For the first three-quarters of 2017, I was lost, hopeless, and trapped. I spent my days going to a job and company that I once loved but no longer felt fulfilled by. I came home to a house that felt stagnant and constricting. And as I slowly worked to overcome some personal traumas from 2016, I spent the majority of 2017 coasting. Sure, I wrote for this blog once a week, but it was small glimpses of what life could look like and the steps I was attempting to take but I still felt trapped in my day-to-day routine of dull normalcy.  

And that was the status quo until October. In October, a simple email came across my inbox stating that they were looking for someone to meet a variety of qualifications. The job really excited me and I applied. Spoiler alert: I didn't get the job. But in the process of applying, I realized that I truly was feeling unfulfilled in my current job and that I wanted something more. And that is when I started down the path to unlocking my dream job and life. 

Flash forward to now: I've begun a new job at a new company and I'm loving it so far. My husband and I are on the path to building a home, and I feel more at peace, alive, and happier than I've felt in a long time.  How did I get here? I took a variety of steps that within 6-8 weeks completely turned my life around and now I'm excited about 2018 and even turning 30! In nine simple, not necessarily easy steps, I was able to unlock and work towards my dream life. And I've decided that if it's worked for me, it just may work for you and I'm sharing those steps today.

1) Figure out what you want and why.

I wasn't sure if I wanted a new job or even what that job should look like. I knew I was feeling unfulfilled but it wasn't enough for me to actively look or know which direction I should seek for a new role. So when the job application came to my inbox, it really helped me focus and figure out what I wanted. I saw what was actually out there as well as what types of positions really appealed to me. And even better I knew why. I was ready for a change, a new challenge, and a reignited passion for how I was spending my days.

2) Write it down... in detail.

Once I knew what I wanted, I wrote it down with a lot of details. I took a small note card and listed out 11 items that were things that I would like in a new position. I titled the list, "Find and get the perfect job." In my list, I considered things like the title I'd like, the pay, the benefits, the team, the work,  the company and more. Just the exercise of writing it all down helped to solidify what I truly wanted as well kept it top of mind. 

3) Put it on your vision board. 

In episode 5 of the podcast, I discuss the idea of a vision board and mention how I am trying one out, as woo-woo or hippy as that may seem. So I took my notecard and taped it to my "vision board" (which is really just a piece of wall outlined by painter's tape). It was only one of three things I decided to add to my board, so it was a larger focus. 

4) Come back to it. 

They say you should look at your vision board every morning and night. Admittedly, I probably only looked at the board 4 times in 6 weeks. But the point is, I didn't set it up there and forget about it, I did come back. (Imagine how much quicker things may have happened for me if I'd focused on this every day!)

5) Seize the opportunities that will show up.

One day I received a message on LinkedIn from a recruiter, generally asking to speak to me. Once on the phone, I was very honest about my work history and previous as well as current roles. She then told me she'd called to talk to me about a position that upon hearing more about me she didn't think I'd be a good fit for. But then she asked me what my dream job would be. I literally turned to the wall behind me and practically read my list of job wants. If she'd asked me before, I would have been lost but because I'd written it down and posted it to my vision board... I was able to articulate exactly my dream position. At which point, she told me they had just posted such a position and she thought I'd be a good fit. Things progressed from there and after a few more interviews, I was offered my dream job.

6) Listen to your body. 

But here's the catch: just because you put it on your board and then someone offers you your dream job, it doesn't mean it is the right fit for you. That's where listening to your body comes into play. I sat down and told myself I was taking the job- I said it aloud even, and then I paid attention to how my body and brain reacted. When I said I was staying in my current job, my body would get hot and tense while my brain jumped from topic to topic and couldn't focus. When I told myself I was taking the new job, I was able to focus, drop my shoulders, and feel a sense of calm. I knew this was the right choice for me. 

7) Say goodbye with grace.

One of the most difficult parts of this was saying goodbye to my old job. I had worked there for several years, loved the people I worked with and had an amazing set of opportunities and experiences while working there. And regardless of feeling unfulfilled, I am who I am today because of my time spent there. I wanted to be sure I left with grace and without burning bridges. But even if this wasn't a job, I believe we all have difficulties leaving behind our pasts or old selves. But it's about honoring what you've been given, the experiences you've had, and saying goodbye with gratitude and grace. Really, it's about saying thank you and being humble as well as honored by the past instead of just trying to get the heck out of there. 

8) Write down how you got there.

So at this point, everything has magically aligned and I've gotten a new job that fits almost exactly what I'd written down weeks earlier (only one thing from the list was not met). It's crazy weird and exciting that I somehow feel like I've willed this job into existence and through my hard work, history, and willingness to try a woo-woo vision board, it's all come together. At this point, a dear friend of mine suggested I write down how I got to this point. So if I'm ever misaligned again and feeling hopeless, I can look back and read how I was able to find this weird, universe had my back kind of situation. So I've written it down and have already done my best to look back when I feel like things aren't lining up quite right.  

9) Share your experience with others... no matter how woo-woo it may sound. 

I can't tell you how many people I've personally shared this story/process with. It was and is so exciting how things came together and I can't help but share it. And while I share from excitement, awe, and joy, I also know that I must share this concept with as many people as possible. Can you imagine how much happiness would abound if we could all unlock the life of our dreams? No matter how weird or crazy it may be, this worked for me and really, what does it hurt to try it for yourself as well? 

Bonus step:

Since you've placed what you want on your vision board, once you get it, take it down and place it in your success book as another reminder of how things have worked out for you! 

The big picture.

I'll be the first to admit that this process is a little out there and one could easily make the case that my work history, work ethic, and decent interview skills are what really got me the job. But here's the thing... it wasn't until I knew what I wanted, actively thought about it and took the opportunities that came up, that this dream position even came about. And sure, one job doesn't mean my life is perfect or that it ever will be, but it does mean that I've been able to unlock this weird process that has helped me create a dream life. So the big picture is this: If I can do it, so can you! Let's look at how we can bring this process into our lives in 2018 and see what comes of it! 

You can hear an audio reading of this blog post on Happiness Abound, The Podcast- Episode 72. Subscribe to Happiness Abound, The Podcast on iTunes or GooglePlay and follow us on Facebook or Instagram

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash