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Last Updated on October 29, 2018

Unfulfilled in Life? This List of Goals Can Help You Realize Your Dreams

Unfulfilled in Life? This List of Goals Can Help You Realize Your Dreams

We all have our dreams, hopes and ideas about how our future should look like. Some dreams are professional, others – entirely personal and maybe even secret.

Whatever your dream is, this list of goals will help you reach it in a faster, healthier, and more pleasant way. All of these goals are very different, and some may not even seem to be directly connected to realizing your dreams.

But if you look deeper, you’ll find that these are important milestones in the road to meeting a better version of yourself – someone you’ve always aspired to become.

1. Stay fit and healthy

“A healthy mind in a healthy body” is one of those age-old quotes that’s just 100% true. It’s never too late to start a healthier lifestyle – what’s paramount here is to have a clear goal to follow.

Think about what kind of goals motivate you better. Some people feel that reaching small milestones every week or month is the best strategy for motivation because they can continuously notice the results of their effort.

For others, a grander aim like “running a marathon next year” works better. Who knows – you might end up like Kaspars Drikis, a commercial director from Riga, Latvia who went from being called “the big guy” to riding nearly 14 hours on an average week and participating in international races.[1]

Some simple goals to help you start leading a healthier lifestyle:

Eat healthy food at least 3 days a week

If you have the willpower to switch to a healthier diet every day – great!

However, if you are struggling with it like most of us are, start by choosing only healthy and lean food 3 days of the week (or any other pattern that suits you better). This way you’ll do your health a favor while still being able to enjoy some snacks at a birthday party or Saturday night movie night.

Find a physical activity that you love

Whatever is your relationship with sports and active lifestyle, there’s definitely something more you can do – or something new that you can try out.

There is an ideal type of activity for everyone – you just have to find it. Even if sports is not your thing altogether, taking long walks or starting gardening more often can help to get your energy flowing.

Get a fitness watch

From cheap pedometers to advanced fitness computers on your wrist, these tiny accessories can serve as excellent motivators to move.

Soon you’ll be likely to catch yourself climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator or walking to work instead of driving just to catch up with that recommended daily step count, or set a personal step record.

Take frequent breaks at work

In case you haven’t heard – sitting is the new smoking. Being seated in front of your computer for hours on end can cause a myriad of health problems in the long run.

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So make sure you find a way to take regular quality breaks – exercise, take a walk, grab a healthy snack or chat with your colleagues.

Short breaks from work actually improve your productivity and restore your energy levels; therefore your employer should also encourage them.

Set a reminder to drink water

Scientists never tire of stressing the importance of drinking enough water every day. In addition to all the health benefits, like weight loss and flushing the body of toxins, drinking lots of water is also a healthy – and 100% effective – way to take frequent breaks at work (to visit the bathroom).

The easiest way to make a habit of drinking water is to set a reminder. You can simply set a recurring notification on your phone, computer or wristwatch. Every time you hear the reminder, drink a glass of water. Alternatively, follow these 7 original ways to drink more water.

Bonus:

Want to feel extra energized throughout the day? Start with this.

2. Become your own boss

This may be easier said than done, but changing your life always starts with a decision.

Once you’ve really decided that you want to be your own boss, there are plenty of possibilities available – starting from freelancing and taking up flexible online jobs to pursuing your dreams in an entirely new area.

Become a freelancer

It’s true that a freelancer’s life has many advantages, like choosing your working hours and reporting only to yourself.

However, there are things to consider before you jump into self-employment. For instance, are you able to discipline yourself and follow deadlines? Can you accept that your income will probably differ from month to month?

If you are nodding in agreement right now, then follow these steps:

  • Find an area where you’re good at. It can be something broad (like drawing) or a niche (like knitting clothes for pets).
  • Think about where your potential customers can be met. Do they follow certain social media groups, are they members of any forums or maybe you can meet them face-to-face in your professional or personal circles?
  • Offer and promote your services – in your neighborhood, social media profiles, freelancer platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, etc.
  • Make use of various helpful tools and resources for freelancers. Numerous apps, online platforms, and communities are there to help you in your freelancing efforts.

Start your own business – online or offline

Starting a business is an even more responsible occupation than freelancing. Depending on what you want to sell, consider investing in a good-looking website and online shop (unless your business is strictly offline and local).

In general, starting a business online is a cheaper and a less risky way to start test your entrepreneurial skills. For example, online jobs like reseller, blogger and affiliate marketer don’t require huge expenses and let you evaluate if you like the responsibility.

Also, you don’t have to quit your job right away – find a side project that brings you joy and passive income. For example, Dionna Dorsey, a 36-year-old graphic designer/creative director from Washington, DC. works full-time in her creative design boutique and also sells design clothes via print-on-demand service Printful.[2]

Do something that you’ve always wanted

Have you ever dreamed about doing something and always postponed it for “some time in the future”? Chances are, there is something you’d do rather than your present occupation.

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Ever thought about finding a job that doesn’t require staring at a computer screen all day? Maybe you even have an idea of something you can produce yourself and sell on craft or eco food markets?

Ever wanted to volunteer or use a unique talent that never seemed financially feasible? Start it as a hobby and dedicate some of your free time to it. You never know – it might turn into something more when you meet the right people or stumble upon an opportunity.

Ask yourself and answer truthfully:

What are the real reasons why you haven’t done it yet? Maybe your circumstances have changed over the past years and now you can finally fulfill this dream?

If you still decide to postpone this goal, set a clear deadline when you’ll start achieving it. For example, “I will launch my online store when my kid starts kindergarten”. Or, “I will start building my house in 12 months when I will have saved at least $15 000.”

Remember, you’ll only live your best life once you step out — here’s how.

3. Be present

In these hectic times, we often struggle to be in several places at the same time. But in reality, we are not fully present in any of them.

Often we realize the importance of being mindful only when we’re already experiencing problems – like insomnia, anxiety, and depression. But there’s so much that you can do to prevent these feelings – and gain more power to pursue your dreams.

Practice mindfulness and meditation

Mindfulness is the act of deliberately being aware. When we are mindful, we have an open mind, and we are actively experiencing everything that we see and feel happening around us right then and there. Mindfulness allows you to see yourself and the world around you just as it is – without any expectations or notions of what it “should be.”

You can practice mindfulness at any given moment of the day – for example, observe and enjoy the park as you’re walking your dog (instead of planning the dinner, dwelling on problems, or replaying the workday in your head).

However, meditation is probably the most direct way to mindfulness and achieving inner peace, balance, and happiness. Find out the basics of mindfulness and meditation in Lifehack’s Mindfulness Meditation Mini Guide.

Think of your attention as an asset

In today’s digital age, attention is our most valuable skill that can guide us through the jungle of distraction and help us achieve our goals. Think of your attention as a superpower that you should use wisely.

First, think about those people in your life that deserve your attention, like your family, closest friends, and people who help you grow personally and professionally.

Then make sure you spare enough time and attention to the things you want to achieve in life. For example, designate an hour every day for reading books that will help you realize your dream. Or promise to spare at least three hours a week to doing something that takes you closer to your life goals.

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Block distracting apps

If you are like most people, you probably struggle to keep focus for longer tasks or conversations. There’s just too much going on in the world, right?

Our short attention span owes a big “thanks” to social media.[3] But, if we use social media in a controlled, not a compulsive way, it can serve as a valuable resource of information and contacts.

If you feel that social media is taking too much of your time, try blocking it for several hours every day. It’s very likely that you’ll see your productivity and mood improving.

Bonus:

Easily distracted and hard to focus? Start doing this.

4. Travel

Traveling is an eye-opening experience that will always leave you wanting more. Even if it doesn’t seem linked to achieving your life goals, I promise you – it is.

Because traveling means leaving your comfort zone and opening yourself to new ideas, actions, and experiences.

If you haven’t traveled much previously, you don’t necessarily have to make your first trip to another continent. You can pick a scope and format that you find comfortable, but still interesting – e.g. start by exploring your surroundings, nearby cities, countries or states.

If you have already traveled before, but feel that you want a different kind of experience, try these tips.

Travel alone

This sounds scary at first, but you may actually find it very liberating – and much more adventurous than traveling with your partner, kids or friends.

As you embark on your solo journey, you can decide if you want to spend this time entirely alone or if you’d enjoy socializing with locals and other travelers you meet on the way.

Either way, you’ll learn a thing or two about yourself and have a different perspective on traveling – and life, for that matter. Who knows – you might actually fall in love with the sense of freedom!

Travel differently

It doesn’t matter if you travel alone or with others – you can always find new ways to spice up your trips.

For example, staying in a camping instead of a hotel could be fun even if you travel with kids. Or, try Couchsurfing that’s all about meeting locals and staying in their homes. For longer trips, consider programs like Workaway that unite volunteers and hosts from around the Globe.

You can also change other things about how you travel. If you’re used to relaxing in tourist resorts, go on a city break or a nature holiday in the mountains. If you’ve always taken guided tours, go on a self-arranged trip for a change. If you’ve mostly traveled by car, consider renting bikes or hiking.

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5. Manage your money smarter

When working towards our life goals, you’ll probably need some funding, or at least a safety net if the road gets too bumpy. Learn these simple, but effective money management tips to help you save up for realizing your dreams.

Think twice before you make big purchases

Time after time we all need to make purchases that require us tightening the belt. Some examples are home appliances, baby equipment, furniture or a car. Often buying a new item in your nearest store seems like the obvious thing to do.

However, you can save a lot of money if you answer these questions before you buy:

  • Can I find it cheaper at another store or distributor?
  • Can I buy it used?
  • Can I borrow or rent it?
  • Can I wait until the sale?

Only when none of these options are possible – or sensible – opt for buying a new product.

Keep an emergency account

Everyone faces emergency expenses at one time or another. Some examples of these are car repairs, sudden medical expenses, losing a job, etc. Savings will prevent you from having to borrow money or maxing out your credit card.

Some tips for your emergency savings:

  • Experts generally advise having savings that equal your 3, 6 or 9 months salary to cover your basic needs and pay bills in case of emergency.[4]
  • Set a savings goal – for example, save $1000 in six months. It’s important to keep the goal realistic and not too aggressive for your budget.
  • Set an automatic transfer on payday to your savings account – this way you won’t have to remember to do the transfer yourself.
  • Don’t make exceptions. Stick to your savings plan at all times. Don’t skip a month because you spent too much money on entertainment or clothes.
  • If you have a partner, you can agree to maintain the savings account together. Even if each of you sets aside only $10 every week, you will have saved more than $1000 in one year. If you can afford to double this amount, your savings will amount to more than $2000 per year. However, you can also make your individual savings and set aside as much as you can every month.

Use money saving apps

If you feel that you don’t have any money to spare for savings, look deeper into your money spending habits – you can probably find an area where you can be more economical. To help you discipline yourself and save, try apps like Monefy or Money Lover.

Final thoughts

Do what you’ve always dreamed!

I know this might sound vague at first. But if you stop to think for a few minutes, you will probably recall something that you’ve always wanted to do – but never had the time, money, or opportunity.

Then ask yourself – why not do it now?

Maybe as the years passed, the situation has changed, and you now have the knowledge, skill or resources to achieve what you always wanted.

As you embark on the adventure of your dreams, keep this helpful list of goals close to your heart.

Featured photo credit: Will Li via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Ieva Baranova

Ieva helps tech startups access big markets and is a passionate advocate of alternative work formats.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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