At a recent SOMEDAY salon, I listened in to a small group of people who were discussing what they'd put in Square 2 of the Happiness Box. (You can find it here.) Kimberly, a 30-something bank employee said, “I didn't even have to think about it. I put down travel. I took a gap year between high school and college. I got a Eurorail pass, toured Europe, stayed in hostels and backpacked with people I met along the way. It was the best time of my life. I haven’t traveled out of the country since I got a ‘real job’ ten years ago and I miss it.”
I said, “Okay, let’s get more specific. Travel where?”
She thought about it for a moment and then brightened as she thought of a place she had always wanted to visit. “Nepal.”
“What do you want to do there? Trek the Himalaya’s?”
Her eyes brightened more as she started seeing this in her mind’s eye. “Yes.”
“All right, let’s get more specific. How much time do you have?"
"Ten days. Well, I get two weeks for vacation, but I want to save a couple days for something else just in case."
"Got it. Do you want to go by yourself or with a guided group?”
She started warming to the topic, “I want to go with an all-women’s group.”
The woman next to her said, “I know someone who did that. She had a fabulous time. The tour operator handled all the details. You just have to show up. What’s your number and I’ll text you her contact info.”
When I moved on, they were animatedly discussing details of the trip. Kimberly's vague wish went from something she wrote in Square 2 to something that had already “come alive” in her mind and that had a much higher likelihood of happening.
That is the power of using specifics to turn a SOMEDAY into a TODAY. That's the power of fleshing out the details of what you'd like to do so you're already mentally experiencing it.
How about you? Is there something you hope to do LATER when you have more time, money, clarity, freedom, whatever? What if that never happens? Later may be too late.
The key to turning an “I'd like to” into a “I will" is to fill out your W5 Form.
WHAT exactly do you want to do, see, experience? What resources do you need? What is the next step to making this happen? ______________ 2. WHY does this light you up? Why is this exciting to you, something you would enjoy or find meaningful? ______________________________
3. WHERE specifically do you want to go? Where would this take place? Online? Another city or country? _______________________________
4. WHEN would you go, launch this, start or finish it ?________________
5. WHO would you go with? Or WHO do you want to meet, connect with? Who can help make this happen or help you move it forward?________________
The more W’s you picture for your project, the more “real” it becomes in your mind’s eye. Visualizing what you want with vivid W’s turns something vague into something visceral.
Pearl S. Buck said, “Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream, whatever that dream might be.”
What takes away a dream is not committing a date to it on your calendar.
If you want results instead of regrets, fill out and post your W5 Form – What? Why? When? Where? Who? - where you’ll see it every day.
The more detailed you get, the more invested you are, and the most invested you are, the more likely it is your dream will come true.
So, what is something you've been planning to do later?
How are you doing to set it in motion - even if that means putting a date on the calendar - NOW instead of waiting for the perfect time, place or person?