The future only exists in your head.
You create your future in your brain.
You can either create your future from your past or you can create your future from your future.
Growing up, we’re all very future focused: go to school, then go to college, then get a job, then get married, then have kids.
Then what? Maybe retirement?
This is where we become past focused and start talking about the “good old days”.
This is what kills your future.
Instead of falling into this trap, you can create an entirely new and different future from your future.
You can design your next year so it’s your dream year.
I’ll show you how in this episode.
Here are more of my favorite resources for designing your future:
- How To Stop Repeating Your Past (blog post)
- Future Self Letter (podcast)
- How To Write A Future Self Letter (blog post)
- How To Write A Future Self Letter (YouTube video)
- Grow You (coaching)
Full Design Your Dream Year From Your Future Episode Transcript
Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.
Hello, how are you? I am doing fantastic. It is starting to get really cold in Chicago and I am loving it anyways and it’s about this time that I am reflecting a lot on the last year and feeling so grateful, excited and proud of myself. 2017 ended pretty horribly. I went through a break up that was unexpected and I felt like I didn’t really know where to go from there but I decided that the next year was going to be my best year.
I didn’t care what it took, I was just going to make it happen and I did and 2018 has literally been my best year ever. I am not exaggerating. I have like blown every expectation I’ve had for myself out of the water and I’m so proud to say that about myself and I want to give you that gift for yourself. I want you to listen to this podcast and afterwards feel competent in your ability to have the best next year, your dream year, so that in a year from now, you can look back and feel just as proud.
It’s just amazing to feel proud of yourself, so hopefully you are giving yourself that gift. Over the last 12 months, I quit my job as a financial planner. I became a full time online business owner. I created six digital products. Three of them were eBooks. Three of them were e-courses. I tripled my business income so far. The year’s not even over in 2017 total, I made $45,000 blogging in 2018 so far I’ve made over $140,000 last time I checked and the year’s not over, so I tripled my income.
I took an $18,000 coaching program without paying for it. If you listen to the Questions episode, the last episode, you know that I will become a certified life coach. In the next week, I created and launched a new podcast that you’re listening to. I went to my favorite business conferences. I started, working for my dream coach and mentor and I moved out of Ohio to Chicago.
Everything I set out to do, I did. But you know what? 2019 is going to be even better. And 2020 is going to be better than 2019 every year I live is going to be better than the last year. And that is a gift that I want you to have for yourself and every year going forward in your life too.
So remember your thoughts create your feelings, your feelings create your actions and your actions create your results and circumstances are neutral. So your future, the future only exists in your head as thoughts. You literally create your future in your brain so you can either create your future from your past or you can create your future from your future. The easiest way I think to think about this is to think about a kid or think about yourself growing up. We’re all taught to go to school.
Then we look forward to going to college and then we look forward to getting our first job and then maybe marriage and then maybe kids, but then what? Then what are we looking forward to? Is it maybe retirement? So it’s like after we achieve all of the things that we were so future focused about that we start to become past focus and we start to talk about the good old days.
Most people when they get into this space of having accomplished everything they initially set out to do kind of like whether it’s late twenties early thirties mid thirties late thirties somewhere around there. We start to live from our past. The past is something that only exists in our head. Like when I learned that I was like, what? Literally the past is over and it just exists as sentences in your head and it’s super easy for your brain to just repeat those old thoughts.
It’s a very familiar, your brains understands it well and it’s easy. So your brain is going to just continue to repeat the past into the future and this is where you stagnate and you’re likely going to have to escape your life to even do this, right? It’s kind of boring, for lack of a better word. So you’re going to overeat, you’re going to over-drink, overwork, overspend, whatever. There’s like this apathy with it about your own life.
There is this thing in your brain that makes you wired to want to move forward and grow and evolve even though the other part of your brain wants to like repeat the past and live like the easy way and um, you know, seek pleasure, avoid pain, want to be efficient, right? It just wants to keep you alive. But on the other hand, you have your prefrontal cortex where you are wired to want to grow and evolve and that kind of keeps you out of the, um, escapism if you will.
Your brain wants to recycle old thoughts and pull them from your past because it’s easier and more efficient. So saying something like, I can’t make six figures from my online business I never have before. And I don’t know how that is an example of you just taking an idea that you have because you haven’t done something before and making it your future destiny. Basically, you’re repeating your past, you haven’t done it in the past and you’re basically saying, I’m not going to do it in the future, but how does anyone ever do anything new that they’ve never done before?
So think of like a little kid learning how to read. They would never say, I’ve never done it before and don’t know how so I’m just not going to ever be able to do it. It’s kind of crazy. It’s like in order to do new things, you have to by definition not have had done them before.
And my suggestion to you in this podcast episode is that you don’t have to live from what you have already done. You can live from the future. The problem is that we’ve totally lost our imagination along the way and it’s kind of, you know, something that we are taught in school, right? There’s this education system that’s based on tests and you’re not encouraged to use your imagination. When you imagine your future from your future, there are no steps to follow, right? So like you can’t come up with for sure answers.
You can just daydream whatever you want. And I just want to suggest to you that this is just as real as imagining anything else because it’s just in your mind. What we do now is like we take things that have already happened in our past and we just project them into the future so that we create more of our past.
Most people haven’t even considered the future. So it’s an example would be like just saying, I’m not sure what’s in my future. You know, people assume that their future is going to happen to them instead of proactively and intentionally creating it themselves. So what I want you to do is to design your dream year from your future instead of from your past. So instead of imagining that you make some amount of money that you’ve made in the past, I want you to imagine that you triple your income and quit your job.
Or you know, that’s just an example. It can be whatever you want. But I want you to think about possibility from your future instead of basing it on what you’ve done in the past. If you already had the result you expect to have, what would you be thinking and feeling? You would not be stressing, worrying, or obsessing.
You would have clarity. You would come from abundance, not scarcity. So the first thing that you need to do is you need to create your future in your mind. Basically just decide what you want. Decide what your dream year looks like. Decide what, um, you would be so elated to have a one year from now. And I just want to let you know that it can be anything. Like nothing happens.
If this doesn’t materialize, you’re still just imagining it. So why not? Imagine like greatness? Why not imagine, um, things that like you would just be overjoyed to have instead of just, you know, more of the same and people will say like, well, you know, doing this is just going to set myself up for disappointment. But the truth is you’re disappointing yourself ahead of time. By not imagining it, you’re basically saying, okay, well it’s not going to happen so I’m just not even going to imagine it.
So like you’re just failing ahead of time. It’s like self-sabotage. There’s no point to just not imagining it. Like nothing bad happens from this because the opportunities are endless. You can create so much amazingness from your future even if you fall short. So let’s say that you miss the mark. Like the only reason that that is bad or means anything is because of the meaning that you give it. So why not just make it mean that you learned something instead of that, you know, you failed or you missed the mark because really you are learning and then you can just create something new in the future.
Yes, tragedies happen. They happen all the time. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow. But what we’re talking about here is different. So you’re not sitting around probably thinking that like you’re going to get hit by a bus tomorrow or that you’re going to get a disease or that you are going to become disabled or that you know, tragedy is going to strike.
That’s not typically what we’re sitting around imagining what we’re sitting around imagining is like, okay, I might, you know, get a new job. I might not, I probably will make the same amount, my blog’s not going to take off. We’re like literally imagining a future that doesn’t involve tragedy, but it just involves like more of the same. It’s almost like a worse, you’re just like stuck. Tragedies either like gonna happen or it’s not. And that has nothing to do with whether you imagine an amazing future for yourself.
So you might as well imagine what you truly want. So I want you to create your future from your future. So again, the first thing you do is you decide what does your dream year look like. Decide what you want, write it down and no one can tell you that you’re wrong because this is just in your mind.
And then I want you to think about what you would think about as this person. So if you were this person and you, whatever you launched your online business, you quit your job, you tripled your income, whatever it is that you want one year from now, what would you be thinking about as that person? Create thoughts of exactly what you would want to be having as that person or think you would have. Write it down.
I have, um, tools that you can use in my personal development course. Design Your Dream Life Academy, designyourdreamlifeacademy.com I also have Dream Year, which is a goal setting book and workbook that you can get at Nataliebacon.com/dream-year. But even if you’re just using a notepad, whatever it is, write down what you want your next year to look like. Write down from your future. Don’t let your past limit you.
Then I want you to write down what feelings you would feel and experience if you were living as that person. So this is where you experience it. It’s not just in your head as your thoughts. This is how would you feel? I want you to practice feeling how it would feel to have achieved your dream year. So it’s one year from now and you’ve achieved the things that you wrote down. How does it feel?
I really want you to like kind of go deep with this and practice becoming that person ahead of time. Whether it’s journaling as that person, which is like a fantastic exercise or meditating or just writing down what you think it feels like to accomplish your dream year. I want you to really go to that place because you will find that you’ll start to experience it. And that is actually how you create the results.
So most of us think that we get the result and then we become the person. But that’s not how it works. You become the person then get the result. Okay? So remember your thoughts, create your feelings, your feelings, create your actions, your actions create your results. So it starts with you becoming the person and your belief systems and then you cause the result to happen in your life.
This is so amazing because it really, really works. So you have to practice. Now what do you want your dream year to look like? Whatever you can do to imagine it and put that control in your hands, you have to do it. You owe it to yourself to do it. If you do this and you practice it and you really allow yourself to go there and feel so good about it, you will experience so many positive emotions.
You will be in abundance. You will have this like higher level of um, joy and uh, love or excitement, whatever it is, but you won’t have the emotions of scarcity. You’ll really notice it. It’s, it’s fantastic. I love practicing this so much. So as someone who now has a six figure business, what I’ve been doing is I’ve been doing this as a seven figure business owner, so I no longer imagine what it’s like to be like as a six figure business owner.
I’m thinking about what’s it like to be a seven figure business owner. I’m not even thinking about my 2019 goals. I’m already thinking about 2020 cause that’s just how I roll. But um, I like write down what it’s like to have accomplished my 2019 goals and being working on 2020. I know with certainty what the next year looks like and I want to be clear that I don’t actually know how this is going to happen, but not knowing how isn’t a good reason not to imagine a different future.
You’re just imagining your future no matter what. So you might as well make it amazing and do it from your future even if you don’t know how instead of just repeating more of your past. Because if you do, just imagine another year that’s similar to this year and that is like for sure what you’re going to create. Like that’s terrible. Don’t do that.
I want you to create your dream year and I want next year to be better than last year and I want the year after that to be better than the year before that. You can literally do this every single year and make every single year better than your last year. How do you do that? You decide that is going to be how it is. There are no good old days. Every year it gets better and better and better and that is up to you. Instead of relying on your circumstances and results to affect you and change you.
You change. You become the person that you know lives your dream year and then you feel it. You experience it in your body and you become that person and you will experience this joy and you will create the right emotions that will drive the actions, that will lead to the results and you will create your dream year. I cannot tell you more than anything. How much this has been true for me this year.
I know I’ve already mentioned this on the podcast, but when my business coaches, Lauren and Alex called me after I had hit six figure blogger status to congratulate me, like they were ecstatic and I think they thought I would be too. And yes it was exciting, but I had already been a six figure blogger like in my personhood, well before the accounting software ever showed it to me. And that is the key, right?
You have to become the person first and then you get the result you want. And this doesn’t just apply to business, it applies to money, it applies to your health, it applies to, you know, eating and drinking and um, your personal life, your relationships. Like you have to become the person who you want to be ahead of time in order to get the results you want. And this is the secret to everything. I just read the book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza. I highly recommend this book. It is big. It is amazing.
And it goes into detail about how to create a future that is unlike anything you’ve had in the past. You basically learn to reprogram your brain, detach from the feelings you are used to experiencing and create new belief systems that create the feelings that generate, you know, the actions and results that you want in your life. Fantastic book.
But for now you can continue to just do this by writing out the thoughts and feelings that you want to create an experience as someone living your dream year. I continue to do this. I did this past year, I became that six figure blogger. Well before I was actually the six figure blogger I was coaching before I was actually coaching. I was leaving Ohio before I was leaving Ohio.
I literally have become the person before I see the result in my life, which is so awesome and I’m starting to become the person who makes like a lot more money than I already do now, which is super fun because I can’t wait to see it in that accounting balance sheet and I’m really excited to use this in other areas of my life as well. Health is one that I am going to implement. I personally like to do things one at a time because I think it makes it more likely that I’ll follow through with it so there’s not so much change at once, but you can do it however you want.
The key is that you want to not only be thinking like that person you want to be a year from now, but also feeling it. It’s so important that you go there. What I like to do is find something that’s like a trigger, so every time you walk through a certain door, I really like the shower. Brendon Burchard always talks about how it’s a trigger for him and he uses it.
I don’t know if it’s for positive thoughts or something, but for me, I like to think about, okay, in a year from now who do I want to be? And I really just like let myself go there and I’m experiencing it as if I’m already her and you will notice your body change, your um, feelings change and that the more that you can get into that space, the more that you can be her ahead of time, the more that you can live as her in your daily life, the more that you will create the results in your life.
It’s kind of like, I just got TSA precheck, I’m going to get global entry. I’ve got a new carry on. I am like a manifesting all of these things because I am anticipating paying off my student loans and traveling a whole bunch. Right? It’s like I’m becoming the person who travels a lot before I even travel a lot. It’s like you have to become the person you want to be in the next year and then the results follow instead of cause and effect. You go to causing the effect by becoming her ahead of time.
So take a look at how you think about the future. Do you dream big? Are your dreams big enough? What does the next 12 months look like for you? And why? Are you going to create more of your past or are you going to create your future from your future? I really want to encourage you to imagine a positive, abundant future no matter what because there is no upside to imagining a negative future.
An example would be, you know, should I quit my job and run my business full time? If you’re considering that, I want you to imagine the best case scenario in both alternative futures. So if you stay in your job as option one, it’s the best decision that you made and you are going make that an amazing future. And I also want you to imagine the best case scenario of leaving your job as the second option and have it be the most amazing future.
When you imagine both alternative futures as amazing, which one do you pick? Because remember, it’s up to you to create amazing results in your future. You can totally do that no matter what happens. Your future can be amazing regardless of the decisions that you make that when you were thinking about alternative futures, you are making decisions based on what you’re imagining.
So you think that you are making decisions based on facts and like you’re weighing these certain pros and cons. But really you’re just doing it based on what you think is going to happen based on your imagination. So if you’re super afraid and insecure, you might imagine that you’re going to fail and everything goes horribly wrong.
If you’re coming from an abundant mindset, you might imagine that your future is going to be super, super successful. But either way, it’s literally you imagining alternative futures. So you literally make a decision, a current decision based on alternative futures that you create in your own mind based on your belief systems. And those belief systems include your past, but they also include your imagination. So I just want you to notice that it’s literally your mind going to work. And the key is for you to know that anything is possible, okay?
Yes, things happen that you can’t plan for, but you’re going to imagine a future that can’t possibly know what pros and cons and tragedies and whatever else is going to happen to you. So all you can do now is imagine and make it so unbelievably amazing that you have the most likely chance of succeeding and getting whatever it is you want because you will create that result.
So if you create your dream year and you take massive action, you can get it. Like I just did it and I’m going to do it again and again and again. But if you just keep repeating your past and keep projecting that into the future, that’s exactly what you’re going to do. What you imagine is what you create. Okay? The future is yours and the past only exists as sentences in your head. It only limits you to the extent that you believe it will limit you.
You’re not damaged. There is nothing from your past that you have to bring into your future. No matter what has happened to you. It doesn’t matter. I love this. This is so freeing and that’s why you can see people with very different past experiences, um, have different results in their future, right? You, you think of people who quote unquote have horrible pasts and people who create amazingness from them.
And it’s like, you know, how many people do I hear who look at their student loans as something that limits them? Right? And I never have done that. I think of them as an opportunity. Like I’m so grateful for them because I never would have started my business. Are you kidding me? This is like my life. I’m obsessed. I literally am designing my dream life of one year at a time. And you can do that too.
Like I just do this like there’s nothing special about me other than I believe that I can. And I want you to have that gift too. Anything is possible. You can believe whatever you want. The future is yours. Design your future from your future. Where will you be in five years if you keep living how you’re living? But what about if you change it? What about if next year is your dream year?
I want you to go out there and get what you want and make next year your dream year. You can go through a free seven day Design Your Dream Life training at Nataliebacon.com/dreamlifetraining. That’s all one word you can get the dream year goal setting, book and workbooks at Nataliebacon.com/dream-year and you can join my personal development course at designyourdreamlifeacademy.com I am cheering for you. I cannot wait to see what you do to design your dream life. I’ll talk to you next week. Bye bye.
Thank you for listening to the Design Your Dream Life podcast. Subscribe to the podcast to get the latest episodes sent directly to you. To learn more about designing your dream life visit NatalieBacon.com.