These days, I’m thisclose to living The Dream. I’d like a few more clients who have built philanthropy into their business models. I’d like a bit more upper body strength. I need more winter-friendly clothing and, eventually, I’d like a better car. Like, one with remote entry. Or power locks!
But I got this close to my Dream Life by doing something so crazy-stupid easy it nearly falls under the heading of “I don’t want to tell you about it because it’s so obvious that I feel embarrassed saying it out loud.”
But here it is:
I figured out what I wanted.
Then I stopped doing things that didn’t get me closer to that goal.
And when I had stopped doing those things, I started doing things that brought me closer to what I wanted.
If you want to build a thriving freelance business
missing deadlines, working for free, being afraid of networking, downplaying your talent
researching new platforms/software/trends in your field, reaching out to people you want to work with, doing self-directed work, following up with leads, maintaining a blog/social media/internet presence
If you want to save money for a big purchase
eating out, buying things you don’t need, keeping monthly payments (gym, cable) you don’t use
making and sticking to a budget, reminding yourself why you’re on a budget, eating in, doing cheap things with your friends,
If you want to be in a serious relationship
dating people who don’t thrill you, mooning over your ex, hooking up with that person you know is bad news, putting off Big Deal conversations that need to happen
asking your friends if they can set you up, online dating, defining your deal breakers, thinking “do I like them?” rather that “do they like me?”
If you want to be healthy/fit
eating unhealthy food, driving everywhere, avoiding exercise, drinking so much coffee/alcohol
eating more produce, walking or biking when you can, finding a physical activity you actually enjoy, drinking more water, getting outside
If you want a great social life
hanging out with people who don’t fill you up, hoping that people will call you, gossiping constantly, flaking out on events you committed to
reaching out to people you want to know better, creating events and inviting people to them, saying yes (and attending) more events, taking classes filled with like-minded people, being reliable + helpful, saying nice things to and about people
What’s really great? Just stopping the counter-productive behavior has a huuuuuge affect. And then when you start taking proactive steps? Dude, you’ll be unstoppable.
Edited to add:
In the comments, a lot of you mentioned you don’t know where to start because you don’t know what you want. But, really, I bet you do. I think a lot of us think that ‘knowing what we want’ sounds like an elevator pitch for our dream lives: “I want a group of 8-10 smart, funny friends who do lots of outdoor activities and throw great parties, a partner who works at a non-profit, and a job with flexible hours and four weeks of vacation time.”
And while it’s great to get really specific like that, knowing what you want can be as simple as “I want to work for myself” or “I want two more close friendships.”
Don’t get down on yourself if you can’t narrow in on some super specific goal and realize that what you want will change over time. You’ll either change direction, achieve said goal and need a new one, or reach your goal and realize it’s not that great. And that’s okay!
What are your current goals? What can you start/stop doing to get closer to them?