There’s just something about staring out at the ocean that makes me incredibly introspective. Sitting out on the balcony has been my favorite thing to do on this vacation. If I manage to snag a few minutes alone to soak up the view, it’s even better. It’s funny how any bit of free time allows my mind to wander more than it normally does.
Looking out towards the horizon lends itself to pondering about my life. I have to admit, I never pictured my life the way it is. The course I charted had a couple definitive locations planned:
- I would go to college
- I’d get married
- I’d probably have kids
- We’d be happy and successful
- The End. (not a whole lot of planning involved)
To take advantage of my ocean reflections, that’s pretty much the equivalent of me jumping on a sailboat with no clue how to sail and heading towards Europe. Sure, it sounds fun and adventurous, but anyone who takes off without any sense of direction is bound to get lost along the way.
Lately, I’ve been feeling pretty lost. Without much direction, it’s not hard to see why.
A Change of Direction
We just got back from our week at the beach and it was just what Shawn and I needed. We had lots of great talks together on the balcony overlooking the ocean. It was great! I know the kids had a great time too. It just doesn’t take much for kids to have fun. I really felt like this trip had the biggest impact for me and Shawn.
Did you ever get to that point in your life when you realized that you were in desperate need of some major life changes? Well, that’s where we are. Things were so peaceful while we were away from our “normal life” that we felt ourselves coming back to the question:
Why can’t we have MORE time like this?
I absolutely LOVE this quote from Seth Godin:
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is,
maybe you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”
You may have read that quote before and had the same thought I did, “Yeah, that’d be nice in a perfect world.” But really, what’s stopping us from creating a life that we love . . . except the limits we place on ourselves?
If you haven’t read the ProBlogger article by Jon Morrow called “How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World” then you really need to stop and go read it now. It’s incredible! It’s the best post I can recommend on not letting life limit your dreams.
The Minimalist Guide to Achieving Your Dreams
In its simplest form, the Minimalist Guide to Achieving Your Dreams only has two steps:
- Figure out what you want.
- Pursue your dream until you get it.
That’s it. Getting discouraged and distracted won’t help you get to where you want to be.
For me, just accomplishing Step 1 was pretty difficult. Sometimes you don’t know what you want out of life. It’s pretty easy to just float along throughout life that we don’t take the time out to reflect on whether we’re happy where we are or if we’re looking for more out of life. Sometimes, it take a small taste of our dreams to realize: YES! I want more of that!
I created an in-depth worksheet on Practical Goal Setting that comes with my upgraded Family-Sized Minimalism package. It’s based on “The Miracle Question” solution-focused technique from counseling, but it’s also great for goal setting and problem solving. Basically, it walks you through describing the specifics from your ideal life.
I’ve included part one from the worksheet below. It helped me this week to think through the things I want to be different in my own life.
Practical Goal Setting – Part 1
If you woke up tomorrow morning and a miracle had occurred and everything in your life was exactly how you wanted, what would be different that would tell you a miracle happened?
- What would your home life look like?
- How would you spend your day?
- Describe your ideal health.
- How would your relationships be different?
- Describe your ideal job or way to make money.
- What would your emotional and spiritual life be like?
Whether you’re going after big dreams like a career change or little goals like decluttering your kitchen, you still need a plan. Think about what the end goal will look and feel like. Be specific and purposeful and you’ll enjoy the journey and the destination that much more when you get there.
If you’d like to learn more about minimalist living, please consider reading my book, Family-Sized Minimalism or subscribing to the RSS or the weekly update newsletter in the sidebar. Thanks so much for reading.