There was a book I read years ago that got me initially going in this direction. I would bet many of you have read this book or at least heard of it… The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. Inside this book, Tim gave an awesome technique for setting your goals in a realistic and manageable way. He called it the Dreamline.
Still to this day, I create dreamlines on a regular basis to keep me on track and moving in the right direction. Today, I thought I would share a short term dreamline I set up this morning. It will show you how I set up my weeks and months to hit my goals every time. You can follow this same technique to keep your business and your life moving forward…
Typically, you want to set up your goals and dreamlines with a longer term period in mind. 6-12 months is the best way to go when creating your dreamline. This gives you more time to put your plan in action and get things going. The example above is only for the next month and really the last 1 month of a 3 month dreamline. What’s left on the board is what I have left to fulfill this month.
As you can see, there are 3 categories to list… To Have, To Be, To Do. They are pretty self explanatory. Under the “To Have” section, list everything that you would like to have by the end of your dreamline. I just moved back into Nashville. So, my place is about half way full of furniture and I’m without a car. These are the two main things I want to have new in the next month and a half.
You can see I put the estimated cost in red next to each item. I always think it’s best to be as accurate as possible when you list the cost. The more exact amount you know, the more realistic it will feel. It’s more of a solid goal in your mind compared to evening out at $10,000 or something like that. So, look up that car model and the average cost in your area… or find the exact furniture you want to buy now and list the prices.
On the far right, I list the steps that can be taken next. This is very important because it’s where you will actually succeed with this dreamline. We all are great planners and dreamers. I have about 1000 business plans in a notebook from a few years ago. The main problem was I didn’t act out or take a step forward to make them happen. That’s the same thing with this dreamline. Knowing the numbers is only a fraction of what’s necessary… the first real step forward is that first action. Make this first step something easy and something you can do right now…. THEN DO IT!!!!
Next, the “To Be” category is all about what you want to become. I want to become much healthier. As one of my main missions in life, bettering my body is important. I have been very lazy when it comes to the exercise and diet world. It shows in my body too. So, it’s time for me to start exercising and eating healthy again. The cost is 1 hour per day for 5 days a week. A dreamline doesn’t just have to be about money. It’s about your perfect life.
I would also like my next product launch to get Product of the Day so I have that listed there. The product and all it’s pieces are already completed… but now I have to focus on the most important part… the affiliates. This is a 3 week process in itself.
Last, we have the “To Do” category. List all the great things you would like to do over this dreamline period. I had planned this dreamline originally in December with the end goal of a 2 week vacation in Hawaii the day after my birthday. As you can see, that’s listed in this section along with a birthday party for my Grandfather.
After you have your dreams listed, you have estimated the approximate cost for each, and know your first steps, you can start to figure out exactly what it’s going to take to fulfill each. You’ll want to figure in your monthly expenses as well to be completely clear on how much you need each day.
For me, it costs about $3,000/month to live. That includes rent, power, cable, cell phone, food, fun, and an old credit card payment I’m still slowing churning off. As a safety net for any misfortune or change in plans, it’s usually best to add another 30% to your living expense fees. So, my living expenses would be $3,900/month. If this were a 3 month dreamline, I would have to multiply that total by 3 so I knew my total living expense requirement for the dreamline.
Once you have this total, you can add it to your dream items. $3,900 (living) + $8,000 (Hawaii) + $500 Grandpa Trip + $1,000 (Furniture) + $2,000 (upfront car fee) = $15,400
So for me to fulfill my dreamline, I need to pull in a sweet $15,400 until April 13th. You can divide this by the number of days left in your dreamline to see exactly what your daily income needs to be… $15,400/42 = $366/day
With this amount in mind, I know exactly what to shoot for in my everyday actions. The best start is getting the steps you listed on the dreamline done right away. Don’t hesitate, procrastinate, or say that you will do it tomorrow… DO IT NOW!
You are on a deadline now… A deadline to have exactly what you want. So, why would you sit around and waste time. Anything else you do through the day isn’t going to be working towards your dream so why do it… You know what needs to be done next, you know how much needs to be done, and you know when it needs to be done by. Get out there and start rolling with it!