5 Steps to Take Toward Your Life Goals
We all have dreams.
As cliché as it sounds, we can all admit it’s true. Every single one of us has life goals, big or small, that we want to see fulfilled in reality. But these dreams can feel so far away, like too much would have to change for them to really happen. Our minds feed us so many reasons or excuses why our dreams can’t happen.
But what if the excuses and reasons why dreams can’t happen aren’t as true as they seem?
Your dreams are likely closer to reality than they feel.
It’s true that you can’t simply wish and blink, then presto! your dreams are fulfilled or you reach your ultimate life goal. But what is true is that you can take steps to bring you closer to your dreams.
Each step, no matter how small, is one step closer to living our dream.
How Do You Get Closer to Your Dreams and Life Goals?
My previous blog post focused on the importance of naming your “why”, or your life purpose, when thinking of your dreams. Your “why” gives direction and clarity as you move towards your dreams. When you know your life purpose, you know exactly what you’re walking towards. It makes your dreams more concrete and actionable, which makes creating a plan far more doable.
Today I want to focus on what happens after you name your why: taking one small step at a time towards your dream.
What I’ve found to be true about pursuing our dreams and goals is that often the bigness of them scares us into staying still. We get overwhelmed or confused on where to start, so we don’t start at all. The dream remains a dream.
It’s time for some permission giving.
These statements are true, even if they don’t always feel true:
You don’t have to have a perfect plan in place before you start.
You can change your mind or your plan later if needed.
You can start small.
Starting small is just as brave as starting big.
Remember any step, big or small, towards your dream is one step closer to living your dream.
Action Steps to Get You Closer to Your Life Goals
So, how do you take steps towards your dream? Work through these five action steps:
1. Name your why - your life purpose.
You’ve already done this step. Your why is your compass and filter. Write it down and keep it close at hand.
2. Honestly check in with yourself.
What does your life look like right now? How much time and margin do you have that can be given to stepping closer to your dream? What dream do you want to step closer to during this season of life?
There are no wrong answers to these questions. Remember that grace is abundant in every season. Be honest with yourself at where you are, then graciously accept it. Life right now doesn’t disqualify you from the life you want later.
You’ll be more motivated to stick with the plan you create if you can actually act on it in this season. So name what’s true about this season.
3. Create an outline of steps towards your dream.
By creating an outline of steps towards your dream, I mean name some markers, or life goals, that show the progression of your plan. If you were planning a road trip, these markers would be the landmarks you pass or planned stops you make that show you’re closer to your destination.
These markers don’t have to be time bound or even that specific. They’re there to serve as the scaffolding of your plan. They’ll hold up the specifics.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say my dream is that I want to travel to Europe. My life goal outline could include choosing what time of year to go based on my schedule, researching where to go, setting a budget, creating an itinerary, and purchasing tickets and reservations.
Another example that’s not as easy to map:
My dream this time is that I want to reconnect with an old friend I haven’t talked to in years. My outline will look very different from the European trip.
For this dream, my outline could include naming why I want to reconnect, naming why the friendship became distant, finding out where the old friend is now, discerning the best way to reconnect and communicate with them, and then setting a formal time to reconnect and talk.
Make the outline that works best for your dream and your mind. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. It’s your journey.
4. Ask someone to walk with you.
Pursuing your dream doesn’t have to be lonely work. Including people in your dream is a beautiful thing. Choose someone you would want to walk beside you and you step closer to your dream. You could choose a partner, close friend, grown child, parent, or mentor. Totally up to you. Then ask this person to be encouragement and accountability as you create and act on your plan.
Their job isn’t to make your dream happen for you. It’s to be with you and motivate you to keep walking forward. You’ll be more likely to act on your plan if you know someone will ask you about it when you meet for coffee.
5. Choose one small thing you can do this week.
The map to your dream is in front of you. You have a trusted walking buddy. Now it’s time to start walking.
Name one small action that gets you closer to your first marker on your outline. Using our two examples from before, the first steps could be checking out a travel book from the library for the European trip and journaling for ten minutes about the old friend.
Small and doable within a reasonable amount of time.
It’s easy for us to dismiss steps this small, but progress is progress! Both of the example small steps would get me closer to each dream and give me clarity about the next small step.
The travel book from the library could teach me that I actually don’t want to spend time in London. I’d rather spend time in the countryside villages.
Journaling about the old friend could show me how I’m feeling about reconnecting. Am I anxious? Excited?
This is why giving the time to the small steps is worth it. Each step gives you space to learn more about yourself and your dream and grow into your dream.
Your dreams are closer than they feel, and you have the strength and courage inside you to start moving toward your dreams.
Give yourself permission to start small, mess up along the way, and always try again. Your dreams are worth it.
As you step towards your dreams, pay attention to how you grow. Because you will grow.
Your unique dreams are beautiful and worth pursuing. Don’t let fear of starting keep you from starting at all. Your dreams were given to you intentionally by God. Ask Him for guidance as you create your plan and take each step. He is with you throughout the whole journey.
When you learn to live in alignment with your life purpose (or WHY), you create a life of significance and legacy.
If the above steps seem overwhelming, my signature Abundant Purpose coaching program utilizes a variety of tools to help you gain clarity on how you are designed for significance. When you come to understand and appreciate your unique design, you create the mindset to help you meet current challenges and take big steps toward your dreams and life goals. Ultimately, you gain new insight and learn the skills needed to create a confident life of peace, balance and joy.
If you’re at a place where you need help reaching your dreams and discovering how your unique wiring supports your dreams, set up a complimentary 15-minute call with me. We’ll talk through some of your story and see what your next best step is.