If you’re anything like me, you may have a hard time choosing which goal to work towards first.
I mean, I’m pretty sure I have a gazillion thoughts going through my head at any given time. Maybe I should blog, maybe I should start an online store, maybe I should start teaching ESL, maybe I should set up an artsy cafe in my town. All of these things are on my bucket list, and they go through varying stages of importance to me. Maybe I’ll give it all up and go live on a beach on some fabulous tropical island. You just. never. know!
I have been struggling with this since September hit because I had really been feeling like I wasn’t settled with how my life was going. Things (read: children who never want to be put down) were preventing me from spending focused time at this blog and I just kept thinking “you know, maybe this isn’t it. Maybe this isn’t working for me because this isn’t my groove”. I started focusing my time and energy into other avenues.
Know what happened? I was miserable. It turns out that this blogging gig is my thing because I love every second of it. I love networking, writing, promoting, image creation, I love every last nitty gritty bit of it.
I have talked to some of you (you lovely, lovely people), and here’s what I heard you want to work towards: paying off debt, starting your own business, figuring out a way to work from home so that you can stay with your children, getting your game together so you can aceeee the heck out of university. These are all exceptional goals. All consuming, but exceptional.
I hear you, guys. I really do. But still there is this burning question:
How do you decide? How do you choose what is the right goal to approach at this particular time of your life?
As I keep saying, I’m on this journey to be the person that I want to be, and to live the life I know I’m ready to live. So I’m very willingly saying that I am not an expert at this stuff, but here’s what I did
Hammer It Out In Your Brain
I know, this is really complicated. I don’t mean meditating or spending time on a yoga mat contemplating life. I didn’t meditate. I listened to Scott Helman and Joel Plaskett on repeat for three days while I painted my kitchen. Same thing, basically. For real though, get in tune with what is going to make you happy. For me, zoning out to music that makes me feel great puts me in a place to assess what else makes me really happy. It isn’t a good idea to make life decisions when you’re in the middle of a rut. Make them when you’re at your happiest, feel like you’re in a good place, and go from there! Even if that happy place only lasts as long as your song, follow your gut, your intuition knows what it’s doing, promise. When you feel like your chest is tight because your heart feels like it’s just going to burst, stop right there! That’s it, you’ve found it!
Once you’ve realized what you want to do, figure out logical steps to get there. Is there a situation that needs to be dealt with immediately? For example, say that you’re in a dire financial situation. Choose the option that is going to get you to a place where you can continue on the path you want in the least amount of time. I need to pay off some debt before March in order to work from home (my ultimate goal). Imperfect Individuals is ranked as my #1 priority, but I also need to find a good way to make a little extra money, so I started the process to teach ESL. Ideally, I would have chosen another goal (let’s go back to that beach, shall we?) but I know that I have to adult, so teaching ESL is my next step. Maybe I can teach from the beach…hmmm.
Discuss With VIPs
If you’re in a position where you don’t consult with anyone over your life choices, feel free to skip this step! For the rest of us, major life decisions probably need to be discussed with your partners and families. This isn’t to ask permission. No, no. I don’t ask permission (ask my partner, he’ll tell you). This is your life decision, not theirs. This is how I handle a conversation like this: tell them what I’m doing and ask them how they can support me in it. I include my oldest daughter in this. I always make it very clear to her what my goals are and what I need to do to meet them, and what she can do to be part of it. We have similar conversations with her about her goals, and my partner as well. If you are living with your family (partner or not), it is super important that everyone feels that their needs are met and that everyone feels supported in what they’re trying to achieve in life. I’m a firm believer that nothing will be achieved if there isn’t mutual support. So for example, right now our plan is that he gets certain days of the week for sports and the things he wants to work on, and I’m working my schedule around that, which gives me uninterrupted time to do what I need to do.
Make A Plan
Would this be Imperfect Individuals if I didn’t type these words? Of course, make a plan. Choose your first step, but then also make a rough plan for your future goals. It doesn’t have to be “On May 21st 2018 I’m going to open a store”. I mean, it could be like that. But having a general idea of what you want to do and when you want to do it will help soften the blow if your situation calls for you to choose a goal that was lower on your list. You aren’t making the wrong the decision, it is coming, you just have to get there first. It is nice to be able to “rough draft” your life so that you know what you truly want isn’t out of sight.
So, there you have it. My super official and not-exactly-professional method of making a life choice. What do you think? What do you do when you’re faced with making a huge life decision?
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