When I was a kid, it seemed like the school year was endless and summer took forever to arrive. As an adult, time has measurably sped up and June comes too quickly. It used to be common for me to discount an idea and not give it another thought because it would take ten years to accomplish it. In hindsight, ten years goes by pretty fast, and I wish I had made some better choices. Now the years fly by, and there never seems to be enough time to do everything. If your bucket list keeps getting fuller and your energy is waning, it might be time to kick things into gear before the threads are too worn.
“SOMETIME” isn’t a day of the week or the name of a month, and it never rolls around soon enough. Waiting until the “right” or “perfect” time might mean you end up missing out altogether. If you need more motivation to create an action plan to accomplish your dreams or career goals, then heading into the New Year could be the best time to get started. Are you still daydreaming with nothing to show for it? The following tips can help you get things rolling.
Acknowledge your dreams. The first step to realizing your dreams is to write everything down. Take your bucket list out of your head and list everything you have dreamed about. It doesn’t matter how crazy things sound to start. Include all the details (every little thing) that you have imagined. The more specifically you can describe what you want, the clearer you will be when crafting your plan for accomplishing it. If it is a new job, what does it look like? Where are you and who are you surrounded by? What will you be doing all day? If it is a new house, where is it? What will it look like?
Take stock. Where are you today? What is preventing you from getting where you want to be or having what you want? In most cases, the distance between reality and your dream will include time and money. Recognizing where you are and analyzing what specifically is needed will help you start making your dream a reality too. If your dream involves having financial resources, exactly how much will you need and how will you get it? If achieving the next stage in your career depends on completing something else, like a degree or a certification, how long will that take and how much will it cost? If you want to change jobs or employers, what is stopping you? What will it take to get started?
Map out your plan. If you don’t know the answers to “how much time or money will it take?” (to achieve the results you want), plot out times to research and find out exactly what is needed. Internet searches may be a good start but could end up leading to dead ends or multiple choices. Be sure to reserve time for phone calls and conversations to clarify your findings when necessary. Break the research into steps requiring small chunks of time to make it easy to complete. Don’t try to do everything at once. The point is to keep moving forward and collect data that will show you where you need to adjust your timelines and budget.
Use a calendar and make a commitment to get things done. A “to-do” list often stays roughly the same, week after week, because daily activities consume your attention. Having a “to-do” list tends to prolong any action on bigger projects because it doesn’t tell you when you will get started or how it will happen. Unless you make an appointment with yourself to get some things done, they are unlikely to happen. Take each item, outline the steps it requires and enter those steps into your calendar. Plot out the specific times you will be able to complete each task or component of a larger objective.
Review your goals every day. Remind yourself each day why you are doing what you are doing. Take your list a step further and create a storyboard of images that reflect all the things that make you happy, then place it close to where you spend most of your time each day. Make sure you have an unobstructed view while you are doing some of your most tedious work. The shear sight of something fun, exciting or lovely can help energize you when you are feeling buried.
If you haven’t yet set goals for the New Year, what will be your guide for getting around to the things you said you wanted to do SOMETIME? Do more than make resolutions this coming year. Set a goal, create a plan of action and hold yourself accountable.