Pursuing Your Dreams Requires Just 3 Steps
It may not be easy, but it’s definitely NOT complicated.
I hate complicated. I despise it actually.
Because complicated is overrated. It leaves people behind. Those who get it, get it, and those who don’t…well, too bad.
We like complicated because it feels sophisticated. It makes us feel like we are “in” on something.
But dreaming and achieving shouldn’t be complicated.
Yeah, it can be.
Not at all.
Achieving your dreams can be boiled down to 3 steps. And it really is that simple. Consistent implementation is where the rubber meets the road.
Let me lay it out for you…
If you can do small things, consistently over time, you will make massive changes in your life. That’s all there is to it.
But please read further :)
STEP #1: Set Small Steps
“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward”
You can’t achieve it in one fell swoop
So stop trying to fit it all in. You can’t!
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get from point A to point Z. And when it didn’t happen, I would get really frustrated!
But that’s not how you win. It’s not how you achieve your goals.
You have to choose to take a few small steps at a time. Those small steps eventually turn into a lot of territory over time.
The trick is to find the one or two actions that have the greatest impact on your goal, and do those first.
Plus, making small gains will keep you motivated to move forward.
Every success requires small actions
Those actions are the building blocks to achievement.
When you start out, it is easy to feel overwhelmed — especially with big goals! But the only way to achieve it is to break them down into smaller steps.
And continue breaking your goal down until you have something actionable. It just takes small steps. Figure out what is the next step to take and do it.
Let’s say you have a goal to make $1 million!
There are a myriad of ways to do that:
- Working a 9–5 and Investing
- Buying Real Estate
- Building an unsexy business like Plumbing or Landscaping (Yes, it’s true)
- Freelancing a high-ticket skill like Copywriting or Programming
But you cannot do all of them, especially at the same time. You have to prioritize.
Let’s say you want to work 9–5 and invest…
You can continually upskill in order to make more money.
You keep track of market trends, take advantage of the internet to learn, get certifications if necessary, and put yourself out there to see how the market values you.
Live way below your means, and invest that money.
You can use
- Index Funds
- Self-Directed IRAs (minimizes fees to fund managers)
- Dividend Stocks
…there are many different ways to invest and build. (Note: this is NOT financial advice).
If you make $100,000, live on half, and invest half, it would take you a little over 12 years. That’s just with an Index Fund with 0 starting balance at 8% (typical yield of S&P 500).
And that’s not even diversifying with other investments mentioned above. Investing in dividends has the potential for a bigger return. (Again, NOT financial advice.)
No one wants to do it this way anymore, but it’s still possible!
It just takes concerted effort and diligence.
- You break down the large goals into small chunks.
- Then you break those down into manageable tasks.
- Then break those into small action steps.
Maybe your first step is figuring out what to start with?
The steps are meant to be small and easily manageable. This minimizes overwhelm and creates action. When they’re smaller, it’s easier to take the step and gain forward momentum.
And before you know it, you look back over 6 months and see MASSIVE progress!
But you start with small actions that make the biggest difference.
Often, it’s just finding the next best thing
Because life always throws you curve balls.
You start moving, and something blocks your way. Or it doesn’t turn out as you thought.
Or, you have a recession.
Or, you’re just not getting that job you thought you would.
What do you do?
You find the next best thing. Your plan isn’t working out the way you thought, so you pivot. It doesn’t mean you give up. You just evaluate what is going wrong and find the next best thing to do.
I’ve had to do this with programming.
I’ve been on a journey toward Front-end Web Development for 2 years as a self-learner. I finally joined a Bootcamp from December 2021 — April 2022.
It was amazing!
And then we had tech layoffs.
The market is already saturated with Bootcamp grads, when you add tech layoffs in there, it is overwhelming. I’m struggling to get a job.
Plus, I have some other setbacks too.
So, what do I do?
It depends on my goal.
What pivot can I make that will help me achieve my goal? What’s the next best thing?
I have been applying to Support Engineer jobs. They still pay well, and I get my foot in the door with a company. I can try to move into a software engineer role with the company, or I can still work on my skills and get a job another 9 months or 1 year down the road.
Life throws curveballs, and sometimes you have to push through. Sometimes you have to just pivot slightly. There’s no easy answer, but that is life. You have to continue to choose to stay the course in the long run.
“We rise to great heights by a winding staircase of small steps”
STEP #2: Plan Your Week
“The key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities”
We are a distracted society.
We have social media, Netflix, and random memes. We live our life through our phones.
We drown under the deluge of information, but lack clarity.
It’s hard to find clarity, harder to create clarity.
But those who create clarity win.
If you can cut through the fog of information you can chart a course forward that others can follow.
That’s why we like success stories!
We like reading articles about others’ success. It gives us a glimpse forward. They give us clarity through their experience. Something we can implement to find success as well.
But clarity only comes when we know where we are going. Then we have to be intentional about getting there.
Set an Intention
Being intentional is being deliberate and conscientious about what you’re doing and how your time is being spent. You’re making deliberate choices about what you’re going to do.
And likewise, what you’re NOT going to do!
You’re creating clarity about what is important to you, and those things get your highest attention.
There are only 3 things you can do with time:
- You can waste it
- Use it
- Invest it.
Investing your time is doing something that reaps compounding interest down the road.
When you read or pick up new skills, you’re making an investment with your time. It will pay you back later.
Setting an intention is choosing what is important and focusing on only those things. It is making it crystal clear what you’re going to do with your time and with your week.
If you don’t choose how to spend it, someone else will choose for you.
Don’t let circumstances rule your week
When you plan your week, you’re making choices about what’s important. If you don’t, you leave it up to chance and circumstances. And they’re poor advocates for what’s best.
They don’t care about your time.
Your boss doesn’t care about your intentions or goals. Not the same way you do.
If you don’t make a plan, someone else will. And you will be tossed around by whatever comes up in the moment.
And pretty soon, all you feel like after work is Netflix and chill.
You have no plan, no goals, no intention, no clarity.
Your circumstances rule.
Choosing brings excitement, motivation, and willpower.
Little by little, your life changes when you choose. And pretty soon, you look back after a year and you’re in a completely different place.
Life will always throw curve balls
The unexpected always pops up.
It’s inconvenient. It’s unexpected. It doesn’t care.
Your car breaks down. Your kid gets sick. You test positive for COVID.
There’s a myriad of things that can ruin your day, much less your week. It’s up to you to choose what will rule your emotions and your time.
Inconveniences are normal. Normal to every person who ever lives. It’s just a part of being human.
And I actually think it’s on purpose.
How else can we grow?
If we don’t learn to come up to bat even when there’s a curve ball, we’ll remain where we’re at.
Life isn’t about being financially successful, it’s also about learning to be more kind and humble. It’s learning that bad things happen to everyone, not just you. And they will happen to you because they just happen…
You cannot change these things, you can only mitigate them when they come, and learn from them.
And keep moving forward. Keep pursuing your goals. Keep trusting the process.
“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan”
STEP #3: Push Through
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there”
It will get hard
When you choose to do something, there are always parts that are difficult.
Sometimes it’s a season. You have other pressing matters that make it difficult to focus and give it the attention it needs.
Sometimes, the goal becomes difficult.
It was within reach, but then you hit a rough patch and now it appears as if you’ll never make it.
This has happened to me more times than I can count!
I easily assume something will take a couple of weeks or a month, and I charge ahead excited about it.
But then, the deeper I get the more I realize it was unrealistic.
It’s going to take a few months to really see any results.
And that’s hard!
There’s no easy way around that mountain, you just have to go over it.
Off in the distance, it didn’t look so big. But as you get closer you realize just how big it really is.
But, you made the goal. You wanted it. Now you have to endure the difficult days too.
But the person you become through it is worth the trouble.
“We are limited but we can push back the borders of our limiations
There are times when you lose motivation. You’re not sure you really want it anymore.
You charged ahead excited about the outcome, only to find the middle is hard.
Your boundless energy at the start has led to the drudging middle. And no end in sight.
Motivation and emotion are very closely linked.
Just like emotions, motivation changes too. You have times when it is very clearly present and times when it is clearly not.
And just like emotions, you can have good days and bad days.
And just like emotions, circumstances can affect how you feel on any given day.
The trick is to learn what affects your motivation positively and negatively. This can help you engineer motivation, and give a much-needed boost.
But sometimes, no matter what you do, you just need to keep pushing through. With small wins, motivation will return.
There will always be tests
I think life throws tests your way on purpose.
I think it actually tests your resolve, whether or not you really want something.
We are creatures of habit. We prefer comfort and stability and don’t like change.
But when we have a dream, it’s a vision of a reality that is different than the one we’re currently living. It’s going to require us to change our habits and our level of comfort in order to realize our dreams.
There is no way to become someone new and obtain your dream without changing your habits and changing a part of who you’re.
It’s just not possible!
You will not be the same person you were, and those are the tests.
- Do you want to remain where you’re at, or do you really want it?
- Do you realize what you have to give up in order to get it?
- Are you willing to sacrifice to make it there?
Life throws tests your way to TEST you! They help form and shape you to become who you need to be in order to achieve your dreams.
Don’t become discouraged by them and quit.
They are your teachers.
“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t”
Nothing in life is easy.
Everything comes at a cost.
But the benefit is who you become in the process. And you get to choose.
With each dream, you determine the outcome. And the journey to get there is hard, but the formula is easy. There are very simple things you can do to be successful.
It all comes down to 3 things:
- Take small steps daily.
- Plan out your week
- Keep pushing through
There is no more easy formula to achieve.
But the difference lies in everything else in-between. You have to choose to continue when it gets tough, when life throws you curveballs, and when your motivation wanes.
You have to keep pushing through when the dream feels most unattainable.
That’s what marks those who make it from those who do not.
You can do it!
You can keep pushing!
Don’t lose sight of your dream!
If you found this helpful, I would love to hear from you!
Please leave a comment below…
This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered Financial or Legal Advice. Not all information will be accurate. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.