Organize your dreams for success

Thursday, April 19, 2018 7:39 PM

You can live the life of your dreams. I promised you that in my previous column and gave you an exercise for how to envision the life you want and clarify your goals.

Today, I’m offering a framework for organizing and prioritizing your dreams. With your journal and dream list in hand, continue reading and we’ll organize your dreams into three categories.

Bucket listFinancial well-beingFulfillmentBucket listBucket-list dreams are once-in-a-lifetime experiences or purchases to be accomplished before we die. This category includes your biggest aspirations.

Interestingly, there is a tension created by these dreams. We believe that achieving them will make us happy and that we’ll regret the ones we’ve put off or don’t meet.

But the reality is that the surge of happiness we feel from buying or doing something can dissipate relatively quickly, and we soon return to our baseline mood. While regret – blaming ourselves for something we never had or could not achieve – can linger and diminish our happiness.

Financial well-beingLast time, I pointed you toward financial well-being when you answered the questions:

I am most happy when I’m ________.What do you dream of creating?Describe your ideal day, week, month and year.Take a look at these five levels of financial well-being described in Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins. Decide what level will support your dreams.

Financial security: You do not have to work to pay for the basics, including housing, utilities, food, transportation and insurance.Financial vitality: You have the ability to meet your financial security and half of the cost of small indulgences and luxuries without working.Financial independence: The interest from savings and return from your investments allow you to maintain your lifestyle without working.Financial freedom: You have financial independence and two or three significant luxuries. Absolute financial freedom: The freedom to live and give freely without worrying about money or working.FulfillmentThe dreams in the fulfillment category don’t cost money but require time and using your grit, a combination of passion and long-term perseverance.

A truly meaningful life is about fulfillment through living your purpose, being of service and supporting a community. If you aren’t living your purpose and working with others in service to our collective good, no amount of bucket-list achievement or financial freedom will bring satisfaction.

In the next Money Savvy column, we’ll explore how to go about achieving your dreams and the level of financial well-being that is right for you.

This column is one in a 12-part series. To read the others, visit Durango resident and personal finance coach Matt Kelly owns Momentum: Personal Finance.