You’re getting started and I’m so excited for you! In this post, I detail all of the core strategies that I use to start doing everything on my Free Will List (Bucket List)! Here’s the breakdown:
Step 1 – Document your Dreams: Write out all of the things you have always wanted to do. Don’t worry about writing every single thing down. Put pen to paper and add to the list as you keep thinking. The best thing about this list is that it never ends and it grows with you!
Step 2a – Information Gathering & Research: This step is all about learning more about the activity or skill you wish to pursue. Your goal is to hop online–Google, Bing, Ask, Yahoo or whatever search engine–and start looking up whatever you want to do. Say I want to learn how to fly a plane, I’d search phrases like: “how to fly a plane” or “fly planes in your location”. These are great to get you started and by following the links and doing research, you can find out where to do your activities and compile phone numbers to contact the people who can help you. If you’re learning a skill, YouTube tutorials and written online tutorials that show up in your search engines are always good bets. I usually like to learn from 2-3 sources, compare their methods and find the overlap. This way, I can generally discover the best way to start doing what I want to do.
A crucial component of this step is finding out a rough ballpark of how much this activity is going to cost you. As I’ll explain in later posts, your budget is going to be a crucial component in this process.
Step 2b – Material Gathering & Familiarization: Once you know how much your activity generally costs, you can compare several sources and find their similarities in cost. Do the research and get the products you need which will be the best bang for your buck. Unless you plan on doing this activity for the long-haul, buy the product that is “good enough.” “Good enough” means that it does everything you need it to do. You don’t want to pick the cheapest option or the most expensive, just the one that will do exactly what you need it to do. If you find that you want to upgrade, you can always sell your “good enough” product and use that money to buy up.
Once you have your tool, learn how to use it! Read any and all instructions, look at online tutorials and reviews of how others have used it. This way, by the time you’re ready to start your Free Will activity, you know what to do in the most general sense.
Step 3 – Start the Project: Along with Step 1, this is the most important part of the process. Get started on what you need to do. Don’t think, just do. If you think too much, you’re going to get stuck in analysis paralysis. You’ll think of all the possibilities, you’re fear-based human mind will get stuck on the negative repercussions of your actions and you’ll start to believe that you can’t do it. Well, stop all that by just taking it a step at a time. Momentum is extremely powerful. It’s like when you want to go for a run. Once you’re outside with all of your workout gear and you start walking, you could a) think of how it’s too early, how cold it is, how tired you are, how long it’s going to take OR b) start walking away from where you came from and eventually that walk will turn into a run and you’re off to the races, doing what you really wanted to do in the first place and not letting any negative thoughts control your life. That’s why Nike’s slogan is so popular: Just Do It!
Step 4 – Reflection/Is it for You?: This step determines how far you want to take yourself. There is no right answer except for what you truly feel. My only suggestion is that whether you want to continue or stop, always revisit your Free Will List and consider all of the activities you want to pursue. At this point, congratulate yourself on the fact that you’ve gotten this far but know that there’s always more. You’ll never truly know what’s right for you until you try it.
Depending on your project and the goals you want to accomplish, you may continue to do this for the same type of activity or you’ll want to knock something else off of your Free Will List. For example, say I want to travel to Europe and go backpacking, once I’m done, I get to this step and ask myself “Is this for me?” If yes, I’ll plan another trip (see Step 5). If not, I’ll look at my list and see that I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the banjo. Well, it’s time to repeat steps 1-3 again.
Step 5 – Planning & Scheduling: Congratulations! You found something awesome that you’re passionate about and would love to continue doing. Now, we all have responsibilities and priorities to accomplish outside of our Free Will List, whether that be familial, occupational, or personal obligations. If this activity is truly important to you and you believe it will continue to make you happy and help not only yourself but those around you, you’ll make time to fit it in with the rest of your obligations. With that said, brainstorm and plan ways in which you can fit this into your schedule. I don’t care if you can only manage to do it once a month or once a year. As long as you’re able to fit it in your schedule, you’re doing what you need to do. In the meantime, you can always accomplish other things on your Free Will List!
Don’t give up on your on your dreams. Always look for things you feel tremendous passion for and pursue them. I don’t know of any other way to live and truly appreciate life!
As always, I’m here to help and I want to be a part of your journey. I’d love to hear how you’re doing with your Free Will List and if you’re willing, I can tell your story in hopes that it will inspire others. Until next time, keep dreaming and live your life without limits.