What Do You Want Out of Life? A 5 Step Guide

Wants, goals and plans

What do you want from your life? From your relationships? From your career? It can be very hard to define exactly what it is that we want in life that we think will bring us joy and happiness. As a result, many people go through life feeling frustrated, unhappy and unfulfilled as they are not getting what they believe they want. To get what you want, you need some goals, a plan and some determination to reach your desired destination.

1. Define what it is you want

If you don’t know what you want, getting nowhere and doing nothing is very easy to do! It might be a big dream or just a simple thing like having more time to spend with your partner and kids. If you want “more money”, define how much money. Do you want enough to get out of debt or do you want to save for a house or to put your kids through college? If you want to “be happy”, define what this means to you, what do you believe will make you happy? Do you want to work fewer hours? Would you prefer to work closer to home so you spend less time commuting? Do you want to start your own business? How do you perceive these actions will make you happy? Write it all down on a piece of paper until you have a clear picture of what it is that you really want.

We All Want Different Things

A car, a house; whatever it may be it, is important to define what you want
A car, a house; whatever it may be it, is important to define what you want | Source

What do you want?

What do you want out of life?

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2. Set some definite goals

Now that you know what you want, set some goals that will help you reach your destination. Break big goals down into smaller manageable goals; without losing sight of your overall goal. Write down the steps that you plan to take to reach your goals. Setting a deadline for your goals is important as “a goal without a deadline is just a dream” and it is hard to convert dreams into reality.



Set small goals

Set small manageable goals to help you on your way to achieving your main goal
Set small manageable goals to help you on your way to achieving your main goal | Source

The SMART guide to Setting Goals

 
 
 
S
Specific
Ask yourself the 6 "W" questions about your goal - Who, What, Where, When, Why,Which - when defining what your goal truly is
M
Measurable
How will you know when you have achieved your goal?
A
Attainable
Your goal must be something you can achieve with your current skills, abilities and attributes
R
Realistic
Does your goal represent progression? Don't set the bar too low or too high
T
Timely
What is the timeframe for acheiving your goal? If there is no deadline it's not a goal its a dream!

Key Points

To get what you want out of life, the key is to have a consistent approach towards reaching your goals.

1. Identify what you want

2. Break bigger goals into smaller, manageable goals

3. Determine if you're truly passionate about your goal

4. Ask for what you want

5. Surround yourself with supportive people

3. Check your passion

Now that you have written down your goals, how motivated do you feel about achieving them? If you don’t some passion for achieving what you’ve set out to do; you may have set yourself the wrong goals or be aiming to achieve them for the wrong reasons.

A classic example of this is young people who get a certain degree because their parents want them to, rather than fulfilling their own wishes. If you don’t have a burning desire to achieve your goals, you won’t reach them. It takes hard work and dedication to reach your goals, so having some fire in your belly to maintain that motivation, even when you feel like giving up, is absolutely essential.

In the words of James Dean “the gratification comes in the doing, not in the results”- you should enjoy the journey on the path you’ve set for yourself, not just the expected end result. If you’re not enjoying the journey the majority of the time, you have set yourself the wrong goal.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want

So many people never do or try things because they fear not being accepted, and are afraid of being rejected. If you want to do something but have never pursued it for fear of rejection, visualise asking those close to you about what you want. How are they going to react? You can imagine the best case and worst case scenario and then plan a response for each situation. We often keep our true desires to ourselves for fear of what those close to us may think; but in reality it is unlikely to ever be as bad as what we create in our own minds. If you never ask, you definitely will never know.

Support is Essential

Surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people will help you to achieve your goals and get what you want in life
Surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people will help you to achieve your goals and get what you want in life | Source

5. Surround yourself with those that support you

If you are trying to work towards a goal and are surrounded by distractors and unsupportive people, this will delay you on your path. There is no need to make things harder for yourself, if someone or something is making it harder to achieve your goal, minimise your interaction with that thing or person. Minimise the number of bumps in the road to allow yourself a smoother journey.

Getting what you want in life involves knowing what you want and then determining the best way to get there. It may not be easy, but as long as you are taking steps forward, you are closer to getting what you want in life than if you sit around and wait for it to happen. It’s important that achieving your goals isn’t all consuming, and ensure you create space and time in your life for wellness, relationships and reflection. This is simply the natural flow of life, and this natural flow will guide you towards your goals.

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