It’s one year from today, and you’re living your best life. Where are you? What does it look like? What does it feel like? What are you embodying? Who are the people around you? And how are you spending your time?
Now, let’s reverse engineer it. What needs to be done to get you there? What skills do you need to improve your results? What tools do you need to work smarter and faster? Whose guidance and support do you need to keep you focused and progressing on your path? What’s the very first step?
Confused? Not sure where to start? To take control of your life, you have to be clear about exactly what you want. Think big, but be specific and write it all down! Include exactly what you envision for your finances, career, relationships, home, personal projects, and any other categories that are relevant to you. If you want a raise, write down the dollar amount. If you want to move, describe your new home with as many details as possible. If you want better friendships, spell out precisely what that means to you.
Once you have a complete, powerful, and detailed description of everything you want, it’s time to make a plan. As you map your paths to success in different categories, you’ll notice that some take longer than others. That’s ok! What’s important is that your desires are clearly defined and that you focus on the actions you can take right now to make progress. Break down larger, longer-term goals into measurable and manageable milestones, including deadlines and how much time each will take to accomplish. That way, you can track your progress along the way and hold yourself accountable! (More about accountability below.)
Again, you want to be as specific as possible. If you want to finish writing your book this year, write down how exactly many words you’re going to write every day. Set deadlines for finding an editor, cover designer, and publisher. Write down the date your book will go to print and how many books you’re going to sell in the first month! Yes, that specific!
Having a clear vision and action plan will help you identify the tools and resources you need to get the job done. Make a list of everything you need to accomplish each of your goals and the dates you need them by. It’s especially important to plan ahead if you need to schedule taking a class or save up to make a major purchase. Do you need updated software? New equipment? Books? An e-course or workshop? Which tools and resources do you need access to first? Before you shop around, be sure you’re clear about how each item on your list will accelerate your path to success. That way, you’ll be able to quickly assess similar tools and resources, ensuring you have what you need but don’t overspend on unnecessary features!
Sounds like you’ve got everything you need to succeed, right? Almost. No matter who you are, what you know, or where you’re going: success takes a village. Intentionally cultivate a community that will support you, hold you accountable, and celebrate you each and every win. You need your friends and family, but you also need to invest in relationships with peers, mentors, and experts. Put yourself in close proximity to the people who have already made it to where you want to be and accomplished what you want to do! The most successful people surround themselves with others who will challenge and inspire them. They also have coaches to help them stay focused, avoid costly mistakes, and go further, faster.
Taking control of your life comes down to knowing what you want and what it takes to get it. With a clear vision, a specific plan, access to the right tools and resources, and a support system to encourage you along the way, you’ll have everything you need to make your dream life a reality.