Thousands of writers have written about it, thousands of friends have advised it, thousands of inspirational speakers have promoted it...

“It” is the theory that if you do something, anything to move towards a goal, you will be closer to it. Why? Because you are no longer standing still.

I'll let you in on a little secret about life: perfect timing comes very rarely. In my opinion, having the stars aligned is overrated. You can "if....then," and "maybe....when" until you are blue in the face but sometimes you have to create your own opportunity. Taking a huge leap of faith isn't always a necessity, but taking the first step toward your goal is.

Makes sense right? Martha Beck, author of Leaving the Saints, and contributor for O! The Oprah Magazine writes, "Your frustration comes not from a difficult choice but from the way you think you have to choose." Her first piece of advice about being happy is to do something. She says if that doesn't work, go do something else.

It kind of makes you laugh doesn't it? It seems so simple. To be something. Maybe it is that simple, but sometimes we make it hard. Our fears, our doubts and our inability to remain focused can be amazingly detrimental to our momentum.

Yes, it's difficult to think ahead and hold onto a vision for a big future. We often hear, 'enjoy today, be in the moment, but be responsible, plan ahead.' How do we accomplish all of this?

Finding Your Groove

Take a minute to think about the person you want to be in 20 years. Are you still working? Retired? Volunteering? Are you happy and relaxed or are you busy and challenged? Who is around you? Where are you living? Make sure you are being realistic. Would you really be happy on a 50-foot schooner? Do you even know how to navigate one? Be's your groove!

It's time to write these dreams down. Take out a piece of paper and separate it into four quadrants. In the first, write Relationships. Fill that section in with all you hope to have in 20 years regarding a partner, friends and family.

Once you are done, go to the next quadrant and write Finances. Fill it up with all that you want financially (realistically) in 20 years. Any savings, stocks, bonds, IRA's, real estate investments, networth...the works. Write it all out. Is there any money you want to give away to a favorite charity or family member? What about college funding and vacations?

Next is Personal. Here, write down what you would personally like to achieve in the next 20 years. Education, spirituality, hobbies, travel, etc. Don’t forget to include personal time, development and self-care. These areas are often overlooked since we are usually supporting others instead of ourselves.

The last quadrant is Career. What job will you hold in 20 years? President of the company or entrepreneur? Are you retired and working part time somewhere? Are you firmly planted in a job you love? Have you made a name for yourself? Write it all down.

As you fill out each section, set goals for the future that you find rewarding and achievable. If you don’t really want something you’ve written down, scratch it off the list. It’s fun to dream, but be true to your inner desires in this exercise.

You’ve now created a visual tool for your future. How are you feeling about it? Are the items you’ve written down things that you really want? The act of writing them down has released them. Before they were just thoughts in your head; now, they are affirmations on paper. You’ve taken your first step!

Revisit this often and begin to prioritize each section. Tackle small goals first and create a plan and a timeline to work up to your larger goals. As you begin to achieve the smaller goals, you'll find that some of the larger items will take care of themselves. Opportunity begins to flow as you create the foundation for your authentic lifestyle. Begin with the dreams that get you really excited.

Nurture that little spark of excitement that comes from movement. Use that spark to eventually create a continuous electric circuit of happiness into your life because you are actively pursuing what you WANT.

Author's Bio: 

Katie Mattson is the owner and professional coach of Momentum Coaching ( ). Katie acts as a catalyst for individuals and small groups to stretch their personal boundaries, face their fears and take big leaps. Through creating awareness and motivation, Katie helps her clients to have the courage to create easier transitions in career and life.