One of the biggest obstacles to getting what you want in life is knowing what you want in life.
In preparation for a talk I am giving to a group of amazing women in business, I researched what it takes to reinvent or reinvigorate our lives – personally and professionally. Being clear on what you want is the most challenging part.
Know What You Want, Own What You Want
Step 1 – Set clear intentions. What is it that we want? This question is easier asked than answered. It’s a loaded question! Too many women have issues asking for and claiming what they want. (I used to be one of them!) Get over the guilt. You can have what you want!
Intentions can be things like getting a new job, spending more time with family, making health improvements, starting a new business, carving out more time for dating, taking more family trips. It is critical to look at your life as a whole to best evaluate what you want. When I was in my 20’s, what I thought I wanted work-wise turned out negating things that were important to me like schedule flexibility, healthy eating and an inspiring physical environment. It wasn’t until my late 20’s that I realized I could transfer the work I loved in web marketing into my own business to get the lifestyle changed I desired. Our personal and professional lives blend.
To help aid the intention-setting process, do a life-audit. It’s easier than you think. Look at all areas of your life (see the “wheel of life” diagram below) and fill in how “full” these areas are. This will help clarify your balance and help you set intentions. Write things out. Get your wants out of your mind and out into reality. When you actually see them written out, it is verrrry powerful.
Step 2 – Get clear on your identity. Before you move from your intentions to making them a reality (which I call the “invention” phase), be honest with yourself on whether your identity (personality) is reflecting what you want. With my clients, we look at web presence, social media posts, appearance, even the way someone talks. Look at people who you want to be like. See how their identity supports their intention. When I wanted a more executive job in web marketing (back in my corporate days), I was not walking the talk. While my expertise and communications were professional, I didn’t dress professionally enough and I had let my sit-down desk job take over my workout times and I was not in the right place health-wise to lead.
Our intentions are only a reality when we decide to become the person we want to be…we have to act the part before we are officially handed the role :). Take a hard look in the mirror and determine what has to change. For some of us, we have to change character flaws like allowing people to walk on us or choosing the victim role. Examples of this include: pushing aside exercise time to keep working on things that can wait until tomorrow or not taking the time to update social media profiles to clearly communicate the new role we want or continually doing things that take time away from doing what we need to succeed.
Step 3 – Invention time. This is the time to claim your intention(s) and do the work to get to where you want to go. This might be defining or refining your look, updating your appearance (online and offline), improving your communications (online and offline), making new connections (we are the product of what we read and whom we associate with!). Make sure as you go from intention to invention, that you are walking the talk across all channels – everything is connected.
Forget new year’s resolutions – make working on yourself a year round investment and start by getting clear on what you want!