How would you find your way if you were totally lost in a forest? If you were smart you would maybe have brought a compass (or google maps, you’re not a caveperson!) So what do you do if you forgot your compass and your phone is totally dead?

Well, you have to listen to your own internal compass.

I’ll be honest with you right now, but I don’t think that is actually great advice if you literally are lost in a forest, but I’m trying to do the whole analogy thing and paint a picture for you, okay?!

Well I’ll stop being all whimsical and get to the point.

Sometimes, when we are totally lost in our lives and we don’t know what advice we should take and which direction we should choose, we really need to take a deeper look inwards. We need to take a look at our feelings and figure out what we really want and start listening to that. 

This may seem a bit obvious, but a lot of the time, we are moving on autopilot and just going through the motions of life instead of actually doing what feels right to us. Then one day we realize that we are not where we want to be at all, which can cause stress, disappointment, depression, and the feeling of being completely lost. 

So, let’s take a look at how you can start looking inward to find motivation and direction when you feel totally lost.

First, you will need to do some serious self-reflection. Then, once you have figured out what you want, start taking action.

So let’s start with Self Reflection

Something that might help with this would be to write some of these things down in a journal. Some of the questions can make good journal prompts to get you going.

Step 1 – Figure out what is going wrong.

Ask yourself what is going wrong in your life right now. Why do you feel lost? Is there something missing in your life? What might you have too much of in your life (maybe you have too many stressors)?

Step 2 – Figure out what is going right

Maybe not everything in your life is so bad. There could be some good things too!

It’s important to reflect and see what you are enjoying in your life so that you can start doing more of it and enjoying yourself more.

You can ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • What has made you laugh recently?
  • What has made you feel energized?
  • Who makes you feel good when you are with them?

Tip: Try to do this at the end of each day for a week or so to get a good feel for what might consistently be bringing you a bit of joy.

Step 3 – Imagine Your Ideal Life

When you are feeling lost, a good idea is to remind yourself of what you ultimately want in life. This can help you to inspire you and give you some motivation!

Ask yourself how you want to feel, what you want your career to be, who you want to be surrounded by, etc.

Step 4 – What things are standing in the way of this ideal life?

Are there people standing in your way?

Are there things that you are doing that could be self-sabotaging? Is your career standing in your way?

Is anxiety standing in your way?

There could be many factors, so it’s important to spend some time on this and really assess what is going on.

Step 5 – Remove (or reduce) the negative pressures in your life

This is something that was a major cause of my anxiety for a long time and when I finally answered this question, my entire world changed.

I had spent so long trying to fit this life plan: go to school, get your degree, settle down with someone, work until you’re 65, then be too old to enjoy your time off. And I thought was the “right” way to live life and that it was basically the only option.

This was a combination of social pressure and pressure that I had put on myself.

But, once I started asking myself what I really wanted from life and realized that this expectation of me to live my life a certain way didn’t matter, everything started to change, and I essentially found my direction again.

So are there certain things that you think you have to be doing or things that people in your life are telling you that you should do?

If so, you need to start re-evaluating them to see if you actually need to live your life this way.

Taking action

Once you have reflected on your current state, it is time to make a plan and take action so you can find your direction and follow it!

Step 6 – Find Your Top 3 Action Steps

Write down some steps that you could take to get what you want.

Reflect on the ideal life you thought about in the first section. 

Write down 3-5 steps that you could take to reach that life that you want.

Step 7 – Break tasks from above into smaller task

Basically, you want to be able to have a set of easily actionable tasks that can get you to where you want.

To get to your dream life, this is going to be a huge list. But to arrive at a point where you feel how you want to feel, this list can be a lot shorter.

I’m definitely going to sound cliché here, but you want to enjoy the journey as much as the destination (ugh, ya I know I’m cheesy, but it’s true!), so you want to make sure that you feel great even while you are trying to create your dream life (or at least while you are finding your direction).

Step 8 – Create daily tasks

You can break the tasks you identified in step 7 into even smaller, daily tasks. 

The best way to find motivation and get your life back on track is to start doing small things every day.  It’s the small things that create BIG CHANGE.

Step 9 – Do one of these steps!

If you just start and make a bit of progress in the right direction, no matter how small, it is still progress. You will feel so much better and you will definitely feel less lost.

Step 10 – Make a plan to work towards your goals/that feeling that you want

Even if you are super busy, you can still spare 5-20 mins per day working towards that life that you want.

So take all of those little steps from step 8 and put them into a calendar – and start getting them done!

Once you have a plan, it will start making things real and you feel like you are back on track with your life again.

That’s what happened with me – I was so lost when I got out of school. I had no idea what I wanted, but I just took a few steps in the right direction by figuring out what I really wanted and it was seriously amazing! And from that point, it took me about 2 years to really start living my ideal life, but I still had a plan and hope, so the journey was honestly not too bad getting there.

Actually, I read this book: The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte and it really helped me find my direction again and get me back on track. She has a great style of writing and she’s very funny and real. It also comes with a workbook to help you dig down into what you really want.

So if you want some extra tips on how I started to make a plan to get my life back on track, you can check out my free Dream Life Goal Planner below! I

t comes with an awesome journaling exercise to figure out what you want (in more detail than this post) and then it gives you some serious concrete ways to start planning your goals and working towards an awesome life! I’m also working towards making a mindset training course – which is going to dive deeper into creating better habits that will keep your mental health on track as well as help you towards any goals that you have! You can sign up below!