The picture of your life

Setting goals is vital if you want to move on in your career, your health or any other area of your life. But how do you know how well you’re doing in terms of reaching your dreams? When did you last take the time to stop and actually look at your progress to see how well you’re really doing – or where you might need to do more work?

Here is an exercise that you can try, to assess your progress.

Draw a frame around your life. Think about where you are now, looking at all the important aspects of your life. This could include your career, the amount of travel that you do, how happy your home life is, your health or social life. There are many areas that you can consider and they will be different for everyone. Imagine them all into the first frame of your life.

Where do you want your life to be? In the second frame imagine your goals, aspirations and dreams. Where do you want to be working? How often would you like to go on holiday? How are your health, home life and happiness different today to how you would like them to be?

Place your second frame over the first and look at how much the two frames overlap. How big is the gap and how far away are you really from how you want your life to be? Are you just ticking along or are you on track to get to where you want to go? Give yourself some time to think about how satisfied you really are with the different areas of your life and to think about what is still missing.

You might be surprised to see that your two frames are actually closer than you think. Or your pictures could show you that there is a lot that you want to change and work on. It will give you a chance to look at what matters to you so you can do something about it. If in your second frame you have a completely different career, now is the time to think about what you can do to get there. If your work-life balance isn’t as good as you’d like it to be, what’s stopping you from doing something about it? Where your frames don’t overlap, you could write down the issues that you want to work on.

Looking at your life through these frames is a way of recognising the gaps that you’re either ignoring or didn’t realise were there.

Change is possible but it takes courage and commitment. Always focus on the positive. If you feel that you need to lose some weight, the first thing that you could do is think about what you actually want. Instead of focussing on losing weight think what success would be for you. Do you want to feel healthier? Is it that you would like to be able to walk up the stairs without getting out of breath? What else do you want? Do you want to play football again, or feel fabulous in whatever you wear?

Shift your thinking into the future to find out what motivates you – find the emotional connection to what you aspire to.


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