Life Goals and Dreams
In this section, we will look at how to prioritise your goals to make sure you are working towards some of these big life goals and dreams, as well as living your day-to-day life well.
In part one of this series, we looked at goal setting. Not the usual dry ‘lose two lb a week’ sort of thing, but really impactful and meaningful stuff.
Now, we have a bit of refining to do!
Grab your top and supporting goals. Let’s use the example of becoming a full-time writer, who needs to stabilise their finances to support other areas of life.
These are big, fairly formless concepts at this stage. Break them down as far as you feel you need to, starting with what achieving these things looks like to you.
This means: that once you are living in these realities, how will you look and feel? How will your life look and feel? What will be different? What will be the same? How will you know you have achieved your goal?
I mean, you can be a full-time writer, but if you never publish a book, is that really what you want? Do you want to have a stash of manuscripts that no other human ever sees? If you do, then put that in your breakdown. If you would prefer to self-publish one book a year, making enough money to sustain yourself well, then put that in. If you want to write poems and haiku, rather than novels, then put that in.
At this point, it is a good idea to think about a timescale. To become a full-time writer living on the proceeds of their books might be something you want to take 3 years to work towards. So now is the time to consider what you want to achieve in the first, second, and third years in order to leave work and set up on your own.
This process also applies to your supporting goal. In this example, you need to know exactly what stable finances look like. Is it three years of bills and rent money saved? Is it maxed out ISAs? Is your pension as full as it can be? Or have you sold property or belongings to add to your finances?
One of these aims should be your very top priority. In a clash between the two, this one wins. For instance, if something happens and you only have time to either write 5 chapters or to make an extra £500 for your finances, which one wins for you?
Is financial stability the higher priority because it will bring about your dream lifestyle faster, or is your writing the absolute priority because you love it? This is entirely up to you, but you must decide which is most important, and stick to it.
Work Around Your Obligations
Without this focus, managing your diary will become an exercise in fitting in busy work around obligations. You won’t be moving your life forward in the direction you want it to go.
Your life goals and dreams are nearly ready to go into your diary but don’t rush into scheduling everything all in one go. Have you heard the jar full of rocks analogy?
The rocks are enormous- the important things that grow you and move your life in the direction you want it to go. Here, we have writing and finance. Pebbles are the bits of life that are essential, like work or shopping for food or eating, travel, socialising, or spending time with your children, depending on what your rock/pebble balance looks like.
The sand that fills all the gaps between these essentials is the ‘fluff’ of life that seems so essential to enjoying ourselves, but when we look at it carefully, is it really? This might be too much social media, tv, drinking too much alcohol, faffing around, gossiping, or doing ‘busy’ work that isn’t adding any value to anyone, least of all you.
It’s easy to get to your calendar or diary and schedule in all the sand first. It might be a PTA committee you really don’t want to attend but feel obliged to. It could be seeing people you actually don’t enjoy spending time with.
Maybe you schedule nothing in the evenings because you spend 4 hours a night watching tv- no judgment at all but ask yourself, is it really and truly what you want to be doing? If you schedule in a pebble or a rock activity instead of sand, will you feel better afterward?
With special thanks for this post to Alex www.alexandratozercoaching.com