieving this goal until you were 100% certain you had everything covered, you would never start.
Focus on covering off the big questions. The little questions will come up in their own time and you will come up with the answers.
Once you have come up with the questions that need investigation, consider this crucial question:
When do you want to see this challenge completed?
Setting a deadline for your goal is when some reality checks may happen, but don’t let them discourage you.
Let’s say that you would like to purchase a new home, in the centre of a major city, within the next 12 months. On investigation, you find that these homes are not affordable within your desired time frame. Don’t give up! Carefully consider the reasons you want to live in that location. Perhaps what attracts you to the city centre could be found in another area? Or perhaps living just outside the ‘perfect’ location is more affordable, but close enough to still meet your requirements?
Does this mean you will never end up exactly where you want to? NO! It means that sometimes you have to add some extra steps along the way, creating stepping stones, to achieve the goals that will help you live your ideal life.
These stepping stones become ‘mini-goals’ on the journey. Call them milestones if you like.
Once you have broken down your goal into smaller steps and decided on your timeline, map out your journey in your calendar. Make the steps ‘to-do’ items on your task list.
Perhaps the steps you need to take happen daily, such as eating 8 servings of vegetables per day on your journey to lead a healthier life. Perhaps your stepping stones are less frequent.
Don’t forget to be flexible. If you miss a task one day, work on it the next day. The world will not end. This is not about creating stress. You may also want to schedule time to review what you have accomplished and re-evaluate your final goal. Sometimes you may find you alter your map of stepping stones based on new information, or a change to your vision of your ideal life.
The important thing is that you have taken the time to figure out how to achieve your goal, and can now begin to change your life. Good luck on your journey!