PinSometime in your life, your instinct told you to follow a particular path and set your sights on a specific goal. This may have occurred as you blew out the candles on your tenth birthday cake, or the day you received your first promotion at work, or on the very moment you were able to catch a wave perfectly on a surfboard for the first time. This epiphany can strike at unexpected moments, but they can be just the push you need to get your feet firmly on the right path to the life you want to live.

If this moment of clarity arrives at a time when you feel you have already established firm roots, you may be hesitant to cause change in your routine or to embark on entirely unknown journeys. A family man with a wife and children to support may have discovered a deep desire to leave his well-paying job to pursue his dream of travelling the world non-stop, but his responsibility to his family causes him to postpone the dream until a feasible plan can be drawn up. Likewise, a young woman immersed in the independent world of creative arts may realize that studying to become a doctor would be a more fulfilling use of her life. Both individuals may feel that they are ill equipped to want a life far detached from what they presently have, or that it is too late to start over in a different path. However, if they believe that the dream is absolutely worth it, then they must work hard to ensure that the life change they pursue leads to exactly the life they envisioned.

Even if it means starting over from scratch, making a 180-degree change would be a worthwhile use of one’s time. Why? If you have ever been stuck in a work situation, for instance, where you have absolutely no passion for your tasks and your colleagues have zero respect for the efforts you produce, you realize immediately that your energy would be better consumed in a rewarding endeavor that makes use of your talents and knowledge for a rewarding purpose, even if it means a smaller salary or a different lifestyle. The opportunity to envision a goal and follow it through is a benefit in itself.

Getting the life you want starts like any project you must successfully complete: there must be a set goal and a plan for achieving that mark. Accomplishing your goal isn’t supposed to happen overnight, especially if you’re starting over. The important thing is to stay focused on the goal, keep yourself motivated, and visualize the life you’re working to live. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses and use them in the best possible ways to propel you further up on the road to success.