Start living the life you want!
What does it take to live the life you want? After speaking to a group of women who work in technology, a few of them came up afterwards to say ‘thanks!’ Being curious, I asked them what their ‘takeaway’ was from the talk and a panel discussion about work/life balance. Interestingly enough, a young woman looked me in the eye and told me she learned it was up to her to live her life the way she wants, and determine for herself what makes her happy! It seems so obvious, and yet, how many of us are living the life we truly believe we are meant to live?
Once we get out of college and land the first couple of ‘career’ jobs, we may start to take on responsibilities such as a house, car payment, marriage or a partner, kids, and we start to lose sight of what we really want out of life. There are bills to pay, child care to find, and meals to cook, not to mention the increasing responsibility we take on at work. Longer hours, bigger projects, more bosses to answer to — until we feel we’re on a treadmill with no exit. We’re no longer being intentional about how we live our life – just trying to keep up. We keep going until something gives big time — and often we pay with our health.
One of my coaching clients said she wanted to make some changes in her life – work less, relax more. But when I asked her about her ideal life, and what that actually looked like, she couldn’t describe it. Didn’t have a clue. She couldn’t name any hobbies, or even things outside of work she liked to do. So we started with small steps, like leaving work at 6pm. Then it was planning activities with her spouse. Some they liked, and others (like a book reading) they swore they’d never do again! But at least she was out there trying. She learned to garden. Started reading. And found that life actually did exist outside of her work, and it was up to her to build the life she wanted.
I like to work. I love connecting with people. I like working on projects. I admit – I’m a little Type A. (Okay – maybe a lot). I’m also at a time in my life when I don’t have kids at home, my husband has his own career, I do have some family responsibilities that need my attention – but in the end, it comes down to priorities, and knowing my limits. And generally speaking, I like my life. We take time out for vacations to place like Sedona, AZ (pictured above) or the San Juan Islands – places where we can really unwind. I am responsible for what my life looks like. I read. I volunteer. We boat. We get together with friends.
If you don’t have the life you want, consider what you want it to look like. What are you doing? Who are you spending time with? What brings you joy? And then take ONE SMALL STEP that will move you towards your vision. No one’s going to do this for you. It IS up to you to create the life you want to live.
How are you doing it? As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.