A while back I wrote about reclaiming a dream – a small dream it was, of having flowers in the living room at home. Of saying no, I wouldn’t just let my dreams die like that. But just saying no isn’t enough. You have to know what your dreams, and which dreams you are most passionate about. Not each item on your bucket list is as important as the others. While we may not mind letting go of some goals, not achieving others would fill us with regret and sadness.
The best way to determine what’s most important for you is to undertake a goal setting activity. If you already have a process you use and love, go for it. If not, carve out some time for yourself to sit down and evaluate each area of your life – career, home, health, spirituality, finances, relationships – and determine what are the things that you’re truly passionate about.
I identified the following areas of my life that I wanted to work on:
Here are some of the questions I asked myself in each of these areas:
- What would you like to learn to do? It has to be something that really makes you excited. How would you learn – online, sign up for a class, etc.?
- Where would you like to travel? Could be places in your own city or country, or abroad?
- What would you like to do more of?
– read more?
– redecorate the house or office?
– get out of the house more?
- What are your mediation goals? Every day? Every week? How much time will you set aside for it?
- How can you live more soulfully – with more balance, less stress?
- What do you need to do to feel that you have made a difference in your life?
- Which creative areas are you interested in – cooking, home decorating, photography, painting, etc.?
- If money were no object, but you had to work, what would you be doing?
- Do you have an idea or a dream you’d like to be living?
- If you could live another person’s life (living or dead) who would it be, and why?
- What are your weight loss goals?
– How much weight do you want to lose?
– How much exercise would you be willing to commit to each week?
– What changes can you realistically make to your diet?
- What are your financial goals in terms of your needs and desires. For example, you might want to have enough money to pay your rent without stress, buy or lease a new car every four years, etc.
- If you feel stress about money, what could you do right now to feel more in control?
- Do you have any bad money habits? Like impulsive shopping? What are your triggers? Think of ways you can stop yourself.
putting it together
Use these questions as a starting point to reflect on what you want to achieve in these areas. These don’t have to be one sentence answers. They can be as long as you need them to be. Feel free to add on or leave questions you don’t like, or to hunt online for other goal setting exercises. But do work on writing down something.
Once you’re done, keep the paper safely away. Stepping away from your answers for a while will help you to know if you really connect with what you’ve written when you see them with a fresh mind.
Come back next week, when we’ll refine our dreams if we need to and draw up an action plan to achieve them!
Read part 2 of A blueprint to achieving your dreams