One of the worst feelings in the world is the moment you wake up and know you are meant for more and don’t know how to get that. For me, this feeling ebbed and flowed until I reached a breaking point. I hit the pause button on life and went traveling but after returning home the feeling of being stuck was never relieved. I knew I wanted to better serve the world and for a period of time I thought my solution would come in the form of a career change, working for a non-profit or non-government organization (NGO) helping out in charitable causes. Unfortunately, 30 delivered resumes and only two interviews I realized my heart could be full but not my bank account. That was when I sat down to create my overall goal list and maybe in the process come up with an idea that I never thought of before.
1. Make a Goal List
2. Timeline Your Goals
Once the goal list is in place think about how soon you would like to accomplish each one. Do you want it within the year, 5, or 10 years? By listing the dates next to the goals it keeps you accountable and allows you to start thinking about actionable items that can be done today to bring you closer. For me I wanted to participate regularly with a charity and commit to writing more this year. One of my girlfriends decided this was the year she was going to learn Spanish and basic construction skills for a real estate course she wanted to take.
3. Take Action on One-Year Goals
Take one, preferably three and no more than five of your one-year goals. Taking on too much will lead to not doing anything, whereas finding a solution that will cover at least two or three goals will inspire and motivate you more to take action. For my goal of becoming more charitable I found a grassroots environmental charity that was looking for a board of director that needed blogging assistance in order to gain web traffic. With one action I am now achieving my goals of giving more to charity, writing more, and learning the strategy of running a charity if I ever do want to start my own. My girlfriend that wanted to learn Spanish and construction found a month-long volunteer position to build houses for a Peruvian community where she will be taking Spanish lessons a couple times a week. She took all her vacation time off in one-shot and funded the trip through GoFundMe where her friends and relatives donated to her cause, and essentially supported her to find greater purpose in her life.
4. Do Not Overthink the Process
This is not a make-work project, nor is it something that should cause you more anxiety. This is supposed to be fun and creative. When you think of something, anything that you want to do, sign up for it, put your name in the hat, send an email. That’s it! You do not need to weigh which charity is better to sign up for, you do not need to compare schools and programs right now. Today your objective is to take just one action. If you have been thinking about going to school search for the course you want to take and request for more free information. If you want to give back to charity, send an email to one. You don’t have to decide today if you would rather give your time to a humane society or an environmental one. I signed up for several, heard back from three, had a 15-minute conversation with each and then decided. I did not over complicate the process by deciding on a charity first and then applying. You can always say no if it no longer meets your needs. Information is free. Take it. See what your heart says after you’ve received the next step. Don’t suffer from paralysis by analysis.