Steps To Creating A Life You Love

You're probably reading this because you want to make changes in your career or another important area of your life. Maybe you don't know exactly what those changes should be - or perhaps you know but are having trouble actually carrying them out. I'd like to share a simple 5 step process that will help you find clarity and achieve your goals as painlessly as possible. STEP 1 Analyse where you are now.

Ask yourself these 3 important questions: 1. What's great about your life or job, right now? You'll want to make sure these elements survive any transition. 2. What are your skills and strengths? Consider taking a psychometric instrument such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

The MBTI highlights your natural strengths and provides useful insight into the sorts of roles and environments which would allow you to flourish. 3. What motivates you? Identify your top values by reflecting on what you most enjoy doing, and asking yourself why that activity is important to you.

For example if you enjoy writing, why is that? Self expression, creativity, or communication are all possible values you might respond with. STEP 2 Where do you want to be? Paint a vivid picture of what you would like to be doing and where you would like to be doing it. Make sure this vision of your new work and lifestyle gives you the opportunity to express your most important values. Find something that symbolizes this endpoint for you. Maybe a photo, or a quote, or a clipping from a magazine. Display it prominently! If part of the problem is that you don't have a clear idea of where you want to be, try to pin down what it is you don't want.

This is usually a lot easier! List tasks, environments, types of people, situations and topics that drain, irritate or upset you. Then turn it round - what would the opposite look like? If you have too many potential avenues, prioritise. Which one would you most regret never exploring? STEP 3 Bridge the gap Turn your vision into SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound)and break these down into smaller steps. Assign dates. If you don't know what all of the actions are, who do you need to talk to, or what desk research can you do, to find out? Put your plan somewhere you will see it every day.

STEP 4 Remove obstacles What's stopped you achieving goals in the past? How can you prevent a repetition. What potential new obstacles do you foresee. How can you avoid them? What additional resources do you need: time, money, people, information? What do you need to do to put these in place. Isolation is a common obstacle. Enlist the support of family and friends and keep them informed and interested in what you are doing. STEP 5 Keep Going! Create some momentum - try to do something small towards your goal every day.

Be philosophical: treat "failures" as part of the learning curve. Celebrate as you tick off each milestone Perseverance is key. Keep your sense of humour, and remember nothing worthwhile is ever easy!.

Sarah Cooper is a career and personal coach who specialises in working with people who want to put their passions at the heart of what they do. Before qualifying as a coach, Sarah worked first as a solicitor before moving to the voluntary sector, where she worked in marketing for 8 years for two of the UK's leading charities. To kick start your transition to working at something you love, visit


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