#12 - Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Creating Your Dream Life
If you feel inspired and excited to create your dream life (and I am guessing you are as you are reading these show notes), then you absolutely want to avoid these 5 common mistakes you might end up making in the process! Many of these I myself made when I first started on my journey to building the life that I wanted. So do yourself a favour and learn from my mistakes in order to avoid them yourself! This will only speed up your path to your dream life ánd will increase your chance of success! As you’re much less likely to get demotivated by setbacks.
After listening to this episode you’ll know:
- What the 5 most common mistakes are people make on their journey to creating their dream life
- How to avoid making these mistakes yourself
Make sure to get your free download with the 5 mistakes in a super easy-to-use handout to not just learn about them but also implement what you learn straight away!
The full transcript can be found at the bottom of the show notes.
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Financial Harmoney Podcast. This is episode number 12, with 5 common mistakes not to make when creating your dream life. And I felt inspired to record this episode as I am currently working on my online course, which I’m sure I’ll tell you more about at some point, but there I am looking at common obstacles to achieving goals. So this is part of my online course, but I thought it was so valuable that I wanted to share some of it here with everybody and not just with my online students.
So back in 2018 I was working on my very first book – the 100 Steps to Financial Independence – , that was published towards the end of that year. And I really loved the process of writing that book, just the whole thing of writing and then working together with my editors and designer.. it was just really great fun. So when I got to the last stages of getting everything ready to have the book published, I could already see myself doing that long-term. And with doing that, I mean living the writer’s life. That to me included working from home, getting up really early to write, fleshing out ideas, doing research. It just sounded like a lot of fun. And I thought: hey why wouldn’t I make this into a full time career? I realize it was a bit presumptuous of course as I had no idea whether that book was going to be well-received. And even more so, I was running my own language school together with my husband, well, I still am, so it was all a bit … well not very thought out to say that I was just going to be a writer. But in my mind I could already picture myself doing that. And I saw the romantic image of me drinking liters of tea or coffee and getting so involved in my writing that I’d forget to eat – which is actually very unlikely for me ever to happen. But anyway that was my dream and I saw lots of exciting possibilities there.
Now, as you might know, that dream didn’t become a reality. Partly because it has since morphed into a more developed version of my early stage vision, but also because there were quite a few things that I should have done differently at the time to make that dream come true. And now, more than 2 years later, I have really spent a lot of time on analysing everything and I have come up with 5 mistakes that I made and that I believe to be very common when it comes to pursuing your dream and creating the life that you want to live. So that’s what I am going to go over in this episode and I know it will give so much value to you so I think I can help you avoid making some of these mistakes and hopefully help you jumpstart your journey to creating that dream life.
I quickly want to go over what exactly I mean with a dream life, as although I love talking and writing about money, a dream life absolutely isn’t just about money. So I want there to be no confusion. Creating and living your dream life, to me means that you have found the right balance between how you manage your money, your time and your energy both right now as well as with an eye on the future. So that means that obviously you need to spend time and energy on generating an income, maybe through a job or in your own business. But the more time and energy you spend on making money, the less time and energy you’ll have available to spend on other things, such as your family, or your hobbies or holidays let’s say. But if you don’t spend enough energy and time on making money, then you might find that you don’t have enough money either right now or in the future in order to pursue the things that you want to do. Like a trip around the world or an early retirement or even just living in the house you want to live in. And then, there’s also the added dimension of how you can also get energy from certain ways in which you make money, so this is something that you might feel if you have a job that you are truly passionate about, or if you have been able to set up your own successful business and do something that you just love doing. This is a really great way to also create energy. But it is also possible to be in a job which might suck all the energy out of you, leaving you drained and uninspired by the end of the day.
So living your dream life requires a lot of thinking, planning, experimenting and adjusting, but it is all about that balance as I said in which you are content with how you spend your time every single day and how you spend your money and what your energy levels look like throughout the day, based on the different activities you do that day.
That dream life will be different for everybody and the challenge is first of all to find out what it looks like for you and then the even bigger challenge, is to put pursuing that dream life high up on your priority list. Because if you don’t, then you’ll find that year after year goes by without you getting a single step closer to that dream life. And before you know it, it’s too late. Puh sounds kinda depressing in a way, but I just think it is so important to create that state of happiness and passion that you can live out every day. Life won’t suddenly be without sorrow and sadness, but it will go a long way in making you feel more fulfilled and excited about your life and all the goodness in it.
Now before we dive in any further, I have a very quick personal favour to ask and I would be super grateful if you can help me with this. I started this podcast at the end of 2020 to help others on their journey to Financial Harmoney and creating their dream life. I want to bring value with every single episode that goes out and if you are enjoying this show or this episode, then I’d love it if you could leave me a quick review on your podcast platform where you are listening to this show. So that could be Spotify or Apple Podcasts or Stitcher or whatever platform you logged into to find this show. There are lots and lots of podcasts out there and as a relatively new podcaster this is just a small show at the moment, obviously I do hope it will keep growing in numbers, but until then, it’s hard to get my show in front of listeners – or new listeners. And all those platforms really favour shows that have reviews. It really helps if you could give me those 5 stars and even better also a few words about why you listen to this show or what you like about it. So if you could do this for me, that would be really helpful and it would really help my visibility and it won’t only help me reach more listeners, but then I’d also know that I should keep doing what I am doing and create more episodes.
Okay now let’s get started with these 5 mistakes! And if you want to either follow along OR after listening to this episode apply all the stuff I’ll be talking about in a second to your own personal life, then make sure to grab the free download that I’ve put together to accompany this episode on ingenataliehol.com/episode12, where you will be able to work through these five mistakes and avoid them from sabotaging your dream life.
The first mistake I want to look at is not believing that you can actually make it happen. I mean is this a big one or what? So there are lots of different reasons why you might believe that you aren’t going to be successful.
- One reason can be fear. Or insecurity about something. Or a lack of self-esteem.
- There’s also the imposter syndrome. This means that you feel like fraud and that you don’t think you’re actually offering value. Or that there are others who are way better or way more capable than you. This happens a lot when people start their own business and they really begin to question what they were thinking when they came up with that idea, because they just don’t feel like they’re actually offering much.
So if you want to get ahead and create your dream life, you really have to start with believing it is possible. As long as you think that you can’t do it, then you are always going to find the reasons to back up this belief. You’ll say that you don’t have the time or the knowledge or the luck to do what you want to do. But all those things can be created. Even luck is created by being consistent and by working hard.
If you know that this belief is holding you back, then I recommend you do the following exercise:
First, write down all the reasons you believe that you can’t do it. Just let your thoughts flow and write them all down. Better to have them out of your system and on paper so that you can work with them, then keeping them inside trying to hide them or pretend they don’t exist.
After you’ve done that, take a clean piece of paper and write down all the reasons why you CAN do it. So what are your unique talents or skills that you know are going to help you on your way to creating your dream life? Anything will do if you think it’s relevant. Don’t hold back here. Again just get them all out on paper.
After you’ve done that, you need to have a really close look at both these papers and you need to make a decision. And that is a really hard one and you need to be super strict with yourself here, but if it’s really your dream life you’re pursuing and that you know you really want to have, then you now need to decide and tell yourself that all those reasons that exist that stop you from creating your dream life? They are, and bear with me here, but they are all excuses that you can use NOT to make progress. I am going to say that one more time, the reasons you wrote down that explain why you can never be successful in creating your dream life, they are just excuses. I know that a lot of tough love I am giving there, and please don’t hate me for it, I just really believe that from time to time we need a bit of a kick up our backside and just get started. I am not denying that you might feel scared or overwhelmed or stressed, but you know what, NOBODY but you is going to create that dream life for you. So if you really want it, then you need to overcome your self-limiting beliefs and get started. So once you’re ready to admit that you’re using all those reasons only as excuses, you need to make that decision that from here on, you are not going to allow those reasons to hold you back and to stop you from creating the life that you want.
Finally once you’ve done that, I recommend that you find a few people that you can follow online for example for inspiration that are on a similar journey OR that have already progressed on that journey and have had the success that you dream of. If they can do it, then why couldn’t you? And don’t look at reasons to explain why they are different to you or your situation. Because they might be now, but if they have reached a certain level of success then most likely they weren’t always in that situation. Most likely they started from scratch too. So follow them and get your daily dose of inspiration to see how they keep pushing ahead and overcoming the obstacles that they face. You can use your favourite social media, like Facebook or Instagram, to do so.
Moving on to the second reason of why you might be unsuccessful in creating your dream life. And that is the lack of a plan. So let’s imagine you’ve got this fabulous dream or really clear picture of what you dream life actually looks like. Now, as we all know a dream means a series of thoughts, images or sensations taking place in one’s mind. Not in reality. Or you can describe a dream as an ambition or an aspiration. Once again something you’d like to have or experience, but don’t have at this moment. Now a dream will only ever be a dream unless you take action to make it a reality. Your dream isn’t just going to magically happen. You need to take action to craft that dream life. And what action you need to take, is the challenge that you need to work out and then implement. The easy part is finding out what you dream life looks like. The hard part is transforming the dream into reality. This is beyond the scope of this podcast episode I’m afraid to really go into, and it’s something that will be making up a big part of my online course I mentioned before, but you need to translate your dream into tangible parts. So let’s say that your dream is to become an online fitness instructor. Then this dream might need to be broken up into a few tangible parts:
- Such as become a qualified fitness trainer
- Then you’ll need an online platform set up with your services
- And you need to have enough clients to make a living out it
So you need at least all of these three things in order for that dream to become a reality. But this is already a lot more tangible than what it was before.
So once you have further identified what your dream life consists of, then your next step will be to start identifying your milestones on your way to reaching your goal. So let’s use the same example of becoming a successful online fitness instructor again. The first part identified was to become a qualified fitness trainer. So let’s start with that. What would the time investment be to get that qualification? And what about the financial investment needed? As a fitness instructor I guess you need to be aware that you might need to invest not just in a training or a course but also some materials that you might need in order to complete that course. Then when would you be able to take this training, on which days or at what time can you work on the course? So you really want to identify a lot of the steps that you need to complete in order to get that first part done. And then you need to do the same for all the other parts. So our next identified component was to have an online platform where you offer your services. This could be a website or a YouTube channel. But what skills do you need in order to set this up? And again what is it going to cost you? Do you need a camera to record fitness sessions? Or do you need to pay for somebody to make your website? Make sure you work through your list and have all the different parts really clear.
Then the third step is to make a plan. And a plan needs to be concrete and have some sort of deadline attached to it. The fitness course that you need to complete in order to get your qualification for example, once you know how much that is going to cost you in terms of time and money, then you can plan out how you’re going to get that money. So what will you do to save up the money you need to pay for the course? As a personal finance coach I highly recommend you don’t borrow money but that you really try and save up the money first before you invest money in this. Then how long will it take you to get that money together. Can you do small extra things to speed up this process? Then you want to do the same with your time. So if it’s a self-paced programme that you’re taking, you need to set yourself a date by when you want to have completed the programme and from there work backwards and schedule in, or better block time for it every single week for you to work on this programme. And then you need to plan how you’re going to meet that third goal of having enough clients to make a living out of your business. So what steps are you going to take and when will you do so? So that’s how you start to make a plan that you can put into action in order to achieve your dream life.
Time for the third common mistake. The previous one was all about not having a plan focussed on your success. The next one is sort of the opposite which is not having a plan focussed on your failure. Now I know this sounds a bit weird, and I don’t actually mean that you want to plan out your failure. But what I am referring to here is that your plan won’t always go to plan. You’ll have setbacks or disappointment that you’ll have to deal with, or a life event that comes on your path. And apart from those big things, you’ll also likely experience smaller scale setbacks, such as a lack of motivation on certain days, or that feeling of imposter syndrome suddenly showing its ugly head, or a client cancelling their contract with you, basically many things can of course happen on your journey to success. And we tend to forget that creating our dream life isn’t a steady upwards laid out path. There will be ups and downs, and the key is not to just plan for those ups, but also for those downs.
You probably know for yourself what the biggest challenges will likely be for you. Whether that is others claiming your time, or your lack of energy after a busy week at work, or a problematic relationship that you have with a family member or a colleague at the moment. There can be all sorts of things here!
For me, it is definitely self-doubt when I do something for the first time, and then go round in circles and keep reading other people’s opinions or experiences or books on a topic without actually just getting the work done. Another common problem I have is setting boundaries for my time as I let others or other activities claim time that I secretly wanted to use to work on my passion project. So knowing the challenges that you will face is very important if you want to stop them from making you fail let’s say. Here’s what I recommend you do in this regard:
Firstly make another list of the most likely senses of failure or the challenges that you might need to deal with. And here you don’t want to make a super exhaustive list of 5 pages, just the most common 3 – 5 challenges for example will do for this one!
Then when you have those clear you want to make an if..then.. plan. So an if…then… plan is a safety net or habit trigger that you can fall back on if any of those challenges pop up. If you write these down now, at a time when you’re not facing that challenge and therefore likely still feel motivated and excited to pursue your dream life, it’s a lot easier to use that positivity to look at the challenge objectively without letting your emotions get the better of you when they happen. So a possible if then plan could be… let’s see ehm, let’s use my example when I said that self-doubt is really common for me. So an if… then… plan I could use if I feel I am going down the rabbit hole of questioning myself and not making a decision is to read some of the really nice reviews that I’ve gotten on my books for example. So I’d write down: if I feel self-doubt when creating content then I’ll read some nice reviews from some clients that reinforce the value I create. That’s just an idea, of course another one could simply be to recharge your batteries or create a more positive mindset. That might be through meditation, or going for a walk or maybe giving a close friend a call.. Whatever works best for you to get you back into that asskicking mode.
So put those if…then… plans on paper. So: if I feel totally unmotivated to continue, then I will go for a walk in nature and remind myself of why I do this. Then keep that paper at hand or save them in a digital programme so that you can go back to this whenever you need to. And remember there will be times when you’ll feel like a bit of a failure or you’ll feel that lack of motivation. And having this plan will really help you to get through those times.
Okay we’re already on the fourth mistake, and this was one that I was absolutely guilty of making, much to the frustration of my husband I have to say. And it was also the one that frustrated me the most actually, although it wasn’t until later that I made the connection. I am talking about thinking that just because you’ve decided you want something, the universe will in some way help you get there in no time at all. Of course, if you think about it, this doesn’t make any sense. Any big achievement is of course dependent on hard work, and time and commitment and just because you decide to pursue something that doesn’t mean that all the stars will align and give you what you desire. Just to be clear though, I don’t think I ever felt I didn’t want to put in the hard work, in fact, I love getting my teeth into something and really spending time on a project. But pursuing your project doesn’t just depend on you putting in the hard work. You also need to have the time to put in that hard work. And that is the one that I found – and still at times find – really hard. As when I get started on something, I just want to finish it. And that can prove to be difficult with all the other things going on in your life. For me it happened especially when I was writing and then promoting my first book, I just wanted to spend hours doing so. But I had my normal job in my own business, so I couldn’t just ditch that. But that is what frustrated me and I felt that my job was holding me back from achieving my goals in terms of my new business. Whether that was the case or not, you can’t just expect for everything to make way for your project or your idea. In the same way, I wasn’t just going to ditch my responsibilities and focus completely on my book. Especially not when I didn’t yet know it was actually going to sell. And it was also not what I wanted to do in the first place as I loved my job. But it did make me feel frustrated.
So it can be quite common to think that everything or everyone will conform to your new journey and that they will give you everything you would like, such as the time, the space, the energy, the encouragement to help you along your way. Unfortunately though, this isn’t the case, and why should it be? It’s not other people’s project, it is yours. You made the decision to go and pursue something, so it’s also your responsibility to go and work it all out. Nobody else is going to do so, and you know what? I think that’s fine. It means you will need to fight harder and that you’ll encounter more challenges, but that is what makes the journey more rewarding. If it were all just given to you then I doubt you’d actually enjoy the whole end result as much.
Now that’s not to say that I don’t totally understand that this is annoying and hard, but from my experience, the best thing is just to accept it and then get on with it, by going back to that plan you made and carving out time whenever you can.
So to give this a practical implementation, I’d like to encourage you to – once again, write down your biggest frustrations with the “rest of the world” in terms of feeling they frustrate your progress or your project. This can be anything from your partner or your family, to your day job, or your own body being too tired, or your community not supporting your decision.
Then one by one go through your list and accept for each one individually that they don’t HAVE to care or support your thing. I’d be nice, but they have their own things to worry about, or do and it’s okay for these not to instantly conform to your updated needs or decisions. Let it go, and accept that if you want anything to change, then you need to go and change them yourself. And that takes time and that is okay. Don’t rush it but take the time that you need in order to steadily implement your plan.
Now for the last mistake, which is not talking about your dream life or the changes that you’re making with others. This is on different levels that I want to go into, but the most important one I think is your family, your significant other or anybody who is really directly involved in your day-to-day life. Now I know this can be super scary to do. But it really is a first step in making sure you stay on the same page, create understanding and also just be open about what your dreams are and how you’d like your life to develop. Of course, it’s hard as you also open yourself up to criticism and that sucks and it’s probably also not what you need when you yourself are looking to finally start shaping your dream life. I think there’s a lot of self-doubt and insecurity involved and of course changes that you’ll need to make. And it’s only normal that this might rock your partner’s or your children’s life itself. If you’re talking about starting your own business, then what is going to happen to that monthly income you currently still get from your day job? And what does it mean in terms of work hours, or family time at the weekend? Will you need to study in the evenings…? There’s all sorts of things involved here that don’t just affect you but potentially also those around you. And this is related to the previous point of not expecting the world to suddenly give you what you want. You need to open that communication and more than anything you need to explain your why – why it is important to you to make this shift. How will it improve your life for the better and also your family’s life. As you can’t expect them to support you if all they perceive are losses. You need to explain to them what you’ll gain from it as well. Even if that might be more long-term than in the immediate future. But once again, don’t expect them to be 100% supportive all the time. It’d be great if they can support you and become your cheerleaders. But in all reality there will be changes for them too and considering it was your decision and not theirs, they are under no obligation to always be happy about it. So you’ll need to bear this in mind and make up for any time lost together elsewhere where possible.
That was my first point regarding speaking to others about your dream. There’s another one and that is sharing your changes or dreams or plans with accountability partners. So an accountability partner is anybody who is there to keep you accountable for your successes or results. I mean, how easy is it to have a dream or a plan or a resolution, only to give up again on it again after a few weeks? I know right, it’s super easy to lose your motivation or get caught up in your day-to-day life with things that seem more pressing or important. But if you really want something, there will be hard work involved and you will need to make it through those challenging times. So finding accountability partners, or an accountability group is a fantastic way to keep you motivated and to help you stick to your plan. You can ask a friend or a colleague to be an accountability partner, which is great and can help you on a first level. BUT one thing that is true is that with a friend or family member or somebody you know quite well and have a personal relationship with, these people will find it much harder to sometimes give you some tough love. They are much more likely to show understanding or sympathy at a time when maybe the real thing that you need isn’t understanding but a bit of a kick up the bum to get you going again. I think there will be times when the going gets rough but you don’t want that to be an excuse to give up or pause your progress. You need to keep going! But a friend is more likely to show sympathy when you’ve had a busy week and let you get away with not meeting your goals. Whereas you might be less likely to feel self-pity or find understanding with a stranger and you might be more willing to accept that sometimes your reasons for not progressing are really just excuses. I know this is hard to admit, and it’s not always super fun, but can you see how a friend might be a little less likely to give you that same level of accountability that you might need than somebody who is a stranger?
Then another level up from this, is finding a professional to help you on your quest or journey and this is most commonly done through a coach. So a coach would have elements of an accountability partner, a teacher, a guide, a lot of things really, but they can really help you on a personal level with any plan making and obstacles and accountability. And the psychological power here is always that if you pay for something, then you’re much more likely to follow through and dive into something as you end up making a much bigger commitment. So that is a secret extra power that finding a good coach would give you over for example just an accountability partner. But you need to be willing and able to invest the time and the money into that of course.
So here’s what I recommend you do with this 5th mistake. First of all if you haven’t yet had that conversation with your significant other or your family about your dream life, then commit to doing so this week. I know it might be hard but long term it will definitely be worth it and having an open communication is very important to keep everybody involved. Then secondly start finding an accountability partner or an accountability group. This could be on Facebook where there are tons of groups, be that on becoming that online fitness instructor, or starting your own business, to switching careers, moving to another city, or anything else really that you are looking to pursue in the next few years! Join a few of those groups, start interacting and share your goals, your dreams and your action steps so others can cheer you on, hold you to your goals and pick you back up when you experience setbacks. Then if you feel you’re really ready to jump to the next level, consider finding a coach who can help you give even more support and guidance and help you to really plan out your goals and implement the action steps needed. You can start by having a look at ingenataliehol.com/coaching to find out more about the coaching that I offer.
That takes us to the end of this episode, so I’ll just quickly go over the 5 common mistakes when pursuing your dream life again:
- Not believing you can do it
- Not having a plan for success
- Not planning for setbacks
- Thinking the world will just give you what you want
- Not talking about your dream life and the changes it involves
I hope I’ve inspired you to avoid these 5 mistakes when it comes to pursuing your dreams, and that you can use this all to your advantage. Remember there’s a free download available on ingenataliehol.com/episode12 to help you identify all of these mistakes in your own life, so make sure to grab that for free to really apply the information to your own situation.
And if any of the above that I talked about resonates with you, then as I said at the beginning of this episode, I am working on my online course in which I’ll dive into all aspects of creating your dream life. If you want to stay up to date, then make sure to subscribe to my email list on my website ingenataliehol.com.
So that was it for today, this is the end of this episode of the Financial Harmoney Podcast with 5 common mistakes made when building your dream life. I hope you enjoyed it, make sure to subscribe to this podcast and I’ll see you next time.