For so many years now, you probably have been struggling on making your dreams a reality.
You’ve tried everything. You’ve written down your goals on a piece of paper and carried it around. You’ve researched the different techniques on how you can trick yourself into doing things. But no matter how many techniques you’ve learned, you’re still too far from living your dream.
So, are you doing something wrong?
Here’s one thing you probably haven’t considered: changing your environment.
Many studies suggest that your environment affects your behavior and habits. According to Dr. Fogg, Director of Stanford Persuasive Lab:
“There’s just one way to radically change your behavior: radically change your environment.”
Environments are not limited to physical locations. It can also be digital. We spend most of our time in front of the computer, so it’s logical to pay attention to the many elements that make up our digital environment.
Is your computer organized? How do you arrange the folders? What are the title of your folders? Now, take a look at your smartphone or tablet, what are the apps that are installed? Which of them do you use frequently?
Based on what you see, how would you describe your digital environment? Is it cluttered, clear, or creative? Is it consistent with your personality and what you hope to achieve?
How Adding One Folder Made One of My Dreams Come True
Writing Projects. That’s the name of the folder that I added on my Desktop in March last year. In the beginning of last year, I had one goal: to become a full time freelance writer.
However, I didn’t know where to start.
There were just so many things to do: sprucing up my resume, writing a business plan, approaching clients. Before I delved deeper into these tasks, I thought I’d simulate what my desktop would look like if I were a freelance writer. I thought of creating a digital environment on my Mac that supports the life of a freelance writer. That’s when I had the idea to create a Writing Projects folder.
I had no idea what type of files I would save in that folder; all I knew was that it’s probably the type of folder that a freelancer writer would have. On the same month that I created that folder, I got my first writing gig. By June 2014, I resigned from my full time job and became a full time freelance writer. That month, my Writing Projects folder already had many sub-folders.
Of course, I did many things besides creating one measly folder on my desktop. But it certainly created an environment for the life that I wanted. Every time I see the folder, it inspired me to take actions.
How to Build the Ideal Digital Environment
So, how can you implement this on your own life?
What’s your goal this year? For example, if your goal is to travel internationally for the first time, imagine what would your smartphone or computer look like. Maybe you would have apps like TripAdvisor and Sky Scanner. Your bookmark would probably include airlines sites and blogs posts about things to do in your desired destination.
Even if you’re not entirely sure how you’re going to fund your trip, or when you’re going to do it, start installing the apps right away. Create a digital environment that would encourage you to learn more about Japan, Tahiti, or Acapulco. Start browsing reasonably priced hotels. The next thing you know, you might be booking a round trip ticket for real.
There are so many ways that you can implement this strategy in your own life. It just takes a little creativity and plenty of hope.
So, what’s your goal this year, and what are the changes that you’re going to make in your digital environment?
Irene Chan loves two things: communication and technology. With this tech blog and her role as Head of Communications at Veems, she believes she has the best job in the world. 🙂 Besides those two things, she's also crazy for coffee, dogs, and zombies.Follow her on Veems to get tips and fun updates from her geeky life.