Are you thinking about simplifying your life? Do you wish you had more money available to go on special vacation? Have you been wondering how you can spend more time with friends and family? Then you are most definitely in the right place! One of the most essential steps you must take to get started is deciding what you really want from life. I know that sounds vague, but it’s highly individualized. You may want to live in a big house and drive a sports car. Someone else may want to live in a tiny house and bike everywhere. Maybe you already know what you’re looking for or maybe you need to do some soul-searching. In either case, the idea is to come up with a list of goals. They can be short-, medium-, or long-term; ideally, there’s some of each. As the short- and medium-term goals are reached, the sense of accomplishment will energize and inspire you to keep up the work you’re doing to reach the long-term milestones.
Your goals could be anything: a once in a lifetime trip to Europe, a smaller house, less time at work, starting a new hobby, reading more books… literally anything that you have wished you could do for yourself or your family can become a goal you work toward. Once you have a few goals in mind, it’s time to share them with the people that can help you reach them. Whether it’s your spouse/partner, parents, kids, or group of besties, vocalizing your desires will help cement them in your mind as well as providing you with a support system in case the going gets tough.
Once you’ve got a couple of goals in mind, decide on your time frame. Are changes you make going to have a short duration or are you making lifestyle changes that you plan on keeping up with for the long haul? For instance, you might set a goal of packing your own lunch every day until you save $500. After that $500 is in the bank, you can go back to buying lunch and you’ve made a short term change that yielded the result you planned. Or, perhaps you set a goal of downsizing your house. That, unlike the first scenario, would lead to a much larger lifestyle change. You would need to part with belongings, sell or rent a house, find a new house, and all the other tasks that go into moving.
The important thing to remember is that neither path is better than the other. They are both valid and effective, depending on the goal you’re trying to achieve. It’s also entirely possible that you will have a mix of both as you set your goals.
Once you’ve got a goal or two and an idea of how long you’re planned changes are going to last, you can just start. Oh yes, there will be tweaking and analysis and planning to be done, but there’s no time like the present. You can skip coffee tomorrow, play a board game with your family tonight, read a chapter on your lunch hour. The sooner you start, the sooner you will see results. Starting immediately also prevents the trap of never being “ready.” There will never be a perfect time for any change large or small. Rip off that bandaid. Jump in the deep end. Grab the bull by the horns. However you say it, starting is the only way you will ever finish.
There you have it. A couple of essential steps to get you started. They may sound simple, and they are, but they are also effective. In later posts, we will delve deeper into more specific goals and paths to achieve them, but if you: 1) Set a goal 2) Decide on a Time Frame and 3) Start; you will get where you hope to go.
Homework: Set your first goal and tell us about it in the comments or on our Facebook page!