In order to create a life you enjoy, you need to have some idea of what you want.
Where do you want to live? What do you want to spend your time doing? Who do you want to be a part of your life?
Answering these questions can sometimes be very hard. Sometimes your only answer is “I don’t know, but I know I don’t want my life to be like THIS anymore!” I understand. I’ve been there, and it sucks.
If you’re having a hard time figuring out what you want for your life, here are a few things you can try to start generating ideas.
Don’t get caught up with “oh that could never happen” or “but I don’t know how” thoughts. Right now you’re dreaming. Figuring our how to make things happen comes later.
What’s The Opposite?
If you’re struggling to figure out what you want this is a great exercise to start with.
What would be the opposite of the things you don’t like about your current life?
If you hate the cold, long winters where you live, maybe your opposite would be living by the beach or taking a vacation to a warmer place every winter.
If you’re tired of getting up early and dragging yourself to work every morning, maybe your opposite would be working a different shift (or a different job altogether), telecommuting (working from home), or finding a way to set your own hours.
Make a list of all the things you don’t like about your life and figure out what the opposite would be for each item.
Are the opposites things you might like? Or would you prefer something more in between?
Look To The Past
What did you used to enjoy?
What parts of your past do you miss?
What are some things you’ve dreamed of doing but haven’t done yet?
The answers to these questions may hold some clues to what you want.
Your Ideal Day
If you haven’t heard of this exercise before, it’s pretty self-explanatory.
From the moment you wake up until you lie down again at night, what would the best day ever look like for you? Write about it or record it in as much detail as possible.
Where would you be? Who would you spend time with? What would you do? Where would you go?
Get Inspiration From People You Admire
If you do some digging, or pay attention long enough, the people you admire will often share something about what their lives are like.
Danielle LaPorte has shared that she doesn’t believe in life balance and tends to go through periods of intense creation and then periods of rest and family time.
Leonie Dawson and many others have built their businesses in ways that allow them to work only a few hours a day, leaving plenty of time for family, traveling, or whatever else they enjoy.
Who do you admire? How do the spend their days? What parts of their lives and how they spend their time appeal to you? What would you do differently?
Look At People’s Life Lists / Bucket Lists (And Maybe Make Your Own)
Looking at other people’s bucket lists or life lists can be good inspiration and may help you generate some ideas. Just do a search for either term and you’ll find plenty to look at.
Just remember when making your own list that it’s YOUR life and YOUR list. You don’t need to show it to anybody, and you don’t need to add things you don’t actually want to do just because they seem like the sort of things you’re “supposed to” have on a bucket list. Be honest with yourself about what you really want.
How Do You Want To Feel?
Instead of trying to figure out what you want to DO, try figuring out how you want to feel.
Check out these posts by Danielle LaPorte for more about this.
Remember, dream big!
It’s ok if in real life you’ve never owned a house before, but in your ideal life you have a house in the mountains and a house by the beach. It’s ok if you’ve never been out of the country (or even out of your town), but you’re dreaming about traveling around the world. It’s ok if you don’t have a college degree, but you want to start your own business.
If you don’t know how to do something, you can learn.
Once you know what you want your life to be like you can start to make it happen. Find out my advice for doing that in my article on making big life changes easier.
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