Plan The Life You Really Want

28th February 2009

The start of every year is always the same. It’s the time when we tend to think about what we want out of life – career, relationships, health… It’s the time when we tend to think about whether or not we are happy with our lives. It’s often a time for dreaming dreams and wishing things could be different. And a couple of months in, is anything different?

Unless we turn those dreams and desires into realistic goals with a timescale, we’ll still be just dreaming when the next New Year rolls in.
Personal Life Coach, Carol Page, shows you how to turn discontent into hope by setting realistic goals for the future. Here’s how to plan – and live – the life you really want.

Step 1 – What needs to change?

Decide what area of your life you most want to change.
• Is there some aspect of your life that you are unhappy with?
• Where would you like to be in one, two, three years time?

Step 2 – Establish your goal

Write this down as an aim or goal, with a timescale, and put it positively. So, for example, if you are unhappy in your job, you might put: ‘By January 2010 I will be doing a job I really enjoy’.
Or if you want to work on your relationships you might say: “By the end of 2009 I will be in a fulfilling relationship.”
Imagine having achieved that goal:
• What are you feeling?
• What are you seeing?
• What are you doing?
• What are you saying?
• What are you hearing?
• Is this goal realistic?
• Is it sufficiently challenging for you? If not, change it.
• How will you know when you have achieved it?

Step 3 – Consider your current reality

The next step is to consider where you are now in relation to your goal: • What is happening now that tells you that you have a problem?
• What is happening now that is good or that you want to carry with you?
• What have you done so far?
• What obstacles are preventing you from moving forward?
• What resources do you have to help you overcome those obstacles?
• Re-examine your goal – is it still the one you want?

Step 4 – List all your options

Now list as many options as you can think of that take you nearer to achieving your goal. List everything, however unrealistic it may seem at this stage. Think ‘outside the box’ here – and when you think you’ve thought of everything, ask yourself:
• “If money/time were no object, what else could I do?”
• “What would the person I most trust suggest that I could do?”
When your list is complete, look back over it to see which option(s) stand out for you. Which are the most exciting, or easily achievable, or creative?
Choose at least one option that you can do immediately or easily.
• Consider what will be the benefit of doing this thing?
• Will it take you closer to your goal?
• What will you feel like when you have achieved it?
• Write down: “I will feel… when I do this (action) and (achieve goal) happens.”

Step 5 – Way forward

Now is the time to make an action plan for moving forward. Look back over your options.
• What are you going to do?
• What will you do first?
• How will that make you feel?
• How will it help you achieve your goal?
Write down exactly what you will do in relation to achieving your goal, stating the time and place that you will do it. Consider what might stop you from doing this and what you can do to overcome those barriers. Also consider who you should tell about your plan; sometimes telling other people we trust can help our commitment to make the dream a reality.

Step 6 – Cement your commitment

Look back again at your goal and your action plan. Write it down clearly and put it where you can see it every day.
Finally, ask yourself:
“On a scale of 1-10, how committed am I to achieving this?” If it is less than a ten, ask yourself: “What would need to happen to make it a ten?”

Daunted? Thinking this all sounds too difficult to manage? Maybe you’re struggling to see how your situation can fit into this model; perhaps your personal obstacles are about lack of confidence, or you just can’t see the way through. For these reasons and more 100,000 people every year in the UK turn to a Life Coach.

A Personal Life Coach is totally objective, and will support you in a confidential, non-judgemental, non-threatening way, to set and achieve realistic goals that will change your life for the better. It’s like having a Personal Fitness trainer for your mind, helping you become the person you previously didn’t believe was possible.

Remember: a dream without a plan remains a dream.

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