Do you ever feel that you have too much going on; your brain hurting and your schedule overflowing? Then you get that extra request that pushes you over the edge to stress and irritability. I certainly have! For years I lived a life of work and commuting, not seeing enough of my family or doing the things that I really wanted to do. But, inevitably, the point came when I needed to figure out how to get off the hamster wheel. I’m here to share my tips on how to avoid hitting breaking point, without feeling like you’re failing or letting people down. Creating your dream life really is possible.
To start your journaling journey (or to refocus on what you want from life), get comfy in a calm place, away from the laundry pile or your office workload. Get ready to open up and write A LOT. Writing things down can open up a new way of thinking so every word is important. You’ll also want to write about how you’re feeling at each step to keep your aware of the potentially negative stories and habits you’re letting go of and the joy that really is ready and waiting for you!
Step 1 – Define your success
What do you want your life to look like? Bear in mind the popular quote, ‘Shoot for the moon and if you miss you’ll land amongst the stars’ – really dare to dream! Even if you only achieve 10%, you’ll still have a great start to your journey.
Ideal Day: Think about your perfect day, week or month. When it’s been fantastic what did that look and feel like?
Schedule: What did your schedule look like specifically? When did you wake up, eat, see people, work, exercise etc.?
Environment: What does your dream environment look like? What’s the space around you like? Do you have an office, where do you live, what does your house look like, and do you have a car? What would make you feel peaceful & breathe a sigh of calm?
Emotions: What do you want to feel like? What emotions are predominant for you?
Purpose: What do you feel like you’re contributing? What is your purpose? What are you doing when you feel that?
Relationships: What relationship(s) are stronger? What relationship(s) make you proud?
Now crucially; your ‘Must Removes’: What did you notice was pleasantly missing from your ideal day? What do you need to get rid of because it creates unhappiness? What people, places, habits and things drain you of energy? This can be hard, particularly, if it involves people or things you’ve worked hard to create but will help you to free up the time and energy needed.
Step 2 – Blueprint for Success
Important note: changing your life will take mental strength. You must decide that your current reality isn’t an option anymore and that you need to work towards your dream life. By focusing in and taking action, you can do it just like I did!
Take the ideas from above and turn them into guidelines:
Schedule and Environment: List specifically what you would have to change in order to meet the criteria of your ideal, happy schedule and environment. For example, I had to realise that I wanted to work from home before I could set about making this a reality.
Must removes (or at least reduce!): What in your plan do you have to remove or reduce? What can you stop doing completely? What can you delegate? What can you delay that isn’t important now? What can you do less of?
Start or Stop: What do you need to get out of or get into? If you shift that focus it can make a huge difference. Usually this needs to be very gradual. What do you have to do to make this happen? List the steps and get ready for…
Timeline and Deadlines: Create a timeline and set lots of fast approaching ‘mini-deadlines’ e.g. within 4 weeks I will start a mastermind group, within 6 months I will identify where I would like to move to…
Step 3 – Execution! Creating your dream life
You have gotten so far already, well done! But don’t stop now! This is all about putting the ideas from your list above in to action, and is the hardest part.
Delegate: Take action passing on the things that you don’t need to be doing…there will be a lot!
Influence: This is immediate. The people that you surround yourself with have a great impact on where you’re going and where you’re going to stay. They are either making your excuses OK or are expecting more of you. Keep raising your standards and make sure that the people around you are aligned with your dream life.
One At a Time: Choose one area at a time to make a change. You weren’t learning about English in a Maths class – our brain can’t handle multiple subjects at a time well so don’t overload your plate. Slow and steady wins the race, just maintain focus on each thing in turn.
Quarterly Focus: Define the quarters of the year in which you’re going to get things accomplished as you can’t do everything at once. Give yourself permission to have one thing at a time as your primary focus, it’s OK to let other less important things wait or go.
I’m not going to lie, in order to make these kinds of changes it requires an element of bravery along with real commitment to work your plan. If you’re willing to go there then your life can change beyond all recognition. Keep all of the notes you have made on this journey as a key point in your Journal Life. You will look back and be amazed at what you can achieve! Break free of the hamster wheel and start creating your dream life.
Please use the comments box to let us know how you’re getting on towards your dream life; if you need more advice or encouragement, or even a great big pat on the back, we’re here for you! Don’t forget to join our social media community (http://facebook.com/journaldotlife and http://twitter.com/journaldotlife) too.