Every Olympic athlete knows exactly what they want. Their goals, dreams and aspirations are extremely clear. They know exactly when they will achieve it and they know exactly how to do it.
It’s the most wonderful time of the (4) year(s)
The Olympics come around every four years. There is a ton of divide in our country and many others, but it’s that one time where your country comes together as one, to cheer on one flag. It’s the time of year you watch way too many hours of TV and of sports that you haven’t watched in the last four years.
We become experts in judging high divers even though we have never jumped head first from 33 feet up like they are. We also get upset when our favorite gymnast moves that one foot six inches off the landing after doing three consecutive flips each with three to four turns in the air. But hey, we’ve been watching this sport for at least three hours. We are experts at this point!
We have been waiting all summer or all fall to be able to watch the opening ceremonies from our comfy couch with a big bowl of popcorn. We see that first commercial about four months out and we get chills just thinking about it. We spend four months thinking about the coming Olympics with no preparation, but these athletes have been training their whole lives for this ceremony.
What if we knew exactly what we wanted, knew exactly how to get it and even knew the time frame on when we could receive it?
We can and I would even argue, we wouldn’t have to wait for four years like the Olympic athletes do. If we are ready, and we’ve been training, working hard, putting in the extra time, we can achieve our goals before the four year mark, but let’s stay with the analogy for now.
Four Years Out
I always hated the question of “Where do you see yourself in five years.” It is so vague and in all reality, even our visions are far different from where we want to “be.” A better question would be “What do you want your life to look like in five years?” Olympians know exactly what they want their life to look like in four years. They see themselves landing that flip, crossing that line, touching that wall before everyone else. They envision themselves on the platform accepting the Gold medal and watching their country’s flag rise above all the others. Four years out they are envisioning this.
The reason they are four years out is because currently they are in one of two places.
- They are like the rest of us, sitting on a couch watching someone do exactly what they want to do right now.
- Or they are watching someone else cross the line, touch the wall, land the flip better and before they do. They are watching the other competitor’s flag rise instead of theirs right next to them in person with a huge knot in their stomach knowing they should be at the top.
In both scenarios, this Olympian makes a choice to do whatever they need to do to be on that platform four years later. They know where they want to be and they know exactly what they need to do to get there. They work backwards.
We can do exactly as the Olympians do with our goals and visions if we actually took the time to think through it.
What do you want your life to look like in four years? Where do you want to be living? Where are you going to be working, how much money are you making? What type of vacations are you taking? Really dive into what you want your life to look like. Write your answers down with great detail so you have your vision in writing. Then let’s work backwards.
If you have the exact house that you want to live in. You have the neighborhood, state, lake, oceanside, etc. all picked out in your vision, do a zillow search of houses in that area and find out the cost. Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy you the house of your dreams. Find the house that you want, find out how much it is and print a picture of that house and put that house on your vision board. Take the cost of the house and figure out the mortgage payment. Now that you know what you’ll need to pay on a monthly basis, divide that number by .30 (You want your mortgage payment to not exceed 30% of your monthly income). That number is the amount you need to bring home before taxes. Multiply that number by 12 and you now have your annual salary goal to hit.
Mortgage payment = $Y
$Y/.30 = Minimum Monthly Take Home Pay Needed
You have now taken a vision of one thing that you want in your life, given it a description, a price tag or a number and made it tangible. Now you can touch the path. You know the way to achieve this vision. The best part of not being an Olympian and using their process is the fact you don’t need to wait four years to achieve your prize!
Copy:: Paste:: Repeat
Take the last section on working backwards to find out your path to achieving the home of your dreams and do it with every other detail of your vision. You can do that with your vacations, your cars, your time off, and even your spouse to be. You can do that with your dream job. If you know the job you want or at least the lifestyle of the job you want, what is the type of person that you need to become to have that job or lifestyle? What type of knowledge, education, experience do you need to make that happen? Work backwards all the way back to what you need to do today, ever day until you achieve it.
It is scary to dream big. Most of us don’t because most big dreams seem unattainable because they are so far away. “No I could never be a NY Times Best Seller, I’ve never even written a book more or less a blog.” If you actually dove into how the average person on the NY Times Best Seller list got onto that list you will see that the day to day actions aren’t that difficult today. You don’t write a top selling book in one sitting. It takes experience and coaching. The best part about that is, today we have everything accessible and we can have as steep of a learning curve as we want! Narrow down your vision to the action items you need to take today to make it happen. Put those action items into a process and make that process a habit.
Vision>>action items today>>process>>habit = Compound Effect
Compound Effect + Time = Vision and Goals Achieved
Fall in love with the process. Fall in love with the day-to-day. Accept the grind for what it is. It’s your path to your vision and goals.