How much time do you spend thinking about what your dream life would look like? Many people view this sort of fantasizing as a guilty pleasure that leads nowhere, without ever realizing the very real and practical benefits of dreaming – when it’s done correctly that is!
The truth is that day dreaming needn’t be a pointless indulgence – it’s all about how you approach it, and how productive you’re willing to be about it! As Earl Nightingale put it, “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway”, so you might as well get busy putting the time you have to the best possible use!
The difference between those individuals who achieve their dreams and those who don’t, normally boil down to the same reasons. To achieve your goals, you need to have structure and a system that works for you. This is where most people fail in creating the life they want. You need to be consistent and disciplined in taking the right actions to create the life you want.
Structure and systems are about how you manage your time, and this determines whether or not you will achieve your goals and dreams. How you manage your time is actually the most valuable thing you will ever have to manage. Taking a more productive approach to creating the life of your dreams isn’t any less fun than dreaming about it, it’s simply a way of adding structure, purpose and action to the realization of your dreams.
Here are 4 Steps To Being More Productive In Creating Your Dream Life
1. Identify The Bigger Picture
Think about all the different spheres in your life (family, friends, work, etc.) and what each of them look like in your dream life? Instead of vaguely dreaming about the advantages that different changes might have, think about each aspect in detail (how it might affect other aspects of your life, etc.). If for example, you’d like to run your own restaurant, think about why you’d like to do this and consider how it might impact your leisure time, social life, self-realization, creative drive, etc.
A lack of clarity of what you want to create for yourself will be the reason why you don’t take action even if you think you know what you want. Having an idea / vague vision is certainly not going to help, you need to crystallize your vision into clarity and then the next steps become clearer.
When you want to create a life you dream of, you need to not only have clarity on the different areas and what you want to be experiencing in each, but also ensure there are no conflicting goals between the different areas.
The important of taking your values into consideration when ‘creating your vision and clarity’ cannot be emphasized enough either. They are your key to happiness in life so make sure they are there!
2. Divide And Prioritize Your Dreams
Strategically divide your dreams into different sections (career, family, etc.) and determine which area it would be best to start working on. Take some time to research your options (job opportunities, education, training, coaching, etc.) – you’d be surprised at how many opportunities you may have been overlooking!
Which area do you need to work on first and why?
It’s best to get clear not only on what you need to improve but also prioritizing the areas. You can’t focus on all the areas. You might only be able to improve your health, for example when you improve your working hours, etc so some goals are dependent on you reaching others first.
3. Create A Detailed Mini-Plan
Once you’ve got your priorities sorted, it’s important to take things one step at a time; working on everything in one go can be too overwhelming and won’t allow you to focus enough of your energy into any one area (and will increase your chances of aimless procrastination instead of productive action).
Create a detailed plan for one of the areas that you identified in step 2 (keeping in mind that each area should take 6-7 months to complete). You should end up with a list of some major goals and some smaller goals required to achieve the bigger ones – having smaller goals increases your chances of achieving them, this can be great for building the self-confidence required to take action.
4. Take Massive Action
Now that you’ve created a detailed plan in step 3, you should have a list of practical methods and actions required to achieve your dreams – what’s left now is to take action. Think of the work that you put into achieving your smaller goals as effort being put into eventually achieving your dream life!
Remember these words – they are the truth.
You need to be proactive instead of reactive, keep creating what you want every day, make it part of your being. But also use your time well, being reactive is replying to emails all day and waiting for opportunities to come your way instead of creating them.
What Does Success Look Like To You?
It’s not uncommon for professionals who think they’re on the path to achieving the life of their dreams to feel too unmotivated to take meaningful actions towards their definition of success. If you’re really working towards your dream life, shouldn’t you be more excited about it? If you’re not, then perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate what your personal dream life would look like, not the dream life that your family, friends and society think you should have!
If you find yourself procrastinating and putting your plans off, don’t be afraid to re-visit the four steps mentioned above and to adjust your notes according to your updated dreams and values. Remember, “the bad news is time flies, the good news is that you’re the pilot” (Michael Altshuler)!
To your Success