Live a purposeful life: 5 simple steps to help you grow as a person

by Megan Finley, Contributing writer

“Life is short, fragile and does not wait for anyone. There will NEVER be a perfect time to pursue your dreams and goals.” ~ Unknown

Photo by Maridav/
Photo by Maridav/

Many of us get caught up in the daily motions of life and “punching a clock.” We find ourselves in the same routine, doing the same things day in and day out. Many of us find ourselves getting caught up in the monotony of life. Before too long, we find ourselves asking the questions, “What am I doing? Where am I going?” It can feel as though you are investing a tremendous amount of effort in going nowhere fast. The secret to breaking free of this cycle and achieving your goals is to get started. These 5 steps will help you set your goals, grow as a person, and reap the most rewards from life.

Step 1: Picture your life in the next month, the next year, in 10 years. Where would you like to be? What do you want to achieve? Write your goals down in a journal. Be specific. If you want to lose weight, write down the exact number you would like to lose. If you want save money, write down exactly how much you want to save. Written goals help you visualize the target, giving you a starting point and an ending point.

Step 2: Break your goals down into small steps. Plan your first step. If you want save enough money for a down payment on a home, figure out how much you need to save and calculate a reasonable amount to put away each pay period. If the goal is to run a marathon, pick a race and register for it. Write your steps down in a journal and mark the deadlines on your calendar. Setting dates and milestones motivates you to get started and stay on track.

Step 3: Be proactive. Plan for distractions or upsets. By acknowledging our weaknesses we can minimize them. If the goal is to save money, plan ahead for cheap meals and free entertainment on the weekends. If the goal is to lose weight, make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks on hand to reach for when you feel a hunger pang. Being proactive helps you avoid any upcoming obstacles on the journey to achieving your goals.

Step 4: Keep going. Setbacks are not deal breakers. Remind yourself to aim for progress, not perfection, and stay the course. There may be times you need to adjust your plan and milestones. Make those adjustments, stay motivated, and move forward.

Step 5: Share your goals and plans with others. Telling others about our goals and our plans makes them more concrete and motivates us to stick to them. Your friends and family are also there to support you.

Once we have achieved smaller goals and hit smaller milestones, the bigger goals and milestones become far more obtainable and realistic. Take action on the change you would like to see in your life. Are your daily actions bringing you closer to your goals?