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No. 57 / Deadlines and dreamlines

Deadlines are things we are dead serious about. It’s the “get this done or you’re fired” kind of thing. Most of us live on deadlines. Pay this fee, write this article, finish this project, close these deals, complete this test, give this presentation by this date or else...It’s a reactive mindset, mostly because it’s easy. We like other people telling us what to do, whether we want to admit it or not. 

Living for the next deadline isn’t exactly living on your own terms. It’s the type of lifestyle that causes regret and resentment. 

Dreamlines, on the other hand, are difficult. That’s why not many people set them, let alone do them. They require time, energy, effort, and a certain level of commitment toward designing your own life. 

Accomplishing your dreams doesn’t have to be as difficult as we make it out to be. If you are purposeful about how you live your life, it is very much possible to have your cake and eat it too. You can have a full-time job and go on a dream vacation once a year. You can have a family and do the one thing on your bucket list you have always wanted to do. You can be on the board of directors for 3 different non-profits and learn something you have always wanted to learn. It happens when you decide. When you prioritize dreamlines over deadlines, something amazing happens; both “lines” are met. 

For best results, focus on one dreamline at a time. If it’s your dream to eat at a Michelin 3 star restaurant, give yourself 90 days to make that dream a reality. Then make a list of the things you will need to do to make it happen: save money, become an expert in the culinary arts, book a table, make travel arrangements, etc. Next, make a second list of the person you will need to become in order to realize your dream: be in shape, healthy, pleasant to work with, well read, a good friend and family member, etc. By focusing on one goal at a time, you will have more clarity and be more organized around this one objective. Interestingly enough, you will also become better at the other things in your life. Instead of creating 20 goals and accomplishing none of them, you are focusing on one goal at a time. Everything else in your life for that 90 days is helping you work toward realizing that one goal. 

No longer are you reading every day or working out every day just for the sake of doing it. You are now reading to become an expert in whatever your next 90-day-goal is. You are now working out every day so that you can be in shape, be happy, and have a clear mind to have the energy to accomplish your 90-day-goal.  

It takes daily accountability, weekly reflection, and an encouraging social circle to make your dreams come true, but they are very much within your reach.   

It’s time we take goal setting more seriously. It’s time we are more proactive about achieving dreamlines rather than always reacting to deadlines. Design your life, or your life will design you.