If the last 18 months of craziness have given us anything, it is a chance to stop and take stock of how we are living our lives. With many of us either working from home or having an unexpected layoff from work, we have been able to take a breath and re-evaluate life. Even if we are in a tricky situation now, it may turn out to be a silver lining on the cloud of despair this last period has brought us.
Evaluate What is Important to You.
An excellent place to start is to consider what is important to you carefully? It's understandable for our gut reaction to be money; of course, it's money; we can't fund our lifestyle otherwise. But consider what parts of that lifestyle are genuinely making you happy?
And is the work-life balance you had to do worth it? Maybe you have a dream career that you never pursued due to being side-tracked by other things. If you always fancied teaching or being a designer, now may be the time to try? It may be simply spending more time with the family now that you've had a taste of that lifestyle.
Consider Where you Are Now?
The first step to realizing any of these ambitions is to assess where you are now. Then you can figure out how to get from here to there. An excellent exercise to go through is to put together a household budget. You can use an Excel spreadsheet to do this, or many apps canhelp you.
The critical thing to do is to identify the level of your outgoings and choose which are essential and which are dispensable. You can then work out what you need to get by and what you need to have an acceptable quality of life. Often, we are surprised by how many unnecessary expenses we rack up each month.
Look at Multiple Options.
With your financial particulars to hand, you can begin looking at alternative lifestyles and how feasible they are. You can always mix and match careers now. Plenty of people work with what is called a portfolio career, having several ways to make money.
You can be studying, have a part-time job, and even run a small business from home as well. My friend makes and sells soap, as well as being a part-time administrator, she uses a Boston courier to handle her deliveries and does the rest in her spare time.
Make a Plan.
Once you know what you want to achieve, it is essential to make a plan. If you are starting a business, it means identifying where customers will come from and how much profit each sale will make. If you are looking to gain further qualifications, you must plan your studies and applications accordingly.
Planning is not a one-off activity. It is essential to review your plan on a regular basis and check if you have achieved what you set out to or if you have wandered off your path. Deviations are fine, and sometimes this is how we find our path, but it's good to know when this is happening and decide if it's what we want.