How to Design Your Dream Life
We only get one life. That fact is hammered into our brains from a young age. When we are young, we eagerly plan out our futures. As a teen, it is easy to feel excited about the impending freedom once we graduate from high school.
Then we do graduate and the world is different than we expected.
Our carefully thought out dreams do not align as well with our adult selves the way they did when we were teens. Maybe you had planned to travel the world only to discover you hate flying. Or maybe you had planned to be a model only to find you prefer a job with a steady paycheck. With the world wide open, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you are looking for some clarity in what to work towards. (Disclaimer: It is okay for your answers on this list to change more than once. Write down your answers and date each edition. It can be fun to look back on.)
- How do you want to make money?
Would you feel fulfilled if you were able to make a living with your passion? Do you prefer the balance of a typical 9-5? Imagine your life in different roles. Jot down the pros and cons if you need a visual comparison. Both options are valid and can allow you to lead a healthy and happy life. If you find yourself excited about the idea of being a working film director, start working on your craft now. If you are see yourself fitting in perfectly at your local bank, apply for the open position. If you feel drawn to save lives, apply to med school. Having an idea of where you want to end up helps you make the first steps.
- How do you stay active?
Staying physically active is important when it comes to having a healthy life. Staying active could be joining a gym, playing a sport, going for walks in the park, or even playing with your kids or pets.
- How do you spend your free time?
When you are finishing up your work for the day, what will you be looking forward to? Do you want to go home and relax with your family? Do you want to see your favorite artists in concert?
- What hobby do you have for your brain?
Exercising your brain is important, especially as we get older. Do you love to read? Do you have a puzzle collection in your closet? Do you have a passion for card games or sudoku?
- What hobby do you have for your heart?
What is a hobby you want to pick up that makes you feel good? This can be anything from dance classes, to playing an instrument, and even to training dogs.
- What hobby do you have that is out of the box?
Do you have a passion for juggling? Have you ever wanted to try yodeling? Do you want to start a YouTube channel? This hobby can be anything at all and does not need to make you any money.
- What is your preferred method of transportation?
Do you want to live in the big city and take the subway or bus on your errands? Do you have a dream vehicle in mind? Knowing how you want to get around town is helpful when planning out the next few years of your life. If you have a dream car, you know you will need a driver’s license and to start putting some money aside.
- What place do you call home?
Do you love the town you grew up in? Do you have grand aspirations to live in New York City? Do you want to travel the country and live out of a van?
- What is your favorite place to visit?
This can be as simple as your local library, a coffee shop out of town, a family member’s home, or a tourist attraction across the country.
- How do you give back?
Do you like to volunteer? Do you have a favorite charity to donate to? Do you give your old books to your local library?
I hope these questions help you find some clarity! I had notes upon notes of where I wanted my post-high school life to go and was devastated to find it did not make me happy. I felt like I was wandering aimlessly when, in reality, I had been given a blank canvas to do whatever I wanted.
If you are feeling lost in life, I promise you are not alone. Allow yourself to dream again. It will get better.