What are you happy with in your life? What aren’t you happy with? Is a change necessary, and if so, a big change or a small one?
Figure out what factors lead to you life being where it is now. Separate the things you chose that lead to this, and the circumstances that happened. Learn from both, how you can change the choices based on the circumstances.
What do you want your future to look like? Approximate this, since if you become too specific, you are not allowing change, circumstances or learning. So how do you want your future to feel? What feelings do you want to change now? Is the realisation of this future worth the effort of changing now?
Creating a Plan of Change
From your approximate future discussed above, work backwards to where you are now and notice the things that need to be done to be on a path that leads to that future.
For example, if in 5 years I want to be feeling X, where do I need to be (not necessarily a physical location, could be a state of emotion, or a job position, or all sorts of things) in 1 years time to make that 5 year goal feasible? Now where do I need to be in 9 months time to make that 1 year sub goal feasible? Where do I need to be in 6 months time to make that 9 month sub goal feasible? What do I need to be in 3 months time to make that 6 month sub goal feasible? Where do I need to be in 1 month to make that 3 month sub goal feasible? Where do I need to be in 2 weeks weeks to make that 1 month sub goal feasible?
This can be likened to working out the route through a maze, or on a road map. Rather than defining the path exactly, we are defining the land marks you will find along the way.
Creating the path
Now work forwards – what actions need to occur to ensure I get to those places? This is like working out the turns and the path you need to follow to get there. Initially, it will be quite specific (especially the first 2 weeks, more general in the next 3 months, approximate for the rest of the year). This allows for you to change your sub goals, circumstances beyond your control and for you to avoid procrastinating into oblivion rather than act.
Checking your plan
Is this road map feasible? Do you have the resources to start it, and are you likely to get the resources to continue it? Is getting those resources part of your road map?
Is this what you want?
Beginning the Plan
The plan has already started. The trick is to consciously take actions. Change is not automatic, in fact change is pretty much the opposite of automatic. It is a conscious systematic change of your actions from your habits until these new actions become your default habit. If you do not choose to change, then you will not change as you want.
So, follow the plan and do the actions. No change occurs without an act.
Review as You Go
Every week or so, check to see if you are still on track towards the next big goal. Remember, as you come close to achieving the next big sub goal (in the example above they are 3 months apart), create a new detailed map of the next 3 months (next few days, week, fortnight and month).
Always ask this question – is this what I want? Is this effort worth the end goal?
Have I formed any nasty habits that are interfering with my goals?
Am I doing this for me?
It is easy to make a snap decision and decide that this is what I want. It is hard to persist in taking actions to lead to what I want. We humans are potentially highly adaptable creatures. The ones of us who survive and thrive the best are the ones who adapt the best to both the circumstances we find ourselves in, and the design of our future that we create for ourselves.
Everyone has this potential. The idea of this post is to give you an idea about how to get there.