You never seem to have time to work on that dream of yours. Some person, place or thing is demanding your time or energy, and it’s hard to carve out the time to write/paint/draw/learn code/work on your e-commerce site, whatever you are up to, that side hustle is precious. But…you are letting your dream slip away because you aren’t giving it the time it needs to grow and develop. Even though it’s always on your mind, you don’t actually devote the hours needed to design your life, muddle through and figure it out.
I bet you’ve been trying to cram your dream into your life. Now it’s time to turn that around and start to design your life around your dream. Everyone consciously or unconsciously designs their life, based on what they believe and what they want to make happen. I’m going to teach you to turn the tables on time to make room for more dream-making.
To start, you can follow these steps:
Articulate Your Dream
Actually naming your dream is the most important first step. Calling your project something sexy (like “operation e-commerce” or “secret painting mission”) is to give it a shape, and calls to mind some of the reasons you want to do it in the first place. Take your vague dream or goal and then name it, by the end product (New Job 101) or by how you are going to feel (Project Beautiful). Write down this dream on a piece of paper, your name can represent something super boring and uninspired, too. The real trick is just naming the dream and saying it out loud.
Just want to make more money? Great goal. Want to be comfortable, find a great partner, feel safe, find balance, have kids? All of those things are projects too. Just name the dream then get to work on it. That’s the fun part…isn’t it??
Design Your Life: Ask Yourself WHY
If you say you want something, ask yourself why first. You’ll dig a little deeper behind the thing that your conditioning and upbringing have taught you to pursue. You want to be rich because you actually want the freedom to do whatever you want, or to be able to support your family or to not have to stress about having a job. You want the choice to be able to work or not, that’s up to how you design your life. Those are all real reasons why you would want money, a great business, or a great career. But we all know we can’t take the money, business, or career that we create and bring it with us after we’re dead.
Remember that you call the shots.
First of all, it’s important to realize that you have choices in the way you live your life. You make the decisions about where to go next, and you call the shots. Make the decision that you want to live a vibrant life and accept the fact that it may look a little different from what everyone else is doing. That’s OK—no one wants to be living the status quo, and we all have a different version of what happiness looks like to us.
Your life is your own. You are 100 percent unique and talented in your own special way. You have the right to spend your life doing the things you love to do, and experience things that bring you massive joy. You are gifted in a way no one else is. When it comes down to it, no one else can do what you do, quite like you do it! Make sure that you are using your abilities to guide your choices. Being in your “zone of genius” is the greatest choice you can make when deciding how to spend your time.
Design Your Life: Get selfish, already!
Once you realize you’ve got choices, the next step is to spend a bit of time with yourself and figure out what you want those choices to look like as you design your life. Create a blueprint that nails down just what you want your life to look like. Maybe you have a love of music and travel, and you want to design a lifestyle that embodies those things. Perhaps you love helping others, and you want to design a lifestyle around that.
Sit down, do some good, hard soul-searching, and figure out exactly what you really want your time on this earth to look like. Even go so far as to decide what you hope others will say about you someday when you’re gone.
- Do you want folks to appreciate all your awards and achievements?
- Do you want your death memorialized by people who talk about all your experiences and adventures?
- What about the way that you loved others, and just how darn helpful and kind you were?
Start incrementally carving
Most of us don’t start our monumental tasks because we don’t know WHERE to start. But actually, that’s an okay problem to have, because you can start anywhere and it will be good! Seriously. Just carve out a time slot where you can take one or two hours to start your work. The most important part is actually showing up for this work, again and again. I challenge you to find one hour to focus on this, then start thinking about WHEN.
Design Your Life: When to do it.
If you feel tapped out, and can’t find an hour to work on your dream, then drop something that isn’t serving you anymore for the sake of your dream. Drop activities that drain you, drop the after-school obligations, anything you can. Drop anything you “should” be doing for the sake of your own freedom to work on your dream. I want to see you cut away at those time-sucking activities that are creeping in on your precious dream time.
Put the hours you work on your dream first. Let that be the first thing you schedule in during your weekly planning. Then slot in the other obligations you have around your dreamwork time. Figure out when you work best (are you a morning person, find your flow in the evening or on a lazy Sunday?) Then work with your flow by finding the time during those hours. I start to get really productive from 3 pm onwards. So, I make sure to schedule mundane stuff in the mornings so I’m ready to use my flow time for the most necessary Dreamtime tasks in the afternoon. You can design your life according to your flow time, too.
Stop putting it last
When people ask you what you have been up to, say your dream first. Tell them you have taken up painting, that you are traveling to Africa, or that you are learning code. It doesn’t even matter whether you have started yet. The words you say put the action in motion. Perhaps that person has some useful advice on how to get started or can share your enthusiasm for your new project. Saying it out loud makes it real in the world. You will really start to feel like your dream is taking a bigger place in your life.
Design Your Life: The Plan
That is literally the plan I want to give you. Design your life and get fierce about carving out time for your dream, and protect that time fiercely.
- Schedule it first and then fit in all the other things you have to do around it, making it your biggest priority.
- Actually get down to the desk, easel, or practice that you set aside time for.
- Then start making slow, incremental changes towards completing that goal.
- If you don’t know where to start, spend an hour researching how to start. I promise you will feel much farther along. <3
Then tell everyone who asks what you are up to, share your dream and your ambition with the world. It’s natural to feel precious and shy about your dream. But when you start to talk to others about it, you will realize we are all nurturing these little dreams. We can help each other move forward in spite of our fears. Doing this takes discipline, but motivation and inspiration don’t just come. They have to find you working.
What is the coolest, craziest, or most wonderful thing you want to make time for? Tell me in the comments below 🙂