Waiting to do something special in the future? Fantasizing about how much better your life will be then? Stop dreaming about the future and act now. From planning a backyard barbecue to switching careers, no matter how big or small, the future starts with the actions we take today, right now, in this moment.
Research supports taking action now, rather than just dreaming about the future. One study shows that dreaming about the future without goal-setting creates zero energy toward reaching that goal. You may just be dreaming about that fantasy future forever. Research also shows that goal-setting supports strong mental health. People who set goals and chase after them experience a stronger sense of well-being. There are benefits to setting goals later in life as well. One study found that having and working toward a goal extended lifespan by giving participants a sense of purpose. Here are some great ways to put your future plans, whatever they may be, into action today.
Set a goal with tangible objectives. Visualize that future thing, job, event, hobby, whatever that you want in your life. Write it down for accountability and motivation. Then make the plan using clear objectives. Objectives are small action steps that bring you closer to the overall goal. You may also want to make a timeline and schedule time to work on each objective. Being purposeful and organized about a goal will improve your chances of reaching it.
Seek advice from people who have done it before. If you’re not sure what objectives to put in place, reach out to someone who has done it already. They can offer great advice on where to start and what objectives will help you be successful. They may even be able to help. You won’t know if you don’t ask.
Start small with your objectives. Everyone has to start somewhere, and you can’t expect to skip the process to get to the goal. For example, if you want to be an artist, you can’t walk into a gallery and demand a show. You start by doodling in a notebook. Then you sign up for a class. Maybe you develop a style you like. Then you invest in some real art supplies. You start to devote time every day to practicing your craft. Then, eventually, you get good enough and have enough to show. But, you start by doodling.
Practice Mindfulness. Enjoy the journey toward your goal and the challenge and gratification of reaching each objective. Research found that mindfulness, or living in the present moment and not getting caught up in thought or projections into the future, resulted in less procrastination. Focus on the task or objective at hand. Enjoy each objective for what it is on the journey to your goal.
The “future” is ambiguous with no real time or place. It exists in the ether of our imaginations, but we never quite get there. In his book, The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle reveals, “Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.” It sounds simplistic at first glance, but it’s alarmingly true. We never get to just skip ahead to the future. We are always in the NOW on our way there. So make a plan. Take action. Do it NOW. And along the way, don’t forget to enjoy the process, because that’s all life really is anyway, one big process. We are always becoming…if we choose to be.
© 2021 Silver Disobedience Inc.
PS: My cool outfit is by Alembika US via RoniRabl