One of the most common regrets of the dying is: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
Do you ever stop and ask yourself: on a scale of 1 to 10 how happy am I with my life? How much of it did I consciously choose? And if you had the courage and the power to design your life the way you wanted to, what would it look like?
These might seem like scary questions to even reflect on but if you really think about it, they are truly essential to living a fulfilling life.
Creating the life you want can seem overwhelming, however more and more people are doing it. People are choosing to take action and take control of their lives both on professional and personal levels.
The following are 5 tips you can use to help you get started on creating the life you want.

1) Create a Clear Vision of What You Want

It’s important to be clear on what you want to achieve. Start asking yourself: What do I want? Why is it important to me? How would I know that I got it? Start defining the kinds of feelings, thoughts and experiences you want to have once you reach that goal.
When I started my coaching company, I was so eager to build my clientele and get my business running that I didn’t take the sufficient time to reflect on my vision and the details of what I wanted my company to be like. Within the first month, I had found a company name, incorporated my company, hired a web designer, finalized the whole content, finalized the design of my logo, started the design of my website, printed brochures and business cards, became a member of a few associations and had already started networking.
I was so proud of my accomplishments and the speed things were moving at until I realized, once everything was finalized, that the outcome was not at all what I wanted. I had to start all over again and had to really create a clearer vision of what I wanted. I reinvested in a new website, new brochures, new business cards, almost new everything, but I had learned my lesson and made sure that my vision was clear once and for all.

2) Move Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Creating something new will require that you step out of your comfort zone. Ask yourself: what is holding me back? What am I afraid of? What would it take for me to reach my goal?
Moving out of your comfort zone doesn’t necessarily mean doing anything extraordinarily out of character or extreme like jumping off a cliff. It could simply be breaking from a routine or an old pattern you’ve had for a long time and that has been keeping you stuck.
Doing something you never did before will lead you to something you never had.
The idea of stepping out of the comfy cocoon you created for yourself might be a scary thought, however, keep in mind that people who have a tendency of getting locked into the same old habits and keeping things safe and comfortable often remain in unhealthy relationships, unfulfilled careers, or destructive lifestyle habits. Also, by remaining in your comfort zone you might never find out what your true potential is or what you are capable of achieving.

3) Be Patient and Let Go of Expectations

More often than not things do not happen as fast as we expect them to. Whether you are starting your own business, changing careers, looking for a new relationship, etc. it is easy to get discouraged and be tempted to give up. One of the most important things to remember is to be patient and let go of expectations. Ask yourself: how important is this goal for me? Why is it important to me? What will be the positive impacts on my life and on the people around me once I achieve it?
When I made the decision to start my business everyone told me that it would take time and a lot of patience. I was convinced that it would be different for me. I soon realized that people were right. Getting a business running and building a clientele took a lot more time than I ever expected. I often contemplated giving up but my desire to be a coach and help people was much stronger.
Getting discouraged and giving up is like stepping all over the seeds that we planted instead of giving them the time to sprout. Seeds take time to grow and as we all know a garden isn’t created over night. Patience is crucial and will create the necessary space for everything to come to you at the right moment.

4) Stay Focused

Many of your most important goals will require a great deal of time to accomplish. It is therefore very easy to lose sight of the target. It takes effort and awareness to maintain focus throughout the whole process. Keeping your eyes on the prize requires motivation and taking actions to reinforce your motivation on a regular basis.
Find different ways to give yourself constant reminders of your end goal, such as creating a vision board, or even having someone you can be accountable to or that can assist you until you reach your goal. Start by making a list of what could help you stay focused and motivated.
The other day, my 12-year-old niece sent me the following quote written by Bill Copeland: “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field without ever scoring”. I found it amazing that at such a young age, she is aware of the importance of setting goals and working toward achieving them.

5) Be Open to Receiving Help

How many times did you try doing things your way, only to discover that you let your ego get in the way of making things right? Trying to be a hero and wanting to do everything alone can be very frustrating and can actually keep you stuck and be counterproductive. Using other people’s strengths or expertise to compensate for your weaknesses is actually a very smart thing to do. Put your pride aside and let people help you. Ask yourself: What are my current weaknesses? What would I need to do to compensate for them? Who do I know that can help me? What resources can I turn to that would facilitate things for me? Allowing people to help you takes a certain amount of humility and being able to receive with an open heart is truly liberating.
As a new entrepreneur, I realized very quickly that I was not an expert in all aspects of running a business. I was therefore opened to receiving all the help I could get. I contacted friends and asked them for their recommendations on the areas I had less experience in. My family was also a huge help and provided me with financial and emotional support throughout the whole process of starting my business. I have been so grateful for their support. Allowing people to contribute has allowed me to connect with my friends and family at an even deeper level than before and has allowed me to build stronger relationships with them. It is fascinating how willing people are to help you out if you just ask them.
Start by identifying what your needs are and build your own support system. You will be amazed at all the things you can learn from your family members, your friends as well as the different professional resources out there.