Create the Life of Your Dreams in 7 Simple Steps

Create the Life of Your Dreams in 7 Simple StepsSound too good to be true? It’s not! I have personally used these steps to create my ideal life and I want to share them with you.

Are you someone who…

  • Struggles with time management?
  • Has a hard time saying no?
  • Has difficulty with prioritizing?
  • Is unsure of life purpose?
  • Lives each day out of fear?
  • Makes daily decisions out of desperation?
  • Has a hard time making decisions?
  • Has difficulty setting boundaries?

If so, this will ROCK YOUR WORLD!

Every single thing we do in our life matters. Every action, every inaction, every decision, every habit (good or bad), every choice steers out lives in one direction or another. Most people are on autopilot and don’t make intentional decisions because most people think it won’t make a difference…until they wake up one morning and realize the life they are living is nothing like the life they desire.

That was me! I was in that position about 10 years ago. I woke up unhealthy, unhappy, with no control or hope for anything different.

I don’t want that to happen to you. But I know it already has for most people.

I want to take you through my 10 year journey with 7 simple steps…cutting the fat and fast forwarding through the things that didn’t work for me. You must commit to the steps and you must be willing to take an honest look at yourself and your life. Lying to yourself won’t help you in this path. Make sure you spend TIME on each step and only move to the next step when you feel ready.

One final note…during this process, three things will accelerate your success…

1. Keep a journal and write in it daily…just whatever comes up

2. Also keep track in your journal of everything you are grateful for in your life…at least 3 daily.

3. Share your plan with someone you love AND trust…ask them to hold you accountable.

Hey…they may even want to join you!

Now that you KNOW you want to make changes in your life, you HAVE your journal (notebook) ready, and you have the SUPPORT of a close friend or family member, you are READY to begin.

Plan Steps

Step 1: Write out a 5 year vision of what you want your life to look like. Use the following categories: Finances, Career, Relationships, Hobbies, Personal, Community, Health, and Family. This should be what you WANT your life to look like in 5 years, not what you think you can HAVE. You are describing your DREAM LIFE in 5 years. Write it in complete sentences like it has already happened. And be as specific as you can. Example: I am happily married with two kids living in a house with lake access.

Step 2: Now read it out LOUD to yourself or someone you trust (ideal is someone you trust, but I know that is super risky, so for now, reading it out loud is perfectly fine). On a scale from 1-10, how excited are you about this life?? If it is under an 8, re-write it. If this isn’t what YOU truly want (maybe you’re trying to please someone else or living someone else’s dream), then you will NEVER get it!

Step 3: Set a 12 month goal for each category you wrote about. It should be a goal that will move you TOWARD what you want in 5 years. This can be in a full sentence or just a statement. Example: If you said in 5 years you will have run a marathon, maybe a 12 month goal is a half marathon. Or if in 5 years you want to lose 50 pounds, your 12 month goal is 10 pounds. If you want to own your own business and quit your job, your 12 month goal may be to make a list of all the businesses you could start and begin to look into them.

Step 4: Now set a 30 day goal in each category that will move you to your 12 month goal. So you are breaking down your 12 month goal. Example: If you want to have $10,000 in savings in 12 months, you will have a 30 day goal of saving $850. Or if you want to write a book in a year, you may start with making an outline of what you want to write about in the next 30 days.

Step 5: For each 30 day goal, write down 1-3 SIMPLE daily activities that you can do toward your 30 day goal. Example: If your 30 day goal is to go back to college to finish your degree, you can go online and look at admission requirements to the colleges near you, you can find out the website to apply for financial aid, you can locate your high school/college transcripts, you can start a separate savings account to add $5 a day into, etc. Make sense? So these all need to be super easy activities, like something that will take you less than 15 minutes.

Step 6: Pick one action from each category and write it down on a checklist and commit to doing ONE each day for the next 8 days. Let me be clear, that is only one action per day, so less than 15 minutes of your time each day. If you have less than 15 minutes each day, break down your activities even further. Like if you are wanting to lower your blood pressure to get healthier, your activity that day may be to eat a giant salad for dinner. The key to this working for you is to make the steps easy enough that you will do them.

Step 7: The last step is to pick another activity from each category, write it on your checklist, and commit to doing ONE a day for the next 8 days. If you only had ONE activity for that 30 day goal, just repeat that activity each week. If you find one activity is producing better results than another, do more of that one. This is an ongoing process and you need to be evaluating it on a constant basis…that is why you have your journal.

At the end of the 30 days, you will have spent a total of about 5 hours doing what it takes to move toward your IDEAL life you wrote about in your 5 year vision. Over the course of a year that is 60 hours and you will start seeing some AMAZING results.

Every 30 days choose the next 30 day goal to get you toward your 12 month and every 6 months chose another 12 month goal to get you toward your ideal life. The reason I re-evaluate my 12 month goal every six months is because our lives are changing so quickly these days AND we can see what is working and what is not working sooner…and fix it! Effective activities are vital!

The keys to making this work are:

1. Consistency. You must develop a habit of doing something easy, tiny, and simple every single day

2. Evaluation. You must constantly be keeping track of which activities are effective and which are not. If you get to the first 30 day mark and you have one of your goals that you aren’t even close to reaching, you need to evaluate if you are doing the correct activities to get the outcome you desire.

3. Prioritize. If you are adding new things into your already crowded, busy life, you need to start thinking about what you are willing to give up that doesn’t serve you anymore. Often times when we start doing work toward what we love, we find joy and a new lease on life, so some of the things that aren’t as important to us anymore or aren’t having a positive effect on us, will fall by the wayside…this is a GOOD thing!

4. Beware. Not everyone is going to support you going after your dreams! Focus on what YOU want. Hang your vision where you can see it. Read through your goals daily. Gravitate toward people who are positive and encouraging. Steer clear of those who are negative and make you feel self-serving or impractical. Read inspiring books, listen to great music, watch motivational movies, and KNOW that you are doing what you WANT and NEED to make your life better.

The last thing I want to mention is that YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO YOU WILL BE WITH FROM THE DAY YOU ARE BORN UNTIL THE DAY YOU DIE. You must make yourself happy. You must be willing to let go of what others want for you and attach yourself to what you KNOW is right for you. Saying NO to them is saying YES to you. And that is what will give you the strength, courage, and tenacity to step up and create the life of your dreams.

Toss it Tuesday…Everyone Join in the Fun!

Toss It Tuesday - Everyone Join In The Fun!Toss it Tuesday started in January 2013 when we brought our new RV home and started to move our life into it. Obviously, when you move from a 1,600 square foot home into a 37 foot RV, you have to get rid of some stuff.

It was easy at first, I would go through a drawer, cupboard, or closet each week and get rid of things we didn’t need or want. In the first month we took 25 bags to Goodwill.

Then it started getting harder. We were down to the stuff we wanted, but we physically COULDN’T fit it all into the RV. For example, my clothes. I love my clothes. I bought them for a reason. I had an entire walk in closet to myself in the house and I took advantage of that and filled it up. Anytime I had an excuse to buy something fun to wear, I would. When I started moving my clothes into the RV, I quickly noticed they would totally fit…if I didn’t have a husband, didn’t need food, and didn’t need the..or the couch. That was NOT the case.

At first I put some clothes in a bin under the RV and my closet space inside was PACKED top to bottom with my clothes and shoes. But month after month, living in the RV, I realized I didn’t need all those clothes. In fact, I wore maybe 10 things over and over again.

So every Tuesday, I challenged myself to get rid of stuff I didn’t need. I did this in all the areas of my life: books, DVDs, kitchenware, bathroom stuff, office supplies, etc. And by the time we set sail, I had taken another 25 bags of stuff to Goodwill.

We have been on the road for over 18 months and I still challenge myself every single Tuesday to toss (or give away) at least 10 things. Sometimes it’s garbage or cleaning out the fridge or cupboards, but sometimes it’s making tough decisions like getting rid of a fun belt I never wear or a cute pair of blingy jeans I haven’t worn once since we took off!

Since I rarely see the same people twice or do repeat daily activities, I don’t need as many outfit options. Plus I realized I’m the only one who cares if I wear something more than once. It’s funny how we think people pay more attention to us than they do!

I have also learned that stuff is just stuff. I still have an emotional attachment to some things, but not as many things and not as badly as I used to. If our RV blew up and we lost everything…except each other…and my cell phone…and my laptop, I would be fine. Oh wait…can I take my bike out first too? And my Grinches…and Sam and James’ ashes…and…

Never mind…I still have some work to do…

The 5 Podcasts that ROCK MY WORLD

The 5 Podcasts That Rock My WorldI am a self-described personal growth junkie. Actually that isn’t true. All the people close to me would also describe me in the same way so I guess I’m just a personal growth junkie.

So when my friend, Tara, introduced me to podcasts, it was like giving a shot of whiskey to an alcoholic…I was doomed!

These days I listen to roughly 4 hours a day of podcasts. Since I drive, bike, and run a lot that is very easy to do.

For those of you who haven’t drunk (drank? drinken?) the Kool-Aid yet, here’s a run-down of what a
podcast is…

A podcast is like a radio show on demand. And you have thousands to choose from with a wide range of topics and hosts. Most hosts are semi-famous or at least already have a following. The actual podcasts range from educational to entertaining, several minutes to several hours, and structured interviews to free flow conversation. There are even several podcasts on how to start your own podcast!!

The dictionary (the what? Don’t you mean Wikipedia?) describes a podcast as: a program (as of music or talk) made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet.

Tara introduced me to an internet marketing podcast as an assignment from our Mastermind Group and as soon as I learned how easy it was to find, download, and listen, I started searching all my favorite topics…yep…you guessed them…food, fitness, finance, and fun!

It takes some time to find ones that fit you and what you are looking for. Several of my faves I found because they were interviewed by my other faves. Some I listened to a few episodes and realized it wasn’t for me, some I knew within 5 minutes it would change my life forever.

After 4 years and thousands of listening hours later, I want to share my list of my 5 favorites. These 5 podcasts have made me a better version of me than I was 4 years ago. They also make me completely want to start my own podcast…but that’s a topic for another day.

These are in order of when I started listening. I adore them all equally. And now that a few of these are daily and others weekly, I don’t think I will ever run out of episodes! Yay!

1. Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn

This was my very first podcast, the one that Tara told me about. I was looking to learn about internet marketing because I knew at some point my husband and I wanted to travel and live on the road so I needed more passive income coming in.

Each episode is about 30-55 mins and he usually interviews someone who is successful in some aspect of internet marketing. Pat is awesome!! He is super transparent and up front about his successes, failures, fears, accomplishments, and income earned as he has built his biz through the years. He even posts on his blog his month to date income each month.

I have “been” with Pat through the birth of his kids and a spin off blog he now does 5 days a week which is also one of my faves (so I will include it here so I don’t have to give up another spot) called “Ask Pat“. He answers a question every day of the week from one of his listeners to help them become better at blogging, marketing, and attracting customers in order to make more money with their online businesses. Thanks Pat!!

2. The Rich Roll Podcast

As soon as I got caught up on the few episodes I missed with Pat, I needed more. I was in a constant battle with myself over food and wanted to eat a 100% vegan diet, but strayed from it almost weekly. So I thought if I could find a good vegan podcast, it would keep me on track.

I searched “vegan” and the Rich Roll Podcast (RRP) came up. I knew of him from his book “Finding Ultra” which had a big influence on me just a few months earlier. I tuned into his latest episode at the time which was on addiction. I remember immediately texting my friend Wendy and telling her how excited I was about this podcast and knew it would be life changing. And I was right.

The RRP is typically over an hour…usually closer to two…which has gotten me through some pretty long workouts. He is typically interviewing someone, but is more of a free flowing conversation. His guests are anywhere from his super balanced and spiritual wife to the F-bomb slinging vegan punk-rock dude who wrote “Meat is for Pussies” to docs who are making waves in the medical field teaching their patients to eat a plant-based diet to professional athletes who are using their status to make the world a better place. He is now very consistent about getting a new episode up every Monday. Thanks Rich!!

3. The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes

I was still running out of episodes between Pat and Rich and kept listening to podcasts that didn’t really get me excited and pumped up to be a kick ass version of me. Every time either one of them has a guest who had his own podcast, I would give it a whirl. I finally hit the jackpot when Pat interviewed Lewis Howes. Not only did I connect with him and his story, but his podcast is called “The School of Greatness”. That sounds like a personal growth junkie’s wet dream if you ask me!

And luckily I had some back episodes to get caught up! Lewis’ episodes are approx an hour and he sometimes does the occasional episode alone, but typically interviews people who have done something great in their lives. A wide range of people from coaches to actors to entrepreneurs to athletes. He always ends by asking his guest “what is your definition of GREATNESS?” Lewis helped me define the title of my career path…Lifestyle Entrepreneur. Thanks Lewis!!

4. Your Kick Ass Life by Andrea Owen

To be honest, I can’t remember how I found her. I want to say she was a guest on “The School of Greatness”, but I’m not sure! What I am sure of is that although she kills me with randomly posting episodes (I think I have had to wait months at a time for a new one) but she is someone I can totally see me being BFFs with. She talks and acts like I would if I had my own podcast and usually has her friends as her guests, all of whom I could see me hanging out with.

She usually talks about issues that most women our age face and celebrates our flaws and differences with a lot of giggling and the occasional F-bomb. Her episodes are typically 45 mins and come out very sporadically.

She is currently planning a cruise for women called “Tacos, Tanning, and Transformation” which is my dream voyage!! The old me would have already signed up to go!! But when you see my #5 podcast, you will understand why I’m not. Andrea gives me hope of being successful in my dream business. Thanks Andrea!!

5. Take Control of your Money by Dave Ramsey

Although my husband and I went through Dave’s Financial Peace University (FPU) like 6 years ago, it didn’t stick. Anytime we would pay something off we would buy something new. Like a house or a car or a trip. It doesn’t help that both our hobbies are extremely expensive. He’s a Harley Dude…I’m a Triathlon Geek.

After a year on the road living in our RV, we decided the only part we didn’t like was that we had to keep making money every single day because we still had debt we needed to pay off. So earlier this year, we decided to get serious and pay it off. I put in the old CD set I had from FPU and listened to all 20 or so hours in one road trip. Now what??

Well luckily, he has a podcast! Yahoo! A daily 40 minute condensed version of his daily 3 hour radio show. He answers financial questions from callers and gives sound money advice. Listening to him daily is really what is keeping me on track this time around. It’s a reminder that we CAN do it and a reminder why we want to. Dave also has another excellent podcast that is in my top (I’m combining these as well so I don’t have to kick another out of my top five) called The EntreLeadership Podcast.

The teachings and interviews are based on his philosophies from his book, EntreLeadership. And since Dave is a pretty big deal, he gets some seriously big time guests on his show! Thanks Dave!!

Final Thoughts

I think one of the things I love the most about my 5 faves is that, other than Dave, none of these guys had ever done radio or professional speaking before they started their podcasts. Since they have started, they all have been guests on many other podcasts and have had paid speaking and training gigs all over the world. I have seen first-hand how their speaking, interviewing, and even technical skills have improved since they started their podcasts. I have also seen them grow into leaders in their chosen fields and it makes me not only proud of them, but hopeful for myself.

I am always open to getting to know more amazing people! If you have podcasts that you love, please share here or in my facebook community at www.facebook.com/KirstenMcCaySmith

Here’s to living the good life and being AMAZING!

Fun: 3 Life Lessons I have learned from living in an RV for 18 Months

[Blog Post} Life Lessons I have learned from living in an RV for 18 MonthsAbout 18 months ago, my husband and I sold pretty much everything that wouldn’t fit in the “new” RV we bought and left on an adventure. The first question most people ask me is WHY. Then they want to know details like how we are making a living, where we have been, how long we are planning on continuing this lifestyle, and do we actually poop in front of each other.

I have talked about WHY we started this journey, but wanted to share the incredible life lessons I have learned along the way. It’s funny because they aren’t things I didn’t KNOW before, I just needed a reminder of the importance they play in my life. These 3 messages I have learned are SUPER simple, so simple in fact that they are very easy to incorporate into ANYONE’S life, but they are often overlooked and forgotten, and leave most of us wanting more out of our lives.

Relationships are better when you spend time together.

I know! Shocker right??? Seems so elementary but in our busy, fast paced, electronic world, it was really easy to believe that an ”I love you” text or a Facebook tag saying “my hubby rocks” on Throwback Thursday was just as valuable as time together. And I think I just got lazy assuming he just “knows” how much I love him. After all, if I didn’t love him I wouldn’t be married to him right?? WRONGO!

Simplicity ROCKS.

We are hearing this more and more often, but “simplicity” to most people still means we each only have one car, one TV, and one closet full of shoes. When we first packed up the RV and realized 75% of what we own would NOT fit, we naturally rented a storage unit to store a bunch of crap. After only 3 months on the road we realized if we hadn’t needed it by now, it’s probably not that important. So other than one “memoir” box each and a few box files with tax stuff, etc, we gave the rest to goodwill. And every month we spend on the road, I need less and less. I make it a goal to get rid of 10 things a week. Simplifying is liberating, gratifying, and brings out my creative side that was hidden VERY deeply for the past 30 years!

I grow most as a person when I am thrown into the world with no rules.

UGH! This was a hard one for me. I am the QUEEN of personal growth. I am reading books, listening to podcasts, watching inspirational videos, and seeking personal development pretty much every waking hour. Where I failed was putting it all into practice. In theory, I understood what Darwin was saying when he said “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” And I believed him!

But…I was living a rigid life that only worked because I was disciplined and methodical in my work and personal life. When my environment changed and I no longer had control of many of my circumstances, the shit hit the fan and I had to adapt or fail at my big adventurous plan. I chose to adapt…and it was exactly what I needed to break through to the next level of ME.

So yes, I suggest getting out of your comfort zone ASAP and watch yourself grow into the best version of YOU!

Oh, and BTW…yes on the “poop” question! Get over it!