All that talk of New Year’s resolutions comes around for a very good reason. We often think this year that next year we’ll do this differently – or better- or maybe learn to say no!
Or we spend a lot of time in hindsight – thinking about things we did but did wrong or shouldn’t have done. What we really need to do is spend our time thinking about foresight- how we will live our lives this year!
All life is an experiment.
The more experiments you make the better. – Ralph Waldo Emmerson
Creating the Life You Crave
Experimenting can be scary. It feels risky. You ask yourself a million what-if questions? What if it goes wrong? What if I have to start over? What will people think?
What you really should be asking is “Will this help me create the life I crave?” What you need to do is talk a walk through some really important questions that only YOU can answer.
How do I find Purpose and Meaning?
No one wants to get up every morning and do the same-old, same-old just because they did it yesterday, the day before that and a thousand days ago. You need to have a reason. Making a paycheck is a reason but there are other questions. Do you feel fulfilled? Does it make you happy? It is said that having a job you love is a great blessing so now you have to figure out what that is.
Or perhaps you have a job you love but your life outside of work is just blah. Do you wonder why you are here? It is time to give purpose to your existence.
If you want to be successful in this world, you have to follow your passion, not a paycheck. – Jen Welter, NFL’s first female coach
Where Do I Start?
The funny thing about a new beginning is it makes you want to grab a suitcase and get started. “Let’s go,” you think. But just like any trip, you have to have an agenda. In this case, your travel agenda is a plan. In order to have a plan, you have to know where you are going.
This trip begins with an empty suitcase and a chair. Take a seat. Instead of running about, allow yourself the privilege of considering what you really want. What will make you happy? Imagine yourself filling your suitcase with ideas. This journey doesn’t require you to fill the suitcase with the perfect idea right now. This is the time to think big- a real pie in the sky idea. It’s the time to allow all your what-if’s dreams to take control.
What Action Do I Take?
Now that you’ve tucked a few ideas into that empty suitcase, you’ll be wondering what to do next. Perhaps you dream of going back to school to finish a degree, opening a business, figuring out how go from full-time to part-time or how to start a non-profit for your passion. All of those loft goals really are attainable and they start with one step.
Often we make that first step a negative. Instead of listing what we need to do, we list in our head all the reasons we can’t do it. This time, turn the tables. Do some research. It doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t cost anything. Here are some examples:
- Get online and look at local schools. See what you would need to do to apply. What are the requirements?
- Or, get online and research online degrees in your field. See what institutions offer degrees you can work at from your own home?
- Search the words “small business plan template.” You’ll find sites that let you download a blank business plan. It will ask you all the questions you need to know in order to take your business from an idea to a reality. It doesn’t hurt you or cost you to answer questions! See where this dream can go.
- Look at non-profits across the country that does what you’d like to do locally. Or look at ones that are similar. Pick their brain. They want to help people. Email or call and ask questions about how they started. You’ll find they will help you help others.
These kinds of research efforts take you out of the negative and into the positive of knowing what kinds of steps you can take.
Can You Have a Get Real Moment?
Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. -Oscar Wilde
So much of creating the life you want is wrapped in being the person you are. Too often we spend a lot of time trying to please others and not rock the boat than being our authentic self.
There is a saying that says “the older I get the less I care what others think about me. Therefore the older I get, the more I enjoy life.” I wish I could meet the person who said that and shake their hand. It’s quite the truth. When you can stop worrying about being right – the right shoes, the right job, the right house- and so on, you’ll have so little to worry about.
Sometimes, we can almost feel as if we are living a double life. Out in public, we have on our public face and when we get home, we slip on our sweatpants along with our real face. Wouldn’t it be great if you could wear your real face all the time? You can when your goal is to please yourself because you are creating the life you want.
Can You Be Successful?
Now there is a trick question if I ever heard one. Before you can say yes or no, you have to define successful. What is successful to you? Does it involve money, prestige, rewards and recognitions, statistics or happiness? For some, success can be measured in lack of stress!
Start thinking differently. Define what success is for you. There is no wrong answer. It might really be money- which is very OK. Maybe you want to support your aging parents or send your kids to college? Maybe you want to retire before 60 or have a cottage on a lake? All of those are terrific goals. They are goals that if met, can definitely earn you a successful title.
But maybe it isn’t about money. Maybe you want work/life balance. If you can get your work done AND have family time then you are successful no matter the paycheck size.
Or maybe you feel called to help others? Many successful people don’t make a lot of money but they are very successful…from teachers to social workers to counselors or those in non-profits. They feel successful when they see the change in someone’s life.
Know your worth. Start to see yourself and your success differently.
Can You Live the Life You Want?
That is not a trick question. If your heart’s desire is to create the life you want on your terms, you can unlock those self-limiting beliefs so you paint the picture of empowerment and rid yourself of negative.