I wouldn’t consider myself a planner, I hardly ever plan my days, I’m bad at scheduling, and I generally get distracted. However, when it comes to my future I have a few set dreams which are really concrete. I, in all meanings of the word, have a plan. I might not have all the steps figured out, but I’ve identified the big ones and am working my way towards it.
Sometimes when I look at this plan I wonder if I want to much, I think it’s a thought we can all relate too, whether it is in a moment of doubt or whether we actually just have blown our dreams up a little too big. I find myself going over my plan, piece by piece, to see if the overall dream might be out of reach.
I’ve had friends who had high expectations for everything and I’ve watched them get disappointed. So I decided to build a goal into my plan: keep my dreams big but realistic.
Here are my five tips to do just that:
- Realize that nothing goes exactly as planned and bank on it: Even things that seemed to have gone off without a hitch, tend to have a hitch somewhere. Nothing is perfect, so you’ve got to think about what could go wrong. You have to create detours to get around your road blocks.
- Connect all your plans: People tend to connect career plans with financial plans, but sometimes they forget to connect financial plans with family plans, or career plans with travel plans. If you want a realistic dream you have to make sure that the puzzle pieces can fit together, even if it’s going to take a lot of work.
- Identify the things up to chance: Every dream has some kind of element that you can’t simply work towards if chance isn’t working in your favor. I’ll give you an example from my plan: Love. You can (and I have) join dating sites and clubs to meet people. It’ll up your chances, but there is still something there out of your control. You need to structure your plan around that, add waiting time, consider your options, decide how much time you’re going to dedicate to it.
- Think about setbacks: Your mom ends up in the hospital, you get really sick (I’m sure I’m not relating to that one), your house floods. These are all terrible things, but we have to remember that life sometimes is terrible. We need to take these things into consideration. One of the best ways to do this is to try and keep loose deadlines and try to finish things before they’re, uh, due.
- Stay humble: A big part of being realistic is realizing that you’re probably not going to be the best businessman in the world, that your #momlife won’t always be instagram worthy. These are things that inflate our dreams. Social media makes things look easier than they are. Our parents were probably lying when they said we could do anything we wanted to do. We’ve got to keep our feet on the ground and realize when our ego is running away with our dreams.