Clarity is a wonderful thing. When you have it, you know you’re in the right place at the right time, doing the right things to bring your goals and dreams to fruition. But when you lack clarity, it can keep you from moving forward. Even worse, it can move you in a direction you don’t want to go, or keep you stuck spinning your wheels while you try and decide on a direction.
Rather than allow yourself to stay stuck without a clear direction, here are seven tips you can use to get you started moving forward again.
Know your core values
Lately I’ve been learning a lot about core values, and how you need to know what yours are. You have to know what’s important and what your values are before you can make a clear choice.
Most of us have core values, at the very least on a subconscious level, but few people really take the time to lay them out and intentionally design their life and/or business around them.
I’m learning that once you lay out your values in a way that makes sense to you, it’s much easier to make plans and move forward.
Set goals that align with your values
Part of being stuck comes from being unclear on what to do next. The other part comes from having goals that don’t really fit with who you are and what your values are.
I can tell you honestly that I’ve wasted the better part of a year this year just by being unclear on what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. It wasn’t until I sat down with a coach who helped me to see how I could tailor my goals to align with my long term vision that I was able to actually move forward.
Every goal you set must a) be in line with your values and b) move you one step closer to achieving your overall vision for your life. Once you have that, it’s amazing how clear things become.
Look at the big picture
It’s easy to settle for a solution that works for right now, but what does it do in terms of your long term goals and plans? Reaching for the shiny object today may get you something in the short run, but chances are it will take you just far enough off your overall long range plan that you’ll have to spend valuable time getting yourself back on track.
Instead of jumping on the latest and greatest new thing when you’re feeling stuck, take one small step toward your overall plan. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
Do your research
As a former research historian, I can collect information with the best of ‘em. So much so that I sometimes get lost in the data, and forget what I’m supposed to be doing! But… When you’re lacking clarity, sometimes it’s that one obscure fact you come across that makes everything else fall into place.
So do your research, and make sure that what you’re planning falls in line with who you are, what you believe in, and the vision you have for your life.
Get out of your own way
Okay, we’ve got values, goals, and enough information to be dangerous. Now, get out of your own way.
So many times we let our own fears stop us from really going after what we want. (I’m an expert at that!) Here’s an example:
For the last couple of months I’ve been wanting to do an adult coloring book. I’ve got the pages done and I know I’m a decent graphic artist, and yet still they sit on my hard drive because I’m terrified to put them out and have someone tell me they don’t like them.
And I know I’m not alone. It is very common for people to be afraid of failing, and as a result they get in their own way any way they can rather than take a chance and share their work.
It’s easy to set a deadline. It’s harder to stick to it if you’re not clear you’re going in the right direction.
Set them anyways, and stick to them!
You’ll be taking steps forward and making decisions along the way, and even if you end up having to change direction you’ll have a least found out what doesn’t work for you.
Make a Decision
Not making a decision is a decision in itself, and as my mother used to always tell me, “if you don’t decide on your own, someone else will do it for you.”
There’s nothing that holds you back quite like not making a decision. You’ve got all the pieces in place now, and you know what you’re working toward so choose the next step and get going on it!
This is your life. The last thing you want is to be stuck and have someone else decide what direction you should be going. Put these tips to work for you, and move forward to living your vision.