How to figure out what you want...
IN TWO EASY STEPS
Do you know what you really want? I mean, really, really want?
Stop for a moment and ask yourself: What do I really want more than anything else right now? What matters most to me?
What happens when you ask yourself that question? How do you feel? Is there a clear answer?
If the answer isn’t clear and you feel stuck in a place of indecision, fearful of choosing a direction in case it’s wrong, or perhaps forever changing your mind depending on outside extenuating circumstances, I have good news for you.
Figuring out what you really want is not only doable, but also achievable, in less than half a day.
Ready to give it a try?
STEP 1. What I Think I Really Want is…
Write down, with a pen and piece of paper (NOT DIGITALLY) what it is you think you really want, even if you’re not totally sure. If there are a few competing wants, write them all down. The trick is to get super-specific.
Example of super specific vs. non-specific:
“I want more money so I don’t have to worry about bills and so that I can go on vacation”
“I want $10,000 within 6 months so that all my bills are paid (list out the bills) and have $4000 left to dedicate to a 10 day vacation with my husband to Costa Rica at the Fabulousa Rancho in March 2018.”
I want more time with my husband and kids
I want our family to have supper together five nights a week so that we can talk about our day and reconnect with each other. I want us to clear the table together and then spend 2 hours in the evening playing board games or cards or charades or hoops or going for a walk or anything that doesn’t involve a TV or digital device of any kind.
Just getting it out of your head onto paper should feel good and may lead to some interesting new insights that you didn’t realize existed.
STEP 2 - Discovering WHY You REALLY Want It
Ok, so now you’re going to take those wants and get really clear about WHY you want them because this is how you’re going to know, on a very deep level, the true purpose beneath the assumption. It’s going to help you to find and prioritize what matters most to you.
For each thing you’ve identified as a want, ask yourself “Why do I want this?” Get really honest - nobody is looking over your shoulder. Bear in mind that sometimes the most obvious and first response to “why” is not always the truest, most deepest one for you. You might have to dig a little. Or a lot.
When you think you have the reason why, ask why again. Keep asking why until you’ve got through the entire pile off why’s to one that strikes you as the God’s honest truth of why. You’ll know when you’re there because it’ll light you up, you’ll feel the passion of it, you’ll be excited and raring to go. If any of the whys don’t feel passionate to you, keep going, keep asking.
Don’t try to figure out HOW to get what you want at this point because it will kill your creative juices. That’ll come during the action plan phase. Get as detailed as you possibly can, exploring feelings, things, relationships and places that might be involved in the why. Don’t walk away from a why until you’ve identified the feelings and emotions that are related to it.
Give yourself 30-60 minutes to explore the why of each want (clue: if you can’t afford that kind of time to figure out what you really want, then you probably don’t want to figure out what you really want!).
Once you’ve done these two steps, I’m willing to bet that you’ll walk away with a clear decision about what it is you really want, making you ready to take the next step of creating an action plan to get it.