One of the first things that’s advised to us in the FHWW book is to Define our Goals, since without Definition, there can be no forward progress. The reason we’re supposed to be trimming down our work weeks to begin with is to make more time for our larger goals. Without those goals in mind, we will simply replace one set of Work-for-Work (W4W) tasks with another set of W4W tasks. This is clearly not what we want, so defining the goals will help to replace the W4W with real life-advancing goals, and thus make our time that much more valuable.
The Dreamlining activity set aside in the book asks readers to identify what they want to BE, DO, and HAVE in the forward-looking six and twelve months. Just like most of you, I had a real challenge with the Dreamlining activity because it was hard to think big! Or at least, the mind wants to weigh-down your big-thinking with real-world concerns. According to Tim, this real-world realism really gets in the way of the optimistic thinking that needs to happen in the Dreamlining activity.
Now, with my mind wrapped around “Think Big, not Realistic” mantra, I realized that I had some goals that I wanted to achieve in the next six and twelve months, but others that I saw as being farther out goals. Simply put, it wasn’t the realism that was causing an issue, but rather focus. If I wanted to have lots of big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAG), then I needed to focus on the ones that I would get immediate benefit from if they were to succeed and push the bigger ones out when I can make the shorter term ones a reality.
This might not be the idea that Tim had in mind. He wants us to focus on achieving goals, not pushing them out. So, with that in mind, I came up with the six and twelve month Dreamlines that included the larger goals I can achieve assuming I get traction on the shorter term ones. This means that there should be a 18 month Dreamline for the VERY Audacious goals. Having the Dreamline in place will motivate forward progress but not put the needlessly over-ambitious goals on the same path of importance as the shorter-term ones.
One of the great tools to assist in Dreamlining is the Excel Spreadsheet version that was developed by the folks at the Technotheory blog. Using that spreadsheet, I developed my Dreamline goals as such:
Six Month Goals:
- Landscape & Major Home Improvements
- Sold existing company for > $4M
- Owner of second business (not to be disclosed)
- Philanthropist, starting a new organization
- Enrolled in Weekend MBA Program
- Culinary workshops
- Comedy Improv
- Jazz Musician (Piano, Violin, and Guitar)
Twelve Month Goals:
- Owning an office building
- A Patent
- Generating most income from second business
- Raised money for philanthropic organization
- Improv Comedy
- Jazz Piano
Eighteen Month Goals:
- My book on market, optioned for a screenplay
- Better estate / tax/ financial planning
- Sold second company for > $10M
- Generating positive income from office building
- Head of philanthropy with large endowment
- Started third company
- Owner / buyer of multiple companies
- Finished up MBA program
- working on third book
- Joined a band
- Comedy Improv troupe member
When you consider the importance of Single-Tasking, it’s quite possible that accomplishing the above might be impossible given the number of hours in the day. But right now, it’s not clear which item will take top priority, so having them all available and focusing on moving them all forward until it’s clear they are no longer movable seems to be most important.