We’re closing out 2016 with a heavy focus on something we all could stand to do more of—Dreaming Big. As planners and small business owners (among the 75 other roles we play every single day), it can be exhausting enough to just keep up with the status quo, let alone to entertain the idea of challenging it by dreaming beyond our day-to-day tasks. But, the only way we’re able to take our business to the next level is by looking beyond where we’re at today and allowing ourselves to dream about where we’d like to be in the future. We know that this is so often easier said than done, though, so we wanted to take some time today to share three simple techniques you can use to help you get there. Challenge yourself to spend some time developing these habits and we promise, dreaming big will get easier by the day.
Practice Meditation/Visualization (Daily)
This is one of the most effective techniques you can use as a business owner when it comes to dreaming and goal-setting. Meditation isn’t just about tapping out and letting go of things in your life—it can also be about visualizing what you want to bring into your life as well. Choose a quiet spot where you won’t be bothered (and stick to the same spot everyday) and practice visualization either right after you wake up or right before you go to bed (this tends to be when our mind is the most relaxed and the most effective at visualizing) religiously, every single day. Either sit up straight or lay down on your back (you want to have a straight spine) and count down from ten to relax yourself.
From there, focus on an image or word or affirmation that you’d like to see come to fruition, using your breath to give this image/word/affirmation energy and attention. Focus deeply on what it is you want to bring into your life or your business for as long as it takes until you feel satisfied with your visualization session (this can be anywhere from 10 minutes to a half-an-hour). Your work isn’t done there, though—be sure to bring this image/word/affirmation back to mind as often as you can throughout the day, giving it positive energy each time. You’ll find that, after only a few days, you’ve sort of retrained your brain to focus on a positive goal and you’ll notice yourself (a) bringing that goal to mind more and more throughout the day and (b) actually working toward that goal in a more effective and on-target way.
Set Goals That Build Upon One Another (Weekly)
We talk a lot about goal setting at Aisle Planner—and that’s because it’s one of the most simple, yet effective things we can do to move our businesses forward. We recommend spending a few minutes every single Sunday night creating a list of tangible goals for the next week. While these can be simple day-to-day tasks, it’s also important to remember that, overall, you want them to help move you closer and closer to that dream-big goal for your business. So, week after week these goals should build upon one another (and, together, they should build toward some serious growth for business). So, if your goal is to hire an intern within a year’s time, start with that end-goal and then back-track to discover the weekly steps you’ll need to take starting now in order to get there in a year’s time.
Keep an Open Mind (Daily)
One of the things that sets us back most from achieving our goals and allowing ourselves to dream big is these set-in-stone mindsets we all have. Even the most open-minded people tend to hold certain unwavering beliefs about their own abilities. While we often think of being open-minded as being accepting of others, it’s also important to remember that we should extend that same open-minded acceptance to ourselves. Think about the way you speak to your children or loved ones and then compare that to your own inner dialogue. We tell others that they can achieve whatever they want so long as they put in the hard work and dedication, yet we so often don’t extend that same belief to ourselves. We challenge you, then, to carefully monitor your inner dialogue daily over the next few weeks. Anytime you catch yourself shutting down an idea you have or making up excuses for why a certain dream won’t be realized, flip the script and speak to yourself almost as you would speak to a child who’s sharing their dreams with you.
Overall, dreaming big doesn’t have to be some pie-in-the-sky idea we teach to kindergarteners and then never practice ourselves as adults—it can actually be a very tangible, effective way to achieve some seriously rock-star business goals. But it does take dedication and an acute awareness of our inner dialogue and daily habits in order to make that happen. The three habits we recommended above are all techniques that take two main things on your part (1) awareness and (2) action. So spend the next few weeks being constantly self-aware and willing to act when it’s needed, and you’ll find that what were once just pie-in-the-sky dreams are now tangible goals that are becoming more and more attainable every single day.