How many times are we caught in someone else’s version of what our lives should be like? Be it parents, partners, children, or extended family, the pressure always seems to be on.
But if you spend your time chasing everyone else’s version of a perfect life, you’ll be endlessly running in circles. So the first step to what makes a fulfilling life is asking yourself, what does it look like to live a life you love?
In this blog, we’re using four exercises to help you craft a life that energizes you and makes you feel fulfilled.
4 steps to create a life you love — no matter what stage you’re in
Dig into what you really want
I realize you can’t simply throw the baby out with the bathwater when creating a life you love. So we’re not talking about quitting everything and moving to Bali — although kudos to you if that’s your thing.
My goal here is to encourage you to find the things within your life that you really want to chase — those that spark a fire in your belly. Perhaps it’s a promotion, launching your business, hiring a team so you can take more time off, or literally anything else that makes you excited to get up in the morning.
You’ll need this clarity in order to create that dream life for yourself.
Be more intentional with your time
Your life is the combination of how you live your days over time. Easy to say, but not quite as easy to remember when you’re stuck in traffic, frustrated over some work situation or another, or generally having a bad day.
Time is the one resource you can’t get back. So you want to invest it wisely. To do this, compare the life you want versus your current life. Based on what you pinpointed in the previous section, how does your day/week/month measure up? Are you truly leveraging each day to create a life you love? Of course, we all have meetings and errands and other not-so-fun commitments, but these are a means to an end. If you’re spending the bulk of your time doing something that leaves you drained or frustrated, I invite you to reconsider the path you’re following.
To find where your day is going, consider time tracking. Regardless of whether you charge hourly or not, a time tracker will highlight any patterns and show you exactly what improvements you could make. Time tracking is also priceless for productivity — all those “quick” menial tasks could be costing you hours every week.
Similarly, journaling can help you discover triggers for your moods, explore desires, and get to know yourself more. If you’re struggling to start, you can use prompts or look into morning pages. On the flip side, you can try journaling for work by writing a summary of what you’ve accomplished in a week, logging the tasks that felt energizing vs. the ones that felt draining, or brainstorming exciting new ventures.
Finally, bonus points for being intentional: Schedule time to rest. You know that your body and mind won’t function efficiently without adequate rest, so prioritize it, even if it means saying no to something else.
Work on your self-discipline
All the habits, journals, and self-care rituals in the world will mean little without you following through with them.
Your discipline is crucial for accomplishing anything you strive for, from business ventures to learning a new skill like knitting. And accomplishment is vital to create a life you love.
If you struggle to hold yourself accountable, consider joining a group, talking to your spouse, or finding an accountability partner like one of your friends. Speaking about your goals will naturally encourage you to stay on track.
One way to strengthen your discipline is by learning to prioritize what truly matters to you. It’s hard to stay committed to something you don’t really care about. Your priorities will shift over time — from yourself to your spouse or children back to yourself, your business, and so forth. The real game-changer comes when you’re able to use the flexibility of entrepreneurship to ensure that your biggest priorities are the ones you’re investing your resources into. In the beginning, your priority may be to build the strong foundation your business will need to thrive. Later on, it may shift back to your personal life with the freedom you’ve secured for yourself. Honor whatever your priorities are by opening the space for them in your life and calendar.
Reframe your mindset
I know as women, and women of color specifically, we face more — and different — challenges compared to many people. However, objectively, you’re likely a very privileged person.
Part of reframing your mindset is accepting that yes, some things are outside of your control. And there’s a lot that can straight up suck right now. But regardless of how your goals or progress may feel — especially when compared to someone else’s highlight reel, which we know not to compare, yet we so often do —, there’s a lot in your life you can enjoy right now.
Where I’m not getting with this: The point of reframing your mindset is not falling into some gratitude trap. Toxic positivity does exist and you are allowed to think something is awful without justifying yourself. This doesn’t mean you can’t live or create a life you love.
So, take a step back and count the things that you have going for you. Maybe that soul-sucking 9-5 is enabling you to save for your dream business. Or perhaps those crazy long hours are setting a solid foundation for whatever you have planned later on.
One way to reframe your perspective is using mindfulness. Have you heard of it? Mindfulness is basically making the choice to remain grounded in the present moment without judgment or worrying about the present or past. Personally, I discovered mindfulness — and later, meditation —, during a tough time when I felt overwhelmed by, well, life. I started narrating everyday actions in my mind to remain focused on the task at hand. You’d be surprised by the impact this seemingly simple routine can have on your mood. There are countless apps offering guided meditation if you want to give it a try.
Living a life you love starts by auditing your current life
Your starting point is your now. What are you doing today that makes you feel alive and fulfilled? How can you fill your days with that to create a life you love? The hard truth is we don’t have infinite time — so it’s time to focus your intention on what truly matters to you.
If you’re tired of chasing shadows and ready to grow a fulfilling business that supports the life you want to live, book a consultation now to discover how I can partner with you to help you accomplish your business goals.