Hands up who’s life seems to be getting busier every year? If it isn’t family events it’s an ever increasing workload as well as trying to keep fit and healthy, it’s nearly impossible trying to fit everything in.
Wouldn’t it be great if all areas of your life were firing on all cylinders? Where your relationships were going well, your career was fantastic, you were healthy and in good shape and you had time to focus on being the best version of you?
For many people there is one or two areas of their life that seems to be working while other areas of their life seem to range from so, so, to treading water to near dumpster fire. So how can we get balance across all areas of our life? To get all areas of your life to be working in synch, to have all aspects of your life more bulletproof?
Below we go through some tips to make your life more bulletproof.
What do you want in life?
The first question that needs to be asked is, are you happy with your life? If yes, great keep doing what you are doing? If not, is it your whole life in general which needs a significant refresh or are there some areas of your life that are working and other areas that need some work?
A lot of us have been conditioned to accept what is given to us with our lives, not to go out and be our best. We are told we should be thankful for having any job we can get, any place to live, any partner who can put up with us just to name a few. Why do we accept this?
A lot of us weren’t challenged to go out and find the best job for us, the best partner for us or to live the best life we could. We were told to settle for things in life.
The good news is you don’t have to settle for anything you don’t want to. You can be the architect of your desires with some planning, with some help and a little daring.
That’s not to say that everyone will have every part of their life working exactly how they want it every day if they follow everything in this article. What we are suggesting is how do you know what you can really achieve if you don’t have a go and stopped settling for things in your life?
If only. These are two of the most defeatist words one could ever say. How many people review their past and list the many regrets that they did or didn’t do?
If only I enrolled in my preferred degree at college I could have been…… (fill in the blank)
If only I had the courage to out that guy/girl, for a coffee or date, I could be…..
If only I had listened to…. (fill in the blank) and I wouldn’t have lost money
I regret it is also in the same league as If only.
Some common regrets are “I regret settling for the wrong person or I regret settling for a job I hate and not chasing the career I really want or I regret letting a friendship die”.
For those who aren’t happy with life at the moment, following this path not chosen doesn’t mean your life would have turned out perfect, however there is a good chance your life approval rating would be higher than it currently is.
It isn’t too late to make changes no matter how old you are, whether it’s for a fitness or savings target anyone can do this, you just have to start! You just need to figure out where you are starting from and where you want to be.
The more changes you wish to make (or the worse position you think you are in) the more detailed your life review should be. For some you may even wish to do a full life audit, one that doesn’t hold any punches and covers everything in your life as it currently stands and everything you want to achieve.
To make your life more complete then to make your life more bulletproof. So what are some ways to do this?
Start setting (and achieving) lifestyle goals
Once you’ve got an idea of what you want, let’s put some framework around these wants in the form of setting goals. One of the simplest ways to turn things around is to set some goals or targets for what you want to achieve, then put together a plan and take action.
Whilst you may wish to have one or two general life goals you may want to have goals around some of the main areas of your life such as health or financial goals.
If you are new to this we suggest that you set goals across 5 or 6 main areas of your life. If you don’t have a list of your own either do your own research or use the ones that we use as an example below.
Be the architect of your own life and take full control of your direction.
When reviewing your life and looking to set goals around these look to focus on some of the bigger areas such as Health & Fitness, Career, Finances, Relationships, Spiritual/Religion and Personal goals (such as writing a book or learning an instrument)
Your goals should be made of both short and long term goals and ideally your short term goals will align or form part of your long term goal journey.
Let’s go into more detail with these areas and some ideas with goals
Health & Fitness
When looking to set health and fitness goals, these could revolve around losing weight, hitting a strength or lifting target, hitting a bodyweight target, or hitting a certain level of fitness target. Ideally your shorter term fitness goal will form part of your long term fitness goal.
Short term health and fitness goals could be:
- Lose 10 pounds in 3 months
- Run 5km in under 25 minutes
- Train for and complete your first running race
- Cut down your junk food to one cheat meal a week
A long term health and fitness goal could be
- Building a health and fitness framework where you maintain a healthy weight, train several times per week and have a healthy diet.
When looking to set financial goals, these could revolve around hitting a savings target or repaying credit cards or personal debt or starting an investment portfolio.
Short term financial goals could be:
- Get repaying a credit card
- Setting a savings target or build an emergency fund
- Start investing
A long term financial goal could be
- Achieving financial independence with several passive income streams
When looking to set career goals, these could revolve around finding an ideal job, getting to a certain income level, getting to a certain qualification level or even owning your own business.
Short term career goals could be:
- Get a payrise
- Enroll in a course for your job
- Start looking for another job
- Start a side hustle with a view to building a business around it
A long term career goal could be
- Building and running your own successful business along with you to live to your own calendar.
When looking to set relationship goals, these could revolve around finding a romantic partner, spending more time with the family or even reconnecting with an old friend.
Short term relationship goals could be:
- Undertake new activities to allow you to meet friends or a potential romantic partner
- Weekly date night with your partner
- Choosing a new hobby for you and your children or a family member
A long term relationship goal could be
- Being in a loving transparent relationship
When looking to set spiritual/religious goals, these could revolve around taking up meditation or mindfulness, reconnecting with your religion or learning a religion or just spending some downtime in nature.
Short term spiritual goals could be:
- Taking up meditation or yoga classes
- Revisiting your chosen religion
- Spending a week outside in nature to experience mindfulness
A long term spiritual/religion goal could be:
- To incorporate a more relaxed and centered long term approach to life
When looking to set personal goals. these could revolve around learning a language, traveling to a foreign country, climbing a mountain such as Mt Kilimanjaro or writing a book:
Short term personal goals could be:
- Scheduling in a weekly writing session
- Booking in a weekly music lesson
- Finding a new hobby
- Going on a holiday
A long term personal goal could be many things of which your short term personal goals are part of the journey, such as traveling to every country on the planet or writing your first novel.
These are suggested areas however you might have other areas you would prefer to use and set goals around and that is find, work with what is best for you.
Giving yourself the best chance to achieve in life
Planning for your success
Setting goals is one thing, putting in a plan to achieve these goals is something different.
I’m sure you are familiar with the quote, “failing to plan is planning to fail” however in many cases this is the truth. Yes some people can luck their way into a pathway to achieve their goals but in most cases sustained success needs more than a wing it attitude.
You want to take as many variables out of the picture and don’t hope that everything will work out. Look at, prepare a good solid plan, one that takes into account your skills and experiences, one that outlines areas you need help with or need to work on then you go out and take the necessary action.
The more challenging the goal, the more work and planning must go into your preparations and set up to achieve this goal.
Saving $1,000 within a 6 month timeframe is a lot easier to achieve than achieving a goal of boosting your annual income by $25,000. This type of goal will entail planning, effort, seeking out guidance or knowledge, some that you may not have experienced or come across previously.
Be realistic with your goals
Whilst it’s great if you decide to add goal setting into your self improvement toolbox, setting unrealistic goals can seriously impact your progression and likely lead to a significant drop in confidence. If you are new to goal setting, we recommend you start small, get some wins on the board early and build confidence. Start with something that will challenge you however something you will be able to achieve with a little planning and effort.
Once you start achieving small regular goals, your confidence will skyrocket, your belief in yourself will keep rising and before you know it your horizon will expand. You will set more challenging goals that will require more effort, more planning, more engagement and will seriously take you out of your comfort zone.
Whilst you may not achieve some of these bigger more challenging goals your confidence won’t be knocked as much and you will be able to draw on past successes for ideas or changes needed to achieve any failed goals or at least change to a more suitable goal.
Even with “failed” goals you will still be able to appreciate your achievements. Are you really a failure if you set out to lose 20 pounds but “only” lose 15 pounds? Are you a failure if you set out to save $20,000 for the year yet “only” save $15,000?
Building a framework and systems to ensure success
While planning and mapping out your goals are part of the equation, if you don’t have a good structure in place to help with your success this can really hold you back from your true potential. Having this in place is likely to avoid any potential setbacks or roadblocks. Some tips include:
Setting up daily routines or habits
James Clear, author of Atomic Habits is a huge proponent of the power of building habits and how habits are extremely important for one’s success. Particularly for more tedious tasks that could be batched or completed more efficiently and quicker if more planning went into this, set up a daily routine to help speed these up.
Let’s look at an example fitness goal and how setting up a routine will help you achieve this goal.
Let’s say your goal is to lose 20 pounds within a certain time frame, say 6 months. If the only thing you do after setting this goal is write down that you will exercise 3 times per week and watch your diet, chances are you are going to lose focus and not achieve this goal.
If however you put in a detailed action plan and broke down your day and week into days and times that you are going to be exercise or went through your local gyms class program and selected the classes that suit you and will help achieve your goal or you create a new diet then (all other things being equal) it’s highly likely you will achieve your goal.
An example could be a fitness goal that you have outlined and to help you achieve this you have a new morning routine that revolves around getting up at a certain time, undertaking a gym session or an exercise class as part of your morning routine.
Effective time management
Everyone has 24 hours in the day yet so many people waste a lot of it. Then there are a small few who achieve so much in a day or week you’d think they’ve got a small army helping them throughout their day.
Be vigilant with your time and plan your day. Research has shown that people who plan out exactly what they want to achieve in a day achieve more than those who don’t. Further to that, schedule your hardest, more challenging tasks early in your day.
The more clear you are with your daily schedule the more efficient your day will usually turn out.
Don’t let people ‘steal’ your time, either at your workplace or in your personal life. If you find people who do this, inform them of your time allocated for and unless it is an emergency you will stick to this. Try to move to a strategy where if it’s not in the calendar it doesn’t exist!
Engagement of all main parties in your life
If you have a family and are looking to achieve several goals, chances are you are going to need to have a boy in from your family members. It’s likely there will be some sacrifices needed to achieve the goal and this will affect some of your family members.
Your goal might take up several hours of your time each week, time that you may have previously spent with your family or helped out picking up or dropping off kids to sporting events, school, etc.
The sooner you have discussed this with those close to you and you all actively collaborated in your calendar, routine, etc the more effective you will be.
Control what you can control
That means putting in the extra work, seeking out people who can help you with your goal, build the systems and procedures to get you to the goal and importantly taking inspired action. After completing all of this, there is a big chance you will achieve your goals.
There’s always a concern that if you allow yourself to get caught up in this goal setting process and you fail to achieve then you could be in a worse situation mentally than you were previously.
While that is an issue, if you put in the work in not only planning out your approach, planning out what resources you will need and more importantly you take inspired action and give it your best then the likelihood of failing is very low (assuming you set a challenging yet realistic goal).
Provided you take inspired action and make some positive changes to your life, chances are this will be an improvement on your current position and if you review areas of your life you’ll like to be positive regarding these changes.
As long as you aren’t investing too much time or money on a doomed goal or target or have your hopes falsely elevated you will be fine even if there is a setback or you don’t achieve the goal. If there is a failure to achieve, review this in detail, look at what worked and more importantly what didn’t and what changes could you make to ensure future success?
Alternatively the more experience you get with goals and also understanding yourself and your capabilities better the goals you will set for yourself (challenging yet achievable) and the more improvement you will achieve.
Remember to check in regularly to see if you are on track (particularly for long term goals) and if you have to don’t be afraid to pivot.
Sitting down and mapping out exactly what you want out of life can set you on your desired life path and on the road to riches. Not only could you be living the life you designed, you could also act as a role model to show others how it is done.
Keep challenging yourself, keep checking in and keep believing in yourself. Before you know it you would have achieved plenty of things you only previously dreamed about.