Get the Life You Want
Editing and changing the shape of your life begins by changing your thought processes.
Is your perspective on life shrinking?
It's so easy to be carried along by the "small stuff", the demands of daily life - life admin and emails, sorting dinner, helping a moody monosyllabic teen with their homework... Whatever the focus, being immersed in life up close puts us in danger of losing sight of the bigger picture - or being too busy even to create "a bigger picture" to work towards.
If your energy and vision rarely reach beyond the end of this week, this month or your next holiday, it could be time to broaden your vision.
Does time run away from you?
Passing time is another clue. Creating a "bigger picture", a long-term life plan takes time and effort. It's not something that you can pull together in a quick 20-minute break between one thing and the next.
You may feel that you're "too busy' to do it - then five years, ten years have flown by, and you're still not living the life that makes you the happiest.
Without clearly defined goals and a sense of direction, a light to move towards, we get strangely addicted to daily acts of trivia. Whether it's scrolling mindlessly through Social Media, spending hours in front of the TV or surfing the web for much longer than we meant to, it's a way of filling up time and distracting ourselves from the fact that we don't know where we are going.
The first step towards creating direction for your life is to take time out of it. Many businesses have away days for staff. They spend a lot of money taking people out of the office to somewhere new and relaxed so they can brainstorm in a creative way. They do this because it works.
Treat yourself to your own 'vision days'. Book a couple of blocks of time in your calendar a month or so apart. If you can escape to a peaceful setting, it may help to create that expanded feeling and bigger thinking that you're after. If you're at home, switch off your phone, silence the outside world and tune into you.
Food for the Soul
The goal is to reconnect with your dreams and begin directing your life towards them.
Take a personal inventory and ask yourself these questions;
When were you happiest?
What brings out the best in you?
What makes you stressed?
What makes you excited when you think about the present?
When do you feel most motivated?
What do people compliment you on?
What is the subject that you come back to over and over?
Where do you love to be?
When you think about your future, what inspires you?
You can use as journal prompts and write down your answers.
Create a Vision Board
Hopefully, by your second 'vision session', you will feel more proactive and positive. Now work toward your unique vision for the future. This could be an old-fashioned pinboard - with pictures from a magazine, words that inspire you, clothing you would love to wear, places you'd love to go, the home you'd like to live in, or, photos of yourself that you love - or you can do it digitally on Pinterest.com.
Write a vision statement that encapsulates who you want to be and where you'd like to go in life.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt.
Look for Inspiration
Find people who have made it to where you want to be - whether that's getting fit, moving to the countryside or setting up your own business. Meeting people, whether online or face to face - who've already made the journey will make your dream seem more real. How did they do it? What were the challenges? Take any advice that they can offer you.
Make short-term goals
Focus on a few you'd like to achieve before your next vision day. Plan a couple of small changes to move you closer to where you'd like to be heading - your starting to steer your life in the right direction. It could be anything - signing up for an evening class, starting a blog, scheduling a run, spending time with nature. Challenge any thought patterns that bring you down. Starting small with a few successful changes will make you feel energised and in control.
Do some future thinking
You don't need to think too far ahead. Many of us feel overwhelmed if we try and imagine our lives in five or ten years time.
Closer feels more real. Think of how you'd like your life to be in three years. That might include financial goals, career changes, where you'd like to be living, your relationships, as well as health and wellbeing.
Some of us like to get specific, others less so. The aim is to direct your life. If three years still feels like too much - think a year, or even a month at a time to begin with.
Share the news of your new-found vision
It helps to let the important people in your life know all about your ambitions, whether they are big or small.
Be honest when you talk to them about your hopes, why they're important and the possible consequences for anyone else. If people feel included, they'll be more supportive along the way.
It keeps you accountable too. Back in the real world, as daily demands take up your time, when you're tired or facing a knock-back, it will be tempting to quietly let yourself off the hook and lose yourself in the minutiae of daily life.
If you set up a support system of others who are excited for you too, it will be harder for you to give up. It could be a professional coach, or you can form your own group of people on a similar journey who share your passion at meetup.com
Enjoy the now
Once you've decided on your goals, enjoy the journey. Appreciate what's special; a family dinner, a walk on the beach, or shopping with your daughter.
Notice the little milestones too - the small victories that show your moving in the right direction - getting a little bit fitter, the first page of your book or blog.
Celebrate each step, no matter how small.
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