If you were to ask me to describe the things I want to have or experience, I'd easily rattle off a 3 or 4 things from my list. But if you asked me what I did last week that brought me closer to that outcome, I'd probably hesitate for a little bit before coming with a few weak responses. From my responses, you could easily determine my level of commitment to the outcomes I say I want.
Are you interested or are you committed?
I really want to eliminate much of the clutter from my environment. That would make me so happy. I've already identified the areas that I'd like to target. But, when the weekend comes, I do other things and the clutter remains. Or, I declutter small areas instead of doing an entire space. To me, this implies that I'm interested in living in a completely clutter free environment, but I'm not fully committed to it. There are other things higher on the list of my priorities. I have to be honest with myself and really decide if the outcomes on my list of intentions are things I'm interested in or if I'm committed to having them in my life. Once I've made that distinction, that's when things get interesting.
Let's say I put "take a trip to Thailand" as one of my intentions. The next question I'd have to honestly ask myself is whether taking a trip to Thailand is something I'm saying because it sounds cool or is that something I really want to do. If my response is that I really wanted to go, then I'd decide if I'm committed to making this goal happen. If so, then I've got to move it to the top of the list. Kinda like when I'm browsing through movie options on Netflix. Suddenly, there's a movie I'd like to see and I move it into my queue. The next decision I can make is whether to leave it a the bottom of the queue or move it up. The higher I move it up, the sooner I get to enjoy it. If my list of movies is already pretty long, there's no telling when I'll actually get to see that movie.
One sure way to give some of your goals priority over others is to put a down payment on it. A down payment is when you do something in the present that allows you to enjoy it in the future. It separates you from those who are "just looking" and puts you in the category of "I'm ready to buy!" Without a down payment, no one takes you seriously (including yourself). But when you do something in the present that represents what you want to experience in the future, you put some powerful things in motion.
Some examples of putting a down payment on your goals can include:
- Creating a separate bank account to automatically save for your business, dream getaway, new home, etc.
- Adding glimpses of your future life into your current routine (see weekly massages post).
- Finding someone who's done what you want to do and get actionable steps on how to create a similar path.
- Preparing the things you'll need if your goal does manifest (example: updating your passport, creating an ideal home office if you want to work from home, buying clothes in the future size you intend to be and hanging it up as a visible reminder).
You know when you're getting serious about your goals because there are signs/evidence of your future in your current reality. If no outwards signs exist, you haven't put a down payment. Without a down payment, you're like that guy who says he's serious about a future commitment but what you're really doing is stringing your goals along. You say that you want a future with the vision you have in your mind, but in reality, you're playing games. It's time to get serious. Time to commit and time to put a ring on it.