This article was last updated on September 8, 2016
What do you see yourself doing 5, 10 or 20 years from now? What would your ideal life look life? Perhaps you’d like to live on a tropical island and write novels or travel the world while managing your profitable websites.
The good news is that you can achieve your deepest dreams, desires and ambitions by taking small steps on a regular basis. Here’s how you can create your ideal life, slowly but surely.
Create Your Ideal Life – One Step at a Time
Decide What You Want to Achieve
Write down all the things you’d like to achieve in as many different areas of your life as possible.
Think about such areas as:
- Your work: Ask yourself if you’re happy in your current career or if you’ve always dreamed of doing something else, such as starting your own business or earning a living from painting, writing or another creative skill.
- Your family: Would you like to improve one or more relationships in your immediate or extended family? If you’re single, would you be happy remaining single or is your long-term aim to be married with children?
- Your home life: Would you like to move from your current home or would you like to improve or extend it? If you could choose anywhere at all, where in the world would you love to live?
- Your community: Do you have an idea for a project that would benefit a person or a group in your local area?
- Travel: Have you always wanted to visit a particular country or area of the world? Would you like to go on a round-the-world trip? Would you like to explore the world, working as you travel?
Write down everything that comes to mind. Focus on your deep-seated dreams, desires and ambitions, no matter how crazy or impossible they seem. Admit that these things are what you really want from life.
You don’t have to show anyone else what you’ve written down, so don’t be afraid of how others would react if they knew what your ultimate ambitions were.
Visualize Your Ideal Life
The next step is to visualize what your life would be like once you’ve achieved your long-term goals. As well as visualizing your fulfilled dreams in your mind, it’s also important to visualize them on paper.
Find pictures that depict your goals, cut them out and make a collage. You could also paste images into a scrapbook or make a digital scrapbook. Write about your goals alongside the pictures. Include inspiring quotes and anything else that will encourage you to move forward.
Making a collage or scrapbook may seem like a useless activity but it’s actually a very important one because it allows your long-term goals to become more concrete. A concrete goal will appear to be more attainable than just a wish that you would like to come true if you had a magic wand.
The reality is that magic wands don’t exist and you’re the only person who can make your dreams come true. Before you can do this, you need to believe that your dreams are achievable in reality.
Once your long-term goals become real in your mind’s eye and on paper, you’ll be encouraged to take steps to achieve them. By the time you’ve finished your collage or scrapbook, the next steps on your journey should have occurred to you.
Start with Small Tasks
It’s now time to write down some small tasks that you could begin doing today that will lead you in the direction of one of your long-term goals. For example, if you’d like to change your career or set up a business, begin gathering information on your new career or on starting a business.
Store all the information you’ve collected in a dedicated folder on your laptop and/or in a paper file. You could also ask other people for advice, either in person or online.
Move Forward Step by Step
After you’ve accomplished the first few tasks, the next steps will become apparent. So, if you want to set up a business, you might decide that one of your next steps is to register a company or a domain name.
It’s important to realize that you won’t know the exact path to your long-term goals at the outset, but don’t let this deter you. Remember the words of the Chinese philosopher, Lao-tzu, who said that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and keep taking single steps that will move you in the direction of your ultimate goals.
Each time you reach a significant milestone on your journey toward achieving your long-term ambitions, treat yourself to a little reward. It could be a day out, a book you want to read or anything else that will make you feel good.
It’s important to be kind to yourself and enjoy the journey as much as you’ll enjoy your life when you finally reach your destination.
Don’t Let Setbacks Discourage You
Try not to be discouraged by setbacks along the way. Everyone experiences setbacks on their journey.
If you find out that a particular path isn’t possible, look for an alternative path. If it seems like you’ve hit a dead end, discuss the way forward with someone you trust and respect and you may realize that it was not a dead end after all.
Often, the next step occurs to you when you relax, let go and stop trying so hard. So, take a break, watch a movie or chat with friends and see if an idea drops into your consciousness. If not, try not to get stressed about it but believe that you will know how to move forward when the time is right.
Never Give Up
No matter what happens, never give up on your long-term goals. Look at your collages or scrapbooks frequently to remind yourself of what you want and what you’re aiming for. Remember the words of the inspirational author, Napoleon Hill: “A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.”
There is no time limit. Achieving your goals may take much longer than you think but that shouldn’t stop you from working toward them by taking small steps on a regular, consistent basis.
The path may not be straight. You might find that you take several different detours before moving back onto the road to success.
Don’t be demoralized by this. Keep taking action, no matter what happens. Even if you’re not sure what to do, just doing something positive will help because, in the words of Naeem Callaway founder of Get Out the Box, Inc., “Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take a step.”
Visualize yourself having achieved your ambition already, even if it seems impossible. Try to banish negative thoughts from your mind and replace them with positive affirmations, such as: “I will become a full-time writer,” or “I will visit Antarctica.”
If you don’t know what your long-term goals are, you definitely won’t achieve them. It’s important, therefore, to define and shape your long-term goals in writing. The next step is to visualize them both in your mind and on paper.
Once you’ve laid these foundations, you’ll be able to set yourself many series of short-term goals that will help you move toward your long-term goals.
Expect challenges along the way but don’t to be discouraged by them. Focus on how good you’ll feel when you ultimately achieve your deepest dreams and ambitions.
Photo credit: Pexels.com