One of the complaints I hear often from folks is that here is a disconnect between the kind of life they want to live and the life they are actually living. Sometimes, it’s the smallest of things that make them aware of the disconnect. Other times, something big makes them realize life feels off. When asking me for help on filling in the gaps, folks want to know how. How to create action steps to begin actually living a life that feels right.
Trust me, darling. I get it. I also know how frustrating it feels for life to look great on paper. Yet, deep down, knowing from the depths of your soul that you are missing something. Your life is blessed but doesn’t really feel loving. Or supportive. It isn’t that you aren’t happy most of the time. You just know that there is more to life than a good existence.
When you ask me how to create action steps to love your life more, I’m going to ask you about your goals.
Yes, I want to know all about those dreams of yours. In what ways are you ensuring your dreams are getting some time and attention? Are you actually writing down your goals? How DO you go about goal setting? Have you taken the time to break down bigger goals into do-able chunks?
Often, the push-back I get when I bring up the word goals is that they are too “Type A”. Or that goals are too structured for the kind of life you want to live. Yet, how can you experience your dreams if you don’t set some sort of target?
Goals do not have to be stuffy, darling. And, I will tell you that without some sort of goal setting, you’ll often feel as if something is missing.
So, tell me, darling: when was the last time you wrote down a list of goals and desires?
Yes, you may still be feeling a little iffy about the whole goal setting thing. But what’s the harm in brainstorming all the things you want to do? Don’t limit yourself to “achievements” like finishing a book or getting your Masters. Ask yourself what do you desire to experience? What do you want to have when it comes to concrete or material things?
And who do you desire to be in this world?
You, my darling, are worthy of achieving your dreams. But to figure out what those are, you have to dig in. By writing this down in the form of a brainstorm, it allows you to see more possibilities. And to organically happen upon what your heart and soul feel is missing.
One of the tricks to dealing with a disconnect in your life is to dig into even deeper into your desires.
Choose two or three of the items from your brainstorm and dive into them more deeply. Ask why you want that thing or experience. Then follow that up with “and what would that give me?”
I find that by asking yourself this series of questions multiple times – at least five – you can discover that deeper why.
Getting to those deeper whys not only help you clarify your goals. They also help you figure out what’s missing from your ordinary, daily life.
When you ask me how to create action steps to love your life, I’ll also ask you what you are tolerating.
A ‘toleration’ is anything you are putting up with, from excess weight or a living room wall color you never liked, or a negative relationship. Anything that bugs you, even if you think there is nothing you think you can do about it.
Where, my darling, are you settling? In what ways are you choosing to tolerate the intolerable?
Are you friends with people who drag you down? Is social media consumption keeping you from loving your life? Are you stuck comparing your (oh, so boring) daily life to strangers on the internet? Has your marriage gone stale? Are you unhappy with your job?
Bringing awareness to what you are tolerating allows you to open the door to choice. The choice to eliminate what isn’t working.
I’ll also ask you how you desire to feel in your life.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Yet if if you want to know how to create action steps to truly love your life? Allowing yourself to ponder the emotions you desire to experience on the regular helps.
By the way, don’t cop out and say “I just want to be happy.” Dig a little deeper. Do you want to feel delighted or or joyous? Would you rather feel giddy or gleeful? Don’t get all tied up with how you should feel, or how you’re supposed to feel. Allow the real truth of how you want to feel to bubble to the surface.
Play with the concept that you get to choose how you want to feel. Mull it over in the bath, scribble thoughts on napkins during your lunch break.
One of the things that gets in the way pursuing our goals is that we set goals based on what the outside world expects of us. Following a desired emotion allows you to set a goal that has a more meaningful impact on your daily life.
Loving your life also demands you make space for small pleasures.
Are you seeding your life with moments that are pleasurable? When I ask you how you desire to feel, I’d follow up with this question. How are you finding ways to experience those feelings. For example, if you want to feel relaxed rather than hurried? How about having your coffee at Starbucks instead of grabbing it to go.
If you want to know how to create action steps to loving your life, I’d ask you to look at the details of living. What beautiful touches are you bringing into your world? What luxuries are you investing in? How are you seeking small pleasures in your daily life
Last, but not least, when you ask me how to create action steps to live a life that’s more nourishing? I’m going to ask if you’re willing to do the work.
There are so many folks that say they want to love their life, but just don’t know how. Or folks that tell me about all the books they read and the programs they buy. Yet, nothing they try actually makes a difference.
If we are to be honest here, though, the truth of the matter is that they didn’t actually do the work.
They didn’t do more than read a book. Or “intellectually understand” a process or challenge. And they sure didn’t build their goals into their daily life.
Doing the work means actually doing all the lessons in that class you purchased. Not just reading it, but downloading the worksheets, filling them out, and doing the suggested exercises. Doing the work means getting up and hitting the pavement for a walk or run if you want to get in shape. It means not just exploring what you desire, but breaking it down into actionable steps. And then, making time to work towards that goal.
Darling, you can live a daily life that feels loving and nourishing.
In order to do that, though, you must be willing to take action. And, honestly, you must be willing to look at your current reality. And become devoted to your vision.
What do you desire to shift? Where can you make changes? What really matters to you? How can you stop tolerating what’s not working?
If you feel a disconnect between your daily life and the life you truly desire to live? Darling, then it’s up to you to begin changing that. By diving into these tips on “how to create action steps to love your life”? You’ll find your unique path to making it happen.
To love your life, my dear, you must be willing to dive into your desires. Set some goals. Find ways to become devoted to what really matters. And sugarplum, write this stuff down! When you do the work you’ll discover that life is often better than you could imagine.