Waiting is never fun. Especially for something you really, really want. Right now, I’m waiting to save up enough money to quit my job. I have this whole vision of exactly what I want to do when I quit- I’m going to work on this blog and my coaching business, I’ll have time to sleep and work out, and I’ll get to spend more time with my friends and family. It’s going to be so amazing- once it happens, that is.
And I’ve got a ways to go before it does. We’ve all had to wait for long term dreams to come true- getting married, graduating college, reaching financial freedom, leaving a boring job. The more we think about it, the more we want it to happen RIGHT NOW.
But there’s a better way to wait. One that actually will make time pass faster. And that’s to enjoy where you are right now.
It may seem counterproductive, but I promise you it works. Here’s how you can start enjoying your current situation.
What are you looking forward to feeling once you reach your goal?
Let’s use reaching financial freedom as an example. What kinds of things are you looking forward to doing? How will it make you feel?
You may be looking forward to traveling, sleeping in, or getting to spend more time with your kids. You are sure that as soon as you reach your goal, you will feel free, successful, and energetic.
What if you could feel that way now?
Why wait to feel free, successful, and energetic? Why wait to get all those benefits? Sure, you may not be able to take a six month trek through Asia, but you can take a day trip to a nearby state park. Start choosing those benefits as your priorities right now. Choose spending an extra hour with your kids over staying late to finish that report at work.
Ask yourself how you can feel more free (or whatever you want to feel). Freedom is a big one for me- I would love the ability to structure my day however I want. But there are ways that I can add more freedom into my life without waiting six months. I can take advantage of the flexibility I do have at my current job, including flexible hours and work from home. I can take regular vacations (staycations are great when saving money is your priority) and stop checking email at night so I can avoid burnout.
Freedom and other feelings are also a state of mind. You can choose to complain about your current situation and focus on all the ways you don’t have freedom in your job. Or, you can embrace the small freedoms you do have and take advantage of them. Take 5 minutes and brainstorm all the freedom you do have, as well as some ways you can introduce more into your life. For example, after looking at the freedoms I have above, my situation seems pretty good, doesn’t it?
Enjoy the Journey
Of course, you will still look forward to the final goal. It’s important to you, and it will still be exciting to reach the end! Using this approach, though, you don’t have to suffer during the wait. The entire process will be enjoyable. You also don’t have that let down once you reach your goal and realize that you don’t know how to enjoy your freedom or your energy- you will get a chance to work through this while working towards your goal. And once you’re enjoying the journey, you will be surprised by how quickly it goes.
What have you had to wait on? How can you enjoy the journey?