- Darshana Ananth
How to Create the Life You Desire
Updated: Oct 13, 2021
Everyone wants to have a great life, crush their goals and be successful in whatever they set their mind to. We can say that the path to success is quite simple, which is partially true. Make a plan, follow through and you’ll reach your destination. However, discipline and a strong mindset are the two ‘very essential’ factors that make you stick through the whole process. It is definitely that grit and determination that will take you places.
Nothing is set in stone regarding the steps you need to follow in order to be successful. What works for one person may not work for you. Don’t be disheartened, we can always take inspiration from someone’s success story and make way for our own.
Our mind works in mysterious ways. When we set a goal, we make a grandiose plan and decide to take a big leap all at once. When the time to take action arrives, we are overwhelmed with the amount of work and tend towards procrastination. Can you relate? Because it is the story of my life.
Alright, now let's get into the nitty-gritty details of setting up a disciplined routine and the habits that you can follow to achieve that success mindset. They are quite self-explanatory but we tend to forget these simple yet effective habits that give you the right results over time.
Manage your time like an Essentialist
They say that the activities in which you invest your time says a lot about you. Time is something we can never get back once it has passed. So the way you manage your time can make or break your goals. Let’s take an Essentialist’s perspective on time management inspired by the book ‘Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less’ written by Greg McKeown. I highly recommend you check the book out.
An Essentialist is someone who is very selective with their time and priorities. These days, we feel obligated to say yes to a lot of things that aren’t necessarily good for us and hesitant to say no because we might disappoint someone. Know that it is OKAY to say no to things that don’t add value to your life and it can be done in a graceful manner instead of just a blunt ‘No’. Before committing to anyone or anything, take a moment to think if it is in line with what you want.
Prioritizing your tasks on a day-to-day basis will save you from the stress of last-minute execution. Time schedule all your tasks for the day. When you list down the tasks that need to get done, make sure to complete the most important and difficult ones first.
Sometimes, we might end up doing the small and menial ones, giving us a feeling that we have done a lot, while the important tasks are left hanging. Learn to differentiate the vital few from the trivial many.
Set SMART Goals
Everyone loves setting goals, be it yearly goals, quarterly goals, or monthly goals. It gives us a sense of direction we can reference in achieving our desired outcome. But the question is – are you setting SMART goals? Here, SMART is an acronym that stands for
S – Specific M – Measurable A – Attainable R – Relevant T – Time-bound
When setting a goal, it is great to keep these in mind. Let’s look at an example of building a habit of reading.
Setting a goal that is specific – Reading two books every month.
Setting a goal that is measurable – The number of days you take to finish one book or the number of chapters that you read each day that shows progress.
Setting a goal that is attainable – 2 books a month is fair and achievable.
Setting a goal that is relevant – Reading books in order to increase your vocabulary.
Setting a goal that is time-bound – To finish two books within a month.
Many tend to set goals but don’t give much thought to the above criteria and as a result, fail to follow through. Taking in all the above points while setting a goal gives us a clear picture of the process and the end result.
Planning too much is better than not planning at all. Taking some time out of your day to plan will save you so much time in the future. Designing a routine and sticking to it will make a big difference in the long run. When planning, it is essential to set a time schedule for each one of your tasks. Planning the night before can help you conquer the next day with the right to-do list.
While planning your to-do’s for the day, make sure to give yourself enough buffer time between tasks. We often underestimate the amount of time that we need to complete a task. Having enough buffer time can make your plans for the day flexible and also avoid cramming through stuff at the last minute.
Measure your Progress
Keeping a track of your progress from time to time makes sure that you aren’t stuck at the same spot for too long. It doesn’t have to be a huge leap or a big win. Taking baby steps every day and celebrating the small wins will motivate you to perform better.
Success cannot be achieved overnight so one huge leap will not take you where you want, it’ll just stress you out. It is always the small and consistent efforts that matter. The power of steadiness will make it look like overnight success one day since it was tiny signs of progress and effortless all along. Tracking your progress will help you stay consistent and accountable.
Be an Active Learner
There’s so much we don’t know and making an effort to become a life-long learner is a great habit. It not only improves your knowledge but it is fair to stay updated on the stuff that interests you. This gives way for improvement and even increases the quality of your work.
Putting aside some time to read a book or skim through articles on the internet can help you gather tiny digestible bits of knowledge. Personally, I love reading self-development books and every book I read gives me a different perspective on life. If you don’t prefer reading, watching information-rich videos help a lot as well. You can also take online courses on topics that interest you. Once you start investing time in becoming an active learner, there is no turning back.
Focus on the present moment and give it your best, it’s all you can do. Thinking about your past or worrying about your future will not take you anywhere. Stay in the moment and make it worthy because now is all you have. Take care.