Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Stepping Stones

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!


One Step At A Time

The fact that you are unhappy has now become glaringly apparent. You have become aware that this place in life is not where you want to be. But what now?

Unknowingly, you have made the first step: you have acknowledged that something is wrong. Next you need to recognize that no one is going to make the changes for you. You are going to have to take action and work hard to achieve the happier life you seek.

People often try to make too many changes at once. This is when they become frustrated, and give up.

Making changes to your life is like losing weight. You didn’t put the pounds on over night, so you can’t expect them to come off over night. Change takes time. You will need to unlearn your bad habits and replace them with good ones. You will need to figure out what you want, and create detailed plans to achieve your goals.

Another mistake people make is to start with the biggest or most difficult change, without breaking the challenge into smaller, more attainable steps.

A great place to start the journey of change, is to schedule an afternoon all to yourself. Plan to spend the time somewhere peaceful. Maybe you have a favourite park. The important thing is that you are alone and have some quiet time to clear your mind. Be sure to bring a notepad and pen. Do not bring an electronic device. In fact, leave your phone at home. Completely disconnect. The time should be spent focussing on you.

Take a few moments to observe the nature around you. Breathe in the fresh air. Feel the calm relaxation wash over you. You will now begin your list of requirements for your ideal life. Write down everything that comes to mind.

Be conscious of the fact that material possessions will never make you truly happy. A list that starts with ‘I want a 12-car garage attached to my 20 bedroom home with a closet that holds all the clothes I can buy’ indicates you are not yet aware of what makes you feel fulfilled.

This is not to say that the request above is wrong. There are no wrong answers. Perhaps you need the 12-car garage because you dream of restoring sports cars. And the 20 bedrooms are for the numerous children you wish to have in your life.

This exercise is not about analyzing your dreams to decide if the request is realistic. Nor is it about defining what you want to do and who you want to be. It’s okay to say ‘I don’t know what I want to do with my life’. Don’t stress about it. Being aware that you don’t know is what will make you start to look at your life more analytically. You will quickly recognize what parts of your life make you happy.

The point of the list is to begin to see the destination. Knowing where you want to go will help you map out how to get there.

Do not put a time limit on making your list. Once you have written all you can think of while in the park, keep the list somewhere close by for the next few days. You may find you come up with more to add as the ideas stew and evolve in your imagination.

Embrace the feeling created by writing down your dreams. This is your mind opening to the possibilities of a better, happier life. This is your mind becoming aware that change is achievable. You are ready to take the journey, one step at a time.

Have a Mojo Day

Peace Out 🙂

Is it really for you?

Most of us can say that at some point in our lives we made a change for someone else. Maybe you changed your hairstyle to impress a special someone. Maybe you participated in a team sport because all of your friends were doing the same.

It is important to be sure that the life changes you are making, or are about to make, are for you.

Take the time to analyze the change you want to make. Why is it important to you? How is it going to make you have a happier life? How will the change make you feel more satisfied with your life?

Are you moving back to the small town where you grew up to be closer to family, reconnect with friends, and find a simpler way of life? Or are you doing it because your mother wants you to be near by?

Are you trying to lose 20 pounds to be healthier, have more energy, and feel better about yourself? Or are you doing it in the hopes that a certain person finds you more attractive?

Are you training to become a doctor because you want to help people have better health, and you believe that helping others makes the world a better place? Or are you training because your parents want to have a doctor in the family?

In all of these examples, the first question should be answered positively. The second question could be an added bonus in that you are pleasing someone else in the process of improving your own state of mind.

If the primary reason for the change is not to ultimately increase your happiness, question why you are making the change.

Although making a change to please someone else will provide a brief sense of fulfillment, in the long run you may end up even unhappier than you were before.

Let go of the notion that you are obligated to change for the people around you. Don’t be persuaded by what society thinks you should do, act like, look like, or otherwise have an opinion about. Change will only last if it is your idea in the first place.

When you look over the list of items required for your ideal life, be sure the focus is on you.

Believe that what you want is attainable.

Have a Mojo Day

Peace Out 🙂

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