The Perfect System for Achieving Your Dreams
You need vision, direction, and action. And here is how you create the direction to take the action.
In 2014, I had set goals and had updated my life plan with big dreams for that year. And when I got to the end of the year, I did not achieve a single goal and my life was not much different from the year before.
Sure, my first daughter was born, and I did get a promotion at work. But, all the other things I had hoped to do that year didn’t happen.
It was the first time since I started creating annual goals and life plans where the year was an utter failure on paper. There were a lot of really good things that year and it wasn’t a failure as a whole. But it didn’t change much from the prior year.
Up until this point, I had been able to barely accomplish my goals by the end of the year. And only on dwindling motivation and inspiration. Yet in 2014, I couldn’t do it. As I started looking forward to 2015, I realized something which was recently summarized by James Clear, author of Atomic Habits:
“A handful of problems arise when you spend too much time thinking about your goals and not enough time designing your systems.”
As life became more complicated with kids, work, friends, and family I realized the need for creating a system to accomplish the things I desired to do with my life. And in 2015, I began the journey to creating a better system.
A system which would help me go from barely surviving to living the dream.
In today’s post, I am going to share with you the system I use. I do this by creating my own identity, creating a life plan and setting goals. The system I have designed is what makes it all happen. It is the driver to all of my action.
And it can be for you too.
Live the Dream with this System
We want to see our dreams come true. And we want to make sure we are hitting all the marks on our journey toward this reality. I have created this system to help make this a reality. It is simple but focused, and I hope you try it out.
*A note about this system: It is best used when you create an identity that drives you toward your dreams as well as completing a life plan and goals. You can learn more about creating an identity with the Identity Manifesto. And here is more on creating a life plan and goals.*
This system is broken down into five major sections:
These sections focus on our action, review of our action, and making changes to our actions. The key is to take action every day. While reviewing and preparing each week, month, quarter, and year.
While goal setting and life planning are more of the annual or quarterly “project” actually making these big plans happen. Yet, all the work happens on a daily basis.
Below, you will learn how to use a system to take action every day toward your dreams.
The Daily 10 focuses on ten actions which you can complete each day that will help you move closer and closer to the future you desire and the identity you wish to live out. These can be for each of your life plan priorities or several tasks which help move toward a few goals.
As you get used to doing your Daily 10, you will start to see progress at alarming rates because you are doing one or two actions every. single. day.
For example, say you want to lose 20 lbs by the end of the year (goal) so that you will be the healthiest you have ever been (health-life plan priority), then you would want to take one or two actions every day to make that happen.
These actions could be:
- Don’t eat sugar all day.
- Or, workout 20 minutes today.
The key is to make sure you are doing a positive action or habit toward the life you desire and the dreams you want to see come true.
Review and Planning
The main idea here is focusing on the other four sections: Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly & Annual Reviews. This is when you will review how well you did the previous timeframe and focus on navigating your actions and habits toward your dreams.
There are three major purposes to the weekly review. It provides a review in order to celebrate or learn from the previous week. It provides a clear direction for the next week. We focus on three areas here:
- The Dream: Renewing our identity and review your life plan and goals.
- The Review: What went well? Where did we struggle? What did we accomplish? What could we learn?
- The Direction: What would make this week great? What are the seven things we can accomplish to move toward our dreams?
This is where we take the weekly review and pull back to the entire month. Again, we focus on three areas: Dream, Review, and Direction.
- The Dream: Reviewing our identity, goals, and life plan.
- The Review: Overall, did you put more positive motion into your dreams than negative? What was the theme for this month? What were three to five lessons learned? What can you celebrate this month?
- The Direction: What are ten goals you can set that contribute to your overall life plan and goals? Use the SMARTER System and remember these are for a 30-day timeframe.
Quarterly Review [5 Steps]
This is a more comprehensive review. Because we are looking back over the last three months, we will review each month and chart the course for the next three months. This should take an hour or two if you are really spending the time looking back and focusing on where to go next.
- First, What were your victories? What areas did you advance your identity and your dreams?
- Second, Review your identity? How have you made progress? Has your vision for yourself changed at all? Make adjustments to your identity vision.
- Third, Review Your Life Plan. Read through it. Is there anything that needs updating? Be sure to update your actions for each priority.
- Fourth, Review Your Goals. Did you complete any of your goals in the last three month? What progress did you make on your other goals?
- Fifth, Schedule Your Weekly and Monthly Review Times. Make sure you give yourself time weekly and monthly to review where you are going.
These five steps will help you review your progress. And for most people, you will see some leaps and bounds in some areas. And in other areas, you will see where you may need to put in more work or refocus the actions you are taking to move toward your dreams.
This is by far the most in-depth review. This focuses on every facet of where we are, where we want to go, and how to get there. We re-focus our attention on the vision for our identity and future, creating direction through our life plan and goals, and what our next actions will be by preparing our system.
- Start with Vision: Review your desired identity and your dreams. Have they changed at all? What is the identity you desire for yourself? Re-write it now.
- Life Plan: Review your life plan from beginning to end. Make changes as needed. Do you need to re-arrange, add, remove priorities? Do you have better reasons for those priorities now? Update your actions.
- Goals: How did you do in the previous years goals? What did you complete? What did you miss? Why did you miss those goals?
- Current Location: What was the theme for last year in one word? What were your top three lessons learned? What were your greatest accomplishments?
- Create A New Years Worth of Goals: Use the SMARTER goal setting system to create goals for the coming year.
- Schedule: Put it all together and schedule your weekly, monthly, and next quarter’s reviews.
The Power of Reviews
If we want to keep moving toward the life we desire, we must consistently be reviewing how far we have come. And in doing so, it helps us adjust course along the way so we don’t get lost.
Our reviews are an integral part of seeing our dreams come true.
If we skip this step in chasing our dreams, we can easily miss the dreams we desire. This is why so many people hate goal setting or look up from working at life and wonder how they got to a certain place. They don’t review. They don’t focus on where they have been.
But this isn’t your story anymore.
Time to Take Control of Your Life and Dreams
You need to start taking actions now. It is time to move forward. If you want to change the course of your life, here are the next steps you need to take if you haven’t taken them yet.
- Choose your identity and begin to create it.
- Create a Life Plan and start living it.
- Set Goals to help motivate you to your dreams.
- And use this system to see your dreams come true.
Do you have a life plan or goals? Have you ever thought about creating your identity? Do you use a system to see your dreams come true? Share in the responses below.