How Do I Get What I Want In Life? 11 Ways To Make It Happen, According To Experts
Whether you want to reach a few goals, make big changes, or simply enjoy the day-to-day more fully, then it may be time to look for ways to get more out of life. It's something that's definitely easier said than done. But the good news is, there are plenty of positive results to be had by simply changing things up, and thinking a bit differently.
After all, "when we feel stuck it is typically because we are living on auto-pilot and we are not aware of our own limiting thoughts we keep subconsciously replaying," Nickie Hartley, a mindset coach and hypnotherapist, tells Bustle. It's incredibly tempting, for instance, to get comfortable in a certain daily routine, and begin to feel as if it wouldn't be a good idea to try something new.
And yet that's one of the many things you can and should consider doing. "By getting out of our comfort zones we can then tell the old limited way of thinking that the present moment isn't scary and that what we want can be obtained if we just believe in ourselves," Hartley says. Here are some simple ways to make a change, reach goals, and get more out of life in general, according to experts.
1. Figure Out Your Goals
"If you aren't happy with where you are, ask yourself what you want in your life and if you have it," Mitzi Brockman, a certified life coach, tells Bustle. "If you don't know you can't get it. So figure out what it is and then [...] design a path to get it."
Jot down your goals, and see if you can figure out a way to get there by listing out all the small steps you'd need to follow. If it isn't clear, don't hesitate to reach out to a life coach or a therapist, Brockman says, to see if they can offer a few tips.
Once you have clear goals, and a working plan on how to reach them, they'll be way more likely to come true.
2. Focus On What You Do Want
If you're used to focusing on what you don't want in life, it might help to switch up your inner monologue and focus more on what you do want. "Our minds are really powerful, and by focusing on what we don't want, we actually create more of it," Courtney M. Elmer, a stress expert and lifestyle strategist for women, tells Bustle. Because language is important.
For example, instead of telling yourself you don't want to be stressed, say you do want to have more peace. "This unconscious/conscious mind alignment will in turn open up possibilities that you didn't see before," Elmer says, "and help you reach your goals."
3. Mix Smaller Goals In With The Big Ones
If you have a goal that'll take ten years and lots of steps to accomplish, you'll probably feel stuck because your "goals are too large and too far in the distance," Diana Fitts, an occupational therapist at The Sensory Toolbox, tells Bustle.
Instead, "be sure to have some smaller goals mixed in with your larger goals so that you are always feeling as though you are making progress in life," Fitts says. "Smaller goals also give you the fun benefit of celebrating achievements more often, which can be really motivating."
4. Bring Yourself Back To The Present Moment
If you want to feel better about life in general, it may help to practice mindfulness, which simply means bringing your attention back to the present moment — instead of allowing your mind to scatter in a million different directions.
"In those moments we can observe, with non-judgment, kindness, and compassion the thoughts, feelings, and emotions we have in our mind and body," Hartley says. "We are able to see how our life is in that exact moment. That self-awareness is necessary for growth and success in life."
5. Talk About It
Even if your knee-jerk reaction is to keep your goals to yourself, or downplay what's important to you, it really can help to talk about it more often — and hear yourself say it out loud.
"In an effort to not 'rock the boat' or to avoid confrontation, [you might] withhold these truths," Danielle Bayard Jackson, a women's coach specializing in communication, tells Bustle, but that will, in turn, hold you back from enjoying life more fully.
So go ahead and speak up, and share what's on your mind. You may notice that things start to go your way more often, as a result.
6. Appreciate The Little Things
"If you're feeling stuck in a rut and uninspired, focusing on the 'little things' can lend to some big results," Barb Shepard, LMHC, a licensed mental health counselor who specializes in working with young people going through transitions, tells Bustle. This can include practicing mindfulness, as well as simply appreciating the small but good moments in your day.
"Try savoring your first sip of coffee in the morning; taking a walk on your lunch break; or blasting your favorite song with the windows down on your way home," she says. "If you're feeling happier, you're going to attract more of what you want — better relationships and better opportunities to take you where you want to go."
7. Be Authentic
"Sometimes our biggest roadblock is who we think other people want us to be," Shepard says, which is why it can help to put your most authentic self out there, on a more regular basis. And this can be as simple as reacting to things in a way that feels genuine.
"If you're caught up in pleasing others, you end up watering down your personality, your spark, and all of the things that make you interesting," she says. "People connect to authenticity, and chances are you're going to see a lot more doors open when you're being truly you."
8. Move Your Schedule Around
If it seems as if the days fly by and you never get anything done, you're definitely not alone. This is a common feeling, and it can make it seem as if you'll never reach any goals — because who has the time?
But consider all the hours you have in a day, and whether you're putting them to good use. "There is always enough time for something if we make it a priority," Shepard says. "If you want to meditate more, set a timer for five minutes when you wake up in the morning and get it done. There is enough time, and you can fill your time with awesome stuff that is helping you grow — even if you're really busy!"
9. Take A Social Media Break
To get more time back each day, consider how much of it you spend on social media, and whether or not it adds or detracts from your goals. If it's beneficial and necessary, cool. If it's holding you back, try taking a break.
"If you're checking social media for three hours a day, think about implementing some screen free time," Shepard says. You might notice there's an entirely different tone to your day, as well as lots of extra free time to do other things you enjoy.
10. Go Out & Network
If you're trying to meet new people, kick off a new career, or make a few other positive changes in life, "focus on networking," Shepard says. "It's all about who you know, and you never know when a colleague can help you out when it comes to professional opportunities." Or if a friend is doing something fun, that might really add to your life.
As Shepard says, "Opportunities are always available to us in unexpected places if we are constantly seeking connection."
11. Set Boundaries
Learning how to focus on yourself, and prioritizing your personal goals, is important when it comes to getting more of what you want in life, whatever that may be. And that's where boundary setting can come in to save the day.
"If you're saying 'yes' all the time to others, you ultimately end up saying no to yourself," Shepard says, which is why experts are always talking about learning how to say no, and all the benefits that skill can bring into your life.
Of course, these aren't the only things you can do in order to reach your goals, have fun, or feel more content, but they can be a great start. They're all about changing up your routine, reaching out for help, and prioritizing what's important to you — all of which can add up to make a big difference.