Given the chance to live your life over again, what would you do differently?

Working too hard, missing out on your child’s upbringing and not saying ‘I love you’ are often at the top of the chart of life regrets. Unsurprisingly, not following your dreams is also something many people regret.

But it’s all too easy to look back on your life in hindsight when, actually, it’s likely to be no one’s fault but your own for not staying true to your values or ambitions.

According to Post Office Life Insurance, just over one third of people in the UK have created a ‘bucket list’ of life goals. However, unlike the simple things in life we end up regretting, it’s often travelling the world, buying our dream car or experiencing an extreme sport that we rate highly.

Whatever our goals and aspirations, it’s usually money, work and family commitments that act as the main barriers to achieving them.

But what if you could take steps that prevent you from living a life full of regrets?

Have you ever thought about what you want to get out of life, what your aspirations are or if, and how, you can achieve them?

Life is like a SatNav - if you don’t know where you’re going, you are never going to get there. That’s why setting goals is so important, not only in terms of your professional life but your personal life too.

It has been proven over and over again that you are more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down – it helps you to think about what you want from life and what you need to do to make it happen.

But where to start? The first step is coming up with a twelve month plan and five year strategy. This plan should include the following:

- You vision, mission and values.

Define your long-term aspirations, what you believe your purpose is and what is important to you in life - the values that you want to hold firm to.

- Your core beliefs.

What do you believe in and conversely, what don’t you believe in? What are your anti-values and dislikes?

- Your primary skills and passions.

What are you good at and what do you enjoy?

- Your short-term and long-term personal and professional goals.

For example, to start your own business, to learn a new language or to have visited all five continents by 2019. It’s important to be realistic.

- Your vision board.

Try collating several images that represent your goals in a visual way.

- Your personal profit and loss balance sheet.

This will help you determine your net worth and whether changes need to be made that could help you achieve your goals. After all, riding a hot air balloon over the Great Wall of China sounds exhilarating, but if you can’t afford it, you’re unlikely to go.

Once you’ve put down what you want to achieve, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to get where you want to be and minimise the risk of having a long list of life regrets.

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