As we embark on the last month of the year, our minds automatically shift to replay all of our situations from the year’s past. Businesses we should have started. Relationships we should have ended. And goals we should have accomplished. Going into a new year, we attempt to accomplish dreams that we didn’t complete in the previous year – and we disguise them under “New Year’s Resolutions.”
Personally, I don’t get into New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t need a specific date to start something, as everyday I strive to be better than the day before. But some people like New Year’s Resolutions, because it gives them parameters – and that is okay. The one thing we need to agree on is to finish what we start.
In setting goals for our lives, be it personal or professional, money tends to always play a factor. We play that “if I had this much money” game in our minds all the time, or we say “if I can just make this much money, then I’ll be straight.” But the truth of the matter is, money isn’t everything.
We see it play out all the time in movies, music and across the news. The Notorious B.I.G. might have said it best when he said, “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.” Remember the 1987 classic movie Can’t Buy Me Love starring Patrick Dempsey? He thought he could buy the dream girlfriend to elevate his status in high school with a simple cash transaction. There’s a show that comes on the TLC network titled, Lottery Changed My Life, in which they chronicle the unique experiences of people who struck it rich. And some of those people ended up going broke.
“Make the money, don’t let it make you.” – Diamond, The Players Club
Yes, money can bring about temporary satisfaction. Yes, money can allow us to live out some of our wildest dreams. Yes, money can allow us to provide for our families and friends. But if all you’re chasing is money, eventually you are going to run out of it, or it will outrun you. Rather than chase the money, I tell people to chase the dream – the money will follow.
“When you chase the wrong things, you don’t allow the right things to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal
When I am setting goals, whether they be personal or professional, money never comes into play. Achievement comes in the form of productivity and outputs. I am a strong believer that whatever dreams you chase, the money should be one step behind. These are the dream scenarios, where you find yourself telling others, “I can’t believe I get paid to do this!”
Humans have an inherent nature to accomplish things, and our dreams are vital for emotional and mental health. In order to chase your dreams the right way, here are three tips:
- Write it down. Writing is permanent. Think back to your childhood when you would scratch your name on a wall or a desk. The act of writing brings all of your information to the forefront and forces your brain to pay close attention. Science refers to this as the reticular activating system (RAS), and this part of the brain is considered the brain’s attention and motivation center.
- Take baby steps. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Each dream you have involves taking baby steps. If you’ve ever watched a baby learn to walk, you can see that their steps start out slow, as they are very cautious. At times they lose their balance, fall and sometimes hurt themselves…but they get back up and start all over again. Once they master the art of walking, their baby steps soon turn into a run, and their end destination becomes closer and closer.
- Enjoy the journey. The fun is not in the dream, but in the journey. If you’ve ever climbed a mountain, which some of our dreams are, then you’ve experienced a journey. The steep hills and rough terrain, the sound of nature in the background, the smell of the air, the sunshine and the rain, the different flowers, plants and trees. The journey teaches you patience. It provides peace and chaos. It can put you in uncomfortable situations, but it allows you to find your true character. And when you emerge from the journey, you can look back and see that you don’t look like what you’ve been through.
Happy Goal Setting.
Photo courtesy: http://www.usatoday.com.