Where have I been? Well...in the past month or so I have gotten engaged to the man of my dreams, found my dream home, purchase my dream home, and have generally been reaching my goals in life across the board -- at work and personally. I am living my dream life. So, I figured this was an apt time to explain an important piece of how I got here, but more importantly, how you can too. Did you always say you wanted to be an engaged homeowner with the perfect job for you in your mid 20s? Did you want to travel the world but never did? Maybe you still want to do these things...but you're just not sure how?
A particular pet peeve of mine is those who have goals but don't do anything in their day to reach them. This can be caused by a number of things, but can arise when our goals are too far away from our present, making that first step in the right direction unclear.
For instance, I have several friends who cannot wait to find the right person for them and settle down, but don't go on first dates. Another example is someone who has always daydreamed about writing a book, but hasn't written one page. Or maybe you want to be a leader, but you've never spoken up at work. Where you want to be and where you are may be quite far apart -- and that is 100% OKAY. The real question is: what can you do today to move you one baby step closer to your dream life.
I wanted to meet the man of my dreams --> I went on dates, met new people all the time, and put myself out there openly to find him.
I wanted my dream job --> I got a masters and hustled my way into my field and connected with dietitians left and right so that an amazing start up could find me.
I wanted to own a home --> I downloaded Redfin and started looking.
These big dreams all started with a tiny step: a date, a LinkedIn account, the Redfin app.
Dreams can be big or small, but they always start with one baby step in the right direction. Want to travel the world? Save a few bucks a day. Want to nail that dream job? Reach out to an employee on LinkedIn.
Maybe you're not even 100% sure what your dream life looks like.
My very good friend Sondra is a goal reaching expert and I invited her to Nourish to explain the beautiful art of daydreaming with purpose, something she taught me how to do that has served me well. This visualization of your dreams is basically a mash up between meditation and goal setting -- and it works. All in only a few minutes out of your day or week.
See Sondra demonstrate visualization and read her description of its benefits below!
Traditional goal setting can be a daunting task. There's a lot that I want to accomplish in my life so when I make a list of personal and professional goals, it can leave me feeling overwhelmed. How the heck am I supposed to get from where I am now, a 27 year old with a 2 year old business, to a millionaire living on a yacht?
It's a natural reaction to limit our goals with traditional goal setting. Let's say I'm only making $35,000 per year right now but I really wish I were making $100,000. That $65,000 jump can feel out of reach so maybe I'll "reason" with myself and say well, I'd be okay with just making $60,000 next year. . .
I've also found that traditional goal setting is a trap for creativity. It's easy to fall into socially prescribed goals like: I want to be married, have babies, make money, have a house. Maybe these really are your goals but they're also really broad. It's important to be specific about the things you want to accomplish.
Power Up is a new way to set goals that helps you tap into what it is you truly want for yourself. It takes you out of the mindset of "this is waiting for me in the future" and puts you in a place of experiencing that point in your life, even if only for a moment.
The exercise is simple. You can set a timer or just let yourself run free. I usually do it for 3 to 8 minutes at a time. Start by taking a deep breath. If your mind is feeling chatty, take a few more breaths, enough to get to a point where you feel a bit settled. Close your eyes, if you like. Now, begin to say out loud your vision of a really happy life. Describe what time of day it is. Are you inside or outside? What does the space look like? Who is there with you? How old are you? What are you doing? Dive into as much detail as you wish, always describing it in the present tense.
As you melt into this world, notice how your body feels. Are you smiling? Are you relaxed? Excited? Pay attention to these small signals as you continue to dive even deeper into the tiny details of this vision. When you're done, take another deep breath and open your eyes.
How do you feel? If you have a writing utensil nearby, jot down the emotions you notice. I also suggest picking one thing you can do that day or that week that brings you one step closer to this reality.
I've been practicing this exercise for about a year now. In that time, I've envisioned and manifested my true internal desires. For instance, I painted a clear vision in my mind of what perfect office space would be like. I saw it having a water view, being within walking distance to fun cafes and shops, having space for the events that I host and within a price point that I feel comfortable paying. Within a few months, I hopped on Craigslist and found my dream office space in Fremont. I knew it was my dream space because I had already envisioned it.
When you have a clear vision of what you're hoping to accomplish and you finally reach that point, it's silly how fulfilling it is. Without that preconceived vision, the accomplishment isn't as sweet or may just pass you by.
What I love about this exercise is the sky is the limit. It's daydreaming with purpose. Allow this to be the time in your day when you release whatever limitations you're used to putting on yourself. Let your creativity run wild. Go in the direction that feels right to you, it's unmistakable. Repeat this exercise every day, every week, or at any interval that you feel will serve you best. It's okay if your vision changes each time, it's your heart's way of figuring out what it is you actually do want for yourself in this life. Just notice the patterns and you'll start to find your true path.