Most of us aspire to live a dream life: One where we’re obsessed with the type of life we’re living, the career path we’ve chosen, our house or apartment, the partner we get to live out our days with, the list goes on.
While there are plenty of roadblocks that pop up when we’re attempting to live a dream life, the biggest one is a lack of understanding around what that dream life actually entails. Many of us have a vague vision, but until that vision is more specific and clear, it’s hard to actually chase your dream life.
Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to get a clearer, more vibrant picture of your dream life. Start by taking out your journal and answering these eight questions.
1. If money was no object, what would you do for work?
Working to make money is part of life. But working or pursuing a career path also provides us with a sense of purpose, and one that we can find great joy in. So ask yourself this: If you never had to think about money again, what would you do for work? What would your schedule look like? (For example, would you work five days a week or just four? Would you have shorter work days than you currently do)? Would you work on your own or with coworkers? Getting a clear vision of the type of job or career you’d like to have will take you one step closer to actually getting there.
2. Who do you love spending time with?
Who we spend time with has a huge impact on how we feel about our lives in general. If we’re not spending time with people who bring us joy and only surrounding ourselves with people who drain us, it’s hard to feel good — and we certainly won’t feel like we’re living a dream life. So make a list of people who bring you joy: Friends, family members, the list goes on. If you’re single, this list can also help you recognize the types of attributes you’re looking for in a potential partner.
3. What don’t you like about your life?
Figuring out what you don’t like about your life is a great first step to figuring out what you do like, which can lead you to a stronger vision of your dream life. Here are some examples of items that can go on that list:
- Your city or town
- Your job
- How you spend your time
- A habit that makes you feel unwell or zapped of energy, like staying up too late
- A toxic relationship
4. What did you love to do when you were a kid?
This question can provide insights into a future job or career path, but it can also help us better understand how we want to spend our downtime. For example, maybe you loved painting or drawing — why not pick that habit back up in adulthood? Or maybe you have a memory of spending hours playing outside, and you remember how much joy it brought you. There’s nothing stopping you from spending more time outside as an adult.
Revisiting the things you loved to do as a kid can provide important insight into your dream life.
5. When you think about a really great future, what do you imagine?
This is going to require some deep thinking or a longer-than-usual journaling session, but imagining a future that fills you with joy can put you on a path toward your dream life. Maybe you imagine a house filled with kids and a vegetable garden out back. Or maybe a life filled with travel or living in different cities sounds fulfilling to you. Maybe you envision a life in which you’re immersed in nature and live close to hiking trails. There’s no “wrong” dream future — whatever feels right for you is the right answer.
6. What do you value in a living situation?
The place you live will have a huge impact on your life, and understanding exactly what you want out of a living situation can bring you closer to your dream life. Is it important to you to be able to walk or take public transportation, or are you fine with driving? Do you want to be in (or close to) a major city? Do you want to have a short commute, or are you OK with a longer one? Is a lot of space important to you, or are you fine with small spaces? Do you want a backyard? Is it important to you to be close to family? Answering these questions will bring you some clarity around what your dream living situation looks like.
7. Whom or what do you envy?
There’s no question that envy is an uncomfortable emotion, and one that many of us try to ignore. But envy is actually a valuable feeling to pay attention to: When something inspires envy, it can be an important clue about what we want. We can feel envy about a living situation, a job, or even how someone spends their evenings at home. So when you feel that glimmer of envy, don’t push it away. Explore it. You’ll probably learn a lot about yourself.
8. What feels like a “full yes”?
When something is a full yes, we feel it. A full yes means there’s no hesitation or second guessing. We can feel a “full yes” about a person, a place, or a job. Similar to paying attention to feelings of envy, it’s important to pay attention to what feels like a full yes. A full yes is symbolic of your dream life — because your dream life will only have full yeses.Looking for more tools for personal growth? Start with these self-care tips.