Stop Waiting for Retirement – Start Chasing Your Dreams
Part X – Tying it All Together
In this moment, you are faced with a defining choice. The choice to keep on keepin’ on. Or you can take these ideas and apply them to build the life of your dreams. The choice is up to you.
This is the last in a series of 10 posts about how my husband, Jer, and I stopped hoping to “get SOMEWHERE.” In the first post, I introduced the framework we used to start chasing our dreams. The first step is to get your personal finances in order. Learning to embrace your spiritual side is a close second. To stay on schedule for Make a Fortune Friday, we covered Career and Contribution next. The third pillar, Health and Wellness, was followed by the power of positive relationships. How to create a social life that’s connected to hobbies and recreation was next. The final pillar, Personal Development, tied them all together.
As we made our journey, I noticed that certain values were accelerating our success. After creating a list of more than 20 principles, I identified these as the most essential. Adopting these 10 Principles will bring you closer to your dreams.
The Next Step
Committing to change is just part of the equation. Data suggests that only 46 percent of resolutions make it more than six months. The process of setting goals and writing them down increases your odds of success by 50 percent. Grab a pen and paper and let’s begin.
Learning how we are wired is an important step to creating our best lives. When I began to feel like I was headed down the wrong career path, I took every test: Myers-Briggs, DISC, Strengths Finder, Career Values, Strong Interest Inventory, and more. I recently compared these results side by side, and I found great clarity. This clarity has helped me to confidently make better decisions about my future.
Do you remember hearing this phrase when you were growing up? “That’s a nice thought, but it’s not very realistic.” I do! The problem with being realistic is that it’s not very motivating. The moment I started to have big dreams was the moment I started to get excited, take risks and strategic action.
I asked myself these questions to dig deep and discover my true desires.
- When was the last time you sprung out of bed in the morning? What were you going to do that day? Why were you excited about it?
- If you were guaranteed to not fail, what would you do that you are not doing today?
- If you knew that you had enough money to live comfortably for the remainder of your life, how would you spend your time? Where would you live? Who would you help? How would you help them?
- What issues make you angriest? What problems do we need to solve?
- If all of your needs were taken care of, what would a typical day look like? What would you do? When would you get up? What would you eat? Where would you live? How would you spend your time?
If you’re married, invite your spouse to join in. Not only is dreaming together more fun, but you’ll both benefit from having the support of a trusted advocate.
The 7 Areas for Growth
If you’ve been reading since the beginning, I’m sure you have been reflecting on where you stand with each of the seven pillars: Personal Finance, Spirituality, Career, Health, Relationship, Social, and Personal Development. Now think about how each of these align with your big dreams and goals.
Always pay attention to the alignment of the 7 Pillars. Some of the areas are more basic than others. For example, until someone’s basic health and financial goals are met, they would have little concern for personal development.
Define Your Goals
Goal setting has been a common theme here. Goal setting is what separates the dreamers from the achievers.
Expect greater success by narrowing goals down to your top three priorities. From there, use the SMART formula. Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Oriented. ALWAYS write them down and review them often.
Create a Plan
Simply setting goals isn’t enough. Especially when it comes to big bold goals. Breaking a long-term goal into bite size pieces makes it more attainable.
For each goal, list every step you will need to take to achieve that goal. Now assign a deadline to each step.
Take Action and Track Your Progress
Start today! Not tomorrow, not on Monday. A year from now, you’ll be glad you did.
Find a simple way to track your progress. Depending on your goal, there’s probably an app for that. I use a combination of apps, Evernote, and Excel. I have been tracking my goals since 2011. It’s a great reminder of how far we have come and motivation to keep moving forward.
Review and Refine
As you make your journey, you’ll want to review and refine. When you make progress in one area, you’ll see positive changes in others. Sometimes things take longer than anticipated. More often than not the time flies by. Check in monthly and make adjustments as needed.
Commit and Enjoy
Whatever your goals and dreams, this process will streamline your efforts. As you work through each of the pillars, you’ll begin to build on the Principles of Prosperity. As you get to know yourself, your dreams will take on new meaning. As you take action toward your big bold goals, you’ll become more confident.
Live your best life and never forget to enjoy the journey.
Tell us what change you are working on in the comments below.
Stop Waiting for Retirement – Start Chasing Your Dreams
Part I – The Framework
Part II – Personal Finance
Part III – Spirituality
Part IV – Career and Contribution
Part V – Health and Wellness
Part VI – Relationship and Family
Part VII – Social and Recreation
Part VIII – Personal Development
Part IX – 10 Principles of Prosperity
Part X – Life Change Strategy