“But I don’t know what I want.”
This is one of the things I’ve been hearing a lot lately. So if you are ready for a big transformation but don’t know exactly what you want out of life, here are six ideas to help you kick start that change:
1.) Do a bit of soul searching and ask yourself what you truly want for yourself. Questions to ask: Look into your future: Where and how do you want to live? How do you want to be making money? What are you known for? Who do you surround yourself with and what types of relationships do you have?
2.) Try new things. Take a class, go to that writer’s workshop you’ve been thinking about for a while, take a cooking class, or learn a new skill. You never know what you’ll discover about yourself or where it will lead you.
3.) Survey your friends and family. Ask those closest to you to share what they think your greatest strengths are. Often times we can’t see what others see. It might spark something new in you.
4.) Look for a new job. I know in today’s economy, jobs are a precious commodity. However, a job that is unbearably miserable has negative ramifications across your life. So make a commitment to yourself to network and apply for new jobs that won’t suck your soul.
5.) Get a new hobby or turn your hobby into something more. Have a hobby that lights you up? Start selling to your friends, create a simple website, and let the world know you are open for business.
6.) Plan a mini-adventure. Sometimes we just need to escape and give ourselves a break from reality. Plan a weekend getaway, a hike, or be a tourist in your own town. Often, it is these times, when my mind is clears, that I find the answers I’ve been looking for.
If you have an idea and need a little bit of clarity/help brainstorming, sign up for my 20 minute Getaway. You’ll leave with clarity, motivation, and at least one thing you need to do in order to move forward.
P.S. – Craving more adventure? Ready to take those ideas and dreams and turn them into plans? Sign up for Zero to Adventurista, a 5-week Virtual Group Adventure for women who are ready to stop sitting on the sidelines and start living life to the fullest. Starts April 29th! Go here to learn more and sign up.
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Some of my favorite moments from our Santorini trip.
It all started around the second week of February. We had just landed in Crete a few weeks earlier after an amazing week in Santorini. I was feeling energized and happy about life and business. Then all the sudden, I wasn’t. I started waking up in the middle of the night, in full-on panic mode. My heart racing and anxiety gripping my entire body. I knew something was off, but I couldn’t quite place my finger on it. Here I was, in Crete, a place I had dreamed of visiting for 10 years, living the exact life I had planned with my forever-partner by my side. Yet, I suddenly felt like my world was crashing in around me.
And then the nightmares set it.
I dreamed I was being shot at with a bow and arrow. In my dream, I saw a man with a bow-and-arrow, I knew he would shoot me, but I wasn’t scared and I didn’t run. The arrow hit me right in the middle of my forehead. I woke up, my palms sweating and my heart racing.
The following day, I was in one of those post-nightmare dazes. I felt like I was craving something new. Part of me wanted to dive into the ocean and swim far away, part of me wanted to burn it all down and start over again.
The next night I dreamed I was in a field of grass that caught fire. I started stomping the grass to try and put out the fire, the fire kept growing, getting bigger, and soon took over the entire field.
In college, I took a class on Neuropsychology and Dreaming ( I was a neuro nerd!) so I’ve always been fascinated with the various theories of dreaming and what exactly goes on in your brain while you sleep. As part of the class, we kept a dream journal, which I kept up for awhile even after the class was over, but then dropped as the hectic post-college life set in. After several nights of nightmares and intense emotions throughout the day, I decided to start journaling again.
So as I was relaying my dreams to Eric at 2 a.m. that morning, it hit me…
I was out of alignment. The Life Adventurista and my greater “why” didn’t match up anymore. See, The Life Adventurista isn’t just about location independence, it’s not about constant travel and working from the road. Yes, that can be part of it. But It’s so much more. The Life Adventurista is a culmination of all my life experiences, my beliefs, my passions, and my personal life philosophies.
Yesterday was the Chinese New Year, which marked the Year of the Water Snake. As the snake sheds her skin she symbolizes great transformation, new beginnings, and re-birth.
This is the perfect time to think about…
The “old skin” you want to shed.
The changes you want to create in your life.
Who you want to become.
Go within and seek answers.
Follow your intuition.
Shed the toxic things and people in your life.
Let your authentic self shine through.
Take a leap of faith to start living the life you want.
Let go of all that is holding you back in your life.
Change those negative scripts that keep you from living life to the fullest into positive ones.
Put your health first.
Learn a new skill.
Work hard to achieve your goals.
Start now, move forward at a steady pace, seek out new opportunities, adapt, be optimistic and patient. Transformation takes time but if you do the work, it will happen.
So what areas of your life do you want to transform? For me this year is all bout transforming my fears and letting go of anxiety, and expanding my comfort zone. (Which funnily enough involves snakes.)
Write down what this year of transformation means for you and make a list of goals that will help you make those changes. Then make a commitment to yourself that you will create time each week to pursue your goals.
Gong Xi Fa Cai (translation: congratulations, may you be prosperous).
P.S. – If you are ready to create big change in your life and start living more adventurously, but need support, check out my Zero to Adventurista one-on-one sessions.
Image from Edmund Tse via Creative Commons license.
I can’t believe it’s already February 5th. The excitement of the New Year is now a distant memory and the realities of life have set in. During this time of year, it can be hard to stick to goals, and many resolutions were already ditched weeks ago. If you started this year off with big plans and goals full of life changes, it can be easy to lose sight of what you want, in favor of blaming everyday life busyness and that never ending to-do list.
The truth is, setting out to achieve those big goals and plans will never get easier. There will always be obstacles, whether that’s time, money, or resources. So if you’ve found yourself making excuses for not taking the action that is required to create those life changes you so deeply want, here are five things you can do to stay motivated as the year continues.
- Tell a friend. I find I am more likely to stick to my goals and plans when I tell a friend what I’m up to. Better yet, build a support network with a few friends so you can motivate each other throughout the year.
- Break your big goal into smaller, achievable action items. Whether your goal is to get in shape/lose weight, find a new job, move, travel, or start a business, think about how you can break that larger goal into smaller benchmarks. Then celebrate each time you reach one of your benchmark goals.
- Remember your “why”. When you are tired, burned out, or feel overwhelmed, go back to your “why”. Remind yourself of just what those goals and tasks are going to led you to. Create a screen saver of a picture or word on your computer that can serve as a reminder to get you motivated when you least feel like it.
- Make the time. Life doesn’t slow down, so stop telling yourself you’ll get to it when you have more time. Create time for those things that will make your life better. Last year, when Eric and I were working to start our businesses and figuring out how to move abroad, we set aside time each week to work on research, contacting people, building websites, writing, and everything else that goes along with starting businesses and moving. There were some weeks where we could only devote 1-2 hours and others where we could devote the entire weekend to our side projects, but it all added up and made a big difference. So find the time each week, and put it in your calendar if you have to!
- Treat yourself. When you feel overwhelmed and have absolutely no motivation, it’s time to indulge in some self care. Take a break from thinking about those big plans and let yourself relax and clear your mind.
It’s never too late to make the choice to actively work towards creating the life you want. Don’t look back at your life in 20 years and wish you had lived more adventurously when you had the chance. Start today so next year you ARE living the life you want.
If you are craving more adventure and freedom in your life but feel stuck and unsure how to move forward, sign up for a Zero to Adventurista Strategy Session.
Photo from denise.weerke via flickr.
For a long time after I graduated from collage I found myself always wanting more. After graduation, I found jobs I loved, climbed the career ladder in DC, and did work I was passionate about. But no matter what, I constantly found myself falling pray to my wanderlust dreams. I wanted to find a way to do the work I loved, see the world, and live wherever I wanted. I thought the answer was finding a job that took me overseas or had lots of travel involved. I went on countless interviews for jobs that fit the bill. I even interviewed with one place that would have brought me overseas. They put me through 11 interviews, told me I was their top choice in every single one, only to pass me by because someone on the board had a cousin who had a friend who had applied. It’s always about who you know, especially in Washington, DC. I love DC, loved the job I ended up getting, and felt fulfilled by the work I was doing. But no matter how happy I was, I always ended up cloaked in a a deep wanderlust depression that I just couldn’t shake.
When Eric ended up on a photography/videography job in 2011 that brought him to Australia for a bit while I stayed in DC to work, I knew it was time to figure out how to change our lives in a way that matched our dreams. Initially we thought we would just teach English in SE Asia, while Eric pursued more travel photography work, and I figured out what I wanted to do. Our ideas and dreams quickly grew and expanded into a full on lifestyle change of traveling, running our businesses, and teaching English. I used to think you had to wait to find the perfect opportunity, then I realized you can create your own perfect opportunity.
Whether you’ve thought about breaking out of that 9-5 to start your own business, or you just dream of living in a place that’s independent from your job, there are countless ways to create more freedom in your life.
Here’s 21 ideas to inspire you to live outside the box:
When Eric and I started making plans to move overseas, I realized the only things holding me back from living life to the fullest were my own fears. I spent a lot of 2012 addressing and working on my anxiety, my fear of change/the unknown, and my fear of heights. It was not easy, there were a lot of freakout moments and breakdowns. There were even a few paralyzing times, where I felt fear and anxiety in every square inch of my body. While I’m still learning how deal with and live with my anxiety (it might be a lifelong process) and my journey to busting my own fears is far from over, I discovered courage within myself. I learned how to re-frame the way I think about fear and found out that even when you are terrified of something to the point of feeling immobilized, it is far better just go for it anyway. My life is what is today because of this and I want the same thing for you.
What are your fears holding you back from? The first step in moving forward is naming your fears. Before you can change it, you have to name it.