Have you ever been in a season of your life where it felt like everything was going wrong at the same time? From your finances to your personal relationships, everything was in a state of utter confusion. Maybe that time for you is right now. If so, I think I can help.
There are some unwritten rules to getting clarity when everything is a little foggy.
- Stop and take inventory. If there is a lot going on in your world the first thing you need to do is stop. Carve out a solid hour or two to just write down exactly where you are right now. This would include relationship standing, financial standing, emotional standing, living situation, etc. Once you have honestly assessed your current standing you may surprise yourself with the results. Maybe things are not as bad as you thought. Maybe things are much worst. You never really know until you slowdown and think about it.
This second step is probably the most important. No matter how good or how bad our situation is there is always something that led to our current status. Take some time to write down the things you did to get to where you are: spending habits, arguments, lack of attention to relationships, lack of saving, etc. From personal to financial, address each area independently because it will be extremely helpful for the next step.
- Map out a plan.
Without a goal in mind our lives run on autopilot. Just surviving another year is not enough. The only way to get to where you want to go is begin to seek a destination. Everyone needs financial goals, relationship goals, emotional goals, and career goals. Of course just having a plan to reach these goals does not mean they will be reached. We have to be willing to sacrifice. If you have to go back to school, cut back on leisure activity, or even downsize your life style… do it! Sacrifices now may be painful but the end result down the line can be extremely rewarding. If needed, do research to really get a clear picture. The more you understand about the benefits of your new destination the easier it will be to commit to the challenge of getting there.
- Solicit some help (if you can)
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Somebody somewhere (probably closer than you think) has changed their life for the better. It could be a co-worker, auntie, or uncle. It may even be an existing friend. The key is to find someone that you trust with your most prized possession (your dreams) and share with them what you have mapped out. Make sure they are willing to be honest with you. The last thing you needs is a mentor that’s a yes man. Ask this person if it is ok to create an open line of communication where you check in at least quarterly to track progress. If all else fails, get a few good books and track your own progress. However, I’ve found this works best when there is another party involved.
- Take it one day at a time.
Making your life a success doesn’t happen over night. If your plans are too aggressive they can quickly lead to frustration and shock. Slowly but surely, with solid planning and accountability you’ll start to see your way out of this season. The good news is if you apply these simple steps it can not only help you out of a bad season but it also can protect against other bad seasons which would have materialized in the future.