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20 Heavenly Desserts Recipes For This Fall

20 Heavenly Desserts Recipes For This Fall

Fall is such a glorious time of year. I find with the crispness of the mornings, the warm daylight, and the cool evenings, it puts me in a mood to bake. The smell of homemade breads,cookies, and pies is one of my favorite things in the Fall season.  Some of these are super easy but so delicious. Here are some of my most-liked recipes for you to enjoy!

1. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

133830

    Ingredients
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 egg
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon milk
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts(optional)
    Directions:
    1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
    2. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
    3. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

    2. Banana Crumb Muffins

    929937

      Ingredients
      •  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 3 bananas, mashed
      • 3/4 cup white sugar
      • 1 egg, lightly beaten
      • 1/3 cup butter, melted
      • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
      • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 1 tablespoon butter
      Directions:
      1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
      2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
      3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
      4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

      3. Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

      303675

        Ingredients

        • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
        • 1/2 cup white sugar
        • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
        • 2 eggs
        • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
        • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
        • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
        • 1 pinch ground cloves
        • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
        • 1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
        Directions
        1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
        2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.
        3. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
        4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.

        4. Carrot Cake

        984814
           Ingredients
          • 3/4 cup buttermilk
          • 3 eggs
          • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
          • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
          • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
          • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
          • 1/4 teaspoon salt
          • 2 cups all-purpose flour
          • 2 teaspoons baking soda
          • 2 cups shredded carrots
          • 1 cup flaked coconut
          • 1 cup chopped walnuts
          • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
          • 1 cup raisins
          Directions:
          1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8×12 inch pan.
          2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
          3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour mixture and mix well.
          4. In a medium bowl, combine shredded carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple and raisins.
          5. Using a large wooden spoon or a very heavy whisk, add carrot mixture to batter and fold in well.
          6. Pour into prepared 8×12 inch pan, and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour. Check with a toothpick.
          7. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

           5. Dessert Nachos

          336991
            Ingredients –  makes 4 servings
            • 1/3 cup peanut butter
            • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
            • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
            • 2 1/2 cups mini round corn tortilla chips
            • 1/4 cup miniature marshmallows
            • 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
             Directions:
            1. Preheat your oven’s broiler.
            2. Combine the peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the mixture until the peanut butter melts, about 1 minute. Place the chocolate chips in a separate microwave-safe bowl; melt the chips in the microwave, about 1 minute.
            3. Arrange the tortilla chips into an even layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle the peanut butter mixture and the melted chocolate over the chips. Scatter the marshmallows and coconut over the chips.
            4. Place under preheated broiler until the marshmallows begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot.

            6. Apple Enchilada Dessert

            8977
              Ingredients
              • 1 (21 ounce) can apple pie filling
              • 6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
              • teaspoon ground cinnamon
              • 1/3 cup margarine
              • 1/2 cup white sugar
              • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
              • 1/2 cup water
              Directions:
              1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
              2. Spoon fruit evenly onto all tortillas, sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down on lightly greased 8×8 baking pan.
              3. Bring margarine, sugars and water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
              4. Pour sauce evenly over tortillas; sprinkle with extra cinnamon on top if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
              5. Makes 6 large tortillas; may be cut in half to serve 12.

              7. Apple and Pumpkin Dessert

              374922
                Ingredients – Makes one serving
                • 2 (1 gram) packets sugar or substitute
                • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
                • Granny Smith apple – peeled, cored and chopped
                • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
                • 2 tablespoons water
                Directions
                1. Sprinkle 1/3 packet of sugar or  substitute and 1/3 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice in the bottom of a microwave-safe bowl. Layer 1/4 of the apple pieces into the bowl; repeat. Spread the pumpkin over the apples. Sprinkle the remaining sugar substitute and pumpkin pie spice on the pumpkin. Top with the remaining apples. Pour the water over the mixture.
                2. Cook in microwave on high for 3 1/2 minutes, stirring every minute.

                8. Apple Strudel Dessert

                55938
                  Ingredients –  makes 6 servings
                  • 2 (8 ounce) packagesrefrigerated crescent roll dough
                  • 1 (21 ounce) can apple pie filling
                  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                  Directions
                  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch round pan.
                  2. Using a slotted spoon, place about 1 tablespoon pie filling near the large end of a crescent roll dough triangle. Roll up the triangle. Repeat with remaining dough. Place rolls in prepared pan with points toward the center. Top with remaining pie filling. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
                  3. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes, until browned

                  9. Pumpkin Chocolate Dessert Cake

                  490857
                    Ingredients
                    • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
                    • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
                    • 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
                    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
                    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
                    • 3/4 cup butter
                    • 2 cups white sugar
                    • 1/3 cup applesauce
                    • 3 eggs, beaten
                    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
                    • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
                    • 1 cup brown sugar
                    • 1/2 cup butter
                    • 1/3 cup heavy cream
                    • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
                    Directions
                    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9 inch Bundt pan.
                    2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and baking soda. In a large bowl, beat together 3/4 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, applesauce, and eggs. Mix in 1/2 cup heavy cream and pumpkin. Stir into the flour mixture just until blended. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
                    3. Bake 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan over a wire rack. Invert cake onto a serving plate.
                    4. Place the brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/3 cup heavy cream in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring to blend until smooth. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the confectioner’s sugar, and drizzle over the cake immediately.

                    10. Heavenly “Apple of My Thigh” Dessert

                    146616
                      Ingredients
                      • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
                      • 1/4 cup white sugar
                      • 3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
                      • 3 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered English toffee, chopped
                      • 5 green apples, cored and sliced
                      Directions
                      1. Mix together the cream cheese, sugar and 1/4 cup of the caramel sauce in a medium bowl. Spread onto a serving tray or a plate.
                      2. Drizzle the remaining caramel sauce over the top and sprinkle with pieces of chocolate covered toffee.
                      3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then serve with apple slices.

                      11. Autumn Cheesecake

                      126606
                         Ingredients
                        • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
                        • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
                        • 3 tablespoons white sugar
                        • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                        • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
                        • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
                        • 1/2 cup white sugar
                        • 2 eggs
                        • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
                        • 4 cups apples – peeled, cored and thinly sliced
                        • 1/3 cup white sugar
                        • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                        • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
                        Directions
                        1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and melted butter; press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
                        2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar. Mix at medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in vanilla; pour filling into the baked crust.
                        3. In a small bowl, stir together 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Toss the cinnamon-sugar with the apples to coat. Spoon apple mixture over cream cheese layer and sprinkle with 1/4 cup chopped pecans.
                        4. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes. With a knife, loosen cake from rim of pan. Let cool, then remove the rim of pan. Chill cake before serving

                        12. Apple Crisp with Oat Topping

                        893709
                          Ingredients
                          • 6 apples – peeled, cored, and sliced
                          • 2 tablespoons white sugar
                          • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                          • 1 cup brown sugar
                          • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
                          • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
                          • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                          • 1/2 cup cold butter
                           Directions
                          1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
                          2. Toss apples with white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl to coat; pour into a 9-inch square baking dish.
                          3. Mix brown sugar, oats, flour, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a separate bowl. Use a pastry cutter or 2 forks to mash cold butter into the oats mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; spread over the apples to the edges of the baking dish. Pat the topping gently until even.
                          4. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and sides are bubbling, about 40 minutes.

                          13. Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes

                          467739
                            Ingredients
                            • 2 cups all-purpose flour
                            • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix
                            • 2 teaspoons baking soda
                            • 1/4 teaspoon salt
                            • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
                            • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
                            • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
                            • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
                            • 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
                            • 1 cup butter, room temperature
                            • 1 cup white sugar
                            • 1 cup packed brown sugar
                            • 4 eggs
                            • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                            • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
                            Directions
                            1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. Whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, cloves, and crystallized ginger in a bowl; set aside.
                            2. Beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin puree with the last egg. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
                            3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

                            14. Big, Soft Ginger Cookies

                            288811
                              Ingredients
                              • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
                              • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
                              • 1 teaspoon baking soda
                              • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                              • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
                              • 1/4 teaspoon salt
                              • 3/4 cup margarine, softened
                              • 1 cup white sugar
                              • 1 egg
                              • 1 tablespoon water
                              • 1/4 cup molasses
                              • 2 tablespoons white sugar
                              Directions
                              1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
                              2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
                              3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container

                              15. Creamy Rice Pudding

                              108681
                                Ingredients
                                • 3/4 cup uncooked white rice
                                • 2 cups milk, divided
                                • 1/3 cup white sugar
                                • 1/4 teaspoon salt
                                • 1 egg, beaten
                                • 2/3 cup golden raisins
                                • 1 tablespoon butter
                                • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                Directions
                                1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; stir rice into boiling water. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
                                2. In a clean saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups cooked rice, 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk, beaten egg, and raisins; cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.

                                16. Country Apple Dumplings

                                655095
                                  Ingredients
                                  • 2 (10 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
                                  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
                                  • 1 cup butter
                                  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
                                  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                                  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Mountain Dew ™
                                  Directions
                                  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
                                  2. Cut each apple into 8 wedges and set aside. Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in crescent roll dough starting at the smallest end. Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish.
                                  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the apple dumplings. Pour Mountain Dew™ over the dumplings.
                                  4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

                                  17. Sweet Potato Pie

                                  Ingredients
                                  • 1 (1 pound) sweet potato
                                  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
                                  • 1 cup white sugar
                                  • 1/2 cup milk
                                  • 2 eggs
                                  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
                                  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                                  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
                                  Directions
                                  1. Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.
                                  2. Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
                                  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.

                                  18. Raspberry and Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

                                  36600
                                     Ingredients
                                    • 1 cup butter, softened
                                    • 2/3 cup white sugar
                                    • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
                                    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
                                    • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
                                    • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
                                    • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
                                    • 1 teaspoon milk
                                    Directions
                                    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
                                    2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar until smooth. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Mix in flour until dough comes together. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Make a small hole in the center of each ball, using your thumb and finger, and fill the hole with preserves.
                                    3. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Let cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet.
                                    4. In a medium bowl, mix together the confectioners’ sugar, 3/4 teaspoon almond extract, and milk until smooth. Drizzle lightly over warm cookies.

                                    19. No Bake Cookies

                                    Ingredients
                                    • 2 cups white sugar
                                    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
                                    • 1/2 cup margarine
                                    • 1/2 cup milk
                                    • 1 pinch salt
                                    • 3 cups quick cooking oats
                                    • 1/2 cup peanut butter
                                    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                    Directions
                                    1. In a saucepan bring sugar, cocoa, margarine, milk, and salt to a rapid boil for 1 minute.
                                    2. Add quick cooking oats, peanut butter, and vanilla; mix well.
                                    3. Working quickly, drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper, and let cool.

                                    20. Golden Rum Cake

                                    Ingredients
                                    • 1 cup chopped walnuts
                                    • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
                                    • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
                                    • 4 eggs
                                    • 1/2 cup water
                                    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
                                    • 1/2 cup dark rum
                                    • 1/2 cup butter
                                    • 1/4 cup water
                                    • 1 cup white sugar
                                    • 1/2 cup dark rum
                                    Directions
                                    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over the bottom of the pan.
                                    2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in the eggs, 1/2 cup water, oil and 1/2 cup rum. Blend well. Pour batter over chopped nuts in the pan.
                                    3. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto serving plate. Brush glaze over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze and repeat until all glaze is used.
                                    4. To make the glaze: in a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup rum.

                                    I hope you enjoy trying out some of these recipes from www.allrecipes.com. These are some of the best dessert recipes around. I am certainly going to be on my way to the store soon, to buy some apples, because I am now in the mood for the delicious Apple Dumplings! Make sure to let me know which ones are your favorites!

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                                    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                                    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                                    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                                      Why You Need a Vision

                                      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                                      How to Create Your Life Vision

                                      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                                      What Do You Want?

                                      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                                      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                                      Some tips to guide you:

                                      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                                      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                                      • Give yourself permission to dream.
                                      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                                      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                                      Some questions to start your exploration:

                                      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                                      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                                      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                                      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                                      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                                      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                                      • What qualities would you like to develop?
                                      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                                      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                                      • What would you most like to accomplish?
                                      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                                      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                                      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                                      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                                      A few prompts to get you started:

                                      • What will you have accomplished already?
                                      • How will you feel about yourself?
                                      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                                      • What does your ideal day look like?
                                      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                                      • What would you be doing?
                                      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                                      • How are you dressed?
                                      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                                      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                                      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                                      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                                      Plan Backwards

                                      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                                      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                                      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                                      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                                      • What important actions would you have had to take?
                                      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                                      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                                      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                                      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                                      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                                      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                                      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                                      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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