Dreams do not work unless you do. – John C. Maxwell
We all have dreams we aspire to reach one day, but very few people actually do. I’ve created a new series on this blog called “Mission: BEST LIFE” that will help you achieve your full potential.
Over the past few months, I have done a heck of a lot of research. I’ve read many books and blogs and watched documentaries on assorted topics. I am happy to say during my absence I have learned a bunch and I am overjoyed to share my knowledge with you in these next couple blog posts.
Some of the posts in this series will include:
- How to create a day-to-day routine that you will actually want to follow.
- Reasons to smile when you don’t feel like it.
- Incredible self-help books that will make you want to get up and start changing your life.
- And so much more!
Feel free to sign up for my email list or via WordPress Reader – Whatever works for you.
Alrighty, today I have 10 tips to stop procrastinating and start living your dream TODAY. This post is a bit more on the lengthy side, so sit back, grab a snack, and enjoy!
getting your shiznit together.
1. brain dump
Before you go and start making changes to your life, it is important to take a step back. The first thing I want you to do is get out a notepad and pen, get comfy, and start writing anything that comes to mind when you think about your dream lifestyle and what’s holding you back. The purpose of this is to take all of the thoughts that are constantly nagging you out of your head so you can physically see them in front of you. Think of this as priming your brain to do great things.
The next step is to take this collection of jumbled thoughts and start categorizing them into different groups. If you’re unsure how to categorize them, some great ones to start with are tasks, worries, and aspirations. Make sure no task goes uncategorized. Keep this list with you at all times so whenever something important comes to mind, you’ll always have someplace to put your ideas instead of losing them amongst the countless other thoughts running through your head.
Braindumps are therapeutic and work wonders on relieving cooped up anxiety and stress. There’s something about seeing your thoughts on paper that is extremely beneficial to the mind. I recommend brain dumping weekly if possible.
2. create some bomb-ass goals
Effective goal setting is a huge step to getting your life in order, and now that you have an idea of what you need to accomplish in order to live your dream, it’s time to start organizing those tasks into feasible goals. Creating effective goals is a science, and I am here to help you through it.
Start by thinking of a goal that will help you achieve your dream life (ex: I want to get up earlier). Then, ask yourself WHY you want to achieve that goal. Your answer might be “I want to get more done in my time off from school/work.” Then ask yourself WHY you want to get more done, etcetera, etcetera.
After asking yourself why about 3-5 times, you should come to one conclusion: Your ultimate goal is to be happy and living this dream life will make you a happier person. In fact, all of your goals are achievable when you have that drive to become a happier person helping you to progress.
3. categorize and break-down your goals
Start listing some broad goal categories (health/fitness, career, family, etc.) and then organizing your goals into them. Next, make a checklist all of the baby steps you must take to reach the goal. Keep on crossing off those baby steps until you find yourself crossing off the goal, making you one step closer to achieving the goals in that category.
4. get comfortable with using your calendar
Now that you have your goals in order, start making deadlines for when you need to have certain tasks done. This sense of urgency will diminish procrastination. A great way to do this is to use a digital or written calendar (I recommend digital since you can sync it to all of your devices). I use the iPhone calendar app because I like how simple it is. There are plenty of calendar apps out there so choose the one that floats your boat.
Here are some tips for organizing your calendar to its full potential:
- Create different categories for your events. I keep mine to a simple three: agenda, blog/business, and tasks.
- Color code your categories so you can easily differentiate them.
- Use a time blocking method on your calendar to schedule your days and get a feel for how long tasks will take.
5. create a routine and stick to it
I have found that having a consistent routine is the key to my productivity. I know when I’ll wake up, when I’ll eat, and even when I’ll have some downtime. This helps so much because I’ll look at the clock and say “Oh, it’s 4:50. I need to get in my workout clothes and exercise in 10 minutes,” or “It’s 8:00. No more screen time.”
Making your own routine is something that is quite fun to do. Once you begin using it, you can change it until if works flawlessly. If you would like to use my routine for inspiration, you can find it here. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Leave 15-30 minute time gaps between each event on your schedule in case you run behind on a certain task. It’s better to be ahead of your schedule than to be behind.
- It’s important to not only have a morning routine but an evening routine as well. You can do things in your evening routine such as setting up your outfit for the next day or plan you breakfast that will make your mornings a piece of cake.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. – Eleanor Roosevelt
6. visualize yourself walking through your dream day
Over my absence, I did a lot of work on finding myself and trying new things, one being reading self-help books. All of the books I read said that in order to achieve whatever it is you want in your life, you have to visualize it and visualize it daily.
What I mean by “visualizing” is simply imagining yourself going about your dream day. Be thorough and extremely descriptive with it. What time do you wake up? How do you wake up feeling? What is your morning ritual? Then, gradually make your way through your dream day and try to feel the joy your routinely tasks give you. When you are finished keep that feeling with you. Pray about it, journal about it, do whatever you need to do to keep that feeling alive. This is a simple Law of Attraction practice that is highly effective, plus it is enjoyable to do.
Note: If you do not know what the Law of Attraction is (no worries, I had no idea too until I did some research) I highly recommend watching a documentary on Netflix called The Secret. It’s extremely motivational and probably one of the greatest ways to get hyped up for change.
7. create a vision board
Now here’s the challenge: Keeping that vision of your dream life in mind every single day. This is no easy feat, but it is essential if you want to keep progressing on your goals. To solve this problem, create a “reminder” to help you keep in mind your final destination and keep moving forward. My favorite way to do this is to create a vision board. Mine is a Pinterest board (see below) full of my favorite motivational quotes and images that represent the way I want my dream life to look, but if you want something more tangible then you can definitely go the artistic route and create something beautiful – whatever works best for you.
8. realize self-help is your best friend and start researching
In order to master good habits, it is important to educate yourself and start making research a part of your daily schedule. I recommend starting by spending half an hour daily researching the topic you want to expand on. You can do this online or by reading (I like a mixture of both). The best way to learn by reading, though, is through self-help books.
I honestly cannot stress this more. Self-help is one of the best ways to learn anything from authors that have experienced the downfalls so you don’t have to. There are plenty of books out there on all sorts of topics, whether that be productivity, confidence, faith, or health. There are tons, and the best part is finding them.
One of my favorite ways to do this is to go to Amazon.com, then the self-help section under “books”, and browse until I find something I fancy. Then I’ll click on the book and scroll down and look at the “related books” section. The last step is either putting them on my reading list or putting them on hold at the library. If I like the book enough, I will then buy it, and there have been a few so far that I have loved enough to do so.
Forever is comprised of nows. – Emily Dickinson
9. simply start living your visualized day
Now that you’ve visualized that dream lifestyle and have your motivation restored, it’s time to act and overcome procrastination. Start “acting-as-if” you already live your dream. This is a great manifestation technique that will never fail you. The greatest part is that even if it doesn’t go as planned, you can at least say you tried. Dreams aren’t made overnight. Keep moving forward, learn from your mistakes, and start every day with a fresh mindset.
10. consistency is the key to progressing
If you take away anything from this post, let it be this: ultimately, the consistency of your actions is what builds long-term habits. To make your habits less of a decision, (because decisions drain willpower and we only have so much of that) try scheduling them into your daily plan. All habits need a cue, so if you plan to read your self-help book in your evening time block, try using the cue of finishing your shower routine to remind you to start reading.
Consistency is difficult at first, I get it, but remember, every time you practice a habit, you are one step closer to mastering it. One, frequently asked question about habit building is “What if I miss a day?” The answer is simple: It’s no big deal, but it will become a big deal if you don’t start up the habit the next day. If you miss one day of your practice, then the amount of progress lost is almost too small to measure, but if you miss two days, it increases exponentially to almost a week of progress lost.
If you continue for a week without the habit, you lose about a month in progress, and after a month all of your past progress will be lost. If you are serious about your goals, you will pick up them after you slip, because you will, without a doubt, slip at some point.
The life of your dreams will not appear overnight. It will take constant hard work and there will most definitely be bumps in the road that you’ll have to overcome. Getting started is tricky, and I hope this post gave you some clarity and motivation. Also, if you any questions or comments feel free to express them in the comment box below or shoot me an email on my contact page. I am excited to be back and can’t wait to see you next week with another “Mission: BEST LIFE” post!