A Day in the Ideal Life
At the beginning of the year I bought one of those awesome planners that helps you to also work out goals and vision for the next 1-5 years. As part of this, there was a page dedicated to “word vomit.” Start writing and don’t stop to think once, write an ideal day in your life as-fast-as-you-can. The everyday, the mundane, and of course it must be glorious.
I finished, and behold it was paragraph after paragraph after paragraph of rooms in my house, and friends in them. Music was also there. Good food, naturally. I had tried to get away from it and write about things to achieve in work and travel, but it just wouldn’t come. Instead it was all about home.
Fine then. I put buying a house into my 1-5 year plan. Before that, was going to France to live for half a year. Before that, was saving lots of money.
3.78 months later “my” house, no actually, my house came for sale and an offer was made. What madness is this? I had prioritized goals, dangit. One mustn’t mess with goals…
Or does one?
This is how I see it working:
It starts with Dreams and Visions: I had a dream, that led into a vision to buy a house, but thank God I didn’t make it into strict, timed goal. I simply set it in my sights. What you focus on is what often comes to pass.
It’s not a good idea to micro-control the timing on vision. Doing that means I would’ve missed this house I’ve always wanted, because if sticking to the order of things is important I would’ve gone to France and Spain first and missed a heart’s desire. France will probably still be there later.
We guide our own reality with what we allow ourselves to dream, and the value of dreams is measured by the amount of hard work we’re willing to do to birth them.
Goals: when the house-buying process started goals were my best friend. Must get these pay stubs to mortgage company by 3p Saturday afternoon. Must organize work party and buy these specific cleaning products (or whatever) to make the goal of having house ready for refinishing floors by such-and-such date.
Use goals as a vehicle to accomplish tangible, physical things. Your vision may be to have a swimsuit body, but that can’t be your goal. That is a result, that is not what you will do to get to a result. You need a plan, Stan. Goals are your plan.
Expectations: check to make sure your expectations match the vision and not the goal. For example. I really want my cabinets painted before the end of this month and it’s a goal I’m working toward. However, my overall vision for the house is to create a refuge of friendship and peace. If I would half kill my schedule simply to get those cabinets painted for a party next week, and then the party flopped, my mistake would have been pinning my expectations in a lesser detail. A party isn’t about incomplete details, it’s about the people who attend it and the connections they foster.
Expectations is mostly about keeping priorities straight. By all means set the context, create beauty, and cook some good food… but remember that people come first.
Last night some friends came over, bearing rhubarb crisp and practical knowledge and helped me turn my dream of a house into a home. I snapped a photo and was stopped in my proverbial tracks to remember:
…this is what I envisioned five months ago. Friends. Home. Beauty. Food. Peace.
But it would never have happened if I hadn’t caught the vision, set the goal to save the money, took the action, and kept my expectations to what really mattered.
Photo up top by Anete Lūsiņa