While there are many reasons you might not know what to do with your life, the most common reason is that people tend to live someone else’s dream. This can be because of societal pressures, financial insecurity, or lack of passion for anything they’re doing at their job. In any case, you must find a way to get in touch with yourself and figure out exactly what it is that will make you happy!
Here are 10 tips to help you know what you want in life.
1. Write it down
Have you ever written yourself a list of goals? For example, my top goal for this year was to save money for my future. So how did I know that it was one of my ultimate goals? Because it is written down!
Writing your goals down helps keep you accountable. It will make you think about what is really important to you, and this might be different from day-to-day depending on how busy life gets. Think through how writing these things down can help motivate you in achieving them, despite how big or small they may seem at the start!
So here’s a challenge: write yourself a list of ten things right now and see how many of those goals you check off as achieved by the end of the year- I guarantee by year’s end, there will be some major ones crossed out if not all!
Here’s a helpful template: “I want ________ because ___. To accomplish this, ___.” For example: “I want perfect skin because looking good makes people feel better about themselves. To accomplish this, I am going to drink more water!” Write yours below and comment on how you feel!
2. Make a list of pros and cons
To achieve any goal you have set, it is crucial to analyze the pros and cons of that particular goal. This will help you think about where your time should be spent so that you can get closer to achieving what you want out of life!
One of the major pros of working in a creative field is how much I enjoy writing!
However, one con that comes to mind right now is how sometimes it can be difficult finding inspiration when you have deadlines looming. This means that if I want to achieve this goal, I need to find ways to keep myself motivated- perhaps by setting daily goals or just keeping track of what inspires me, so I know where to look next time!
What are your top three big-picture career goals? What are some pros and cons you found about each plan?
3. Use visualization techniques
I know what I want in life by visualizing myself achieving different goals and how I feel about them. Visualization is a great way how to keep yourself motivated.
Start by thinking about how you want to feel when you achieve your goal. Write this down, and then write how you can get there step-by-step! This is how I know what kind of life I want because once it’s all laid out like this for me (in a tangible form rather than just in my head), it makes these goals seem more achievable!
What does success look like? How will achieving that feeling make you feel afterward? What are the steps needed along the way to get closer to that desire?
While you may not be very good at visualization, this technique is actually really easy! All you need to do is close your eyes and imagine how it would feel if the goal was already achieved. What emotions come up? How does it make you think about yourself? Is there a difference between how you envisioned feeling before achieving the goal compared to how you felt afterward?
I want to travel around Europe! Achieving this will give me more confidence in myself, which I know will be needed when talking with new people on my trip. Once I am done traveling, I envision how happy and at peace I will feel- like all of my hard work has finally paid off! Now that I have visualized what success looks like, getting closer to my goals feels even more possible than before. Think through how visualization techniques can be helpful with your own personal goals!
4. Write a letter to yourself
Another way how I know what I want in life is by writing letters to myself. In these letters, you can write how it would feel if the goal were already achieved and how this will make your future self happy!
What does success look like? How will achieving that feeling make you feel afterward? What are the steps needed along the way to get closer to that desire? Think through how visualization techniques could be helpful with your own personal goals!
5. Think about how you would feel if you never achieved the goal
The opposite way to do it is by thinking of how it will make me feel if I don’t reach my goals. This helps put things into perspective and motivates me to keep going!
How would not achieving your goals make you feel? How will that feeling motivate or demotivate you moving forward? Think through how thinking about how you want to feel as a result of reaching the goal could be helpful with your own personal goals!
For example, how would I feel if I never wrote another blog post? It would make me feel so disappointed in myself because it is something that I have already worked hard on and really enjoy doing! This makes me want to keep writing even more.
6. Keep track of how you feel
A different way is by keeping track of how things make me feel. For example, if something makes me happy or sad, it can be a sign that achieving this goal will give me the happiness that I am yearning for or not!
When do certain feelings come up? How are those emotions related to your goals?
Keeping track of how I feel is a great way to know what kind of life I want because it helps me figure out the things that make me happy and how they relate back to my goals. For example, writing blog posts makes me really excited and energized! This gives me motivation when I am feeling down or unmotivated about other parts of my life.
7. Look up how other people achieved the goal
An exciting way to find out what I want in life is by looking at how others have taken similar steps in the past! This makes me feel more confident that it will be possible for me to do it, too.
One way to find out how others have reached their goals is by looking up other people’s blog posts about their journey. What does their life look like now? How did they achieve the goal? Think through how looking up other people who reached your goals can help you figure out what you want in life!
For example, if I struggle to figure out my post-graduation plan, reading about how someone else has already achieved that goal will make me feel more confident that it is possible for me. I can take a look at the steps they took and how those things made them feel!
8. Ask yourself questions about the goal
A great way to know what kind of life I want is by asking myself many different questions. This helps me to explore all angles and possibilities to find out if it really IS my dream!
What questions can you ask yourself about the goal? How will answering those help in figuring out what kind of life you want to live?
For example, if I am wondering if being a social media manager is something that I would enjoy doing every day, I can ask myself many questions about it! Some great ones are: what does being a social media manager look like? What would I do as one every day, and for how long? How much money will I make doing this job?
These questions help me explore all aspects and possibilities to figure out if that is indeed the goal that I want to pursue.
Thinking about why specific jobs don’t seem like a fit for me helps me figure out more quickly when I find “the perfect” career match for myself.
9. Talk to other people about the goal
Who are your mentors or role models? What do you like most about them? How could talking with these individuals help you figure out what kind of life you want? Think through how asking for advice from others could be helpful with reaching your personal goals!
For example, if I am thinking about becoming a social media manager, one thing that will make me feel more comfortable taking this step would be speaking to someone who has taken similar actions in the past.
Talking to others who have reached similar goals is a great way to learn more about your own personal dreams! It allows you to get different perspectives on what it would be like and helps give you some direction on where you could go next.
Thinking through these questions will lead me straight towards finding out if being a social media manager is something that I really enjoy doing and filling me in on all of the steps necessary for achieving this goal. This gives me motivation when making decisions along the way!
10. Take action!
Now that you’ve written down some fascinating questions to ask yourself, as well as looked up how other people achieved their goals – it’s time to take some steps towards figuring out what kind of life you want. Think through the next step after writing these things down and getting motivated along the way! What will be your next move? How can taking action help in reaching your personal goals?