You’ve got big dreams. Perhaps they’re recent, or perhaps they’ve been simmering away at the back of your mind for years. Maybe you haven’t started yet, or maybe you’ve already made a lot of progress.

The problem is, you’ve got a day job.

You’d love to pursue your dreams full time – and you’ve read all the books and blogs about going after your passion – but you simply can’t afford to. Maybe you wouldn’t even want to.

The good news is, you don’t have to quit your job to go after your dreams. You can work round it instead.

Setting Clear Goals

First, be clear about what you’re trying to achieve. That doesn’t need to mean setting yourself some detailed five year plan. It could just be: 

  • Aiming to spend some time each evening on your hobbies
  • Gradually getting some experience in your dream career, perhaps by volunteering
  • Visiting a different country every vacation
  • Getting to the next stage with your music or art

It’s so easy to let your dreams slip away. It’s so easy to keep putting them on hold, hoping that you’ll have more time next month … next year … once the kids are older.

By setting clear, achievable goals, you keep yourself focused.

Finding Your Best Time

A lot of dreams require energy and commitment. They’re not like cleaning out the garage – you have to have a certain amount of inspiration and mental clarity in order to get going.

To figure out your best time of day, experiment! Try working on your rock anthem first thing in the morning, or straight after you get home from work, or on a Sunday afternoon. What feels easiest and most natural for you?

Once you’ve found your best time of day, look for ways to fit your dream into it. That might mean getting a bit creative – perhaps swapping childcare with a friend, or negotiating slightly different work hours with your boss.

Getting Supporters to Cheer You On

In your day job, you’ve got a number of people with an interest in how you’re getting on. Your boss, for instance, is definitely going to notice if you don’t do any work for days on end. And your colleagues will be there to support you, to offer a sympathetic ear when things go wrong, or to answer questions.

When you’re going after your own goals in your own time, it can feel like you’re out on your own. Perhaps your partner doesn’t really “get” your dream, or maybe your friends would laugh if you told them all about it.

Having support, though, makes a huge difference: it can keep you enthusiastic even when things aren’t going well, and it can give you the motivation to carry on.

How about joining a group – in your local area, or online – that’s devoted to your dream? Or finding just one person, perhaps a friend, who’ll help you stay accountable?

Making the Most of Your Day Job

When your day job gets in the way of your dreams, it’s easy to start feeling resentful. But you’ve made a commitment to your job (whether or not you enjoy it), and it’s important to honor that commitment.

Sure, you might have a bit more time for your dreams if you came into work late every day, or pretended to be working while you were really reading about the new guitar you want to buy. But your work will probably suffer, your boss will probably notice, and you’ll feel guilty about it.

Even if your day job is far from ideal, there’s probably something you can gain from it. Maybe that’s a good reference, experience, strong relationships with colleagues or greater self-discipline.

Whatever your dreams are – make time for them, and treat them seriously.

 

 

How to Pursue Your Dreams – Despite the Day Job 

In a Tae Kwon Do studio where my sons used to train, there was a sign on the wall that said, "Your goal is to become a black belt." This helped remind them, in the middle of a difficult training, to keep their focus on the goal! In terms of trying to accomplish your goals, how focused are you?  It’s important to ask yourself, "What exactly am I trying to accomplish here?" You really do need to know your destination with as much clarity as possible. Make your goals specific, and put them in writing and then combine them with the power of your own voice and music. (Ideal LifeVision) Your goals must be so clear that a stranger could look at your situation objectively and give you an absolute "yes" or "no" as to whether you've accomplished each goal or not. If you cannot define your destination precisely, how will you know when you've arrived? The period I've found useful for defining and working on specific goals is 90 days. In that period of time, you can make dramatic and measurable changes if you set crystal clear goals. Take a moment to stop and write down a snapshot description of how you want your life to be ninety days from now. • What will your monthly income be?

• How much will you weigh?
• Who will your friends be?
• Where will you be in your career?
• What will your relationship be like?
• What will your web site look like?

Be specific.

Absolute clarity will give you the edge that will keep you on course.
Just as an airplane on autopilot must make constant corrections to stay on course, you must periodically retarget your goals. Reconnect with your goals by listening to them every morning (or evening). Post the BIG ONES, especially your financial goals on your Vision Board as well. If you aren't yet at the point of clarity, then make that your first goal. It's a big waste of time to go through life being unclear about what you want. Most people stall way too long in the state of "I don't know what to do." They wait for some external force to provide them with clarity, never realizing that clarity is self-created. The universe is waiting on you, not the other way around, and it's going to keep waiting until you finally make up your mind. Waiting for clarity is like being a sculptor staring at a piece of marble, waiting for the statue within to cast off the unneeded pieces. Do not wait for clarity to spontaneously materialize -- grab a chisel and get busy!

Be flexible

There's a key difference between knowing your destination and knowing the path you will take to get there. You’ve heard this analogy before: But an airplane is off course 90% of the time, yet it almost always arrives at its destination because it knows exactly where it's going and makes constant corrections along the way.
You cannot know the exact path to your goal in advance. I believe that the real purpose of planning is simply so that you remain convinced that a possible path exists. We've all heard the statistic that 80% of new businesses fail in their first five years, but a far more interesting statistic is that nearly all of the businesses that succeeded did not do so in the original way they had intended. (And I have experienced that in ALL of my businesses.) A local renowned author and business consultant Stephen Covey often uses the expression, "Integrity in the moment of choice." What that means is that you should not follow your plans blindly without conscious awareness of your goals. For instance, let's say you're following your plans nicely -- so far so good -- and then an unforeseen opportunity arises. Do you stick to your original plan, thereby missing the opportunity, or do you stop and go after the opportunity, thereby throwing yourself off schedule? This is where you have to stop and reconnect with your goals to decide which is the better course. No plan should be followed blindly. As soon as you gain new knowledge that could invalidate the plan, you must exercise integrity in the moment of choice. Sometimes you can reach your goals faster by taking advantage of shortcuts that arise unexpectedly. Other times you should stick to your original plans and avoid minor distractions that would take you further from your goals. Be tight on your goals but flexible on your plans. Having a clear goal is far more important than having a clear plan. Clarity and specificity ARE the Keys! Ann Webb is best known as The LifeVision Expert” and has coached thousands of successful entrepreneurs and other highly motivated individuals in getting crystal clear in both heir business and personal visions resulting in more money, better relationships, and improved health & fitness.  You can find out more about her program “Creating Your Ideal Life” by going here:

http://ideallifevision.com

This week my daughter made an appointment with the eye doctor.  For whatever reason, she can not see as good as she used to.  It may be that a lens is bad, that her eyes have gradually gotten worse, or something else.  In either case, she has lost focus.  Recognizing that, she determined she needed help to get things back in focus.

As I thought of that, it reminded me of people who have lost focus on specific areas of their lives.  Maybe a marriage, a personal relationship, a spiritual walk, finances, career, and maybe life in general.  Like my daughter above, something(s) shows that you have lost focus.

Focus helps you succeed.  In your marriage, focus means you are string to meet the needs of your spouse and that builds a strong, close relationship.  In your spiritual walk, you tend to lose focus on who God is and what He is in your life and you become more self-centered and doomed to experience pain.  In your finances, things begin to spin out of control and you feel there is no hope of turning things around.

Fortunately, there is hope.  You need to get things back in the right focus.  Focus brings intensity and results.  When we focus we see what is important and make the necessary changes to get things back on track.

Here are some things to help:

1.  What is important to you?  Have you documented those things where you can regularly review them?

2. If you take your top three important things from the list, what are the things you need to do to be successful in each one.  List those and complete those, one by one, every day.  Some things will be ongoing. Stick to them and be successful.

3. Share those things with someone important.  Who will hold you accountable for the things you need to do?  Share those items with that person and allow them to help you achive the things that are most improtant in your focus.

What is out of focus for you and, more importantly, what are you doing to get things back in focus and on track?