Are you always promising yourself that you’re going to exercise more, eat better, or save more money? Do you wake up in the morning dreading the day ahead, wishing that things were different, that your life was different?
Here are 5 simple steps you can take to leave behind all those excuses and regrets and create the life you really want.
Step 1: Dream Big
The first step in getting what you want is to imagine it. And don’t skimp: Dream big! Want something that both inspires and scares you at the same time? Want something so big that it has the power to push you past the fears, take you out of your comfort zone, and then claim those dreams waiting for you on the other side?
“See It to Manifest It”
It isn’t enough to just want something; you have to visualize it. As you go through your day, stop and imagine what it’s going to be like to have what you want. Imagine how it’s going to feel, look, and taste to be living your dream. And keep imagining it until it feels real – until it starts to feel like it already exists. This takes practice, like meditation or a mantra. Keep imagining to manifest it. Then little by little, you can start to take the steps to actually make it happen.
Step 2: Make a Plan
The difference between wanting or wishing and having what you want… is a plan.
A plan takes that dream of yours and puts it into action. Having a plan keeps you focused. It keeps you on track. Having a plan means you know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.
And having a plan can silence that anxious voice in your head – the one that tells you that you’re not good enough, and you don’t deserve it to have what you really want.
Finally, having plan is like having a GPS for getting what you want in your life, one that can show the way past your fears to the good waiting on the other side.
Create Your Plan
To put together a plan that works for you, do what the GPS does in your car. First you figure out where you are. Then you decide where you want to go. Your GPS maps the route out for you.
To create your own route from where you are today to where you want to be, start by making a “to-do” list of everything you need to do to get to your destination. Then lay those things out in order, first to last. That list becomes your route! Your dreams are your destination, and now you have a pathway to get there.
Step 3: Reroute When Necessary
No matter how well you’ve plotted and planned, you’re going to run into construction, road blocks, and detours along the way. But you don’t have to let them slow you down or to take you off course. All you have to do is what that GPS does: Stop and reroute.
Like your GPS, recalculate where you are. Remind yourself of where you’re going. Then come up with a new “to do” list to help you plot that new route. No blame, no shame, no judgement – just a new route to where you want to go.
Step 4: Living “As If”
Let’s look into the future for a moment. What would you be doing if you achieved your dreams? What would life look like if you already had the dream job, the dream home, the dream relationship, or whatever it is you really want? Take a moment to take it all in. Do you like what you see?
How would you treat yourself if you were already living your dream? If you want to succeed, start by treating yourself the way successful people treat themselves. Get enough rest. Eat a healthy diet. Create balance in your life. Say “no” to things you don’t want to do. Have fun. Ask for help when you need it. Keep your promises.
And finally, what would you say to yourself if you were already living that dream of yours? If you want to succeed, tell yourself the things that successful people tell themselves. Tell yourself that you’re powerful and courageous. You can count on yourself to show up, even when the going gets tough.
And keep telling yourself these things until you realize that they’re true.
When you act as if you’re already successful, your actions are building a solid foundation for all that success waiting for you down the road.
Step 5: Celebrate the Small Stuff
It’s important to acknowledge every single success and every single courageous act along your way. Celebrating each and every time you check off something on that “to do” list is a powerful way to remind yourself that you know how to get things done. When you recognize and celebrate even the smallest success you not only feel really great about yourself in the moment, you also build motivation, confidence, and excitement about what’s ahead.
So, dream big. Put together a plan to reach that dream and get ready to cheer yourself on as you take steps to creating your very best life.
To quell your anxiety and create your own action plan, please read my "anxiety handbook," Calm & Sense: A Woman's Guide to Living Anxiety-Free. Chapters 19 and 49 spend a lot of time on planning, but it’s a central theme throughout – including an eating plan, exercise plan, and wellness plan.