In a previous post, I wrote about why most people fail at their goals. Today, I’m going to help you succeed. One of the main reasons that people don’t succeed with their goals is that they set the goals they think they *should* set – rather than choosing something that truly lights them up inside.
I have worked in businesses where I felt a strong call to the mission – and I have worked in businesses just for the money. The ones that I cared about were not only bigger money makers for me – my personal quality of life was higher because I was excited to get up and get to work each day.
The problem I see with a lot of clients is that they just haven’t taken the time to dig deeply and discover what they really want. It is easy enough to choose generic goals – make 100K – but that doesn’t help them discover what they really want in life.
Mapping Your Dream
To create an ultimate goal—your dream lifestyle—you need to identify and choose the best “big dream” for you.
Let’s try the “What if…” game.
Imagine you have no limits to what you can:
Imagine you have perfect health.
Now imagine you are the perfect age.
What is your perfect age?
Put serious thought into this. What age were you the happiest? What age would you like to be forever? What age bracket would you like to redo, with what you know now?
Most of us would like to be a younger age but perhaps retaining wisdom we’ve earned over a lifetime. But then again, some people immediately visualize themselves at ten years old, winning horse show classes on their dream pony and wishing they could stay in that moment. Others want to retreat to the wonderful world of being a preschooler when everything was safe and happy and simple. Others want to go back and experience the wild youth they never had because they married too young and had a family straight away. Others missed out on having children, and would love to be twenty-five and expecting a first child.
If you let your emotions answer, after first dreaming you have no limits and you are in perfect health, you may surprise yourself with the answer.
No, I’m not really asking you to go back and channel your inner 6-year-old.
Obviously no one can go back and be six years old, for example. The reality would be abdicating control of our lives to someone else and having very little power. But if you stay with that vision of your perfect age bracket and explore it further, you can identify what it is about that age that symbolizes perfect happiness to you.
For example, one online entrepreneur revisited her pre-school days by changing her rather dry online art lessons to helping people “reconnect to their inner child” by teaching them how to paint intuitively. It was a small shift—but it gave her business meaning and joy when her mission changed.
Another online entrepreneur wanted to be ten forever and ride ponies all day long. She did so by outsourcing almost everything and spending most of her days at the barn with her horse. Creating that time (and the leisure to enjoy it) became her major goal: “Make $700,000 a year” was what she needed to achieve to enjoy that lifestyle: It wasn’t the goal itself! And as soon as she understood that the lifestyle was her goal, she redoubled her already-impressive efforts.
Take the time right now to do the dream lifestyle exercise – Dream Lifestyle Worksheet (click to download).