Are you facing some significant life changes at the moment?
Despite the best of plans, life often throws a curveball. These unexpected events can impact all areas of your life. For example, relationships end, jobs disappear, projects get cancelled or disrupted. In turn, we can lose our footing - leaving us feeling confused, frustrated, and even fearful.
As Deepak Chopra said, “All great changes are preceded by chaos.”
And the good news is there’s always a way forward - even if you can’t see how all the dots join up yet.
So if you’ve lost your sense of direction and no longer feel connected with your goals, this article will help you redesign your life and get back on track.
Let me show you how…
Accept where you are
This first step sounds oh so simple, but it’s often tricky to do. Humans dislike change! Forced out of our comfort zone or familiar surroundings, we feel incredibly uncomfortable. Change creates uncertainty, which means we have less predictability over our life.
This feeling of losing control or feeling out of our depth is stressful. In turn, our instinctive response may be one of denial. Resistance is a common reaction to a big upset. There’s a part of us that just wishes things could go back to the way they were.
It’s essential to work through this process. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to get to a place where you acknowledge where you are fully.
From this empowered vantage point, it’s possible to move forward with fresh eyes.
Take absolute ownership
The only person you can change is you.
Sure, you can influence and inspire others, but the only person you have 100% control over is yourself. This truth is massively empowering. When you put yourself in the driver’s seat of your life, you recognize that you’re holding ALL the cards.
This is why taking absolute ownership for your current situation gives you the agency to move your life in the direction you choose.
It doesn’t matter if you caused your situation to change - or whether external events outside of your control were the cause. Decide to take absolute ownership regardless.
When you take absolute ownership, you don’t have to wait for anyone else to move first. You don’t get stuck in ‘victim mode’ feeling disempowered and frustrated either.
Instead, you gift yourself a perspective where you become the creator of your life—revealing the freedom to move forward powerfully and intentionally.
Reflect on your life
A significant change can rattle your identity. If you’ve lost your job, you lose that label. If a relationship ends, you find yourself single. Pulling out the rug knocks your confidence and fuels self-doubt. How can you create something new when you’ve known this way for so long?
Remember, the past holds clues.
My favorite Steve Jobs quote is incredibly insightful here…
“You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
Use reflection to review your life with hindsight to understand how events and situations played out. Spot the connections and patterns to see cause and effect. Explore how seemingly small decisions morphed into some of your most significant circumstances.
Reflecting after a big life change can help you identify skills you didn’t know you had. It can help you spot areas of your life that need more attention. It can help you better understand your strengths and even guide you to make decisions for your future that better suit the person you are today.
It’s one of the most powerful activities you can do.
Visualize your future
While a big change is often hard to navigate, these moments can give you a powerful wake-up call.
Because humans don’t like change, it’s easy for us to get comfortable. We can find ourselves running on autopilot - doing things simply because that’s the way it’s always been.
When you’re forced to redesign your life, you get to be more intentional about what you want to do NOW.
You get to proactively choose and make decisions based on who you are and what you want TODAY.
A blank life canvas can be a beautiful thing. For example, perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to understand your values. Maybe you can redefine your purpose from this new vantage point. Maybe you can dive into your passions now you have a new life space within which to create.
It’s not unusual for people to turn hardship into the best thing that happened to them.
This could be the moment you dive into the work you were born to do. It could be time to take that trip. Explore that hobby or proactively design the relationship you’ve always wanted to have.
When you’re in a space where anything is [theoretically] possible, you give your imagination the space to dream. And as you tap into what you really want, a new vision for your life will emerge.
So grab a big sheet of paper and map out what you want. Be bold. Ask for it all.
With your big picture vision set out, the next step is to plan concrete action.
When you know what you want to create, you can work backwards and figure out what you need to do to get there.
Make sure your goals are SMART - that’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. You have a much greater chance of achieving a SMART goal than a vague dream because the destination is clearly defined.
We always recommend that you work in 13-week increments. If your vision takes longer than 13 weeks, simply distil that vision into quarterly targets. 13 weeks is the goal-setting sweet spot because it’s long enough to achieve something significant and short enough to keep you laser-focused - so you don’t procrastinate.
If you want a structure to help you plan your SMART goals, the Self Journal is perfect for you. Designed to help make your success inevitable, this five-star rated planner guides you step-by-step through the process of creating and achieving your goals.
Take daily action
Remember, success is never an overnight thing. Instead, success is the result of consistent daily action. Make it your intention to win the day, every day. You can do this when you:
- Select and track the right habits
- Identify your priorities
- Plan your day for maximum productivity
- Push off distractions
- Reflect and review to ensure your stay on track
Most importantly, just get started! In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Keep yourself accountable
Change is hard. Resistance, doubt, frustration, anxiety, lethargy, fear, indecision etc. - there are plenty of emotions ready to get in your way.
The road ahead isn’t easy. You can 100% guarantee that you’ll face blind spots and roadblocks ahead. You’ll probably make mistakes as you go along, but none of that matters if you keep going.
Accountability is critical when you want to stay on track.
There will be days when it all feels too hard and you just want to stay in bed! There will be times when you’ll wonder if your vision is worth the effort - or if you have what it takes.
As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't – you're right.”
Which version do you choose to believe?
An accountability structure is a powerful way to stay on track - and you have plenty of options:
- Hold yourself accountable with the help of your Self Journal
- Up the stakes with an accountability buddy
- Or invest in something more structured and formal, such as the Accountability Club
Change is always uncomfortable - because it pushes us into the unknown.
And while you can’t control external circumstances and events, you CAN control your response to them.
Remember, there’s always a way forward - even if you can’t see that just yet.
So why not choose to use the steps outlined above to feel more proactive?
One step at a time, the situation you find yourself in right now could end up becoming exactly what you need to be your best self.