Have you ever felt like you were moving nowhere fast? You’ve been stuck in a rut, it seems, for a while now. You want to be better, live a purposeful life, accomplish your goals, but you have no idea where to start.
Life has drained you.
Work has drained you.
Your children and family have drained you.
What do you have left to give? You are not alone. That was also me. I was stuck in a revolving door that had become my life. As a result, I was constantly frustrated. I knew that I was not living up to my full potential.
I didn’t want to continue to waste precious time to build someone else’s dream while neglecting my own. I was miserable at work, and I was desperate to figure out my calling.
The answer for me was goal-setting.
I realized that my future is tied to the choices I make today. How can you make the best decision for yourself without knowing where you are going? Goal-setting is like creating a life map. You must begin to be intentional and deliberate in your decision making.
Sometimes the choice you need to make is an obvious one, but other times you don’t know what to do next. Remember that indecision is still a decision. By not doing anything at all, you are still making a choice. Where you are in life currently is a direct result of your past decisions or lack thereof. Your future will be built on the decisions you make today. Indecision can be very costly, and it can rob you of the power over your life. In moments of uncertainty, you can refer back to your goals ensuring that your next decision is the best decision.
While working through the steps below, I challenge you to seek and set goals that give you purpose and add meaning to your life. Yes, I would also like a brand-new Mercedes, but the point of this exercise is to cultivate things that matter the most to you.
What does success look like in your ideal life?
This is your opportunity to be honest about your heart’s desires and set a plan to bring your goals to life. Your life will not change until you change it! I was going through life on auto-pilot, and I bet you are, too!
The question is what are you going to do about it?
Here are 5 steps that will take your life off auto-pilot and put you back in the driver’s seat!
1. Realize that you have the power to change your life.
The first step is all about shifting your current mentality. You must make the decision that you are ready to change your life. It may sound simple, but it’s not always easy to maintain confidence in your decision to change when stepping into the unknown. Step one is realizing that you have power over your life. You have the power to create the life you want, and the only person that can hold you back is you. Once you truly believe that, nothing will stop you! A great way to stay encouraged and motivated is through daily affirmations. It doesn’t have to be an essay, but rather a few sentences that you can repeat to yourself when you are feeling down or in need of a little push to get over an obstacle.
2. Find your why.
Ever wonder why New Year resolutions don’t work? Each year you jot down a quick list of goals, but around mid-February that list is nowhere to be found, and you’ve fallen back into your old habits. The problem is you haven’t figured out the “why” behind each goal. Your “why” is what makes your goal important. If something is important, you will make it a priority. Take a moment to reflect on what is truly motivating you. It could be your children, your spouse, the possibility of early retirement, etc. Make that the guiding light in your life! There will be days that you want to throw in the towel, but continuously remind yourself who or what you are doing this for.
3. Figure out what you actually want.
Many times, this is harder than it sounds. You can start by looking at your priorities.
Make a list of 5-10 areas in your life that are a priority to you. For example, you can use health, finances, family, spirituality, etc. Now take a moment and start writing down every goal you would like to accomplish. Dream big! Think about what your ideal life would look like. No goal is too big. This is the point where you are completely honest with yourself.
Organize the goals by the categories you just came up with on your priority list. Now for each life area that you consider to be a priority, you should have at least one goal. Once you know what it is that you want, it becomes easier to cut things out of your life that are not helping you move in the right direction. From this list, what can you work towards over the next 90 days? Let’s narrow it down to a few things that you can start striving towards today. You should now have a list of short term and long term goals.
4. Let’s get into action!
Each goal needs a plan of action. Putting your goals on paper is only half of the battle. Each goal needs action steps that will guide you and keep you on track. You will be less likely to get overwhelmed if you have a plan. Remember that the goals should be specific, measurable, and timely. Give yourself a deadline! For each goal, jot down 3-5 action steps that you will help propel you towards achievement.
5. Find an accountability partner.
Find someone to hold you accountable! It could be your spouse, your best friend, or a co-worker. As long as it’s someone who truly wants to see you succeed and will keep you focused on the big picture. Life is full of distractions daily, and accountability partners help you remember your why and keep you on track to ensure you follow through with your goals. On days that you feel discouraged, reach out to your accountability partner for some motivation.
Now take a DEEP BREATH! *exhales* whew! You did it!
Keep your goals in sight and continue to work through your action steps. If something doesn’t work, change the plan not the goal! Just because one thing didn’t work, it doesn’t mean something else won’t. Stay focused and keep your eye on the prize. I know this exercise took a lot of work, but your future is worth it.
Remember at the end of the day we are the sum of our life experiences. You must find peace in where you are because you are not there by mistake. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is not promised. All you have is today. Why not use every God-given breath to figure out your purpose? Never give up on your goals and dreams no matter what path you are currently on. Make a commitment to choose happiness in your daily life and work relentlessly towards your goals. Trust the process.
Comment below and tell me what some of your goals are!
Still trying to figure out where to start? Download the Life Audit Worksheets for FREE!