What would need to have happened if you woke up one morning and your life was all you dreamed - every duck in a row - you're living your best life?
To help people find direction and make changes in therapy, I sometimes ask this "possibility question". It can help us to work out what a more ideal life might be for us and importantly, what we must change to move in that direction. Often, when I ask this question, people realise that they don't really know what their best life would look like because they haven't thought about it before in any detail. The problem is it's very tricky to get to your desired destination if you have no idea where the place is or what it's like there. Would you even know it if you found it? Is it likely you'll stumble on your best life by accident or will you have a better chance if you define and map out a path to what you're looking for?
There is great freedom, insight and power in mentally 'inhabiting' your best life, all obstacles overcome, right here and now. Then, by stepping into a sense of your ideal life it's much easier to look back and see what you have to change now because you're off course or distracted. What steps and stages need to go into your planning now to get you on track for the future you desire?
A great way of working this all out is to journal about yourself and your life from the future. Describe every aspect of your best life as though you're living it already, what you have achieved and what you have overcome to create this deeply satisfying life you are enjoying. In doing so you'll start to create a plan that you can keep building on through journaling and visualisation, that will guide you towards your dream life. Once you know where you want to go precisely, you can look back from there to see all that needs to be put in place now to get you on the right path.
Here's an example:
I didn't always live on the coast but it had been a dream for some time. My house has beach views but is still very secure and cosy, furnished with pieces from my years of travel in Asia and Europe. After I completed my business degree 5 years ago I took the risk and opened a store in Ocean Grove instead of the city. The risk has paid off and business is now thriving due to my energy and love for fashion.
I surf each morning before work to keep very fit and active and I've made a new group of friends quite quickly through walking the dogs on the beach. I've started a book group that meets at my house and I'm undertaking the writing course I always wanted to do online. My income is on track for my goals. On the whole, life is amazing, but that wasn't always the case...(this is where you write what you overcame and celebrate how you did it).
Journaling each day or so, adding more depth and detail to the plan, is a brilliant way to constantly inspire yourself, keep motivation high and stop you from wandering off track to your goals. You may also find defining and honing every aspect of your ideal life a very enjoyable and eye-opening exercise. To help with the process I've made a highly detailed workbook that will guide you in turning past challenges around and defining your ideal life. More than that, the workbook based on my upcoming book Lovelands, will help you go deep to understand the impact of your past on your life and to reinterpret even negative events and experiences for the strengths and wisdom they have built in you. It will guide you in becoming the hero of your own life.