Last month I wrote about creating the life you want, after experiencing the shock of losing someone very close to me. It is a gift to take the time to reappraise your life and an especially relevant exercise to do at the start of the year.
The thought that you can create the life you want is often daunting. You may feel overwhelmed by the enormity of it. Even thinking you can start to create it is guaranteed to kick start your inner critic. You may be having thoughts like “I don’t deserve to have the life I want”, “I haven’t the right qualifications/experience for my business to be successful” or “I’ll never find the time”, or a classic “they won’t let me”.
Like any change, activating your dream life is best done in small steps, frequently.
It is really important that you actively look for signs of success so you continue to motivate yourself and build your armoury to silence your inner critic.
Try this step by step approach to creating the life you want!
Step 1: Turn your Inner Critic Off
This has already been mentioned but we have all had out inner critic turned on full volume for most of our lives, so turning it off will take some practice! Notice your thinking and observe your thoughts. The next time you hear yourself being critical, say to yourself “thanks for sharing”. And then try and think something more helpful. Over time and with practice, this does get easier.
Step 2: What Will I Get From My Dream Life?
Chances are your dream life will require change on your part. As humans we are biologically programmed to resist change. This will show up to you in doubt, inertia and procrastination. To push through this you need a “WOW” list of reasons why making the change is worth it.
Take some time and write at least 20 reasons why this life is going to be fantastic and what you will love about it!
Step 3: Breaking It Into Steps – Find some Post Its!
I always love this part! Take some Post it notes and on each post it note, write one element of your dream life. You may end up with 10 or 20 post its! On my post its I have things like “Be fit”, “Run successful workshops’, “Drive to New Zealand from London”, “Buy a beach house”, “Be a successful published author”, “Be there for the kids”, “Live in the sun”, “Travel abroad four times a year”, “Be a wonderful friend”….you probably can see what my dream life will be like!
Place these post its on a wall or on a big piece of blank paper.
Step 4: When????
Now get three more blank post-its and write on them as follows…
- Post it note 1: Now!
- Post it note 2: This Year
- Post it note 3: Next year and beyond
Then imagine you have divided your wall or blank piece of paper into three columns, place one of the post it notes above at the top of the three columns. So you will have headings on each column.
Take your post it notes made in Step 3 and allocate them to a time frame. For example, my “Be fit” would go under “Now”, “Run successful workshops” go into “This Year” and ““Drive to New Zealand from London” into “Next Year and Beyond’
Step 5: Start Now!
It may surprise you but you can probably start living element of your dream life now!
Take a look at you “Now” column – what is in there that if you tweaked your life or your routine a little that you could actually start doing now?
Be honest with yourself and if necessary stretch yourself to consider what small things you can do now to move towards achieving that element of your life.
Write them down so you can actively make time for them in your schedule and tick them off when you have done them!
Step 6: Planning for the Year
In your second column, “This Year” consider each element separately. Chances are these are larger initiatives and may take more planning and action. Make these seem more achievable by breaking them into smaller components.
Take each post it note topic separately and think about all the elements that will need to make this happen. You may also want to write each element on a separate post it.
So for my “Run successful workshops”. I would have elements such as
- – decide who audience will be
- – create meaningful workshop topics
- – plan when they will be run
- – find venues
- – promote each workshop
- – promote on website
Write on each one when it needs to be completed. And again schedule these into your calendar.
Step 7: Next Year and Beyond
This is probably where the really juicy stuff is! And undoubtedly will take major change, planning and cash to get it done. So, start now! Revisit that list of WOW reasons this life is so compelling and like in the previous step, start breaking it down into smaller steps.
Chances are some of the smaller steps may be big areas in themselves, so again, break it down…..
In my example of driving New Zealand from London ultimately means it will be a one way trip! So, this will mean me selling our house, taking our kids out of school, financing a year off work and so on…….
Doing this would be a dream come true and from this exercise I realise that I need to start now on the planning to pull it off.
If the areas in this column seem daunting consider how much regret you may have if you didn’t do it.
Step 8: Recognise Your Progress!
When we are moving toward a goal we often forget to acknowledge and appreciate the work we have done to get there. Owning your life and making moves to creating he life you want is a huge achievement!
Everyday take 10 minutes and reflect on what you have done today to move towards your ideal. Some days you will do a lot and maybe on others a little less.
It is important to actively do at least one thing every day, as it is the small steps and changes that will build up and make the biggest difference. Actively reflecting at the end of each day will make this initiative more real, more alive and you will feel great by acknowledging your progress!
About the Author: Wendy Kerr is an expert in Corporate Crossovers® – women who have left corporate careers to start their own businesses. Her company, Corporate Crossovers®, offers coaching, mentoring and resources to enable these women to thrive in their businesses and their lives. Every month she offers free Momentum Masterclasses over the phone with relevant topics to give you a burst of momentum for your business!
Wendy has been coaching for over nine years and has worked with hundreds of clients to help them achieve their goals. Before she became a Corporate Crossover herself, she spent 20 years in corporate, including as General Manager of high profile internet start-ups, FT.com and Quicken.com.au and marketing global brands including Apple, Smirnoff, Tia Maria and Colgate.
Through her company, Corporate Crossovers®,Wendy works with women business owners to help them get more focus in their business, feel more in control of their work and to make more income. For more information, and your free e-book to “Discover the Four Blocks that Stop You From Earning What You Used To and How to Overcome Them ”, visit http://www.CorporateCrossovers.com