Okay, so right away you may be thinking, ‘How can having what you want be broken down into only five simple steps? It can’t be that easy.’ I don’t want to downplay the dedication and work it takes to create the life of your dreams, but I do want to emphasize that creating that life is totally within your reach.
There are a few things you can do right now, today, to jumpstart your journey to a life that is whole, balanced and fun.
I think we can all agree with the notion that decision without action really doesn’t amount to much. You can decide to start an exercise routine and buy the gym membership, but until you actually lace up your sneakers and work up a sweat consistently, you haven’t done what you set out to do. It’s like that with finding a new career or beginning a new spiritual practice.
For me, even with New You Development, I have to remind myself that even though I have all of these ideas, the only way I can share them with you is if I’m actively following these five steps consistently.
Step One: Get Clear
First, you have to get clear on what area of life you want to focus on and what you want to accomplish. Be specific. You can follow these steps for multiple areas of life, but let’s just start with one for the sake of this exercise. You can go back and do this process as many times as you like.
For a change of pace, let’s not talk about diet, exercise or career. Let’s just say you want to add more fun into your life. You work hard. You eat well. You play by the rules. But maybe you’re feeling like you want to explore your creative side, laugh a bit more and nurture the parts of you that have been neglected. What do you really want? Do you want to find a new hobby? Meet new people and have more connection? Find an outlet to relieve stress and create more joy? What do you want?
Step Two: Find a Compelling Outcome
Next, you want to go a step beyond what you want, dig deep and find the compelling outcome. The outcome is the end result or the reason why. What do you hope to accomplish? What do you want to feel? What does your goal look like?
If we go back to our example of having more fun, what is a compelling outcome? Is it completing a painting or cooking a meal for friends? Is it volunteering at the animal shelter and loving on some dogs? Is it being alone on the beach with a good book? Is it having a beautiful flower garden in your backyard? What does fun look like to you? And what will you be able to accomplish once you are enjoying yourself more often. Are you more passionate? Who in your life will also benefit?
Step Three: Make a Decision
Here is where it gets interesting. This is where you stop visualizing and set your intention. Yes, you can absolutely make a plan to have more fun! What are you going to do to reach your compelling outcome? If you want to host a fabulous dinner party with your favorite friends, what do you need to do? Sign up for cooking classes. Buy that beginner’s cookbook you’ve been eyeing. Schedule a visit to a local farmer’s market. Ask some friends to help you out?
Decide on at least three actions you can take to go from wanting something, to making it happen.
Step Four: Make a Commitment
This step means acknowledging your intention and making a plan. Put money down on a vacation rental. Pay the deposit on cooking or foreign language classes, whatever it is for you. By the way, a commitment doesn’t always involve a financial obligation. It could also mean signing up to host the next book club or joining a swimming league. Even simpler, make a dinner reservation at the restaurant you’ve always wanted to try.
If you need extra help to stay committed, enlist a friend for support or post your commitment right here below. Sometimes it’s easier to hold ourselves accountable when we know someone else is involved. We don’t want to disappoint and in the end, this helps us do what we ultimately want to do.
Step Five: Follow Through
Remember, just because you make the commitment, it doesn’t amount to much unless you follow through. And I want to take it a step further. I want you to cultivate a practice. By practice I mean a consistent effort that goes beyond intention. A practice is actually putting in the time. It’s fulfilling your commitment. It’s doing what you say you want to do.
If we go back to our example of fun, what is there to lose? Take that sunset hike every Saturday. Read the newspaper at your favorite coffeehouse on Sunday morning. Start a ritual that you can easily accommodate into your schedule. Set yourself up to win so that you can wholeheartedly enjoy what you’re doing. It’s not fun if it becomes work, so go back and adjust what you’re doing accordingly.
I hope you will take a few moments to think about an area of your life where you’d like to create change. These steps amaze me because when I’m struggling with something, I always return to them and they work every time.
1. What do you want?
2. What is your compelling outcome?
3. What is a decision you can make right now?
4. How will you commit to this decision?
5. How will you follow through/practice?
ps. For more tips on goals click here!