Ready for a life upgrade? Check out these helpful tips on how you can transform your life for the better – plus, it’s important to know what NOT to do.
Many live their lives in a default setting. In other words, they fall into certain patterns and situations in life not because they chose them but because they took the path of least resistance. This can eventually lead to a sense of deep dissatisfaction. If you’re looking around at your life now, wondering whether you chose it or it chose you, you may want to take some or all of the steps below to discover the answer and start to feel more as though you’re in the driver’s seat. The process of making life changes is layered and personal, so take what resonates and leave what doesn’t.
To Change or Not to Change
Knowing exactly what it is that you want is easier said than done. In fact, it’s important to understand that the point of all these exercises is not necessarily to reject the life that you currently have. You may very well decide to continue the path that you’re already on, but you’ll do so more mindfully, knowing that it is something that you’ve chosen. You might even find that what looked like sticking to the default was you unconsciously making the right choices over the months and years. You should also aim to avoid being overly vague in your goals. For example, getting in shape is a great way to improve your life, but it’s too ambiguous; instead, something like walking 30 minutes daily is a more specific and targeted way to get where you want to be overall.
Keep in mind as well that nobody has made all the right choices throughout their life. While in some cases you may be in a position where you can walk away from your job and other commitments as soon as you realize they don’t suit you, this is not a solution that would make most people happy. They might not be delighted with where they are headed, but it’s likely that there are elements of their lives that they want to preserve. In addition, you need to watch out for the grass is greener error, the idea that something is better because it’s different and you can’t see the flaws in it from where you stand. For most, a better response to this type of analysis would be a series of gradual course corrections rather than drastic changes.
Finding Your Direction
There are many different things you can do to interrogate your present situation and try to figure out if you’re headed the right way if you aren’t someone who is strongly drawn to a particular ambition. You can think about what inspired you when you were younger, what you wanted to be. You can spend time writing in a journal about it or talking to your loved ones, a counselor, or a life coach. Let yourself really brainstorm without restriction. You can always modify your ideas later.
Achieving Financial Independence
Whatever your direction in life, striving for financial independence is one of the keys to freedom that will allow you to make the necessary changes. While money can’t solve everything, there are several challenges that arise in life that are met much more easily when you aren’t struggling to make ends meet. Financial independence means that you don’t have to rely on the salary from your job to survive. This means setting up streams of passive income, including making smart investments.
There are several different ways to get started in investing, including contributing to a retirement account and signing up for an online brokerage account. There may also be opportunities you are not aware of. You might assume that you need to have money for a down payment to start investing in real estate, but you can actually do so through your retirement account. If you own your own business or are self-employed, you can use a self-directed 401K, also known as a solo, one participant, or individual 401K, to invest in real estate. This can be an excellent tax strategy since your gains will not be taxed until you retire and withdraw the money.
It’s possible to invest this way because real estate is considered an alternative investment, and a retirement account can own an alternative investment. This can also be a good way to manage risk, which is key to successful real estate investing. With this and other investments, you can create more money and eventually achieve financial independence. This can put you in a position where you can choose to work as much or as little as you want on the things that you are passionate about. You might also choose to pursue other pastimes, such as travel, education, or running a nonprofit.
Get Ready to Pivot
One thing you may find during your soul searching is that you didn’t so much fall into a default as you started down a path that once suited you but no longer does. This, of course, raises the possibility that you might someday want to make changes yet again. It’s important to be prepared for this and understand that it doesn’t mean that you were wrong before; only those circumstances changed, and it was time to do something different.