What would you do if money were no object at all?
It’s a question you’ve heard before. Your friends have asked, your co-workers and maybe even a stranger or two. In most cases, it’s a call for us to fantasize about being able to buy whatever we think would make us happy. And for that reason, I’ve never liked the question.
But the essence of “What would you do if money were no object at all?” can push us beyond thoughts of material desire to more useful and meaningful reflection: What are my dreams? What ignites my passion? What kind of life do I want to create for myself?
A fantasy and a dream are two different things. A fantasy involves imagining something that, in most cases, is unachievable. Sure, someone wins the Powerball, but the odds of you or me cashing in are 1 in 175,223,510. (We have better odds of being hit by lightning – 1 in 700,000, according to National Geographic.)
Dreams, on the other hand, are achievable – and you get to determine the odds of realizing them. They can be as rare as winning the lottery or as common as finding a penny. You decide.
How you approach your dreams determines the odds of making them real. Left in the fuzzy world of fantasy, they are ultimately out of reach. However, if you break your dream down into a series of 90-day goals, you can get there.
These steps can help you use 90-day goals to make your dream a reality.
1. Animate your dream by writing, drawing or creating a picture. I like to create a dream board by making a collage.
2. Determine the next logical milestone that will take about 90 days to achieve.
3. Outline the actions required to get to this milestone.
4. On paper, turn these required actions into SMART goals:
Specific: Write down exactly what you intend to achieve.
Measurable: Make it measurable, so you know whether you achieved it or not.
Achievable: Make it simple.
Relevant: Make sure the goal is helping you toward your dream.
Time bound: Be clear about how much time you are going to give yourself.
Carry your SMART goals with you and look at them every day.
Going beyond fear
When it comes to our dreams, most of us look for excuses to stay stuck. We let fear get in the way of action.
Strangely, this fear, as author Marianne Williamson describes, is not our fear of being inadequate, rather it is our fear of being brilliant, talented and fabulous.
Our plan must include removing obstacles that keep us stuck.
For example, we have to acknowledge that we need money to buy life’s necessities, but we may be able to live on less. Failing to take control of your personal finances may just be the excuse you are using not to be brilliant and fabulous.
The world is waiting. Make a plan and take action.
email@example.com. Durango resident and personal finance coach Matt Kelly owns Momentum: Personal Finance. www.personalfinancecoaching.com.