I used to write all of my future plans on an 8 by 10 sheet of paper. By senior year in high school, my once short list grew into an 11 by 17 sheet. After college, I crossed off quite a few goals, including work as a barista; travel outside of my hometown, home state and country; lead a student organization; take dance lessons; learn a foreign language, etc.
A few years in the “real world” and lots of apartment leases later, I had packed my list away and forgot it existed. I thought I had them memorized. It hadn’t occurred to me how much its visual presence helped me in my daily routine.
Recently, I came across the list again, folded and tucked in my memory box. I sat down and read through them, snort laughing at some of my unrealistic and no longer relevant goals. For example, I once considered Colorado a good place to retire. But a more “realistic” retirement destination would be Hawaii, right? In my present state, I would only consider Colorado for the mountain camping and hiking to alleviate poor health in my thirties. Others I had accomplished only after mentally tweaking them to my current situation.
When I’d put my list away, I’d forgotten I had goals outside of searching for a career.
What made me write down my goals?
My dad told me once that successful people were more likely to reach their goals in life if they wrote them down. Plus, new year resolutions weren’t working for me (like they don’t for many people), so I decided to type up a lifetime worth of goals on a piece of flimsy paper. I taped the list onto my dresser mirror as a reminder to get through each day, no matter how much I wanted to go back to bed. Back then, it only took one tap of the snooze button to get out of bed every morning at 5:45 a.m.
What can you do to make your dreams come true?
Writing out your goals helps you visualize the words associated with your dreams. That’s why it’s important to have a physical copy visible somewhere in your living quarters or at work in a drawer.
Once you have a basic list, start conquering the items. Don’t wait until you’ve reached a certain age (unless required) to meet your goals. Start crossing them off the day you complete your list. Do not waste time daydreaming how you want your life to be; you are the only one who can make things happen and the more goals you accomplish, the easier it will be to complete the rest.
Look at your goals every day. Put them in a place that you will see each morning and/or night. As you grow and change in each stage of life, so do your goals. Therefore, it is also important to reevaluate your life and update those goals every month or at least once a year.
Whatever motivates you to write down your goals, do it. It will help you achieve your dreams.