The lovely Kim Kiyosaki

Dream Big in 2020

Five steps to gaining the courage you need to chase your dreams

As a child, when you pictured the year 2020, what exactly did you imagine? Flying cars? Half the population living on Mars? Robots doing everything for us? A pill to cure every ailment? It’s amazing the things we can dream up! The year 2020 sounded so futuristic back in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s—and in just over a month, it’ll finally be here! Of course, none of those scientific and technological advancements we dreamed up have come true. Yet.

But you’ve probably had other dreams over the last few decades—ones that could have come true if you’d taken action on them. Think back. Perhaps it’s quitting your mind-numbing corporate job to become an entrepreneur—even though that means giving up “the security” of your salary, benefits and bonus. Maybe it’s going back to school in your 40s—even though you could very well be the oldest student in the class. Or it could be moving to Tuscany to fulfill your dreams of living in the charming Italian countryside—even though you don’t speak the language. What about becoming a real estate investor and enjoying the cash flow that accompanies it—even though you are trying to pay down credit card debt?

Did you notice all those “even thoughs” that accompanied each scary goal? I included them to show that there will always be an obstacle, challenge, or uncertainty when chasing your dreams. But I’m here to tell you that you can do anything you desire—even though you don’t quite have all the answers quite figured out.

The more time you spend hemming and hawing over how taking a big risk could result in any number of undesirable consequences, the more time you’re wasting. In reality, you’re setting these imaginary limits for yourself. Would you tell a clumsy 6-year-old that she will never be a ballerina—even though probably less than 0.05% of little girls are talented enough to actually become ballerinas? Of course not. You’d encourage her to follow her dreams. So why squash your own just because you’re a grown up?

Ignorance is bliss

Mark Twain said, “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”

I believe that’s because the less you over analyze something, the more likely you are to just do it. Sometimes, ignorance truly is bliss. If you have confidence in yourself, you’ll take the leap and then figure out each subsequent step as it comes your way. You don’t have to have all the answers in place ahead of time. In fact, it’s a waste of time to—you can’t predict everything.

So I challenge you to dream bigger. The bigger the dream, the more intimidating it is when you think of what it will take to accomplish it. Small dreams may be easier to achieve, but they also lead to mediocrity and unfulfilled potential.

Think of the new year as a brand-new blank 365-page book—do you want to start chapter one by limiting your greatness? I don’t think so!

How to Set Goals for 2020

When I’m faced with a goal that seems almost impossible, here’s how I approach it:

  1. Make a loose plan

    There’s an old joke that goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Makes perfect sense to me, and that’s why I recommend that you break your big dream into smaller steps. This way, you’ll gain satisfaction by crossing each step off your to-do list and you’ll get the constant joy of knowing you’ve accomplished something. This method is proven to be more motivating and, therefore, more manageable. If you happen to have a clear idea of what you need to do, make an outline or blueprint of the various steps you’ll need to get to your end goal. If you aren’t sure (which is perfectly acceptable), just write step one down. Once you complete it, figure out step two and write it down. And so on. Either way, you’ll start with the first small step. Then another. Do however much you can do now, even if it’s only a little bit. Just keep moving forward and keep the momentum alive.

  2. Give up the idea of perfection

    It’s human nature to want to wait for all the right conditions before moving forward with something. But the problem with waiting for the perfect time to take a leap of faith is that you could be left waiting forever. Instead, trust that you’ve prepared as well as you can and move forward with conviction. This doesn’t mean you won’t face uncertainty or obstacles along the way, but no matter when you start there will always be a bump in the road or some uncertainty breathing down your neck. You’ll never be ready, so make today your “ready as I’ll ever be” day and take action.

  3. Reach out to your network

    Let those in your inner circle know that you’ve started a new venture or are looking for a stepping stone. Seek out those in your network who have made the same journey you’re about to embark on and ask for advice. You’ll want an array of personalities in your circle, from cheerleaders to those who aren’t afraid to provide brutally honest feedback (although, watch out for the naysayers and Negative Nancys, who are too scared to step out of their own comfort zones). Cultivate the relationships you’ve built over the decades — you never know where support will come from.

  4. Recognize when you need to adjust your course

    At some point on your journey, you’re bound to take a wrong turn. No worries. If you find yourself on a path that isn’t leading you toward your big dream, don’t just give up on the dream. Take a step back and do a little course correction. In fact, you could learn a lot from your GPS system — if you take a wrong turn, it doesn’t simply say, “too bad” and shut off. It will say “recalculating” and help you navigate a different route. It may not be the original route, or even the most direct route, but the destination remains the same and it’ll eventually lead you there.

  5. Don’t compare yourself to others

    You are as unique as a snowflake, and so your path will be as well. One of the worst things you can do is look to others and start measuring your success by comparing it to theirs. Success often is not a linear path, and the people you put on a pedestal may not have shared all the trials and tribulations they encountered on their own journey. Whatever twists and turns your journey takes is all right — you will get there eventually in your own way on your own time.

So, what’s the scariest goal you can imagine setting for yourself? One that makes you squirm just thinking about it because it’s so seemingly impossible or scary to attain. One that you know will forever change the direction of your life and bring oodles of happiness and positive things your way. And what steps are you going to take this year to turn your dreams into your reality?

Don’t let another year, another month or another day go by daydreaming about your big goals. Carpe diem!

Original publish date: January 11, 2018