When you don’t know exactly what you want, how will you know when you have it? That problem is precisely why it’s so important to find clarity in your life. Getting clarity to achieve your life’s goals is possible.
Sometimes we find ourselves feeling lost in life, drifting along. Maybe we have some clue about what we actually want to achieve, or maybe we feel completely aimless.
It’s so crucial to figure out what you want to focus on since that’s the first step towards achieving it one day.
If you’re unsure about how to find clarity, consider the key tips in the article but first let's discuss why having finding clarity is so important.
Why getting clarity in your life is so important
“If you aim at nothing, you hit nothing.” Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings
While you might technically be able to shoot a crossbow while blindfolded and hit something, it's hardly a recipe for safety.
Yet many of us approach our career goals, physical and mental health goals, relationship goals, and all other goals this way.
If you don’t have a clear target in mind, how are you going to aim to hit anything? Here are some of the reasons clarity in your life is so important.
Clarity helps you know what you want
First of all, clarity often refers to a distinct vision of the future. If you just have a hazy picture in your mind of what you want to do in life, it can be next to impossible to end up in the right place.
Try to figure out some answers to the questions: What do I want to do? and Who do I want to be?
Do you want to be a stay-at-home mother for a few years to soak up more time with your little ones? Or build a six-figure business from scratch? Maybe your goal is to renovate a century-old farmhouse with nothing but YouTube and your bare hands.
Whatever your goals (obviously, you probably have many), deciding what you want is the first step toward achievement. Taking some time to identify your true passions and hopes is how you can find clarity.
It also helps you recognize what doesn’t matter
Are you unsure of how to find clarity in your life? It’s not only essential to know what you want but to know what you don’t want, or what doesn’t matter.
When you find yourself drifting through your days without much to show for them, take some time to recognize what is and is not important. Think about the things you’re devoting most of your time to—do they truly matter to you?
Oftentimes, we end up spending a lot of our time on things we don’t really care about. Maybe we sign up for too many committees at work or the kids’ school, or we get pulled into a project that wasn’t our passion.
While we can’t get out of all unpleasant tasks or things outside our comfort zone, we can be more mindful if we find clarity. Figure out what the tasks are that are sucking your energy without any purpose, and try to delegate them or give them up completely.
Practical steps to achieve clarity
Essentially, getting clarity about who you are and what you truly want is about priorities. What matters most, and what can you let go of?
Try these practical steps to bring clarity to your days and your life. This will also help you achieve your goals in life.
1. Create space to discover clarity
A great first step towards getting clarity is to simply make space for it. Sometimes the most aimless times in our lives are when we get too busy to think or pause.
We all need some breathing room in our lives to help us discern what we’re getting right and what we can do better.
Try these tips to avoid going through the motions for weeks or months on end. Instead, you can make time for getting clarity in your life.
Set aside regular time for reflection
This may sound simple, but we tend to go full speed ahead without stopping, and thus lose our clarity.
You can try these ideas for “Wellness Wednesday” like taking a rest day or turning off technology for a set period of time.
It’s just about impossible to bring clarity to your decisions and your mind without pausing regularly to reflect. We all need to think through how things are going and assess whether we want to do anything differently.
If you’re a woman who thinks, “There’s no way I can just take a break,” then you need a break more than anyone!
Just start as small as you need to. Pick a regular weekly or daily time for reflection on your life and goals.
There are probably a lot of little pockets of time in any given week when you could carve out a few minutes or an hour for reflection. Or if you're craving major "me time," make a plan for a lazy weekend to recharge and find clarity.
When looking for clarity, journaling can be an excellent tool. Writing in a journal helps us to process what’s happening in the here and now, dream about the future, and reflect on the past. Journaling is a great form of self-care.
There are many benefits to journaling: like keeping track of your progress, an increase in confidence, and more inspiration.
Once you’ve carved out a slice of time every day or every week for finding clarity, you may use journaling during that time. Whether you write long paragraphs, or sentences, or use bullet journaling, get your thoughts down on paper.
If you’re unsure of where to start, check out these 60 journal prompts for self-discovery. I bet you’ll discover a ton about yourself if you’ve never had a journaling practice before, and that clarity will help you achieve your goals.
2. Seek clarity through relationships
Relationships are a great resource for getting clarity. As important as your own thoughts are, the people in your life can offer amazing insight into who you are.
Friends can help you see yourself more clearly
In addition to spending time journaling and reflecting on your own, take some time to listen to your friends. Whether that’s through a weekly Zoom call, an in-person lunch date, or even text messages throughout the week, friends can help with getting clarity.
Unfortunately, you may have been burned in the past by unsupportive friends. That may have led you to shut yourself off from your true friends. Seek out the ones who can help you see who you are and figure out your next steps in life.
Whatever life circumstance you're unclear on, dear friends can give advice. They can often see past your blind spots, those areas where you can’t see your talent as clearly as others.
Or they may remind you of something you loved to do when you were younger and help you envision new possibilities for the future.
Don't forget to set boundaries in your friendships. You’re still in the driver’s seat; you’re just asking friends to help you along.
Spend time with people who challenge you
You can find clarity by paying attention to who you’re spending time with. Maybe you have a trusted friend who doesn’t always tell you whatever you want to hear.
But her advice is always given with your best interests at heart. That’s the friend you want to keep close! She can definitely bring clarity to your life and your choices.
Beware of toxic friends, though. When I say to seek out those who challenge you, I mean only people who love you and can give you insight into yourself.
This might be a sister, old friend, grandmother, cousin, coworker, you name it. People who challenge you may push you out of what’s comfortable or easy. They can help you make a decision to take a risk—but not a foolish one.
A true friend can help you decide which risks are worth taking in order to better your life.
3. Getting clarity is easier with healthy habits
As you’re thinking through these steps for how to find clarity, remember the healthy habits you’re in charge of building for yourself.
It can seem so simple, but we all neglect self-care and healthy behaviors at times. Healthy habits can help you get clarity.
Get plenty of sleep
One essential component of a healthy lifestyle—which impacts your clarity and your life—is sleep. Developing a better sleep routine is perhaps the most important aspect of creating a self-care week, (which you’ll hopefully follow with a lifetime of self-care).
Getting enough high-quality sleep can improve your attention and concentration, along with memory, problem-solving, creativity, emotional processing, and judgment, according to the Sleep Foundation. Don’t all of those aspects sound important to getting clarity in your life as well?
Too many of us are sleep-deprived. If you’re not sleeping enough, try giving yourself a regular bedtime and stick to it. Other good sleep hygiene habits include leaving your phone out of the bedroom and turning off screens an hour before bedtime.
Eat a healthy diet
Eating a well-balanced diet is also crucial to being happier and more productive. You can find clarity more often if you’re fueling your body with good things that help you function properly.
It’s not easy to eat a clean diet or even stick to one where we’re not overeating or eating in response to stress.
Try making a few small changes, like switching from soda or alcohol to water, or adding a vegetable to each meal.
Every small decision to do something good for your body can help guide you to the next healthy choice.
And of course, in the trifecta of healthy habits, add “Move more!” to your list of things to do. It’s an investment in yourself.
Exercise will help you get stronger physically, but it also has mental health benefits. Getting clarity may be easier if you make exercise a part of your day.
Exercise can help lessen anxiety and delay aging. If you're unsure of what exercises are a good fit, try them out until you find some form of movement you love and will do regularly. This might be yoga, hiking in the woods, Zumba, softball, weight-lifting…you get the idea.
Sometimes I even just need to pause what I’m working on and do a few push-ups or walk around my yard. That small break lets my mind wander from other tasks, and when I return, I’m more able to concentrate and solve problems. Why not try movement as a way of finding clarity?
4. Focus on your priorities so you can accomplish what’s most important
Clarity is another way of defining your priorities. Figure out what matters the most to you, and chase hard after those things. Everything else is secondary.
You might determine that your family is your number-one priority (most people believe that). And of course, you have to spend time on work, relationships, health, and other goals.
Define your goals and how long they'll take
You can have long-term goals as well as mid-term goals and short-term goals. Try to focus first on the overarching top goals, then break them down into manageable parts of life.
5. Don’t wait for perfect clarity before starting
“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.”
That quote has been attributed to Voltaire and restated by many wise thinkers over the years. It reminds me that it’s more important to start than to have everything figured out.
Beat procrastination for good
So many times, we procrastinate on getting things done because we fear we won’t do them perfectly. Maybe you’ve had that experience with a major life goal. You build it up as so important that you're paralyzed and don't start.
When you put off doing what matters most out of fear or anxiety that it won’t be perfect, you don’t go anywhere. Meanwhile, time passes and suddenly you notice you’re in the same position as a year or ten years before. Don't wait forever!
6. Experiment and adjust your goals periodically
Going hand-in-hand with starting imperfectly is the plan that you’ll adjust your goals over time. You can find clarity for today, start working on your goals, and find that those goals don’t exactly fit what you want.
That’s okay! Life is an experiment, and you get to try things, fail (or change your mind), and try again.
Learn and change a little every day
Every day in your life, you can grow and change a little bit. You might use these tips to inspire change in your life. Use the experiences you have, continue to evaluate your life and find clarity for the present moment, and make adjustments as you go.
When you bring clarity into your life, you can live with purpose!
Finally, don’t be afraid to pursue what you really love.
That’s likely one of the hardest parts of achieving clarity: realizing what you want but then having to find the courage to go after it.
Remember to listen to your heart as you go through each day, and you’ll find clarity to keep working towards your goals.