If you’re taking the time to read this article my guess is you are longing for some sort of change in your life but are either unclear of exactly what you want or you have doubts you can achieve it. If you are like I was, you might even have daydreams about walking away from it all and completely starting over (tropical island here I come!). But for most of us, quitting and seeing what fate has in store is not an option. We have responsibilities. Responsibilities that need a steady income. Getting from where you are today to where you want to be might seem impossible.
The truth is, it doesn’t take some sort of grand gesture to change your life. You can make steady progress toward your ideal future one step at a time. Here are three things you can start doing today to create the tomorrow of your dreams.
It all starts with a vision. Create a picture in your mind of your ideal future. Now is not the time to think about how or if, but what. Picture every detail, where you will live, what you are doing, how much money you are making, etc. Write it down, but don’t edit, just let it flow. Imagine you have all of those things right now in your life and feel what it’s like to have it. This might be uncomfortable at first but corporations have been doing it for years when creating vision statements. In the Forbes article How to Create a Powerful Vision for Change, author James Kotter writes about developing a corporate change vision, “If you are part of an organization that is trying to drive a large change, whether that’s implementing a new IT system or moving to a new go-to-market strategy, you need to have a change vision. This is a picture for people of what the organization will look like after they have made significant changes, and it also shows them the opportunities they can take advantage of once they do that. It serves to motivate people, and it’s essential to any successful change you’re trying to make.”
Decide on one small step you can take in the next week. Creating the life of your dreams doesn’t have to be an all or nothing endeavor. It simply takes one small step in that direction (and then another, and another). It can be as simple as researching options or even seeking out a mentor or coach. For many people, the first step is to admit they want to make a change and start believing in their own ability to create it. The key here is to keep taking that next small step.
Draw upon past strengths. It’s natural to fear change. It can be terrifying to even take the first step. After all, not taking action means not failing. It’s easy to come up with a million reasons why you won’t be successful. But we can all recall a time we did something new, something we were afraid of, and we accomplished it. What strengths did you call upon to get that done? You can use those same strengths now to move your life forward. You have everything you need already.
When you start to take even the smallest of actions towards creating the life you long for, you move from feeling stuck to feeling free. You start to feel hopeful again about your future and soon opportunities start to present themselves. Embrace them. Move forward without fear.