If you want to change your life this year; if this is the year you’re actually going to go to the country that’s been on your list forever, if this is the year you’re going to leave the job you hate, if this is the year you’re determined to change SOMETHING to make your life better: CONGRATULATIONS. You’ve taken the first step to doing something.
You've set an intention.
But let me guess, you’ve had this intention before right? And nothing’s happened.
If you’ve got your vision sorted (the 'perfect' version of your life - see here why it’s important) you can create lovely goals based on that vision.
But it feels SO far away
Wondering how you're going to achieve those goals can be really overwhelming because it’s so totally different to where you are right now.
Because to get even close, we'd have to change almost EVERYTHING - right?
And it seems like a massive amount of effort to change everything at once (it would be a bit of a shock to the system if it all changed in a day!)
Breaking down each goal into a series of to-do lists, in the order you need to do them can help translate the far away dreamy scenario into a practical map for here and now.
Bring in the skills (you likely already have these)
Chances are, if you’ve ever planned a party or managed a project at work, you’ll have the skill-set to to do this. It works best for me when I write down all the things I need to do and then rearrange them in the order they need doing. I start by imagining myself achieving the goal and working backwards from there.
One of my goals for this year is: Make yoga a regular practice in a dedicated space in my home.
(NB. I haven’t done ANYTHING about this yet) But here’s my to-do list (in order):
- Identify a space in my home
- Clear the space
- Decide how much is 'regular'
- Learn some yoga moves
'Easy' makes it likely
Notice that ‘Buy a mat’ isn’t on there. I’m going for the experience. And wherever something is overwhelming (from this list I'm thinking that’s 'Learn some yoga moves'), I make it super easy. So ‘Learn some yoga moves' becomes ‘Learn one yoga move and do it on Mondays and Tuesdays'. Much more likely to happen.
It’s in the detail
Getting specific helps. 'Identify a space' becomes ‘Identify a space which is fairly quiet, with carpet, with a mirror and has somewhere for my iPad (so I can look up additional moves if I'm feeling inspired!)'
But what if you’re not in a position to just get on with it?
Choose the best option for you
By September 2013, I had my vision clear and I was desperate to escape from my job.
I wanted to just get on a plane and go to Italy, but the tenancy on my flat still had another 6 months to go. I had a few options - to abandon the tenancy and face the consequences (not a great option in my opinion) continue paying for it but leave it empty (again, not great) find someone to replace me in the tenancy (possibly) or to plan the move after the tenancy ended.
I chose to wait, and after the tenancy ended, I purposely looked for a flat with a flexible tenancy so I could pay rent month by month rather than be tied in. Within four months I was on the plane to Italy!
It works better with support
I haven’t and don’t achieve my goals by myself. I have support, inspiration and encouragement from the people around me - my own coach, a lovely accountability group and the numerous newsletters and people I follow online and connect with offline. If nothing else, start seeing what people you envy do to achieve their goals and connect with them as a first step.
What are your goals and what help do you need with them? Ask your questions in the comments below.