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If you’re tuned into the personal development realm, you’ll know people are passing the phrase “create a life you love” around like a puppy on a show and tell day. Am I right?
I really love the intention of it but I also believe the phrase has become overused while the application of it is under executed.
Really though, how many times have you seen a friend post with a pic on the beach, holding a margarita #livingmybestlife – knowing perfectly well that they constantly complain about something in the life they’re going back to?
It’s such a zing phrase now that it’s something we say without real meaning.I’ll admit I’ve used it that way, but at some point, I decided I wanted more – wanted to really mean it when I said it.
I wanted to execute the intention. The desire to create a life you love is an incredible one. Especially, when you really slow down to think about what that means for you personally.
However, what would it look like if we didn’t spend our lives chasing purpose? Rather, what if we lived every day with purpose?
I got really intentional about choosing to create a life I love and the difference I’ve seen in every area of my life has been so worth it.
Not every day is perfect. This is still life – it’s hard and messy, and some days I still live in yoga pants and eat an entire bag of popcorn on my own… but even those actions are more intentional.
A QUICK STORY: THE TIME WE GOT LOST IN CHINA...
A few years ago, Josh and I lived in Beijing, China. One day, we went across the city to a music festival. We had never been to that area and our Chinese wasn’t the best yet. We traveled there with friends but left on our own.
It was dinner time, the sun was setting, and it was starting to rain. We walked back out to the bus stop and caught the bus we had arrived on.
The bus driver went one stop – then forced us off the bus…. What the heck?? Maybe it was his dinner break? Or his shift was over? We decided to walk until we hit the next stop where we could catch another bus.
After a few minutes, things started to get sketch. No people, the buildings were getting scarce, and I could see open land – that’s not a thing in Beijing. That’s like seeing vast open land in New York City!
We were getting tired and hungry, so we stopped at a small convenience store and attempted to ask about the next bus in our very broken Chinese. “What do you mean there’s not another bus??” I asked in a panicked voice.
The owner looked at us with pity and pointed on a map … We were on the outskirts of the city walking ourselves into the wilderness. LITTTTERALLY.
Turns out, we had gotten on the right bus in the wrong direction. It was the end of the line. We thanked the man, who probably thought we were crazy and headed out in the right direction. Moral of the story….
You have to know where you are, where you want to go, and have a plan for how you’re going to get there if you want to actually end up there.
1) CREATE A PLAN
First thing we got to think about, is what the plan is. Do you have a plan for where you are headed in life? Or are you getting on and off at random bus stops of life because that’s what everyone else is doing?
The problem with not having a plan is that you end up in the same place in life that our unplanned adventure in China got us – wandering around in nowhere land.
Now, the thing about a plan is that you need some pivot room. It’s not going to be a carved in stone kinda thing, but we need to at least be working in a direction of purpose and intentionality.
So, the first step to create a life you love is to create your own plan. A plan should answer three main questions:
Where do you want to go? Where are you starting from? What’s the path to get you there?
When you know the answer to these three things, you’ll be able to start navigating in a new direction. Or at least begin to work to get yourself unstuck.
THREE THINGS THAT MADE A DIFFERENCE:
Clarify Your Vision
Figure out what your vision for the future is to such a detailed point that there is no question in your mind what you are living towards – what you are fighting for. If you want something in your life (or taken out of your life) you are going to have to make it happen.
But knowing what that looks like is key so you can take responsibility for the steering wheel of your life. When we don’t take responsibility for making things happen, someone else will and that leaves us in a place, not of our choosing.
There are some really great resources out there for helping you get vision on what you want.
My favorites are Rachel Hollis’ Podcast Episode “72: This Daily Practice Changed My Life and Business” and the Value + Vision Course from Jennifer over at Simply + Fiercely.
Acknowledge Your Current Situation
Once you know what you want, doing a life audit and acknowledging where you are is the next step to figuring out what action you need to take to make a change.
To do this, evaluate the 8 category areas of life. Here’s how I break it down:
- Eating Habits, Exercise, and Affecting Lifestyle Choices.
- Income, Budgeting and Management Skills, Debt, and Mindset.
- Personal Development
- Self-Growth: Mental, Emotional, Physical, and Spiritual.
- Time and Productivity Management, Skillful Decision Making, and Setting Goals.
- Making Money, Work/Life Balance, Skill Set, and Advancement Ambitions.
- Family, Romantic, Work, and Friendships.
- Learning About Yourself, Introspective Growth, and Processing Old Griefs and Circumstances.
- Resting and Rejuvenating: Mentally, Emotionally, Physically, and Spiritually.
- Atmosphere, Physical Space, and Organization.
- Extracurricular Time
- Free-Time, Fun, Vacations, Hobbies, Volunteering, etc.
Set Your Goals
Now you’re ready to set the goals you want to accomplish. You know what you want in life, you know where you are, set goals that will get you from here to there.
I love what Rachel Hollis Says in her book Girl, Stop Apologizing – “A goal is a dream with its workboots on.”
Goals in action are how you make your dreams a reality.
2) GET RID OF WHAT YOU DON'T WANT
The only way to make room for more of the things you want in life is to let go of some things.
We’re so conditioned to fill every single space in our lives that we often overlook the things that shouldn’t be there. This is actually a pretty hot topic right now – when was the last time you just sat without anything?
Can you even remember a moment when you had some time you didn’t autofill with “something”?
We’re constantly going, watching, listening, moving, buying, wanting, and filling all our empty spaces. There’s never enough time and always too much to do.
But if you want to make room for the things that will create a life you love, you’re going to have to get rid of some things – the extra, the unnecessary, the toxic, and the things that don’t actually matter to you.
It can be difficult to know what should stay and what should go. So, establishing some boundaries based on your values is super helpful…
Know Your Values
Take some time to get really clear on what you value in life. What truly matters to you?
Do you care more about getting the newest iPhone every year or staying out of debt? Will you remember the show you binged on Netflix last weekend or being present at the moment with your kids when your last day on this earth comes?
Are you going to care what that mom in the carpool line said to you or that you showed up in your best way for your kids every day?
Figuring out what matters – actually matters to you, and living by those values changes everything. This may seem like an intense viewpoint… and yeah, it is, because we only get one life and so many people are numbing it away these days.
This may seem like an intense viewpoint… and yeah, it is, because we only get one life and so many people are numbing it away these days.
If you want to create a life you love – be super passionate and go all-in on the things that matter to you.
Everything else is extra, it’s unnecessary, it’s toxic to your life.
My favorite resource for establishing your values in life is the Value + Vision Course.
3) GIVE YOURSELF TIME AND GRACE
I’m super passionate about living your most intentional life, but I’m also highly aware that it’s not an overnight shift. You can shift your intentions in life overnight but the results of your actions take a little bit longer.
Don’t get discouraged after a week or a month. Creating a life you love takes the same amount of time that living does and it’s not a straight shot either.
I guarantee you will set a plan, do the work, need to tweak it, do the work, need to tweak it and so goes a successful life.
Being successful is not about trying something and getting it perfect. Rather, it’s about fighting the resistance to give up when things take a while and get hard.
Set up in your mind that you are going to give yourself the time and the grace to push forward, adjust, and keep going.
How long does it take to create a life you love?
… every day. It takes every day.
4) FIND RESOURCES AND PEOPLE TO HELP YOU LEVEL UP
The hardest part about setting out on a new path is probably forging it to begin with. Creating a life you live is forging a new path from the one you’ve been on.
So it’s super helpful if you don’t have to do it first or alone. With the technology and information age we live in, every single thing you could want to do, has been done. Someone has written a book or a blog, recorded a Youtube tutorial, built a class on it, or has a community based on it.
After you’ve figured out what you want to do, go find someone else who has already done it successfully. Find someone who has failed at it. Learn everything you can, and do the work.
Finding other people and resources to help you is crucial to success. It serves us knowledge, gives us the inspiration to want it, motivation to take action on it, and support to get us there.
Consume your time with people and messages that you want to align yourself with. Let go of the rest.
Due to everyone’s goals being different, you’ll have to find your own resources for this part. Some of my favorites are books, podcasts, online courses, and Facebook Group Communities. A quick Google search should help you find these things.
5) MINDSET SHIFTS NEEDED TO CREATE A LIFE YOU LOVE
The hardest part of creating a life you love is going to be beating the mind games. Everything starts in your mind – every single outcome is based on your mindset.
Are you going to do the work or are you going to let your own mind get the better of you?
You decide. You make up your own mind on that one.
At the end of the day, the results you get are the ones you choose. Yeah, life comes at us but we get to decide how we’re going to react. That’s within your power.
So are you going back down when resistance gives you push back or are you going to take the steering wheel to your life? Resistance and pushback will almost always arise when you set out to create a life you love. The question is, what are you going to do about it?
It’s not going to be easy. You’re going to have to level up. Fight the resistance. Stand firm in your decision to live every day with purpose. I promise you, it is oh so worth it.
You get one life… live it with purpose, love it passionately, make it matter.
Remember that creating a life you love living is about taking the reins of your own life. If you want your life to look a certain way, you’re going to have to make it happen.
It’s going to require you to know who you are and what you want – and to not be ashamed of that. When I realized that it was okay to be my own person and live out my vision for life, everything changed.
I was creating a version of me that was me at my best. Suddenly I could offer other people my best too.
It’s not a unicorn and rainbow ride. The thing is, creating a life you love – living every day with purpose, it brings your own version of unicorns and rainbows into your life.
You’ve got this.
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ABOUT ALLISON SUE
I’m a personal growth blogger, a nerd when it comes to books, and a lover of all things journals. When I’m not with you online, you’ll find me with my family, traveling somewhere, or watching Chinese shows on Netflix with my husband. Empowering you with tools to navigate to a life you feel confident about is always on my mind. I’d love to be on your confidence hype squad!
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