Creating the Successful Life of Your Dreams
So from time to time, you dream about what your ideal life might look like. The lovely home you live in, the perfect relationship, the loving family, and the fantastic job that helps you to jump out of bed energised for each new day.
But all too often you shelve those thoughts and just get on with your life as it is, even though you know that your life may not be great.
If you are working in a job you hate, dealing with an incompetent boss, putting up with the drudge of the daily commute and long work hours. Or living in a place that is not your home or living with someone you no longer adore? You know deep down that something should change.
How to Build Your Ideal Life in 5 Steps
But where should you start? The reality is that human beings are great procrastinators, and we can always make excuses for the reasons why we choose not to change our daily routine and often talk ourselves out of even starting to make a change.
Admit things are not perfect
The first step is to admit that things in your life are not perfect. There might not be just one thing that makes you feel dissatisfied, and it may be that you just feel slightly off centre.
Or it might be that one thing dominates your life in terms of the negative impact it has on all the other areas of your life? You may be trying to manage an addiction to alcohol or gambling. Or you hate your job and have no respect for your boss. Or your relationship has gone toxic, and you find yourself arguing all the time.
Sometimes these things can creep upon us. But serious self-reflection can start to shift your perspective. Once this happens you can start to move away from denial and start to stop hesitating and take the first step towards your future.
Whatever is going on in your life you need to OWN it, accept all the pain and sense of failure that goes with admitting disappointments this way you can start to identify the reasons why you feel the way you do.
Focus on where you are right now
Now the challenge begins because it is often hard to truly examine ourselves and the lives we are leading. But the first place to start is to have a good long honest look at your life.
The key areas are to review are:
Health – My mother always used to say that without your health life becomes diminished and as I get older, I cannot disagree with this observation. Poor physical, mental, or emotional health can dominate all other aspects of our lives.
So it is essential to prioritise our health and wellbeing front and centre. To do this we need to be honest with ourselves about what may be impacting optimum good health. Examine all aspects of your health such as diet, exercise, sleep, and wellbeing, and decide what you could do to improve and strengthen your overall health and wellbeing.
Career – Whether you want to move up the promotion ranks in your company or start your own business you can always improve. Review your strengths and weakness and your skillset. Identify areas for improvement and create a development plan to guide you through how you can learn a new skill, find a career coach, or sign up for a new training course.
Finance – Do you live paycheck to paycheck? If so, could you be better with money? Money and finance are often taboo, even between couples and families. Embrace what might have been off-limits and start to tackle the financial elephant in the room.
Review where you are spending your money and see what you can cut or live without. Create a budget, stick to it, and start paying off debt or saving for that house deposit or dream holiday.
Relationships – We all have relationships in our lives, both good, bad, and indifferent. These can be with family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, virtual connections, lovers, and life partners. How can you deepen bonds with the people who matter the most to you or resolve the issues that can make relationships difficult?
There are lots of other areas to explore so at Aim Higher Training we have devised a free online course called Spotlight on Work/Life Balance. This short course addresses areas of our lives and work in more detail. By working through this course you can start to identify the areas that you would like to develop or make more rewarding.
Set goals – but not too many.
Once you have identified the areas of your life or work that you want to improve or develop you need to start setting goals. The definition of success will be different for everyone. So, it is important for you to think about what success looks like you and set achievable goals around achieving success.
Prioritise your principal areas for development and set SMART targets around achieving those goals. But be realistic because we all lead busy lives and setting ourselves too many could become overwhelming. So try to break them down into baby steps or bitesize goals.
So for example, if health is your priority and you chose to start walking daily to get more physically fit:
- Start to set yourself achievable goals such as starting by walking three thousand steps a day and building up slowly to 10,000 steps over a set period.
- Acquire support along the way such as a step counter or a friend to walk with and commit to this over a set time.
- Keep reviewing your plan and do not beat yourself up if you miss a day or do not reach a daily target.
- Over time this will build into a regular part of your day, and you will find extra ways to meet your step targets such as walking to work or picking up the kids from school.
By breaking down your main goals into bitesize actions you can start to incorporate them into your life and make them part of your daily schedule. By changing some of your behaviours such as walking instead of jumping into the car for local trips you will be able to start to reap the benefits. So instead of driving your kids home from school you can walk and share stories of the day, get some exercise, and meet your steps target. Simple – what is not to like?
You can make it even easier to set your goals by using our free Spotlight on Making a Plan online course. This guides you through how to make a plan that supports your development and helps you to keep on track.
Establish a routine that works for you and stick to it.
Starting to develop a new routine can really help to embed your new intentions and goals into habits and then somehow those new intentions become so much easier to keep.
Aim to blend your new routine into a schedule that helps to support your new goals. So, if your goal is to find 20 minutes a day to meditate try getting up half an hour earlier, make yourself a brew, and settle down to your practice. These efforts are hard at first and getting up earlier is never easier but if you struggle to try Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule and in the time it takes you to count down embrace all the reasons to do it and get on with it.
Find a mentor to help you keep on track.
Most successful people have realised that what they really need to keep themselves on track is a mentor. Why? Because this person is on a similar path to you, in both your career and in your life.
Having a mentor can help in so many ways, by supporting, sharing their experience, guiding, and providing advice that will help you to stay on track.
So try to find at least one person that you can use as your mentor. It could a colleague or a contact on Linked In, or you could employ a coach to share your goals and objectives with and keep you on track and share some valued life experience.
At Aim Higher Training we offer a free introductory coaching session to support clients through their career development journeys and help to set goals and keep them on track. The results are often transformational.
But if you do not want to invest in coaching you should at least start journaling. Write down your goals. Build in regular reflection, review sessions and monitor how you are progressing against your plan. This way you can build in personal accountability for working towards meeting your goals and become your own personal mentor.
Of course, being successful is not just about identifying your development needs and setting goals. You also need to set aside time to work on yourself to achieve success and invest in yourself and your future.