At the age of 25, I worked as a product developer for a fashion company in Germany.
My job was underpaid and I was overworked.
I lived from paycheck to paycheck, had no savings but the big dream to travel the world.
2 years later my dream came true and I traveled the world for the next 2 years.
I spent my 27th birthday in Maui, Hawaii, and my 28th in New Delhi, India.
It didn’t happen by accident. I made it happen!
And so can you make your dreams come true and achieve your goals, too.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- Make a 5-year plan
- Envision your future
- Start journaling
- Team up to support each other
- Schedule check-ups
DESIGN THE LIFE YOU LOVE
You have dreams and goals, but they seem impossible to reach?
Trust me, most of the things that seem to be impossible are realizable.
It involves some planning, dedication, and discipline.
I want to give you here 5 strategies I’ve learned over time and wish I knew earlier because they are truly helpful in turning dreams into reality.
1. MAKE A 5 YEAR PLAN
You might have heard the question before “Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?”
At least in Germany, this question is very often asked in job interviews.
For a long time, I didn’t get it and thought:
“How should I know how life 5 years from now will be for me?”
I somehow only thought about my career path when it came to this question, and not about anything else.
This simple question, however, can be applied to all areas of our lives.
To make it easier I reframe this question for you to ask yourself “What do I want for myself in 5 years from now?” in terms of:
- Personal Growth
- Physical Environment
These were the categories I’ve chosen to focus on for myself as well.
You can use the same categories or of course also choose different ones.
It’s up to you what you want to focus on in your life for the next 5 years and in which areas you want to grow.
After defining the overarching categories of your personal 5-year plan, start to go more into detail within each category.
What exactly do you want in terms of health, wealth, relationships, family, career, personal growth to happen within the next 5 years?
2. ENVISION YOUR FUTURE
By envision your future I mean to think about and to visualize for yourself what you want to:
have, become, and achieve in your future.
Within the next 5 years.
Our thoughts influence our feelings and our feelings influence our actions.
We form our lives by our behavior and by our habits.
We can consciously form our habits to bring us towards our goals.
It can be very helpful to envision the positive and the negative outcome of today’s behavior and habits to see which behavior leads to what kind of outcome.
Example 1 Health:
Your goal might be to implement a healthy diet into your daily life.
More precisely to eliminate sugar from your diet, because you heard about the negative effects of refined sugar.
The reality, however, can be that you are used to drinking 1 cup of coffee every day with 3 cubes of sugar and love to eat after lunch a chocolate brownie.
Now you can start envisioning your future.
5 years from now what happens to you, to your health & body when you continue this habit?
On the other hand, what happens to you and your health when you eliminate sugar from your coffee completely and start eating an apple per day instead of the chocolate brownie for the next 5 years?
It’s a little change of your habit you would do every day, but in the long term would have an effect on your health in a more negative or in a more positive way.
Example 2 Relationship:
Your goal might be to have a healthy, good relationship with your spouse.
The reality can be that you hardly see each other and hardly communicate because you both work full time and have little free time together.
Now you can envision your future 5 years from now.
What happens to you and your relationship when you continue this habit?
On the other hand, what happens to you and your relationship when you make time for each other every single day and make room for conversations and shared activities?
Whatever your current situation and the desired outcome might be you can apply this strategy to all your goals.
As you know now what you want as an outcome and how your current situation is, it´s time to make a clear strategic plan for how you are going to reach your goal.
First set your goals and then break down all your big goals into small pieces.
This way it’s less overwhelming and much easier to actually realize your goals.
Take one goal at a time and start with the end in mind and go backward.
The desired outcome is reached let’s say in 5 years, what is the goal in 2.5 years from now, in 1 year, 6 months, 3months from now.
Break this huge goal down into bigger chunks and then into small actionable steps from 5 years to now. What can you do today to come closer to your goal?
It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming huge step.
Being consistent and making it a new habit of walking every day even tiny little steps towards your goal is the key to realizing your goals.
Use the templates from the Go For Your Dreams Planner to turn your dream into achievable goals.
3. START JOURNALING
You can’t change your habits overnight, no one can for sure.
However, what you can do is measuring your tiny little steps and on a bigger scale your whole progress towards your goal with the help of journaling.
As your big goals are broken down into small pieces, journaling is the best way to keep track of how you go!
All habits can be transformed and replaced by another habit.
It’s no fun, it’s real work, but in the end, it’s worth it.
Probably you’ve heard before that it takes 21 days to form a new habit.
I would say it depends not only on the time you spend on new habits but also on how much you are eager to achieve this new habit and how energy-consuming this new habit is.
For example, if you are a heavy smoker and want to quit smoking or love cheese and want to become a vegan (both were true for me).
This will take up more energy from you than let’s say eating one cube of sugar less per day.
To go back to my examples above, you could eat 1 cube less of sugar, in the beginning, than 2 cubes less of sugar, and so on. Until you don’t put any sugar into your coffee and transformed your old habit with the new one.
For example 2 you could schedule in the beginning a day and time with your spouse once per week to spend some quality time together. Then increase it over time until you reach your new habit and therefore your goal.
4. TEAM UP TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER
Strategy 4 is all about accountability!
Team up with a friend, colleague, family member who has the same / or similar goal as you have to support each other.
Make a bold statement to this person about what your goal is and how you are going to reach it.
For example, once I’m doing it I love to do sports, but I have a really hard time getting started.
Especially when I’m doing sport like swimming or running on my own.
The only thing that worked for me was when I teamed up with a friend.
We went a couple of times swimming at 6 am in the morning in the cold winter in Northern Germany.
It was frosty and dark outside. I would have never done this on my own.
Although I love swimming and I felt really good afterward it was the accountability I established towards my friend that got me going.
Your friend doesn’t necessarily have to be there with you.
You could also remind each other with a short message. “5.30 Hey I’m up and going to the swimming pool in 20 minutes” and once you’re done “
I’ve finished my rounds and loved it. How about you?” or something like that.
Hereby it’s important that you both take it seriously and stick to it. Stick to help each other staying on track with your goals.
5. SCHEDULE CHECK UP’S
As already mentioned above it’s very helpful to break down your bigger goals into small pieces.
Besides breaking your goals into small chunks it’s also important to set yourself a time schedule for your smaller steps.
Schedule check up’s every week for every 6 months for your goal. (depending on your goal)
With this strategy, you can evaluate the progress of your goal and a new habit.
Ask yourself: What did work and what didn’t?
How am I doing in terms of reaching my goals?
Do I have to adjust or change something about my plan?
You can do these check up’s by yourself by reviewing your weekly, monthly, quarterly goals.
Once you find out that you are still on track for 6 months – well done, continue, and go a step further.
Once you find out that you left the path this check-up will give you the space to readjust and to see where you need to focus more.
Download the free Go For Your Dreams Guide and learn about the steps you have to take to achieve your goals.
Use the templates from the printable Go For Your Dreams Planner and turn your dream into an actionable plan.