“The future depends on what you do today.” -Gandhi
There is something powerful in the act of investing your time and energy into creating a richer and fuller life. Raise your hand if your dreams, ambitions, and goals have taken a backseat to your current commitments and circumstances. Okay sorry, that was the teacher in me. I love to see a good old fashioned hand raise.
But really, it is never too late to start working toward the life you desire and deserve. The following exercise is your opportunity to take a look at where you are and what steps you need to take to work towards living a meaningful life.
Step 1: Ask yourself, “What do I want?”
Your answer can be physical, mental, career driven, family driven, or all of the above. There is no need to judge yourself on what you want. It is your life. You only get this one chance to create a fulfilling life.
How do you envision your life? What does your best life look like? What time do you wake up? What do you do after you wake up? Who are you around, and what are you doing with these people? Where are you going, or where are you not going? Be as specific as possible.
Write as much as you can imagine. (An example is, “I want to change lives. No, I want to save lives. I want to do this by promoting peace, love, and acceptance. I will make lifelong friends along the way. I will do this by opening up a wellness studio. We will offer yoga and meditation classes along with counseling. I will set my own schedule and travel freely with my family).
Step 2: Ask yourself, “What am I currently committed to?”
This question may be an eye opener for you – it was for me. It is extremely easy to get stuck on auto pilot. You get home from work and scroll through your social media for a couple of hours. You watch some T.V., then you wake up the next morning and do it all over again.
What happened to your goals and visions that you once had as a child or young adult. What happened to your aspirations that got lost somewhere along the way?
I did not realize how comfortable I had become walking a path far from my ideal life. Take a look at what your last week has consisted of. Maybe you have made it to the gym 3 days this week, but you have eaten out every day. You are clearly somewhat committed to better physical health, but you do have some areas to work on.
Another example is, “I am currently committed to being a school teacher. I work 8-4, but I am working extra hours on the weekend and after school. I have a handful of friends, but we do not spend much time together. I spend a lot of my day focused on negative thoughts and attachments. I travel once or twice a year.”
At this point, you are already much further ahead than most of the people around you, so congratulations! Keep reading to find out what to do with this gold mine of information.
Step 3: Ask yourself, “What am I willing to do to change my life?”
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how far my current situation is from my ideal life in the examples above. It is so easy to get lost on your journey. So, your next step is to make a declaration on what steps you are committed to taking to attain the life you desire.
Be specific. Make a timeline. Write this statement as detailed as possible.
For example, “I will invest in myself. Financially and mentally. I will spend one hour each day researching on how to obtain the appropriate credentials to open a wellness center. Once I figure that out, I will spend that time (and more) on furthering my education. I will continue to practice mindfulness and mediation a minimum of forty-five minutes each day. I am making a commitment to take a minimum of two trips every year. No excuses. I will spend my time making lasting connections and friendships instead of investing my time into shallow relationships.”
Don’t leave your day to chance! Once you have completed the three exercises, place your thinking somewhere you will see it each morning. Upon rising, read your statement about what you want, followed by what you are committed to doing to attain that goal.
This daily reminder will guide you throughout your day – which will ultimately guide you throughout your life. Most importantly, appreciate the life you currently have. It is possible to live in present peace while investing in your future.
Please leave me a comment or message me with your experience with this exercise! I can’t wait to hear where this activity leads you!
Jocelyn Soliz is an educator, certified Yoga teacher for adults and children, and a mother to a feisty toddler. Read Jocelyn’s inspiring comeback story, “Medicated to Meditated.” Feel free to send Jocelyn a message here.