How to Live the Life You Want
In a life where we can be so many things, I tend to find myself wondering what it is that I really want. What life do I want to live, how do I want to spend my time, etc.
So, seeing that this is something that is on my mind pretty often, I want to talk to you a bit more about how you can live the life you want.
There are some steps to this, but they’re easy to follow and will ultimately help you create a life that is in line with what you really want.
Discover what it is that you want.
The first step to living the life you want is to discover what it is that you DO want. I talked a bit about this on Instagram a few weeks ago, but I think that comparison and social media have a big impact on how we view our lives - and also how we view what it is that we want.
I spent years thinking that I wanted to live in a city apartment while working at a huge marketing firm. I figured that after I graduated college, I’d move out of my hometown to a bigger city and make my life there. I spent years thinking this way, but I never asked myself why I wanted that life.
As it turns out, I didn’t want that life. That hustle and bustle of city life looked so glamorous and exciting in movies and on social media, so I actually just adopted that way of thinking.
I don’t know when it happened, but I began to model my life after the lives of others, and it wasn’t until recently that I really self-evaluated and discovered what I want and not what I think I should want.
Now, I dream about creating a bigger garden each year, reading simply because I enjoy it, and being surrounded by the people and animals that mean so much to me.
Whether you call this a mindset shift, an epiphany, or whatever else. I call it finally deciding to embrace the things that make me happy in life.
To do this self-reflection, I had to do three things:
Stay true to myself.
Figure out what needs to change
The next step to living the life you want is to figure out what needs to change. Ask yourself, what do my days look like now and what would I like them to look like 5 years from now? 10 years? 30 years?
Another important question to ask yourself is do I have control over what I need or want to change? Because sometimes, the answer is no.
Sometimes, you don’t have the power to make a huge change like moving states or quitting your job. These massive life events are not always things we can control, so when I tell you to figure out what needs to change, try to focus on what you do have control over.
So, what do you have control over that you want to change? For me, it was slowing down the pace of my life. In order to live the life I wanted, I needed to acknowledge the fact that if I kept moving as fast as I was, I would ultimately burn out.
I also knew that in order for me to feel the sense of peace I want, I needed to distance myself from people, places, and things that didn’t align with the lifestyle I was after.
Take a long look at what needs to change in your life, and work on it every day. That leads me to the last step...
Focus on the small wins and the slow progress
I’m going to start this off with a saying that I’m sure we’ve all heard at some point or another. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
It is completely unrealistic for us to think or to expect that we can suddenly live the life we want just by thinking about it and making a few changes one day.
Living the life you want can be a lifelong pursuit, and that is something to be excited about.
With that said, it is important that we keep the life we want to live at the forefront of our minds. Set a vision for what you want your life to look like and revisit it often.
For this, I love to use Pinterest. I have a private board that’s just for me, and it has a bunch of photos and quotes and images that reflect the life I want for myself today and in the future.
I’ve pinned countless photos of chicken coops and fresh garden salads and spring picnics.
Every time I look at that board, I feel more inspired and ready to chase that life by making those small changes over time.
I wanted to end this with a bit of inspiration that comes from my own personal experience. It was about a year ago that I decided that I wanted to slow down my pace of life and root myself in simple practices like gardening, reading, journaling, and biking. I wanted to surround myself with nature and embrace my love for solitude.
Now, a year later, I go out to water my small urban garden every morning, I’ve read countless books, I’ve filled multiple journals with thoughts and memories, and I’ve made daily walks a part of my morning routine. This is just an example of how when you start to envision and work towards the life you want, you’ll eventually get there.
So really, the way to live the life you want is simple.
Know what you want (and also what you don’t want)
Recognize what you need to do to get there
Embrace the lifelong process
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, and I really hope it helps! I’ll have a podcast on this topic available soon for you to listen to if that’s more your style. Talk to you all next week!