How many times have you looked at certain people around you and thought how lucky they are to be living the dream life? How do they get everything they want, and you don’t?
Living the dream life is not about luck as much as it’s about hope, commitment, and patience. No one just magically gets to “live the dream.” People who are living their dream have reached that place with consistent effort, hard work, and fearlessness, and you can, too.
Start today by making small changes in your life that are sure to set you up for success. Here are 11 ways you can make living the dream life possible.
1. Know What You Want
Many of us spend more time complaining about our lives rather than figuring out what we actually want.
Firstly, it is okay to not know what you want. While there are people with clear cut goals, there are others who discover theirs with time. What’s important is making conscious efforts in discovering what your heart desires.
Give these questions a thought:
- What makes you happy?
- What are your interests?
- What does success mean to you?
- What do you want from life?
- What are your priorities?
- What do you want to change in your life?
- Who do you admire?
These are a few questions that will help you figure out your goals better. Write the answers down and keep building on them until you know what you want. After all, the first step in living the dream life is discovering the dream.
If you’re not sure how to set your priorities and figure out what you want, check out this article.
2. Have a Concrete Plan
Now that you know what you want, the next step is to devise a plan to make it happen.
One day we are extremely motivated and enthusiastic, and the very next day, we are back to being lazy. Here’s why having a plan helps – it reminds you of your dream and keeps you motivated.
Break down your dream to smaller, actionable parts and set achievable goals for yourself. No, not the 5-year plan, but the smaller ones like the 1-year, 6-month, 3-month, and 1-month plans. Setting smaller targets will help you reach the larger goal progressively.
Write your goals down with respect to your personal and professional life, be as precise as possible, and lay out actionable steps for each of them.
3. Take Consistent Action
Consistency is the key to achieving what you want and living the dream life.
However, being consistent is not easy. There will be days when you will begin to lose patience and want to give up, and that’s completely understandable.
On such days, take time out and give yourself a break. Once you feel better, get back on track, because everything you do is a building block and will take you closer to your goal.
Whenever you feel disillusioned, revisit your goal and let it motivate you to keep going.
4. Track Your Progress
It’s important to track your progress regularly to ensure you are on the right path. You can use journals, calendars, and apps to keep a record of your progress and assess it.
For the times you feel you didn’t achieve your goal, keep a note of what went wrong, and learn from those mistakes. Focus on making progress rather than obsessing over perfection.
Most importantly, remember to celebrate your achievements and give yourself credit for your successes because you wholly deserve it.
5. Be Open to Failure
Life is unpredictable. You can plan all you want, but also know that life won’t always go the way you planned it. You are bound to be met with some unforeseen circumstances or failures along the way, so be prepared for them all.
Embrace failure and don’t fear it because it’s better to try and fail than to never try at all. The key is to not take failure personally. Instead, use failures as an opportunity to learn and grow.
When you become better at failing, you develop a sense of fearlessness, which helps you get out of your comfort zone, take risks, and reach your goals.
6. Stay Away From Negativity
From your self-depreciating thoughts to people who see the bad in everything, negativity is all around you and won’t do anything to help you start living the dream. To not get stressed and bogged down by these thoughts, you need to develop zero tolerance to negativity.
Sometimes, one negative thought or comment can destroy all your efforts. Learn to identify such people or circumstances and set healthy boundaries to maintain your sanity.
Whenever you feel low, turn to doing things that distract you or make you happy, like playing a sport, listening to music, or even talking to someone who can make you feel better. Whatever it is, don’t harbor negative feelings – the faster you shake them off, the better.
7. Surround Yourself With Positive People
People around you have the power to influence you in many ways. Having the right kind of people around is essential for your growth and development. For instance, someone who is around toxic people is bound to have lower self-esteem and be forever stressed.
What you need is happy, encouraging, and supportive people, those who can guide you, lift your spirits, and help you maintain a positive frame of mind.
8. Believe in Yourself
To live your dream life, you need to first believe in yourself. However “impossible” your dream seems or regardless of what people tell you, don’t be afraid to believe in the fact that you will make it happen.
When you are finding it hard to retain your belief, visualize yourself achieving that dream and condition your mind to act as if it has happened. You will be surprised to see how much strength you can derive from this small exercise.
Cut out all the negative self-talk, and don’t worry about what others think because the day you move ahead with conviction, nothing can stop you from achieving success and living your dream.
9. Focus on What You Can Control
Sometimes when your mind is going places and leaving you stressed, take a deep breath, stop thinking, and eliminate all the unnecessary thoughts.
Unproductive and unnecessary thoughts do nothing but act as deterrents, leaving you overwhelmed and upset. At such times, just focus on the things that are within your control and forget about the rest.
You need to accept the fact that there are things that are beyond your control, and there is no need to waste your energy obsessing over them
If you want to learn how to let go of what you can’t control, check out this article.
10. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Talking about being unproductive, comparing yourself to others is another unproductive thought pattern that has never done anyone any good and can get in the way of living the dream life you’ve imagined.
In the time of social media, it’s difficult not to compare your life to others’. A classmate’s LinkedIn update is enough to get you wondering what you are doing with your life. Similarly, reading about a colleague’s vacation in some exotic location fills you with envy.
One 2014 study showed that “participants who used Facebook most often had poorer trait self-esteem, and this was mediated by greater exposure to upward social comparisons on social media”. So while it may feel good to scroll through and see your best friend’s new puppy or your cousin’s new house, it likely isn’t doing your self-esteem any favors.
Every time you make negative comparisons and feel terrible, consciously stop yourself. Everyone’s journey is different, and life is not a race. Compare yourself to yourself and work towards making progress. That’s all that matters.
11. Stop Making Excuses
“I’ll start exercising tomorrow,” “I’m too old for this,” “I’m waiting for the right time,” “When XYZ happens, I’ll start” – how many times have you found yourself giving such excuses?
These excuses are holding you back and preventing you from getting results. Stop giving yourself excuses, overcome your fears, and act on your plan – that is the only way you will make progress.
The Bottom Line
Life is short, and you certainly must not waste your life living someone else’s dream. Years later when you look back at your life, you want to be left smiling rather than be filled with regrets.
To make that happen, start with believing in your dream. Living the dream life does not come to a fortunate few. It comes to all those who diligently work towards turning their dreams into reality.
More Tips on Living the Dream
- Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?
- How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late
- Do You Have to Give Everything Up to Get a Fresh Start?
Featured photo credit: Atikh Bana via unsplash.com