“I want to make more money.”
“I want to finally open up my heart to love.”
“I want to accept myself for who I am.”
Any of these sound familiar? You’re not alone. Most of us want to experience some kick-ass changes in our lives in 2016. And here's the best news: You can make those changes all on your own. As luxurious and awesome as it is to have one-on-one support from a life coach, it’s not always in our budget.
But with a little help from Dan Sullivan—a thought leader in the field of growth and development and coach to some of the most successful CEOs in the world—it’s possible to get clear on what you want and how to get there, without paying up for professional help.
His questions, which appeared in The Success Principles, have helped me and my clients enormously. All you need is an open mind, a notebook, and an hour alone for one amazing coaching session. One thing to keep in mind: Imagine someone you trust is asking you these questions and answer with your whole heart—don’t hold back!
4 Questions for Personal Growth
1. If we meet three years from today, what has to have happened during that three-year period for you to feel happy about your progress?
Picture yourself at age 27, 31, 49—however old you will be in three years. What vision makes you most satisfied? What will your life look like? Where will you be? What will you be doing this exact date three years from today?
The more specific you can be, the better. The universe responds best to passion, clarity, and intention. Write down every detail—from what your home looks like, to the total in your bank account, to the activities that will fill your day, even where you'll vacation and with whom (this can include a spouse you are yet to meet and/or children you hope to have).
Remember: Base this on what you want—not on what you think you should want or what other people want for you.
2. What are the biggest dangers that you’ll have to face and deal with in order to achieve that progress?
Be honest with yourself. Do you drink too much or watch too much TV—anything that doesn’t let you be focused enough to start a side hustle or make an effort to meet new people? Do you shy away from taking personal development courses or going to meetups that will allow you to make connections and learn important lessons? Do you sabotage yourself with thoughts of “I’m not smart enough/confident enough/ready to leap forward?”
Of all the dangers and distractions in the world, the biggest danger is often our limiting thoughts about our potential.
Of all the dangers and distractions in the world, the biggest danger is often our limiting thoughts about our potential. The vast majority of these seem real but are not in fact true. When we consume all of the same fear-based beliefs over and over again, we live a limited life—a half-life.
3. What are the biggest opportunities that you have that you would need to focus on and capture to achieve those things?
Do you have an inspiring story you can share with the world to help other people? Do you live in a city full high-achieving professionals, a few of whom you can perhaps connect with? Do you know someone who just moved to a city or country that could hold opportunities for you? Are you WordPress-savvy (or know someone who is) and can set up a beautiful blog in no time? Are you really good at helping people with interview skills and happen to live near a college campus?
The opportunities are endless when you truly open your eyes and look. Remind yourself of what came up for you in question one and search for the breadcrumbs that surround you right now. I guarantee that they exist.
4. What strengths do you need to reinforce and maximize? What skills and resources do you need to develop that you don’t currently have in order to capture those opportunities?
This is the ultimate question as it requires action. Ain’t nothin’ that happens in life without action, my friend. Do you need to develop some online marketing skills? Take a crash course in blogging for beginners? Work on your confidence in networking or dating? Maybe you need to read up on how to ask for a raise, create a business proposal to convert your hobby into a profitable side-gig, or meditate to release anxiety.
Fortunately, there’s never been a better time in history to achieve anything that you want—and 99 percent of whatever can help you is a Google search away from being found.
Always remember the vision you have for your future. That's my most important tool for staying on track. When I was working in a cubicle for a boss, I realized it wasn't for me, so I started a business in my free time. When I was growing up, the need to experience the world tugged at my heart so strongly that I made a move to Sydney, Australia, when I was 18 and then later moved to New York City when I was 25.
My visions back then kept me going as my current vision does now. Each New Year rings in faster than the last, especially the older you get.
2019 is fast approaching. Where might I bump into you?
Susie Moore is Greatist’s life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. Sign up for her free weekly wellness tips on her website, and check back every Tuesday for her latest column!