There is a life-affirming spark within you which constantly nudges you towards saying yes to life. Create your “yes” list; a list of all the things you want to say “yes” to, and be prepared to be amazed.
~ Author Unknown
The first rule of creating your ideal life is to start with the end in mind. Like a ship floating in the sea, it can only reach its destination, if it has a captain to guide it, or else it will float aimlessly on an undetermined path. Your unconscious needs a clear direction to attract what you really want in life. This also ensures that your goals and plans are aligned with the bigger picture, making obstacles seem smaller and providing motivation when you are challenged. Your vision needs to incorporate all areas of your life, to provide an overall balanced view. People are generally very good at listing all the things they don’t want, but find it more challenging to picture what they really do want. Moving towards a goal is much better than moving away from things we don’t want as positive energy is a greater motivator. People often significantly overestimate what can be achieved in a short time, and significantly underestimate what can be achieved over a longer period, such as five years.
I like to use an exercise called ‘The Wheel of Life’ to determine my vision to encompass all areas of my life. On a piece of paper, draw a large circle then divide it into eight quadrants (or you can use the worksheet I have prepared at the bottom of this post). Label each quadrant with Fun & Recreation, Career, Health, Personal Development, Friends & Family, Physical Environment, Finance, and Romance/Significant other. Rate each area out of 10 for how satisfied you are in that area of your life right now. Be completely honest, as you are only cheating yourself by being unrealistic. When you have rated out of 10, draw a line to represent the rating. Eg a rating of 2 would be a line close to the centre of the circle, whereas 10 would be on the outer circumference. This will give you an overview of which areas may need more immediate focus to balance your life. Like a real wheel, it will be a bumpy ride if each segment of the wheel is not evenly balanced. This creates the rollercoaster of ups and downs in your life. You will often find that while you are achieving great things in one area of your life, like career, you are neglecting other areas such as your health or romantic life, which leads to overall unhappiness, even while you appear outwardly successful. You need to balance your energy, time and achievements across all areas of your life to become truly happy, and experience less negative moments in your life.
Now for each area decide, “In five years time, if my life was exactly how I wanted it to be, what would it look like? What would I experience, and with whom?” Be as detailed as possible, as it will give you a clear outcome, and creates a vision for you to meditate on, to motivate you when times are challenging. Don’t worry about restrictions and what you think is possible, this is your ultimate life, and once you start taking small steps to change and setting goals, you will be amazed at what you can achieve. Write each in present tense, as if you are living it now. E.g. Health – I enjoy walking for one hour every day, and play sport with my friends every week. I eat a balanced, healthy diet, enjoying cooking meals of substance. I am full of vibrant energy, and look and feel amazing! Take these eight visions for each area of your life, and combine them into a single vision statement. Remember, you do not need to include every aspect from every area, just those that are most important to you. My current five year vision is “I am enjoying travelling the world, meeting new people and having amazing experiences in other countries. I walk every day to experience the culture of the unique places I visit. I am helping others achieve their dreams, living a rich and fulfilling life. I feel happy, healthy and loved with my entire being.”
Make sure you write your vision down in its entirety, and review it every few months to ensure it still describes your overall outlook for a fantastic life. Place a copy somewhere you will see it frequently, to remind you why it is worthwhile making changes in your life, and what you are going to achieve.