“The best way to predict the future is to create it” ~ Abraham Lincoln
In this moment, I feel I am truly living this quote. So many dreams came true these last few years – I’m in a really good state of health, I do what I love, surrounded by people that inspire me, have great relationships with loved ones, and my life is full of learnings and adventures.
But it wasn’t always like that.
I used to hate my Birthdays & New Years – this feeling of getting older, this feeling of scarcity.
My Birthday is on 30th of December, so together with New Years, I put double pressure on myself. At the end of November it usually hit me: “So what. Who am I now? What did I achieve? Is it what I truly wanted?”
I usually felt miserable, that I was working hard, and not where I wanted to be.
It was so annoying to experience this every year, so I decided to change the outcome.
First, I thought, why is this happening? Why am I always unsatisfied with what I achieved in my year? What’s the root cause?
Here were the top reasons why my planning failed:
- Picking the ‘wrong’ dreams – those that were not truly mine, but someone else’s.
- I created a to-do list, rather than inspired goals.
The list was filled what I had to do, but wanted to postpone.
When I thought about them, my emotions went down,
I felt like a kid who didn’t want to do their homework.
- I thought about how exactly it could happen and listed what I need to do,
instead of setting the end goal.
- I added a ‘goal’ without believing in it.
I was so disappointed. Shouldn’t it be the opposite – that your plans help you live the life you want?
Wasn’t it one of the habits of highly effective people?
Regardless, I knew planning still helped me achieve many things, so I kept the practice but shifted my approach:
What if you planned your dreams instead of goals? And then made them happen!
Did you see the difference? Dreams not just your goals. What this means:
- Planning of what you truly want, what connects to your personal values and vision
- Writing it down, even if it sounds impossible and you don’t yet have a concrete plan
- But still setting a timeframe in mind, so you can speed up the process
- Plan with trust that the Universe will help, but ensure you take action from your side 😀
During the past several years, I created and repeated this process for myself which helped evolve the most frustrating times into the most important and inspiring times that year.
It soon turned into a habit of acquiring and achieving dreams, so I didn’t need a specific timeframe. It became just an ongoing process.
Here’s examples of dreams I achieved this year:
# Stay healthy mentally and physically – create a daily habit of Yoga- Breathing-Meditation
I wanted to create a morning routine that would support my health, while boosting creativity, productivity, and personal capacity, no matter where I was and what was around.
Once I decided that – immediately and randomly I got a free membership to a gym with yoga classes included. My friends starting teaching yoga and I joined their classes. I went to several breathing workshops where I had breakthroughs. I learned different types of meditation and energy practices, and created my own options of flow (from 3 min to 1.5 hours). And, most importantly – I stayed committed to it, without seeking perfection.
In addition to that:
# I created a habit of waking up earlier – now it’s 6.30 am – many important things can be done before the day “officially starts”.
# I learned how to build any new habit I wanted
# Create an amazing experience for my parents that will inspire them
.. so they will discover ideas of mindfulness, meet interesting people, and be open to new opportunities. I didn’t know how to make it happen and encountered some hurdlers – most popular retreats were quite expensive, the majority were in English, etc.
Coincidentally, my company, Mindvalley, organized Summit in Russia, bringing in the best speakers in Russian–speaking market.
So I brought my parents there. We also took the opportunity to visit the mountains and had a great adventure together.
It turned out to be the best time with my parents, a new stage of our relationship. They became really inspired and gained a lot of knowledge, which I feel is just the beginning.
# Read 24 books/ courses/ conferences – learn everything around relevant topics
Books – what I can recommend from this year: “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown (Vulnerability), “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl, “The ONE Thing” by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan, “The Code of the Extraordinary Mind” by Vishen Lakhiani, “The New Psycho-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz, “Conversation with God” by Neale Donald Walsch, “Woman Code” by Alisa Vitti, “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel, and “Law of Attraction” by Esther Hicks & Jerry Hicks.
I also went through many courses on personal growth (“Uncompromised Life” by Marisa Peer, “Duality” by Jeffrey Allen), professional courses on email marketing, as well as many youtube tutorials on WordPress.
In addition to that:
# I found another way – to listen to books (through audible)
# A habit of geeky learning around the topic that intrigues me – books, TED Talks, courses, documentaries, calls with experts, and putting knowledge into practice.
# I help people live a life they want
I started to run my blog more actively – I got several thousands of page viewers, conducted 3 corporate and 5 individual sessions.
After receiving positive feedback, validating that I really can help people and that it brings me fulfillment, I decided to do it more often, to not be afraid or think that I’m not ready.
I already feel that next year I will be conducting more dream-boarding activities!
# Bring my energy to a next level, so I can attract what I want
I did daily energy practices, but one day I asked myself – how do I measure this goal? How do I know if I achieved this? And then I realized the answer: a) if I want something, can I attract it without any effort b) can I heal someone who needs it.
Then I forgot about that.
But during the next day, I randomly thought about one festival and that I really wanted to attend, but it was last minute and I didn’t have a ticket. Then I met my friend who happened to have a free ticket because she was teaching there.
At that exact event, I helped one girl to heal herself from pain immediately.
And more great things happened – these are other items from my list for this year:
# I attended A-Fest and met 300 like-minded people who live extraordinary lives (held in Greece this year, and was one of the most incredible experiences in my life).
# Surfed 10 days (and it was with a Russian Surfing Champion).
# Europe – visit 5 new countries there (and it was my first solo trip!).
# Be an expert in programmatic marketing.
# Contribute the most I can to my company.
# Be in love with my amazing boyfriend and build a great relationship with him.
# Became fluent in English so I can write in it.
# Embark on new fun activities – diving, back-flip, headstand, wakeboarding.
In addition to that, I’ve upgraded my environment, did a lot of creative things, and met a lot of great people. This year was a lot about giving and sharing as well.
Another key is that when you start being open and working with the Universe on the level of dreams, feelings, thoughts, imaginations, you’ll find that your intentions attract things that you can’t imagine, predict, or plan. Things just are happening. It’s crazy, random, and beautiful – that’s why it’s so exciting.
That’s what happens when you follow your dreams
Dream-Planning is what I call the process that helped me create this habit. I write down things I know will happen for sure, as well as just imaginations without any idea of how it will manifest.
I do it yearly and then a monthly review, but also stay open for anything that can happen without any plan. It’s so much fun to live a life you want!
I strongly want to see more people doing the same, which is why I’m ready to share what has proven to work in my experience.
Here are 5 steps of dream planning process:
1. Reflect and identify your values (or re-evaluate them)
To know where you want to be, it’s important to understand who you are and what’s important to you. It’s not enough to just write down your statement once and that’s it. When you feel you’ve changed, it’s good to revisit your values, especially if you’re in the fast learning and growing phase. Here is why:
- You are constantly getting rid of old beliefs and adapting new ones
- Your priorities change according to the stage of your life
- You learn, go through new experiences, and are influenced by your environment.
You’re never the same person you were in the past. And it’s a good thing.
Your core values will be still the same, but others may change.
2. Create your life vision (or re-visit it), it’s more powerful that you think.
The human brain works better and faster towards one goal. When there are many tasks, it gets lost trying to figure out what problem to solve. That’s why uncertainty gives us worries, fears, and sometimes depression. And that’s the reason why clarity is so powerful.
Once you have a clear vision – you have your personal compass for a decision-making process, so it’s easy to say “yes” or “no” to any new opportunity.
Secondly – a vision consists of your dreams that truly make you excited and emotionally engaged. Magic on a metaphysical level starts here – you attract the right people, right projects, right things that happen even without your involvement. Because your dreams and emotions make you connected to a higher power and the laws of the Universe are working for you.
That’s why if you don’t have a vision or you’re not excited enough to wake up every morning to make it happen – then it’s time to change something.
If you have that – great, don’t forget to stay connected to it!
3. Plan only one next big step (year/ project), not entire life.
It’s like in project management the majority of growth-oriented companies are applying agile thinking – a model where there is a long-term vision with plans for the next features or sprint plans.
Why it’s more useful:
- Short-term timeframe creates healthy scarcity and mobilization, leaving less room for excuses
to procrastinate (since the deadline is coming)
- It makes you focus on the most important things, the approach “what if it’s your last year?”
As Steve Jobs said “Death is very likely the best single invention of life.”
- Focusing on one thing at the time allows you to operate in your optimal way
- Easier to measure, and easier to achieve tasks and goals
It gives you a better chance to be present when you’re not overwhelmed with so many things at once
4. Make an Action plan
Plan what matters and excites you the most first. Travelling, learning new things, adventures, experiences, opening new company – this should be planned first. Make a usual to-do list you of what you want to achieve without any extraordinary effort.
Then plan the rest. Write down everything.
It’s important to write down everything, as many studies show people who have their goals written achieve more than those who don’t.
I usually start my planning with values or a “theme of the year” in order to attract even more things that I’m not capable of dreaming up at the moment.
5. Get excited!
Create a vision board and celebrate it – create an emotional attachment to it. You should “feel your dreams” – create associations with movements or some special rituals, do something physical – so your body will remember the feeling. Get excited about every single thing you want to have in your life. Visualize, meditate, dance. Then it becomes even more real and achievable.
Share with others – let them be excited for you as well and join you for some dreams you have in common.
Now it’s a great time to give yourself space to reflect and plan your dreams. Do it and let me know how it goes. I wish all the best to everyone reading this post now!
P.S. I know that if you don’t have the process it might be challenging to plan your dreams.
That’s why I’ll be sharing my experience and guiding you in this process of planning of the next year together with you.
It’s happening on 17th of December in Kuala Lumpur.
- Expected outcome: your dream plan for the next year is created, based on your values, dreams.
Actionable and achievable.
- We’ll go through several exercises together
- Number of spots are limited