“Right, this is the year that I’m going to quit my job, start a business, get healthy and sort my finances once and for all. So, I’ll make 113 new years resolutions and then get completely overwhelmed and give up by February.”
At the start of every year, eleventy billion (approx) resolutions get made around the world which are unrealistic, unachievable or don’t truly align with the resolution maker’s values.
Rather than jump into making a long list of things you are going to do. How about taking a step back, deciding on what ‘getting your life back’ really means to you and then putting some realistic steps into place.
‘Getting your life back’ means something different to everyone.
It’s important to be really clear on how you want to get your life back this year as that will shape all the decisions you make.
Trust me, I know how easy it is to get distracted and start chasing all the shiny objects. I’m notorious for making a list of all the things I want to do and then *Ooh! Look, a squirrel!*
If you are sick of your stressful senior manager job and desperately want to quit, getting your life back doesn’t mean just quitting.
It means understanding why you hate your job so much.
Is it because you don’t get enough time to spend with your family. Or, perhaps your job doesn’t align with your values anymore. Or you are burnt out and need to take a long break.
Get clear on the reasons why you want to get your life back as that is what will keep you motivated as the year goes on.
Make sure you are working towards something rather than trying to run away from it.
“I want to quit my job because I hate it’ is not a strong a motivator as ‘I want to spend more time with my kids as they are growing up so fast’.
Just take a minute now and think about the question ‘what does getting my life back this year mean to me?’
If you’ve been staring out of the window in mind-numbing meetings, dreaming of the day you have your own business, make 2019 the year you do it.
You could start your business while working full-time – although be realistic with the time you can spend on it. I tried to do this and nearly broke myself.
Or you could save up enough money to quit your job with a 6-12 month runway to get your business off the ground.
The only thing you need to do when starting a business is to bloody well start it!!
Almost all the female entrepreneurs I spoke to in my interview series starting off by offering free services within Facebook groups. Why not start with that?
You can find all the interviews on my All Posts page.
Getting your life back this year could mean finally getting control of your money:
When you are in a stressful office situation with long hours and limited holidays, you might feel that all you do is work.
Maybe you want to go part-time or work more flexible hours to spend more time with your loved ones.
Or, you want to take a sabbatical (extended unpaid leave) and take that travelling trip you never went on.
We tend to be terrible at taking care of ourselves and most of the articles I read on self-care are nonsense.
If you’ve ended 2018 as a burnt out puddle on the floor, 2019 is the year to get a better balance.
Give yourself the time to get over burn out, stop saying ‘yes’ to everything and make ‘you-time’ as important as anything else.
As I said above, do not give yourself a million things to focus on, or you won’t achieve any of them. Or as Confucius said…
“Man who chases two rabbits catches neither”
Choose one overarching mission statement for 2019. You can have a few goals associated with that but make sure that everything you work on it coming back to your overall goal.
For example, mine is:
Make ‘I Want My Life Back Project’ profitable without compromising my health.
The goals that spin off from that are:
Once you have your goals, you need to make sure they are achievable.
I could start talking about SMART goals here but quite frankly, after being shown them in every corporate training day I ever went on, I am sick to the back teeth of them!
The point is, that you need to make them realistic, with a deadline and a clear outcome.
I find that the best way is to break the year into quarters as you would have in corporate business.
You can then take each of your goals and break them down into actions for Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4.
At the end of each quarter, you can review how you have done against your goals and actions.
I personally tend to make Q1 very detailed with weekly actions, but I leave Q2,3 and 4 at a monthly level as things can change by the time you get there.
This is why you don’t want too many goals as otherwise you will get completely overwhelmed.
Your overall mission statement is that you want to save up to start a business and hopefully quit your job.
So your quarters might look like this:
This is obviously pretty simplistic but it gives you an idea of how you could break down your overall goal.
Clearly, you can work out your goals and create an action plan to get your life back. Quite often however we do all this planning and then do….nothing.
Not because we are lazy or unmotivated. It’s because we are totally terrified!!!
Thoughts start swirling like:
All the planning in the world doesn’t help when you don’t have the confidence to take the first step.
Trust me, I’ve been there. Here are my thoughts on how to get over your fear and get your life back.
The weird thing is that we think everyone else who started a business wasn’t scared. That somehow everyone else knew they were doing the right thing or knew they’d be successful, and that just isn’t true.
Funnily enough, it’s the anticipation of taking the first step that is scarier than actually doing it.
A great example of this is when I went to Zip World in North Wales a few weeks back. My partner asked if I wanted to do a zip line and I said yeah, sure.
I thought it was one of those little ones you sit on in woodland parks so didn’t really give it much thought.
What I didn’t realise was that it was the world’s fastest zip line and that we would be zooming head first over a disused quarry at possibly 100 miles per hour.
And I am also scared of heights.
I nearly bottled it at the top, I am not going to lie. We had to get a 15-minute truck ride up the side of the quarry to reach the start.
As the truck climbed further and further up the windy track, I become more and more terrified.
By the time it came to be strapped in, I was nearly crying.
But I went anyway.
And you know what? It was actually really fun. There was a scary bit in the middle where a huge gust of wind blew me sideways but apart from that I really enjoyed it.
The waiting was definitely worse than the doing.
I covered this topic in a lot more detail in my post How to Stop Asking for Permission to Start a Business.
The premise is that before we make a major life change, quite often we seem to be waiting for someone or something to act as a catalyst for us to start.
Oh, I’ll just wait until I’ve spoken to so and so. I’ll just ask my friend for their advice. I’ll just google a bit more as I don’t think I have all the information yet.
We keep putting things off because we are waiting for someone else to tell us to start.
You don’t need to do this. You will figure it out as you go along. Just allow yourself to make the decision to start. Right now!
A great way to get the confidence for a major life-change is to hear or read the stories of others. My interviews and podcasts feature real women running real businesses.
Not multimillion pound companies with hundreds of staff as that can feel a bit too removed from where you are right now.
But someone who makes enough to quit their job and have the life they want? Yep, that can be really inspirational.
Nothing gives you more confidence that knowing you have the financial means to make a major change.
I’ve always been really interested in money saving and finance and have built myself a solid financial foundation.
I’ve written quite a few posts on this which you can read below.
If you are going to make a major life change then I highly recommend incorporating some kind of financial goal into your planning to help you get your life back.
Getting your life back is such a good thing to do. When you feel like your life is travelling in the right direction, even little mishaps and obstacles won’t derail you.
Just stay flexible and realistic, any major life change is bound to come with ups and downs. You can deal with those though.
Just take the first step and start!
Hi, I am Laura. I set up the 'I Want My Life Back Project' after burning out in a corporate job. I quit in May 2017 and set about getting my life back. I now freelance 2 days a week, run this blog, manage my rental properties and am SO MUCH HAPPIER! All the content on this blog is to help you to get your life back too :-)