So you’ve finally made it! You’ve saved and worked and sweat and worked some more, done all the research, and you’re there. Your dream-turned-goal has been realized! Congratulations!
But what happens next? This has been plaguing me in those quiet moments before you fall asleep and those stolen minutes you take a step back to breathe during your day.
What do you do once you’ve reached your goal?
There are still things I want to do. Heck, there are still a lot of things I want to do! But I’ve been feeling a bit lost for awhile. Adrift, you might say. I love where I am and who I’m spending my time with but I have no direction. Nothing that I’m really working toward. Something that makes me excited for the future.
I know I’m moving back to the U.S. in the spring, and from there I will be applying to universities to finish my teaching credential. And while I really want that credential, I’m still working at getting myself pumped for the process of actually getting it! And the thought of leaving Japan and all my friends here and closing the book on this amazing part of my story is kind of really depressing…
All my other dreams were just remaining that, dreams. Something with no tangible course for becoming a reality. I binge watch YouTube videos of people traveling and my dream destinations and things I’d like to be able to do, but I’d once again fallen prey to that nasty habit of passively waiting for things to happen to me.
But the only reason I got where I am today was by taking my dreams, however big or small, and transforming them into goals. Giving them timelines and figuring out the steps I need to take to turn this thing into reality.
Now I’m really big on dreaming. I’m a huge advocate of coming up with big, crazy or just plain “im”possible things that I want to do with my life! But I’d forgotten the next step.
That’s my favorite question to ask myself when I’m planning something or doing something or thinking of something I could possibly one day do:
What’s the next step?
The next step of dreaming something up is figuring out all the details that will bring this dream out of your head and into the world. In short, making it a goal. A goal, after all, is basically a dream with a timeline. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t do anything unless it’s gonna be due sometime soon (usually the next day…)
So once I remembered this crucial step (and face-palmed because it’s plastered over practically every single motivational quotes board on Pintrest, which I frequent daily!) what did I do? Well, what else do you do when you need a question answered?
I Googled it.
And I found a great idea!
100 Life Goals. 10 goals in 10 different categories for a well-balanced life. (Otherwise I would have an entire list naming every country on the planet and all the cool things you can do there.)
And for the next 2 weeks I worked on filling in that blank paper, so full of unwritten possibilities. It was a much more challenging process than I thought! Putting your dreams down on paper as tangible goals is tough, and some categories were much tougher to narrow down than others (like I said, I’m a huge dreamer!)
But once I was finished, it was a strange feeling. Something like, “wow, I truly searched my soul for these things.” It was kind of crazy seeing them physically out there for anyone to look at. And now they’re there, I feel even more obligated to actually do them! Funny how that works… You read about how writing something down is good for motivation, but you don’t realize how that feels until you actually put pen to paper.
And because I made these goals tangible, check-offable, I have things to work towards starting right now. Lost feeling, gone.
Then I needed a timeline, remember? ‘My Lifetime’ isn’t that great because I’d have to laboriously trek out to a psychic somewhere to find out what day I die and then figure out how to do everything on this list the day before that… Sounds like too much work.
So I’m going to do my best to finish this list (at the very least the majority) in the next 10 years. That’s a nice even number, with more wiggle room than five. So by 2026 (I’ll be in my 30’s! Whaaaaat?) I plan to have accomplished these amazing things.
And then I’ll make a new list.
Check out my list! And then make your own! (Come on, you know you want to!) Share it with me and let us all know what your goals are, who knows who you’ll inspire?!