How much longer are you going to postpone your dreams?
Why is today a worse day for starting than any other day?
You do dream of a better life and a better you. Probably your life goals are more specific than that, but they definitely involve some sort of improvement in either your circumstances or yourself.
The longer you put off doing things that bring you closer to that desired state, the longer it will take to get there.
Here are a few things you should today, right now, in order to start bringing yourself closer to what you dream of.
1) Make sure you understand what it is you want
What is it that you dream of? It’s good if you already have a specific answer, e.g. “I want to own and run an art gallery and make a living from doing that.” In this case, you don’t need to dwell on this question any longer.
But if your dream is something like “I want to start a business” or “I want to achieve happiness”, then you will need to get more specific.
If your goal is very broad and generalised, you can’t start working towards it because you’ll have no idea of what you should be doing. Narrow it down.
What kind of business do you want to start? Where can you get a good business idea? Are going to do it alone or with somebody?
What does happiness mean to you? Family? Being in a good mood? Having a deep romantic relationship?
You can immediately see that all these possible answers lead down different pathways and have to be approached in different ways.
Figure out for yourself what it is you want and write it down. You can adjust your goals later, but you need to start somewhere.
2) Make a plan
This is something nobody does. Nobody except for people who are very serious about achieving their dreams.
This needs to be done in writing. If you try to do this in your head, you will:
- Have only vague ideas with vague connections;
- Have too little information;
- Forget everything by tomorrow morning.
You can start on paper, but eventually you’ll want to make yourself a computer document. Maybe even upload it to some cloud service if you use multiple devices so you can always refer to it and adjust it as necessary.
This document needs to contain:
- The name of your dream and a clear explanation of what you want to achieve (see the previous step).
- Your resources: what it is you have that can help you. This may be time, certain skills, finances, as well as any physical possessions that may be relevant.
- People: who could help you? Who can you go to for advice? Who will give you the encouragement you need?
- Your next steps: what specific steps do you need to take? If you can’t think of any steps, then that’s your step number one.
- Potential challenges: what problems could you face and how will you handle them?
Yes, going through all this stuff may seem tedious. It may even seem silly in a certain way.
But don’t underestimate the power of a written plan.
This plan will both help you create a big picture of your dream, as well as help you focus on what’s important. It creates a map of where you are, where you want to be and what lies in-between.
The reality of any plan is that it will likely not work. At least not entirely. Some parts will be missing, other parts will be irrelevant, many things will need adjusting.
But that’s not an issue since you created your plan as computer document. It can easily be edited and amended.
In fact, it’s almost compulsory to edit your goal plan, since you don’t know everything from the start. Go back to your plan often and add new steps, new to-do items, new challenges and so on.
3) Do at least something for your dream daily
Nothing beats consistency. If you are serious about fulfilling your goals in life, you will need to do at least something every single day. You want to make it a habit.
This doesn’t mean you need to spend hours every day on your goals. You don’t have hours to spend. Again, the aim here is consistency.
What you want to do is dedicate 5 minutes per day to your dream goal. Decide right now, make a contract with yourself, that every single day from now on you are going to spend 5 minutes doing something that gets you closer to what you dream of.
Just 5 minutes. You can do that, can’t you? No matter how tired or stressed you are, you can dedicate 5 minutes to your goals for life. If you cannot do that, I suggest you give up on your dream right now and forget about it – but I doubt that this is the case.
Of course, if you want, you are most welcome to go past the 5 minute mark and dedicate more time to it. But 5 minutes is obligatory. Make sure that those 5 minutes are not immediately before sleep or some other event that will prevent you from working for more than 5 minutes should you want to.
Note that indulging in fantasies does not count as useful work. If you want to become a published fiction writer, you need to writing or contacting publishers etc, not daydreaming about being rich and famous.
You can see that none of these three steps is overly complicated. Yes, they do require you to strain your mental muscle a bit and perhaps deal with questions that you find emotionally difficult. But they are a necessary step forward. Dreams are meant to be achieved, not just dreamt of.
Remember, today is the perfect day to start. Get past your mental inertia and do something useful right now.
Are you already working on your dreams? How is it working out for you? Share your experiences in the comments.
Image credit: Vibrant Hot Air Balloons by Nicolas Raymond