Taking control of your life is getting in touch with your values, setting meaningful goals and identifying your vision. To be in control of where life is taking you means being more productive, dealing more effectively with stress, having the ability to solve problems, handing change and developing healthy optimism. Start with these 7 steps and you are on your way.
- 1. Get in touch with your values:
When we feel like we are working hard but not getting anywhere it is probably because our priorities are not aligned with our values. To begin identifying your values ask yourself these questions:
- What is important to me? Wisdom, freedom, happiness, equality, security, self-respect, romantic love, money, power, comfortable living, fresh air, beauty, controlling others, etc. Rate these values.
- Who is important to me?
- What or who is most important? Be honest with yourself.
- What do I need to do to feel good about myself?
- How would you feel if someone you respect knew this was one of your values?
- Would you stick by this value?
- Is it who you are?
- How is this value affecting your life?
Make a list of your 10 top values. Of that 10 choose 4 and of the 4 choose your top two. From this exercise you will see where you need to focus your time and effort.
- 2. Decide what motivates you:
If tomorrow you knew you could do anything and not fail what would you do? Is there something you are passionate about but are afraid of trying? If you have no idea what your passion is spend some time reflecting on it. To start, write down the types of activities you like to do and the types of activities (hobbies) that make you feel good when you do them. What are your special skills and talents - don't be shy - usually if it's something we like to do we are probably good at it. What inspires you?
- 3. Set Goals:
In order to get what you really want you must start by setting goals. Goals fuel your intent and make your desires concrete. Start by writing the goals for this year in area of personal relationships, work, health, finances and spirituality. List five goals in each category (add more categories if you like). Then break them down into monthly and then weekly goals. Focusing on what you intend in your life will bring it to reality. You create your life - so start now by setting your goals.
- 4. Take Action:
Goals are worthless without action. If you have written long-term and short-term goals and prioritized them, you have a plan of action. Just take it one step at a time and do something everyday that takes you closer to where you want to be. Remember however, to live in the present and be thankful for what you have now, enjoying the journey toward your goals.
- 5. Manage Your Time:
We all have the same amount of time to use in a day. Why do some people a lot done while others do very little? You have complete control of how much time you spend productively and how much you waste. Plan your days and prioritize your time to get the most out of the time you have. Use time-wasters like standing in line or waiting in a doctor's office to catch up on reading or something else that is important to you.
- 6. Do What Needs to be Done:
Do what has to be done to get to where you want to go. Whether it is a mundane task or internal work, putting it off gets us nowhere. You are either going forward or falling behind; there is no such thing as standing still. Sometimes when we work on ourselves we stop when we get to a place that we need to change. Change can be difficult when we have to step out of our comfort zone. The more change is needed the more difficult it is.
- 7. Self-discipline:
Self-discipline is the final step that takes all that we have learned and puts it into action. This is a trait that for most of us has to be developed. To reach our goals we must visualize them as already being accomplished and have faith that we can reach them. When you believe in and trust yourself and have enough desire, self-discipline comes easily.