Are you feeling a bit like your life is off track? Like somewhere along the line you jumped the rails? Or maybe you were never on the track at all? Did you ever have big dreams, or ideas of what you wanted? What happened to that? How did you get in this place of unhappiness or feeling a little lost? Why did you give up on a greater vision and settle into a less-than-optimal existence? When did good enough become ok with you? Why are you letting life pass you by?
I felt this in a huge way when I turned 40 and was in the midst of my divorce from a very unhappy and unhealthy marriage. It was basically starting over. I could clearly see many of the mistakes I’d made, and the bad choices that weren’t in alignment with what I wanted in my life. I had settled into misery for a long time and accepted it, but now I was choosing a different path and making changes.
It was scary as heck to start over at that age. I felt incredibly lost. In a desperate attempt to figure out who I was, I even hired a life coach to help get me back on track. I really didn’t have any idea what I wanted – I just knew that I didn’t want to be miserable anymore. And let me tell you, that’s a great first step – to not accept that anymore and want to change your life for the better.
How do you start to change life for the better at this point? Don’t give up on your dreams! Even if life has taken you down a rather rough path, you can get back on track. You just need to know where you’re going, keep the vision and the faith you can get there, and take steps forward in that direction.
Getting Back on Track
Here’s a list of steps you can start to take to get your life back on track in that positive direction:
- Make a list of what you want in your life and be as specific as you can. List out all the attributes and even the feelings around the career/job you want, significant other, friends, etc. Any area of your life you want to change – describe what you want it to be with as much detail and emotion as you can. If you can feel what it would be like, then you’ve got it.
- Stop acting on your fears. Stop worrying that you’ll fail. Stop worrying what people will say or think of you. Stop worrying that you aren’t good enough. Stop stressing about everything that could go wrong and focus on the end goal. Take a leap of faith. Stop stopping and GO!
- Find a support network. Surround yourself with ‘cheerleaders’ – people who will be supportive of your ideas and the changes you want to make. (Maybe post a comment on this blog and find support here?) Definitely don’t talk to people who don’t “get you” and will discourage you from following your dreams or making needed changes.
- Take a look at your priorities and where you are spending your time. Many people say they don’t have time to make needed changes, but you really just need to start to plan and carve out some time. Even an hour a day would allow you to get quite a bit done, but any bit of time you can spare is time you can focus on making changes.
- Stop making excuses. People make SO MANY excuses. Stop trying to invent excuses to stay miserable or to not “rock the boat” in your life. Making big changes is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. But enough with the excuses. At the end of your life you will deeply regret all the excuses and not living the joyful life you could have had. So stop. As Nike says, “Just do it”.
- Take small steps – or big ones. But start moving forward. Starting to shift the stagnant, unhappy energy in your life is huge! It will also inspire and motivate you when you do! (See blogs on 5 Essential Elements of Motivation and 4 Ways to Keep Yourself Motivated and Committed to your Goals.)
- Stop every so often to assess your happiness level and celebrate your successes too. You are doing great! Moving right along! Yay!! But now check in and see if your changes are helping? Are you headed in the right direction, or do you need to reassess or change something? Rather than bulldozing forward without looking up, stop and check in with yourself. Clarity comes in quiet moments. You good? Ok, continue.
Making positive changes can be difficult in the short term. Painful even. But whatever you do don’t get sucked into the unhappiness or misery. Don’t let yourself feel like you’ve gone too far down that road of misery and can’t go back. You aren’t stuck. You can ALWAYS turn around and create a happy life.
Just start to imagine and reach for the happiness – the awesome life you deserve! If you can keep moving forward in that direction, even if it’s small steps, you can create the life of your dreams. Believe it and you can achieve it!
I would also suggest this blog – 5 Steps to Getting What You Want in Life
A book you might enjoy is – Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert