Whilst you needn’t rigidly follow a meticulous five-year plan, thinking ahead and having a vision of the life you want is the only way to identify, and start making, the necessary steps to get there. But if the thought of planning your future has you feeling overwhelmed, SL contributor Nina Bertok has rounded up ten ways to help you realise your dream life without needing to have everything decided…
Remember You’re In Charge
It's your life and you call the shots. Of course, there are some circumstances beyond our control, but you’re the biggest factor when it comes to changing things. It’s up to you which talents and skills you develop, what sort of people you have as friends, and whether you’ll move cities or find a new job. Take responsibility for your thoughts and your actions. Push yourself, embrace a few risks and if things don’t work out, evaluate your experiences and consider whether a new approach is needed.
Figure Out What You Want & Why
How can you live the life of your dreams if you've never pictured how it looks? Start with what your ideal day looks like... What time would you wake up? What sort of activities would you do? Would you spend time alone or with other people? Then move on to the bigger questions - what do you think is your purpose? What would you like your legacy to be? What truly excites you? And why is this important to you? It cheesy, but if it’s possible, you should follow your passion because that’s where your core values lie, and that’s what’s going to fulfil you.
Make A Vision Board
Creating a vision board can help cement things in your mind. Make a collage of cut-out pictures, phrases and captions, or anything that resonates with you – but remember, it should represent your life, rather than just things you’d like to buy. Visual reinforcement can be a powerful tool, waking up and seeing the life you want to live is motivating and can help manifest the reality.
Commit To Your Dream
"A clear sense of purpose will compel you into action and fuel your bravery to overcome any size obstacle," says leadership coach Margie Warrell. So try to avoid questioning yourself. If your 'why' is powerful enough, you’ll find some way to figure out the 'how'. Commit to what you want and you’ll notice you're starting to attract the people, resources and opportunities you need to make your dream come true.
Do A Time Inventory
Another way to fight self-doubt is by scheduling in smaller goals. Make sure each day that passes is aligned with your next goal, and the bigger picture will start to fall into place. Look at the way you use your day and find the time to pursue your goals – anything from sending a networking email to going to the gym – and some time each week to review how things are going. Also, note the daily routines that keep you healthy, energised and fired up because these will get you in a ‘peak state’, which is a sort of springboard for action.
Control Your Mental State
Life coach Tony Robbins says if you want to increase your success, you need to start becoming actively aware of your state of mind at all times. Because it’s never fixed, it’s possible to alter your state of mind to perform at your best. Giving up stimulants like coffee and sugary drinks is a good start, but it’s not all about surrendering the good stuff – just paying attention to your physiology like your posture, tone of voice and body language can go a long way. Reading something empowering can also help and superfoods have a similar impact, with blueberries, kale, quinoa, broccoli, chia, strawberries, salmon and cranberries all triggering a ‘peak state’.
Find Your ‘A-Team’
Never underestimate the impact of the people around you to either move your forward or hold you back. Find yourself a team of supportive people who are positive friends, mentors, information sources, or just general cheerleaders. It’s a good idea to develop a sense of expectancy that the world is here to support you and bring you opportunities, not failure and rejection, and only surround yourself with people who know you deserve everything you want.
Review & Tweak As Needed
Your vision for your life should be treated as a goal and not a wish – for example, try and aim to be happier at work rather than saying, ‘In six months’ time, I’ll double my salary’. Once your smaller goals are in place, it’s important to analyse your progress and decide the next best stage of your approach. Consider what hasn’t worked and how it could be done better, then simply adjust your course. People who are living their best life are always keeping an eye on it. They monitor and check their progress and endlessly tweak their path in response to their changing circumstances. If something doesn’t work, they don’t dwell on it, take it as a lesson and keep going.
Do It Now
Planning is necessary, but acting is vital. The life of your dreams may actually be closer than you think, but it won’t come to you if you’re not putting yourself out there. Postponing and making excuses just won’t work. Life’s all about growth and forward momentum anyway. You don’t have to feel 100% ready or know absolutely everything before you do it, but you do need to start talking to people, risking rejection and asking for what you want.
Celebrate & Stay Grateful
Celebrating success is important because it acknowledges a job well done and builds your self-confidence, but it also lets you express gratitude to those who helped you get there. And when it comes to being grateful, you should start sooner rather than later. Appreciate the delicious dinner you just had, or the miraculously empty tube carriage, or the amazing people in your life – this positivity will only inspire and empower you.