Dream Big: How to Define Your Why

It’s time to take ownership of your “why.”

You crave Financial Freedom . . . but why? What does it mean for you? What does Freedom allow you to do and be?

Your personal journey has intense purpose and power if you know your “why”—your dream for your life. But stating your dreams with confidence and clarity is its own challenge. If you’re ready to discover, define and achieve your deepest motivations, commit yourself to this seven-step thought exercise.

Step #1: Take Inventory

Before visualizing your aspirations, take stock of who you are and what you have right now. In a quiet time and place, close your eyes and ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I value above everything else?
  • What principles matter to me?
  • What qualities make me unique?
  • What experiences have shaped me?
  • What are my passions? What things, people and activities bring me immense joy?
  • What do I hate?

Step #2: Think Back


Have a conversation with your younger self when the world was full of possibility. Go back to a time before you became too busy, too jaded or too focused on acquiring tangible displays of success. Ask your inner child…

  • What brought me sincere joy?
  • What passions have I forgotten or pushed aside?
  • Deep down, do I still love those things?

Step #3: Create Clarity For Yourself

Strip away the noise of everyday life, and focus on what’s most critical. Complete these sentences for yourself:

  • If I had my way, here’s what my life would look like in five years and in 10 years…
  • If I had only a tiny amount of time or money to spend for my enjoyment, I would…
  • If I woke up tomorrow Financially Free, I would…
  • If I had only a year to live, I would spend that time…

In these scenarios, would you create memories with family and friends? Devote yourself to a cause? Learn a new skill? Revive a passion you’ve under-prioritized? Fully envision your life.

Step #4: Imagine Without Inhibition

Check your inner critic. Are your dreams too small? Worse yet, are you afraid to dream?

During this process, unshackle yourself from your own restrictions. Silence the self-doubt that says, “You’re too old” or “You’re not smart enough to do that.” Give yourself permission to embrace the vision you want for your life and brainstorm freely.

Revisit Steps 1 – 3 if necessary.

Step #5: Enlist Trusted Advisors

Those closest to us sometimes recognize the strengths and potential we can’t see in ourselves. Choose confidants who know you deeply and support your journey to happiness and success.

Ask them these questions:

  • What am I particularly good at?
  • What are my weaknesses?
  • What brings me joy?
  • What drives me crazy?
  • How do I inspire people?

Step #6: Sample Your Dream Before Going All In

By now you’ve gained insight into your personal vision. But don’t throw yourself into the work of pursuing it, until you try it out. Stick your toe in the water of your future:

  • Before committing yourself to a new career, find someone you respect in that field and shadow them.
  • Don’t quit your job to write your bestselling memoir, until you write a few chapters in your spare time.
  • Pause before cashing in your retirement account for a big vacation, and read the inspiring stories of people who attained Financial Freedom at a young age.

Give yourself permission to try on different dreams, see how they fit and discard them if they’re not right for you. Fully embrace those that fill you with excitement.

Step #7: Commit Your Dreams To Writing

You’re ready to transform your thought exercise into action.

In big letters, write down your dream, giving it structure and confidence. So instead of saying, “I hope to be Financially Free someday,” write, “I will have a fully functional Freedom Generator in place in 10 years.”

Now look at what you’ve written, and ask yourself these questions.  To achieve your goal . . .

  • What tradeoffs and sacrifices are you willing to make?
  • What tools, skills, resources or relationships do you need to acquire?
  • What’s the very first step you need to take?

Finally, after you’ve gone through the exercise, share at least one of your dreams in the Financially Fit Bootcamp community. Take the first step toward your big life dream today. Celebrate the start of a journey that some people never begin!

Member Bonus: Check the toolbox inside Financially Fit Bootcamp for a guided audio version of these steps called Clarify Your Vision for Financial Freedom” from our amazing MindShift.money Specialist Fia-Lynn Crandall!


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There are 4 comments

  • Pete on April 11, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    This is a great exercise! Dream big dreams, little dreams aren’t worth fighting for.

  • Melinda on April 11, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    I am really looking forward to delving into this article more, our WHY is so important to keep us on track to freedom

  • Makaylah on April 18, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    This is awesome!

  • Adefuyi Abon on January 19, 2018 at 2:50 am

    Great achievement starts with setting clear goals and determining your purpose, and taking required actions. Thanks for a great article.

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