For six months, creative entrepreneur Amber Rae woke up every morning not knowing what to do about a feeling she just couldn’t shake. She was, as her friend Elle Luna would say, “at the crossroads of should and must,” feeling stuck in the ’should.’ She felt like something was “dying to be born inside” of her — an opportunity she was afraid to explore.
“We’re programmed to think everything might go wrong versus what the possibility could be if we take a risk,” she says, “but fear means you’re heading in the right direction.”
Eventually, she took the risk. Today, she’s the creator of The World We Want, a global, collaborative movement aimed at helping people spark a community conversation and set an intention for the kind of life they want to live.
Amber has spent years testing out different methods for goal-making and structuring her day. To create a work life that you find fulfilling and to help you achieve your goals, Amber recommends the following plan for action (we’re pretty excited to set it into motion for ourselves).
Cultivate a vision
Many of us are afraid to commit to change — be it a new career opportunity or a routine — for three core reasons:
- Lack of clarity. When you don’t know what you want to achieve, any goals you set will feel unachievable, and risky.
- Lack of community or a support system. When you’re not surrounded by people telling you to go after it, you’re less likely to pursue a change.
- The wrong mindset or heart set. When faced with a moment of panic, you may not ask the right questions or know how to navigate the situation.
To tackle these obstacles, Amber recommends arming yourself with statements and questions to steer yourself in the right direction:
- Start with a statement: I want to live in a world where (insert your vision)
- To create this world, I will… (this is the plan creation stage)
- How do I want to feel in the process? (your heart set will help you navigate challenges)
- Who do I want to support me in executing this plan? (remember: a positive support system is key!)
Here’s Amber’s: “I want to live in a world where every human is free to be their truest and fullest self, and dies without regret for what could have been. To create this world, I will reveal my truest and fullest self, and work each day toward expressing my gifts in the world — no matter how scary. I will create artivism, content, experiences, and goods that connect us to ourselves, this moment, and what’s possible.”
Think big, start small
“I tend to come up with long-term visions,” says Amber. “I’m creating one now called the ‘heart plan’ — it outlines what I’m committed to creating in the next three years.”
My ‘heart plan’ maps to who I feel called to be; it’s a shift from my ‘head plan’, which maps to who I thought I was supposed to be.
When going from the visioning step to the execution, Amber suggests approaching goal-setting from inside out:
- Identify a big picture milestone.
- Reflect on why you want to achieve it, and how it will serve your ultimate vision.
- Clarify how you want to feel in the process of getting there.
- Commit to weekly and daily practices that support the path.
Create a morning ritual
Getting from point A to B starts by putting one foot in front of the other and a morning habit is a great way to help you get to where you’re going, in a sustainable fashion (as opposed to short bursts of Red Bull-fueled all nighters followed by days spent on your couch…because we all remember those, and some of us are still living them.)
“I’m obsessed with the morning ritual. I wake up and make myself some warm water with lemon to kickstart digestion (sometimes I’ll throw in turmeric). I follow Julia Cameron’s morning pages ritual — every morning I write in a free stream of consciousness in a paper journal. I capture anything in my space, anything I’m feeling. I end with a list of three things I’m grateful for and three things I want to focus on today. I’ve found it’s the best way to unblock creativity, to set intention, and to tap into my intuition.”
Create other rituals throughout your day and week to help you stick to your plan. Amber tries to only do phone calls on Tuesdays and in person meetings on Thursdays, leaving the rest of her time free for ideation and creation. She also goes on a weekly “artist date” to fuel her imagination and sense of play.
Adopt Amber’s 8 simple rules for living the life you want
Creating a life you want — be it an entrepreneurial one or not — means living and working intentionally. Without hesitation, Amber told us her 8 #bosslady rules:
- Stop searching for the “right” answer. (There is no right answer.)
- Look inside for answers versus following what’s “cool” or expected.
- See fear as a signal you’re heading in the right direction.
- Aim for rejection (you’ll learn faster that way).
- Quantity over quality. Progress over perfection.
- Consistently add value where you feel drawn and before being asked.
- The limiting beliefs that pass through your mind? Yeah, those aren’t you.
- Want to create change? A better world starts with a better self.
And as writer and artist Austin Kleon would say, “Don’t wait to know who you are to get started today.”