Ready to reinvent yourself but don't know where to start? You're not alone. The thought of creating big, lasting changes in life can be paralyzing. "What do I want? Who do I think I am? This is hopeless." Sound familiar?
If so, I want you to know that change is possible and being overwhelmed is just a part of it. I know, I know — it's not the fun part.
When we look into the future and can't clearly see what we want and/or how to create it, that sense of overwhelm sinks in. We end up feeling discouraged before we even start. The reason that happens is often that we're looking at too big a picture.
It's good to plan ahead, but only to the extent that it helps you make progress. Narrowing your focus can make the next steps feel more doable. Rather than trying to build a whole new life from scratch, how about starting with an ideal day? From there, you can take small actions to turn this dream into reality.
The first step is tapping into our imagination. That's how we discover our deepest desires. When we let those desires rise to the surface, we find the clarity we need to take confident action.
Having clarity means knowing what we want and why we want it. It motivates and inspires us. It shows us what to do next. So, let's get this ball rolling and gain some clarity.
I'm going to guide you through a visualization exercise to help you reveal your ideal day. It can be helpful to have someone ask you these questions while you have your eyes closed so you can see the images in your imagination. If you're doing this on your own, read the questions, then close your eyes and see the answers.
Picture a day so amazing that you could live some variation of it over and over again and feel blissfully happy. (Yes, this day should include work, but don't get caught up in the specifics.)
Imagine living your ideal day six months from now. Where do you wake up? What are your surroundings? Notice how you feel as you awake. What does your morning routine look like? How do you spend the first few hours of your day? When do you start your workday? Where are you working and what do your surroundings look like? Whom are you working with? What passions/skills are you using? What kind of conversations are you having? How do you feel while you dive into this work?
When you stop for your midday meal, where do you eat and with whom? Do you enjoy a long, leisurely lunch or is it quick? Do you cook a meal at home?
(Remember, this is your ideal day. It can be whatever you want it to be.)
From there, do you go back to work? How do you spend your afternoon? If you're working, where are you working? What are you working on? How do you feel as you engage in this part of your day?
As the afternoon winds down, what do you do in the early evening? Is this when you work out? Do you meet friends for happy hour? What's the ideal way to spend your early evening?
Where do you eat dinner? Do you cook a delicious meal at home or do you go out? Whom do you eat with?
How do you spend the rest of your night? Do you have an evening routine? If so, what is it? How do you unwind?
As you crawl into bed and you're ready to fall asleep, notice how you feel after living this ideal day. What words describe those feelings?
When you're ready, open your eyes and write down everything you saw. Make sure to include how you felt.
Notice how great it feels to allow yourself to dream.
Now, write down one thing you can do today to move toward making that dream a reality. Think in baby steps. What's one action you can take today? Maybe it's incorporating a morning routine into your day, maybe it's carving out more time to spend with your spouse. Whatever it is, take that one step. Now you're on your way. Enjoy the ride!