In a world where we are inundated with crazy headlines daily, it’s more important than ever that we focus on making our dreams come true. Here’s your guide to clarifying your vision for the coming year and manifesting your best season yet.
Declare your dreams
First of all: list your intentions and desires. “When we set goals that promise rewards, the brain releases dopamine,” says John Assaraf, author of Innercise: the new science to unlock the hidden power of your brain. Assaraf points out that the very promise of a reward releases dopamine, just like real experience. âThe dopamine then travels to your frontal lobe, where it gives you the motivation and the ability to plan and strategize, and then take action,â he adds. âThink of dopamine as the brain fuel in your motivation tank. I learned the importance of setting goals the hard way. I never made a goal of meeting Oprah Winfrey, so when I was in the same room with her in 2016, it didn’t occur to me to get there. I was determined not to repeat this mistake, so when I sat down to write down goals for the next year, I included these simple words: Meet Oprah.
Define your why and how
Once you have identified what you want, take a few moments to clarify why this is important and how you will get there. âThinking about why we are doing something activates a part of the brain that is different from the region that is activated when we think about how to do something,â says Assaraf. By activating both regions of the brain, he says, “you move from the realm of the imagination to beliefs, actions and productive habits.” Your why can relate to the long-term impact of a goal and what it means for your life and the lives of others, including our ancestors. To inspire you on your way, I recommend an activity I call Crazy 8 in which you list a big dream and eight ways it could come true. My Crazy 8 for meeting Oprah was going to run into her at random at SuperSoul’s guest. When I figured out why and how to connect with Ms. Winfrey, I started working on what to say.
Celebrate the small victories
As you make a plan, break down actions into smaller tasks and celebrate victories along the way. âSome parts of your brain are designed to set goals for the future, while others look to immediate gratification,â says Assaraf. So, before you shed those extra pounds, say hello to that revamped kitchen and that gallon of water you’ve been drinking every day for a week in a row. âLong-term goals require continued motivation, which can be supported by regular dopamine infusions,â says Assaraf. âWhen you check something off your to-do list, it gives you some satisfaction. ”
Get a dream partner
Experts suggest that we are more likely to achieve a goal when someone else knows it and holds us accountable. Consider joining a Mastermind or Facebook group with like-minded women to help keep you motivated.
Don’t set limits
After declaring that I would meet Oprah in 2017, the universe made me better: I was invited to her Wisdom of Sundays brunch at her house last fall. When we give ourselves permission to raise our expectations, we can be in awe of the outcome. âThinking about achieving your goals increases your level of consciousness,â Assaraf says. This season, focus on creating a life that curves your toes. Trace Your Success Story Once you’ve declared your dream destination, it’s time to get started. Thasunda Brown Duckett can offer inspiration. Duckett made history as the first African American to become CEO of JPMorgan Chase’s consumer bank, the country’s largest, where she manages a network of more than $ 684 billion in deposits and investments. . During one of her first corporate town halls, she asked a simple question of the employees she managed at the organization’s 5,000 and more sites: what are you saving for? Each site then created a vision board with words and pictures representing the personal goals they had committed their money to.
Finance your dreams
Now that you have clarified your desires, get ready to develop a concrete strategy for paying them. âIt’s less stressful to save when you know your $ 10 is going towards your dream,â says Duckett. In other words, it’s easier to say no to a tempting deal when you’re out of money for your spring beach vacation. Invest in a Well-Balanced Life âThink of your life as a diversified portfolio,â recommends Duckett. She advises you to include all the things that matter most to you: spending time with girlfriends, having a successful career, giving back to the community, being a great girl, traveling, living in your own home, reading and all. what you like. Then allocate a percentage of your time to each item on your list, for a total of 100%. âYou’ll be able to see more clearly when you’re out of balance,â she suggests. âJust like a diversified portfolio, there will be ups and downs. Sometimes you get too engaged at work because you have to be, but then you have to recalibrate yourself. When Duckett realized she wanted to increase the percentage of time she spent with family and friends, she made room in her schedule to write cards to reconnect with loved ones and planned a trip with his college buddies.
Be your own umbrella
And as we aim for our bright future, we must also prepare for the unexpected. According to the Pew Charitable Trust, more than half of American families are financially insecure. âAlmost half of adults say they can’t cover an expense of $ 400 and should borrow money or sell something,â says Duckett. To strengthen your savings habits, she recommends that you start, skip, and stop. Start with your goal and set a budget to achieve it; avoid all unnecessary expenses for a week; and stop thinking about saving money by automating your payments to an account you can’t easily reach.
Prioritize what matters
Even with her hectic career, Duckett remains focused on goals that make her heart sing. âBeing a wife, daughter, friend, executive, and philanthropist are all in my portfolio, along with some of the things I just love, like reading,â she says. âI also always wanted to adopt. His family welcomed Mackenzie, 2, who joined Duckett’s three older children. And this year, she saw another dream come true when her family took a Disney cruise to celebrate her son Myles’ 10th birthday. âMy whole family, including my cancer-fighting mom and dad, and my aunt and uncle were able to go,â she says. “It was on my vision board and what I was saving for.” As Duckett knows, we create our vision a dream and a dime at a time.
Hear ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Charreah K. Jackson joins Yes, Girl podcast co-host Yolanda Sangweni to provide advice on how black women around the world can jumpstart their dreams.
Charreah K. Jackson is Editor-in-Chief of ESSENCE and is the author of Boss Bride: The Mighty Woman’s Playbook for Love and Success. Catch her on social media @Charreah.