Ever wondered why you don’t feel like you belong anywhere? Yeah, same. I wrote this article especially for those of us who always feel in the wrong place at the wrong time, stuck in a life they don’t feel like theirs.
This is a guide in 8 steps to help you find out what you really want from your life: what you want to achieve, what you are longing for, I mean, your place in the world.
First off, let’s make it clear that nobody has it all figured out. Most people don’t know where they belong and have no clue what their life’s purpose is. And you know what? That’s ok. We are human, we have a lifetime to find out what we’re on this earth for, we cannot have all the answers immediately.
Anyway, if the challenge of understanding what our life’s purpose is takes a whole lifetime, we can take little steps to walk there (which is what this article is for). Keep reading to find out.
- Write a list of what you have accomplished until today. This may seem useless, but you should consider that what you actually write down is what you are most proud of. Start looking at the past to understand what your future should be like.
- Figure out what the main elements of your life are. Understand where you are, what you are doing and who you are and move forward.
- Divide the elements of your life into two categories: a good and a bad. There are some things in our lives that make us feel stuck at times, and other that keep making us proud of who we are. Figure out what things in your life belong in the two categories.
- Write a list of goals for the future. If you need help, take a look at this post I previously wrote.
- Take a look at what makes you feel good. So, you love volunteering? Or do you prefer writing? Consider what makes you feel good and try to incorporate it into your goals for the future. Check the list you’ve written before: is there enough space for what you love? Is what you love already in the list? If not, try to think about your life in a couple of years and imagine what you will be doing. Are you still volunteering? If so, it does belong in your life.
- Get rid of toxic habits. About this topic, I suggest reading this article where I explore ten habits to improve your life, and this one about toxic habits that hold you back.
- Keep your goals in mind. Move a step forward everyday to get closer to your goals. Whether what you do is read (then check this post out), meditate or work, stay focused on your goals.
- Track your progress. Whether you’re losing weight, studying to get that bachelor degree or working to become CEO of your own company, track your progress. See what works and what doesn’t and be smart when you make a decision.
Did you find these tips helpful? Do you have other tips to share? Do you already know what your life purpose is? Share it with us in the comments below!
Getting stuck in a place is one of the worst things to experience, in particular if it’s a psychological state. Most of the time, change is actually possible through little steps to better yourself day by day.
- Eat better: you don’t realize how much of an impact eating makes on your life until you start eating better. You can find out how to change your habits meal by meal here.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is such an underestimated aspect of our life. Most of the time, we don’t understand the importance of having a regular sleeping schedule and the benefits it can have on our bodies. Sleep is the battery we have to recharge, it’s a moment to let our mind relax and run free and it contributes to a large variety of bodily functions.
- Learn a new skill every month. If food and sleep are important for the body, learning a new skill every month will help your mind stay young and focused on your life goals. You can find a list of underrated skills that will better your life here.
- Drink more water and less alcohol. I know, your friends drink and you can’t refuse champagne at a party, but try to keep alcohol for special occasions. Alcohol alters your bodily functions, while water is necessary to keep you at your best.
- Move your body. Your body is made to be moved. Your mind quits a lot earlier than your body does: kick yourself out of the sofa and go for a walk, you will feel a lot better after it. Consider scheduling at least three workouts/walks every week, ask a friend to start a new sport program together.
- Declutter your house, your car, your desk at work. Throw away all those unnecessary things that you’ve kept “just in case” and have used once in the last three years. Clean your wardrobe, donate those clothes that you don’t use anymore, you can also try to sell the ones in good conditions to a second-hand shop and get some money out of it.
- Focus on a big goal. Choose a goal that’s important for you to accomplish and focus on it. Invest your energy in a long-time plan and put all your effort in achieving that big goal. Three years from now, you’ll thank yourself.
- Plan your days. Planning your days will help you stay focused on what’s important or what you actually want. It will help you avoid distractions, manage your time and put you ahead of work. You can find out how to write an effective list of goals here.
- Set internet controls. It’s difficult, at times, to keep track of the time we waste on the internet. Don’t get me wrong, the web is a beautiful place if you use it wisely, but how often do you find yourself scrolling through instagram or facebook? Reduce the time you spend that way and invest it on a new hobby.
- Read a new book every month. Your mind needs to be fed, and reading is a great way to do it. Choose books of the topics that you’re interested in the most and, in the beginning, try to force yourself into reading. Remember it takes 21 days to build a habit: don’t quit. You can find a list of great books to read here.
This is something that has happened to me a lot: I had dreams, I had goals and I had ideas, but I had no clue how to build my own life and finally take control of my time. Luckily, after a year of preparation and tests, I was selected to go abroad for a year. My routine got broken down and I had to rebuild it all little by little in another country. When coming back to my homecountry, by the way, I had forgotten what my routine looked like before leaving, and, once again, had to find ways to form a new one.
Now, after a lot of meditation on the changes that have turned me into the person I am, one of the things that I underline the most is the interruption of a non-effective routine I had chosen for myself. By it, I don’t mean that we all have to spend a year abroad in order to change our lives, but I’m really convinced that breaking our habits is a great way to start.
Here are the ten most effective steps I took in order to take control of my life and finally achieve my goals:
- Define your goals. This may look like a stupid start, you’ll probably be questioning yourself on why you’re still reading this article, but what I ask you is to simply take a moment and think about your goals for real. Do you have them all figured out? Can you actually see who you want to become? The reason I decided to start like this is that a lot of people have a vague idea of their goals, but never really took the time to think about them, and, I believe that’s irrelevant to say, you’re not going anywhere if you don’t know where to go.
- Write your goals down. Different researches show that writing down your goals makes you more likely to accomplish them. I’d like to highlight, anyway, that writing your goals on paper helps you analize them in an objective way and, consequently, decide if you’re willing to spend your time and, often, your money, to achieve them. You can find help on how to write your list of goals here.
- Do something everyday to get closer to one of your goals. You know what? You’re not going to get where you want by sitting on the couch. You’ll have to work hard and sacrificize something in your life in order to be successful. Tomorrow is already too late, start now.
- Stop wasting time. I don’t want to make you anxious, but you don’t have plenty of time. If you don’t do what you need to now, you’re going to regret it later. Toxic relationships and a job you hate are, in fact, a waste of time. It can be hard to get out of a toxic relationship, especially when you’re still in love or when you have hundreds of memories with that person (this also applies to friendships). At the same time, it can be hard to quit your job, when you don’t know what the future will look like, but let’s talk about dreams: is this what you have always wanted? Is this the life you were dreaming about? Believe in yourself: you’re a strong individual, you’re going to be alright even out of that relationship. There are plenty of jobs out there waiting for you, apply for a new one. You have the power to change your life: make changes happen.
- Take care of your body. Your body is as important as your mind, the Latins were right: “mens sana in corpore sano” (a healthy mind in a healthy body). Eat nutritious, clean food, commit to that workout routine, do whatever works for you, but don’t understimate your health. Know your worth.
- Feed your mind. Your mind needs to be fed just as much as your body needs to. Switch the TV off and read that book. You can find a list of narrative books that will help you see the world with different eyes here.
- Listen to your soul. You can be the smartest and most beautiful person on earth, but, if you don’t keep your soul green, no flower will grow from it. Take time for yourself, meditate, take a yoga course, heal your wounds. Spend some time alone, listen to yourself: find out who you are and where you are right now.
- Work on your self confidence. You can find tips on how to improve your self confidence here. Remember that you are the first one who should believe in yourself.
- Surround yourself with positive people. You have to be in a great environment if you want to have success. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your choices and are always there to support you. Cut off all the toxic relationships in your life, you don’t have energies to waste.
- Remeber to rest from time to time. It’s great to work hard, but remember that work isn’t everything: put yourself in the first place and know when it’s time to stop. Challenge yourself, but don’t forget your needs.
We’ve all been through those periods of life in which everything seems wrong and we constantly feel like we’re missing out on something. It doesn’t matter if it’s been after a mental breakdown, a period of stress or the end of a relationship: that’s when we need to start over.
I’ve always had this idea that to start over you need a special day: the first day of the year, a Monday or a Sunday, the first day of the month. I don’t know what it was with me, but guess what? You don’t need a particular day to start over: a first something or anything like that. Everyday is a great day to start over, everyday is a special day, in which you can make a difference in your life. You shape it, little by little. Here are some tips on how to start again after what you went through.
- Go for a radical change on something. It can be your hair, your wardrobe or your house: change it. By it, I don’t mean that you have to buy a new house or throw away all your pieces of clothing, but that you have to start rethinking your whole self. Declutter your room, donate those clothes you don’t wear anymore and make space for all the new ones. You’re going to start a new chapter in your life, make sure that it looks like it. A radical change helps your mind with staying focused on the goal.
- Get rid of all the things that caused you pain or were linked to your suffering. Who cares if it was a bracelet or a shirt? If everytime you look at it you suffer again, it’s not worth it.
- Set goals. Planning is a great way to keep your mind busy and focused on who you really want to become. You can learn how to write down your goals in an effective way here. I’m sure there’s something you’ve always wanted to do and never really went for. A useful tip is to learn one new thing every month. Have you always wanted to learn how to cook? Do it. This is the right time.
- Figure out what you have learnt from the lesson life has given you. Did you understand who, between your friends, you can always count on? Did anything help you get out of the situation? What did not work and consequently led to that issue?
- Take care of yourself. How long has it been since you had that hot bath? Make yourself your priority.
- Set boundaries. I know you end up thinking about the past at times, but try to focus on the present. It’s ok to check on your ex co-workers or on your ex, but don’t become obsessive. The past can be appealing, but remember that you walked away from it for a reason.
- Appreciate your progress and your strenght. You walked yourself out of a toxic situation: you’re much stronger than you think. I know you don’t feel like you have your life together, but I promise that you’re much closer to your goals than you think you are.
- Don’t quit. This means: don’t look back to that toxic ex you just walked away from. Don’t try to stalk those people who you cut all the bridges with. Don’t walk into a new toxic situation just because you think you can’t make it by yourself: you can. Believe in yourself.