What do you want?
Close your eyes. Place your hands over your heart and take three big breaths.
Ask yourself: What do I want? What do I want? What do I want?
Do you have an answer? Is your mind blank and you don’t know what you want? Can you quiet your mind to provide you with some clarity as to what you want? Did you judge your response? (Hint: try not to – whatever the response is, it’s okay.)
We all want something. When we look at the core of what we want, it is generally a positive want. Perhaps we want more money, less stress, or better relationships. These are common “wants” in life. Stopping and assessing what we want gives us direction. It gives us a target to aim toward and avoid the “drift” that naturally occurs in life.
Life may sometimes feel as though it is the same stuff happening, just a different day; it may feel like the movie Groundhog Day, where each new day is a repeat of the last. We wake up and generally do the same things; as humans, we are also creatures of habit. We look forward to time off, vacations and special moments, and all the life in between is the “same stuff.”
In the process of living the “same stuff,” we drift. We may forget what our direction is and get trapped in the routine of life. Asking yourself what you want is a reminder, and it can prevent us from drifting so off-course that getting what we want seems impossible.
Answering the question of “What do I want?” is one step. Our life, however, is not lived in the mind, it is made up of action. What choices can you make to move you closer to what you want? For example, if you want to lose weight, what behavior changes can you make? Perhaps you join and attend a gym? Perhaps you change certain elements of your diet? Maybe you find a friend and ask them to be your accountability partner?
Now that you know what you want and have an idea of what you need to do, write it down. Write down what you want and what changes you will make. Every day for the next five days, write down the changes you would like to make as well as how you will feel and how your life will be different after making said changes. Change takes time, but writing it down reinforces it in the mind.
In Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy, a 5-step map is laid out for creating a life plan. Section 1 is your Purpose Statement, or a one-sentence statement stating what you want. Section 2 is a written visualization of your envisioned future where you allow your senses to experience what the future feels like once you are working toward what you want. Section 3 is an inspiring quote that works as a reminder for you. Section 4 is your current reality where you are honest with how you’ve ended up where you are. Make sure you are compassionate with yourself but honest and realistic; you want to make a change for a reason. Section 5 is specific commitments where you write the specific actions that will propel you forward by creating SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-bound) goals.
Write your plan for five days. This has to make sense to you; it is your map for direction. See how you feel and adjust as necessary. Allow your plan to be flexible as time passes. It is okay to change what you want. Reconnecting with what you want allows you to maintain a focus on what is important for you, and that may change over time.
Creating a life plan, as suggested in Living Forward, requires some time, but to begin the process you must know WHAT YOU WANT. Hyatt and Harkavy say it best by using a GPS as a metaphor for life. A GPS requires you to input your destination. Nothing happens until you decide where you want to go.
Natalia Foote is the owner of threeR, a company bringing mindfulness, meditation and yoga practices to the workplace. Her mission in life is spreading love and light in the world. When not spending time with her family, you can find Natalia taking and teaching yoga all around Lake Nona.