It’s easy to feel like a bystander in your own life.
One day you’re in college, taking all the right courses to get you where you want to be, interviewing for the internship that will land you your “dream job.” The next you feel like a fly on the wall during your own 9-5 workday.
You’re not only wondering how you got there, but how you can get out.
Regaining control of your life starts by evaluating where you are now and setting goals for how you’d like your future to turn out.
Here are some ways you can pave the way for a future of fulfillment. With the right tools and motivation, you can make it happen and live the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Create a Vision
Dreaming big is the vital first step in envisioning a brighter future. You can’t make any plans to regain control over your life if you don’t have any idea where you want your life to go.
Take time to brainstorm. What are your passions? What makes you happiest? Where do you get most of your joy? If you could change one thing about this world, what would it be? Use your imagination to determine where this next phase of life is going to take you.
Try New Things
Being unsure about “want to do with your life” is extremely common. No matter how old we are, it seems like people are still searching for ideas about what they want to be when they grow up.
If you don’t know what your passions are, seek them. Try a hobby you loved as a kid and see if it still interests you. Explore anything that captivates you and that you haven’t had an opportunity to try yet. You have the ability to change things and make it happen.
Best-case scenario? Something amazing comes of this. Worst-case scenario? You chalk it up to adventure and a good experience.
Create a Plan
Once you’re familiar with your interests and passions, it’s time to take them to the next level. Ask yourself how you’re going to turn your dreams into a reality, by questioning what exactly you want from this next period of your life.
Are you looking to turn your passion into a career path? Are you looking for a way to give back by volunteering? Or are you hoping to spend fewer hours in the office and do more jet-setting to foreign countries?
Figure out what it is you’re trying to do next and create a plan of attack for how to get these things done. Set small goals that can be achieved each day, week, and month. Goals that will gradually allow you to get where you want to be in a year.
Hold Onto Reminders
While vision boards are becoming more and more popular, seeing any sort of physical reminder of your goals can help keep you on track.
You can write down a quote that really resonates with you and place it on your bedroom mirror so that you see it every morning, as you get ready. You could also set your phone background to a picture of something that represents what you want your future to look like.
All these little reminders can help give you motivation to prioritize your goals each day.
Remember That You Are in Control
Certainly, there are life events that are out of our human control, but it’s important to remember that you are still in control of your life’s ultimate direction. It’s up to you—and only you—to get yourself where you need to be.
Make it happen by setting appropriate goals, following through with them, and succeeding. Staying focused will eventually lead you to have the life you originally envisioned for yourself.