- Do you have only a vague idea of what you want to achieve and where you want to be in the future?
- Do you sometimes wish you had more clarity on where you’re going?
- Do you ever find yourself at the end of another month feeling like you’ve made little or no progress?
Taking life as it comes and drifting from one event to the next in a reactive fashion is how most of us live our lives. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with this, yet sometimes reflecting on where we’ve been and how far we’ve travelled can feel unsatisfying.
In the words of Stephen Covey: begin with the end in mind.
Knowing where we’re going helps us take steps to get there. Duh! Obviously! But how many of us dream vaguely about success without really being clear on the details of that possible future?
A client of mine once said, “Courage comes by being sure of the end point”. Once we’ve made a decision about where we’re going—and we’re clear about what that might be like — we can find the courage to take the required steps to get us there.
Get some clarity. Ask yourself: Are you clear about your desired future? Take some time to play around with some possible futures. The key word here is ‘play’. In this context, there’s no such thing as dangerous thinking, so allow your imagination to run free and experiment with some potential ultimate outcomes.
Consider what you want to have, do or be. What and who are really important to you? Where do you find joy, passion, self-expression and fulfillment? Do you want to get more organised, find a life partner, write a novel, take up a hobby, have children, start your own business, set up a charity…? Have fun exploring lots of different options and immerse yourself in the feelings of having achieved these different scenarios or goals.
Be careful to stay out of ‘how’ you’d achieve any of this, just think about ‘what’ you want to achieve. Many of us will get distracted into ‘how’, but at this stage it’s most helpful to pull yourself back to the detail of ‘what’. What will you see, hear, smell, taste and touch as this future version of yourself? How might you feel on an emotional level?
Now record your musings in whatever way feels good: write a short essay or jot down bullet points, draw a mind map or a picture, find an image or download a song that encapsulates the feelings of having achieved your goal. Revisit this exercise as often as possible to help you sustain all that positive energy. Aim to do this once in the morning and once at night, but don’t do it if it feels like a chore — remember to keep the feeling of positive play.
Doing the exercises on my website could help you to move closer to your goals and improve your life. Sometimes we all need a little help, though … and self-coaching may not be enough. Friends and family might not always be able (or willing) to give you the support you need, and they may also be resistant to change.
A session with a professional life coach can help you to figure out what you really want … and how to go about getting it. Having someone on your side who will gently hold you accountable, and root for your success, can boost your confidence and make the process of change faster and more satisfying.
Whether it’s one-to-one or group coaching you’re drawn to, please get in touch with me to discuss options.