3 Exercises to Design Your Dream Life in the New Year

Everyone’s heard of a vision board, but if you’re looking to design your dream life in the new year and ready to take it up a notch, here are three practices to try. These practices will help you get clear on what your dream life even looks like, so you can begin to call it in. And the best part is, they all take less than 30 minutes, but can influence your life for years to come.

3 Practices to Create Your Dream Life

1. Visualize Your Perfect Day

The first time I did this exercise, I was in my twenties at a retreat in California. I had no idea what my dream life looked like. I was in a corporate job that I enjoyed decently, but I had a sinking feeling it wasn’t my life’s calling. The only problem was, I had no idea how to figure out what my life’s calling was.

At the retreat, the leader sat the group down and walked us through a meditation. We were instructed to visualize our dream day in detail. She guided us through every part of the day—where we woke up, what kind of home we were in, how we felt when we opened our eyes, what we did first thing in the morning, and so on. She had us visualize where we worked, what we worked on, and what we felt about our work.

Even though I had only ever been in a traditional 9 to 5—and remote work wasn’t a common occurrence yet culturally—I was surprised to see visions of working from home. I sensed that I was able to move about my day freely. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but I followed the visualization. 

The surprising part is, a few years later, although I had no idea how to actually get there during the meditation, I did leave my corporate life to start my own business. And now I do very much design my own schedule, work from home (or wherever I am in the world), and move freely about my day.

So I recommend allowing yourself the same freedom to daydream. Pull out a journal and walk yourself through your dream day, from start to finish. Everything from what you are wearing to where you are living to who you are with and what you are doing. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t seem realistic, as mine didn’t. You may get some intuitive hits for where your path is headed, or you may spark some ideas for what you can bring into your life now.

2. Create a Mind Movie

I learned the concept of Mind Movies from Dr. Joe Dispenza, one of my favorite authors and teachers. The concept of Mind Movies is to put your vision board to music, so you put yourself in a trance watching it, and it can better become part of your subconscious. If nothing else, you watch your goals on a screen daily, and get into the feeling of experiencing them through a song you love, so you’re both clear on what you want to create each day and uplifted visualizing your dreams.

To create a Mind Movie, search online for images of the life you desire. I don’t care whether it’s a super yacht or a happy home full of children; choose images that really excite you and create a visceral response in your body. Then, choose a favorite song that gives you all the feels.

Lastly, choose a movie app like iMovie, then upload your images. Overlay your song over the images. Then package it into a movie file and watch it daily. I try to watch my MindMovie when I first wake up or before I go to bed. It puts me in a great head state and I am always amazed at how many dreams come true over the course of a year, even if they never seemed possible before. 

3. Bullet List Your Vision for Each Area of Your Life

This is a practice I have done ever since I was a young girl. I’m not even sure where I came up with it, but as I would journal, I would list out the main areas of my life: relationships, career, health, school, etc. And then under each one, I would bullet what I wanted those areas to look like.

Back when I was younger, I probably listed things like straight-A student, dream college, and lots of friends under a category like school. Now, I have different categories, but this practice still helps me visualize what I want to create and what areas are the biggest priorities.

If you want to get super specific, you can take it a step further by listing out specific action items to achieve your dreams in each section. For example, let’s say that under a category like career, you said you wanted to be a business owner. That’s a major goal for which there are many subtasks. So you could break that goal into smaller ones. Maybe you come up with a business idea one month, then the business name and website another month, and so on. Over the course of a year, those seemingly impossible dreams can actually become your reality.

I would love to know in the comments: What other practices you love for visualizing your dream life? The best part is, you can dream a new dream anytime. And sometimes, it’s during the imagination process that you plant the seeds of something you never even thought was possible.

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