This post started out as a look at Rich Habit Number Two in Tom Corley’s book Rich Habits, Poor Habits and has ended up with me coming up with a mad idea for my future.
So, let’s start with what Tom Corley says. The second ‘rich habit’ is:
‘I will Define My Dreams and then create goals around each dream. I will focus on my dream goals every day.’
According to Tom Corley dreams are broad objectives, whereas goals are physical actions. He recommends completing a daily to do list, which you should populate with daily action steps that will help move you towards achieving each one of the goals that, when achieved, will move you closer to realising each one of your dreams.
You should set a specific time in which you will tackle each goal-related action item. He believes that early morning is a good time, as you are least distracted.
A useful technique to assist you in keeping your dreams in sight is the use of a vision board – a picture of each one of your dreams. Review your progress towards your goals/dreams and adjust your activity accordingly if you are not making progress.
In summary he states that:
Successful people build goals around their dreams.
Unsuccessful people have either not defined their dreams or they give up on their dreams when success does not happen overnight.
All of this is fairly standard stuff when thinking about long term goals, but how many of us actually do it. I have tried to get Mr Simple on board, but I think he believes that it is a bit too ‘pop psychology’ for him. To be fair, he is working towards our goal of having a lovely home, which he works on every day. I do think though that having those dreams really helps with motivation; knowing what you are aiming for. The ability to go that extra mile, to make the decision to walk instead of take the car or put on another jumper instead of turning the heating up, is easier to make if you feel that it is getting you closer to your dream life.
I then moved on to think about popular bloggers and podcasters who have articles/episodes on goal-setting. One of those is the first episode of Ruth Soukup’s ‘Do It Scared’ podcast which recommends setting what she calls ‘stretch goals’. Her method is:
- Visualise – dream big
- Focus – narrow options to one thing you want to make a reality
- Commit – write it down, say it out loud and make it real.
- Execute – rearrange your schedule and put your big goals first every single day. You might have to get up half an hour earlier, do a class or go back to school.
You can get her worksheet and listen to the podcast .
Now that’s what I did. Listened again to her podcast. I had already heard it a while ago, but I wanted to revisit it in order to consider in this post. The first time that I thought about my life in five years’ time it was really just the completion of the tasks on which we are already focusing e.g. the house and the garden. I bored myself just writing it.
Then my mind took a different turn and remembered an old dream that I have had for a long time. When I was 26 I spent five months doing a volunteer project in France and have always loved the country. Since Mr Simple and I have been together we have been going on holiday to France every year. Over that time I have dreamed of having a house in France. I have waivered between just having a holiday home or selling up and moving there. I used to subscribe to three different magazines about life in France and buying properties there, but I found that I spent so much of my time focusing on what could be and this led me to feeling dissatisfied about my current life. I felt that I was dreaming about something that was never going to happen. In my bid to save money I decided to cancel my subscriptions and focus on enjoying where I am rather than wishing I was elsewhere.
Ruth’s advice to dream big led me to think about this again and then when she talked about focusing she suggested choosing the goal that both scares you and excites you the most. I can’t say that any of my initial goals did that. Most of them were very safe, but when I think about living in France it brings me such joy, but the practicalities of doing it scares me. I dream of living somewhere warm. A place where the sun shines for a lot of the year and where I can have breakfast outside. Where you can plan to spend a day hiking and be sure that you won’t have to cancel it because there’s torrential rain in July.
All of this thinking made me slightly anxious as our focus at the moment is on renovating and decorating our current house. Mr Simple is spending most of his time doing this and we are spending a lot of money on it. If at this point I suggested to him that we sell it I think that he might leave me! Up until now I have thought of this as our forever home and it is a lovely place to live. My question to myself is whether if we don’t ever try living in France will I regret it. On the other hand, if we sell up, move to France then hate it, will we regret selling our current home.
There are no easy answers and it is something with which I think I will have to battle over the next few years. Part of the attraction is that most of our net worth is tied up in our house, whereas if we sold this and invested the money, along with other savings that we have, we could easily live off of the interest.
So what would you do? Sell up and take the risk or play safe and stay put? Do you have any mad dreams for the future? I would love to hear them.