1. Clarify Your Values
Do you know what you value most? Challenge yourself to go through our BIG LIST OF VALUES and choose your top 5 to 10 things that you find most important. What brings you joy? What matters to you most? What qualities do you want to carry with you as you move through your life? What qualities do you value in others? How do you want to feel about your life? What impact, if any, do you want to have on the people around you? Knowing what you value most provides insight for you when your life feels out of balance or unfulfilling.
2. Reflect on Your Current State
Once you have your list of top values, it is time to analyze your current reality; do you believe that your present reality a gratifying reflection of what matters to you most? Do you feel as though your thoughts, mindset, actions, and the place you find yourself in today, are aligned with what you really want for your life? Are the people you spend time with aligned with your values? Is your career aligned? You can use the Wheel of Life worksheet to rate where you are today; this exercise will give you a visual of what is out of balance in your world.
3. Visualize Your Ideal Life
Now that you have identified your top values, and you’ve reflected on your current reality, it is time to create a detailed vision of what your ideal life would look like. The Vision Quest Worksheet by Positive Psychology is an amazing tool for you to go through to create a detailed picture of what you want in your life; to get the most out of this exercise, you will need to be intentional about scheduling some time to focus on the worksheet without any distractions.
4. Align Your Thoughts & Actions to Your Vision
Once you know what your top values are, and you have a clear picture of what your ideal life would look like, you can start developing your “Thinking & Doing Plan” for achieving your desired outcome. Your results are directly related to your mindset, decisions, and follow through on your action steps. If you want to be successful, it is time to think the way successful people think.
a) Your Thoughts
Throughout your lifetime, you have created a pattern of thinking, and you have been practicing it daily whether you are aware of it or not. If your thoughts center around fear, doubt, and negativity, it will take intentional practice to teach yourself a new pattern for having a positive, purpose-driven mindset. Be gentle with yourself; changing a habit takes time and the daily practice of catching unhelpful thoughts, and reframing them into thoughts that are empowering, encouraging, and positive.
Here are some examples of success-driven thoughts:
- I am capable and resourceful.
- I will succeed at what I set my mind to.
- I folllow through on the decisions I make.
- I know what is important to me and I will not stop until I have turned my dream into a reality.
- I will use my success to positively impact the lives of others.
- I accept fear for what it is, and move through it anyway.
- I am in love with my dream because I have a clear picture of all the good that will come from this accomplishment.
- I am calm and focused.
- I am clear in my vision.
- I am determined and unstoppable.
The above list is just a few examples; please make time to create your own list of positive statements and intentions. Start each day by repeating these at least three times through, first thing in the morning, and then again midday, and once more before bed.
b) Your Actions
If you want to be happy and successful, it is important for you to create a habit of reflecting on your decisions and actions. Ask yourself these types of questions every day:
- Is the decision I am about to make, going to move me closer to the goal I want to achieve? or will it keep me stuck?
- Are my actions aligned to my values and vision?
- Am I doing what I need to do to move myself foward toward my ideal life?
- If I’m putting off doing something I know I need to do, am I putting it off for a good enough reason? Will I feel like it more tomorrow, or the next day? Is it ok with me to put this off, and NOT take a step forward today toward my goal?
5. Create a Daily Practice of Being Intentional.
Being Intentional means that the things you THINK and DO are ON PURPOSE & WITH PURPOSE. You are not living on autopilot, just going through the motions, allowing other people and situations to determine your fate; instead, you are in the driver’s seat of your own life, and you are in control of where you are going, how you will get there, and when you will arrive.
A daily practice of being intentional requires daily time set aside to visit your ideal life vision, to plan your necessary action steps, to reflect on what is going well with your plan, and what might need to be altered in dealing with unforeseen challenges or obstacles. An intentional person is so focused on their vision, thoughts, and actions, that they do not have time for distractions and drama.
An intentional person does not wait for the “right time” to work on their dream, they MAKE TIME DAILY to work on their dream; they are very self-aware, present, and reflective. You can begin to be more intentional by starting with scheduling in 10 or 15 minutes to stop, breathe, and ask yourself good questions.
- What have I done right today?
- How am I feeling?
- What do I want?
- What do I need?
- What is missing in my life?
- What brings me joy?
- What is one thing I can do today that will make me feel good?
- What is one thing I can knock off my list that’s been weighing on me for awhile?
In most cases, happiness and success do not happen by accident; they happen from purpose-driven thoughts and actions.