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:
Know What Motivates You
Motivation becomes stronger when you have a vision or an image of what you want to achieve. You may have the desire to get something done or to achieve a particular goal, but if the desire and ambition are not strong enough, you may lack the initiative and willingness to take the necessary action. A motivated person takes action and does what is needed to achieve her or his goals.
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, reframe 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, keeping yourself motivated can make you a happier person, more energetic and enable you to see the positive results. Getting the life of your dreams should be more than a dream. Make it a reality by taking these steps; as the saying goes “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” Imagine you are at the end of your life; would you rather have wonderful memories or awful regrets? Only you can make the life you want so what are you waiting for? Go for it!