Live Life to the Fullest – Create a Dream and Life Values Based Approach to Personal Finance – Part 3 – Discover Your Dreams and Take Action on Them

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, I have introduced everyone to the first 4 steps towards creating a Purpose Focused Financial Plan, as described in David Bach’s book titled, Smart Couples Finish Rich. Click on the link to pick up a cheap used copy of the book from 
  • Step 1 involved discovering the importance of money in your life.
  • Step 2 involved discovering the purpose of money in your life.
  • Step 3 was to list out your top 5 values you want to focus on over the next 12 months.
  • Step 4 covered how to create an actionable plan for executing on these life values. 
For more information on these 4 steps, click on the links below to view Parts 1 and 2 of the series.
In Part 3, I’ll cover Step 5 in creating a Purpose Focused Financial Plan and explain how I have applied it to my personal financial situation for you all to use as an example.
Step 5 – Identify Your Life Dreams and Develop a Plan to Take Action On Them
As David Bach mentions in his book, it is very easy to forget about the importance of dreaming as you grow up, get a job, and have a family due to all of the other priorities that you are getting bombarded with on a constant basis.
However, if you really think about it, all dreams are possible, provided that you allow yourself the proper time, resources, and planning. This idea about having a plan is absolutely key.

Note: When I first approached this topic in David’s book, it was a little confusing when I attempted to differentiate between this exercise and the previous exercise where we developed an action plan for life values. 
However, in the end, the way I looked at it was that the life values action plan were based around goals that I specifically want (and one could almost say need) to do in my life in order to be fullfilled. On the other hand, this dream action plan is based around “fun” things that you want to accomplish in life that will enable you to live an extraordinary life, based upon your standards.
So, it’s time to start dreaming again and create an action plan around those dreams!
To do this, simply follow the 6 steps below (outlined in David Bach’s book):
  • List our your top 5 dreams on a piece of paper.
    • Remember – with this exercise, you want to dream big! Don’t be worried if one or more of your dreams “seems” unrealistic.
  • For each of your top 5 dreams, further refine them so that they are specific and measureable.
  • 48 hour action plan –
    • As discussed in the life values section in Part 2 of this series, list at least some specific action that is possible to take upon your dreams in the next two days.
  • Next, for each of your dreams, list who, if anyone, you want to share them with.
  • Fifth, you will want to list what specific life value (from Part 2) this dream helps you fullfill.
    • Personally, I feel this is one of the most important steps. For me, it is interesting to see how related my dreams are to my life values.
  • Finally, for each of your dreams, write down a rough estimate of how much it will cost.

Do you have all of these 6 items recorded for each of your dreams? Good work!

Feels like quite an accomplishment doesn’t it?

My Results for Step 5

Jacob’s Top 5 Dreams

  1. Backpack on the Inca Trail in Peru
  2. Hike all of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia
  3. Own a cabin in the mountains/woods
  4. Be part of starting/growing a biotechnology company
  5. Visit Yellowstone National Park
Additionally, shown below are the details of steps 2-6 for creating the action plan for the “Backpacking in Peru” dream.
  • Dream – Backpacking on the Inca Trail in Peru
    • Specific, measurable – Go on a 4 day backpacking trip on the Inca Trail in Peru, finishing at Macchu Picchu in 2012.
    • 48 hour action plan – Search online for Peruvian tour companies that offer these guided backpacking trips and their prices.
    • Who share dream with? Family or friends.
    • What value(s) does this help fullfill? Freedom and Health
    • Approximate cost – $3,000
I hope this exercise helps you start dreaming again and enables you to experience continued improvement in your life.
Part 4 of this series can be found at the link below. It will discuss specific long-term (beyond 48 hours) financial actions that you can take to achieve your life value goals and dreams, now that you have identified them.

My Money Blog – Create a Purpose Focused Financial Plan – Part 4

Keep on learning!


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