The advent of social media has enabled people to share their lives on a much larger scale than previously possible. From mundane daily routines to life changing experiences, sharing stories and internal narratives have become the nuts and bolts of social media’s popularity. We are far more aware of the ins and outs of peoples lives, than ever before. But could a consequence of this, be a feeling of lacking or failing at our own lives?
When things aren’t going well for us, reading and seeing how fortunate others are can rub salt in the wound rather than provide relief. Feeling inadequate is sometimes unavoidable. During more challenging times it can also be difficult to avoid comparing our lives to theirs. It’s in this way that what we don’t have in our lives can become the focus of our attention, rather than what we do have.
Recently I’ve watched more and more of my friends reach major milestones in their lives. It’s prompted some self reflection. Consequently, I’ve decided to make some changes in my life. This might sound familiar. Or perhaps the converse is true and you’ve reached several milestones but now feel like you’re running out of steam -what next? Well rest assured you aren’t the only person asking yourself the big question: what am I doing with my life?
But where to begin? Making life altering changes is quite a mammoth task to embark on. But often the best solution when faced with an overwhelming task, is to break it down in to a series of smaller steps. So I have done, and I’d like to share it with you, plus some great resources I’ve found too:
4 Steps that’ll help you change your life
1) Ask the right questions and you may find the answers you’ve been looking for
Mark Manson has a terrific article. I don’t always get on with self help material, because often it can be a little flowery and hard to apply. But Mark’s: 7 strange questions that help you find your life purpose, is genuinely inspirational. The article encourages you to think about life in a unconventional way. It offers no illusions that life should be perfect or vague assertions that troubled times will eventually pass. Instead his thoughts and questions encourage you to see life in realistic terms. His notion challenging happiness as something free from negative association, is particularly refreshing. For instance he proposes that life will always be a little bit naff, no matter what we do, but rather than harbour under the illusion that one day things will be ‘perfect’, we should consider instead what unpleasant experiences we can endure to get what will make us happy. After all, nothing worth having comes easily – so they say. These questions are a great starting point to help determine what actually makes you happy and what will make life more purposeful.
2) Set some achievable goals
So with a better idea of what makes you happy and what gives your life more purpose, the next step is to formulate a few goals in order to bring about some positive change. Carrie Green, founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association, has some great videos to guide you through the process and give you some ideas about how to visualize your goals. Carries videos are so good, that regardless of whether or not you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll still be able to relate to them and use her tips.
The first video is: 6 powerful questions to help you achieve your goals. In this video Carrie helps you to determine your formula for achieving goals. She encourages you to think about what you’d like to achieve within a certain time frame and the steps you need to take to achieve those goals. But she also encourages you to think about the habits that hold you back, what goals you haven’t achieved and why. The most important point Carrie makes is that if you commit to your goals and believe you can achieve them, you can bring them to fruition.
The second video is: How to create a vision board. In this video Carrie talks about the different tools she uses to help her visualize her goals and plan the steps necessary to achieving them. She has some great ideas such as the vision board, goal book and goal box. But she also stresses the importance of words and affirmations that can help you align and and connect with your goals. Doing things like this will help see you through rough patches and motivate you to keep going, by reminding you why you’re doing it.
One of the reasons I find Carrie’s videos so useful and inspirational, is that she actually does all the things she talks about in her videos, and she’s been enormously successful as a result. There are more excellent videos and resources on her website so check them out.
3) Get organised
So you’ve formulated some goals, identified the steps to achieve them and a realistic time frame in which to do so. The next step is to crystallize your plan. I find list making useful, but sometimes something more robust and organised is needed. The Secret Owl Society has many useful articles and printables to help you organize the steps to achieve your goals. Michelle created the site with the ethos that taking 100% responsibility for your life, will enable you to achieve your goals. This is an excellent mindset because commitment to your goals, requires you to take responsibility for your life and your time.
4) Get out there and do it!
With your goals identified, steps planned and organised, the last thing to do is to get out there and make it happen. Keep track of your progress to keep focused and motivated and don’t be disheartened if things get a bit harder for a while, because it’ll be worth it in the end.
Still feeling a little apprehensive about it all?
You aren’t alone. Change can be scary. It involves taking risks, which is unnerving. But if you’re struggling to answer the big question: what am I doing with my life? And things aren’t working for you as they are, the only way to achieve greater happiness in your life, is to make some changes to it. If you do nothing, chances are things will stay the same. Yes, things might not work out as you hoped. People may talk about you and criticize the choices you make. And yes, you could put a lot of time and energy in to something and not get the results you wanted. But, if you’re consistent in the things you do, you’re more likely to succeed than if you do things occasionally. People that talk behind your back, will talk about you regardless of what you do, so stuff them! They don’t live your life, you do. As for wasted time, that time was going to pass anyway, you might as well spend it trying to make things better, rather than settling for endurable.
By breaking down the task and adopting a staged approach, your chance of succeeding should increase. Ensure you’re committed to your goals by planning, investing your time and energy and approaching the task logically. After all, the reason people often fail at things, is because they don’t commit to them. Change won’t happen overnight, but it will happen if you want it and work at it. So get out there and live the life you’ve been dreaming of.
Have you made any changes to your life recently or have any goals you’d like to achieve? Use the comment section below to let me know, as I’d love to hear your story.