A Simple but Effective Exercise to Help You Figure Out What You Want in Life

Nov 30, 2016 | Personal Growth | 0 comments

Having a clearly defined goal is key to reaching your dreams and aspirations. I believe that it’s the crucial element that turns abstract dreams into concrete reality.

But, what if you can’t figure out what you want in life, then how do you know where you’re going, right? More importantly, how do you know which step or action to take next?

I hear from a lot of creatives & aspiring change-makers who tell me about their desire to start a business, write a book or change careers but the trouble is…they don’t know what they want.

They struggle to commit to one path because they don’t know if it’s the best choice for them, or if it will bring them any closer to the joy and satisfaction they seek.

Here’s what I know for sure:

“If you don’t know what you want—it makes it impossible to turn your intentions into tangible results. ”



You might be wondering:

  • How do you figure out what you want in life? or
  • How do you get clear about your goals when there are SO MANY OPTIONS?

It’s a great question and one I’ve struggled with in the past (and still do from time to time).

But here’s some good news…

Whether you’re trying to narrow down your niche, figure out which new business to start or which career path you should take, I have a simple trick that will help you gain clarity and figure out what you want in life (even if you haven’t got a clue).

And it starts with looking at what you don’t want.


A Simple but Effective Exercise To Help You Figure Out What You Want in Life


Think about an area of your life where you feel confused about what you want.

1. Grab a notepad and a pen then make two columns:

a. Column 1 is a list of what you “don’t” want

b. Column 2 is a list of what you “do” want

2. Now, in column 1 (the “don’t want” list) start writing a list of everything you don’t want or anything that sucks that you would like to change.

For example: if I’m a life coach who is trying to narrow down my business niche I might say: I don’t like working with people who think spirituality and the law of attraction are ‘woo woo’ nonsense.

3. Once you’re done with column 1, move on to column 2 and list the opposite for each item.

Using the example above, the opposite of my “don’t want list” I might say: I want to work with spiritually-minded clients who are open to using the law of attraction principals to reach their goals.

Is this starting to make sense?

To help you understand this further, let’s look at another hypothetical example:

Jenna is very unhappy with her job and wants to find her calling and pursue a creative career and lifestyle but she doesn’t know what she wants.

Jenna can start by listing everything she doesn’t like about her current job situation to help her build her “want” list.

She might list things like:

  • I feel misunderstood by my coworkers and don’t fit in
  • I don’t like the stuffy, uptight work environment
  • I don’t feel like the work I do matters

As she goes through the opposite of each item she can start to get clear about what she really does want in a new career:

  • I want to work with like-minded individuals who share my passion for [blank]
  • I want a fun and informal work environment where I can be myself
  • I want to do meaningful work that aligns with my purpose

This method can apply to everything, including career change, relationships (or finding a partner), business niches or industries to literally helping you figure out where you should live in the world.

It’s a great place to start if you’re feeling stuck and don’t know what you want.

4. One last step…

Now, that you’ve gathered some insight, you’ve got to create a clearly defined goal that you can break down into 3-5 smaller goals then create 3 to 5 action steps for each so that you can begin progressing towards that thing you want.


LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND TELL ME: What’s one thing you like or don’t like about your current situation that helped you figure out what you want in life?




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Hi, I’m Krista

An ENFP. Aries sun. Libra Moon. Cancer Rising. I’m also a mom of two who’s been building her business between nap schedules and snack breaks for the past 5 years.

My calling is to communicate beauty and healing in the world and I’m lit up when I can teach fellow artists and healers how to share their gift and do the same. ♡

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