Mapping the Future: Mike Dooley’s 3 Steps for Creating Change

I’ve been watching a webinar series by Mike Dooley. The previous post, “Miracles Happen Every Day. Here Are Some of Mine,” was me working through the first worksheet. The exercise there was to help me admit that miracles have happened in my life before and can keep on happening, too.

The second worksheet is called “Mapping the Future.” It contains Mike Dooley’s 3 steps for creating whatever change you want to have.

To do this exercise, all that’s needed is to focus on one area of your life right now.

Step #1: Choose a General End Result

Which general area of your life will you focus on for this exercise?

Dooley lists the Fantastic Five as:

  1. Livelihood;
  2. Abundance;
  3. Health;
  4. Relationships; and
  5. Appearance.

You could pick one of those. Or you could focus on your overall Happiness.

Out of those six, which one will you choose?

I choose Livelihood. Now, I’ll choose a catchy name for the general end result. I’ll go with Creative, Playful, Highly Rewarding Work!

What’s your catchy name for your general end result?

Once you’ve got that, you’re ready to continue.

Step #2: Get Into the Details Without Attaching to Them

Next, list ten details you can excitedly visualize and anticipate. The details help you look forward to your general end result. The catch is that you don’t attach to the details. It could be those specific details that show up in your life, or it could be something better.

The danger of getting attached to the details is that you risk closing yourself off to having better results in your life. These are results you might not be aware are possible.

The details are merely tools for imagining how your future could look. They give you something more tangible to get excited about. Life has such amazing twists and turns that you can’t predict. The details that show up could be something entirely different than what you imagine, but you’ll still get your general end result.

Be open to the process.

For my details, I’ll go with:

  1. Scheduling my life and maintaining my schedule;
  2. Being the embodiment of confidence itself;
  3. Surrounded with friends and laughter;
  4. Waking up each day with a smile;
  5. Enjoying freedom of various kinds, including financial freedom, time freedom, and location freedom;
  6. Happiness with the contribution that I make in the world;
  7. Collaborations with dreamers who take massive action;
  8. Applying the seven buckets money system every week;
  9. Writing and having a passionate audience of inspired action-takers; and
  10. Great clients and international travel every year.

This or something better!

What are ten details you can specify without getting attached to them?

Once you’ve listed your details, continue to the next step.

Step #3: Take Action Without Messing With the Cursed Hows

In this step, you list the baby steps you might take to achieve your desired general end result.

I’ll go with the following:

For Possible Path #1 to the End Result, I might get copywriting clients on Upwork, and the baby steps for that could be:

  1. Update my profile.
  2. Create a writing sample for each job I apply for.
  3. Apply for two jobs each day, ten jobs per week.

For Possible Path #2 to the End Result, I might interview people to get content for a book, and the baby steps for that could be:

  1. Interview people I already know, starting with two interviews this week.
  2. Do the follow-up interviews, the fact-checking calls.
  3. Ask for referrals and introductions for other people to interview.
  4. Move on to interviewing people that I don’t know.

For Possible Path #3 to the End Result, I might keep posting on my website,, and the baby steps for that could be:

  1. Write and publish my first post each week.
  2. Write and publish my second post each week.
  3. Write and publish my third post each week, maintaining my habitual total of three posts each week.

As you can see, there are three possible paths to my desired general end result, with a total of ten baby steps I could take.

What are three possible paths to your desired general end result? And what are the ten baby steps you could take to get there?

Go ahead and list those right now.

What Does “Without Messing With the Cursed Hows” Mean?

“Without messing with the cursed hows” is another reminder to ensure you’re detached from how you’ll arrive at your desired general end result. The main thing to remember is the importance of taking action. You might have to adjust your approach as you go along, but no matter what, you have to do something to get started. And you have to keep getting started.

The hows can be a stumbling block for many people, but they don’t have to be like that for you or me. Knowing exactly how to achieve your general end result is impossible, so don’t try to figure everything out beforehand. Get going and take the actions you know to take. Your path can become clearer as you go along.

Opportunities you didn’t know about before will present themselves, all because you took action and didn’t stop yourself from doing so by wanting to know how everything would play out before you even began.

You’re adaptable. You’ll see what twists and turns lie ahead for you on your voyage of discovery. You’ve got this. I believe in you and am thankful you’re a dreaming doer. You have dreams and do what it takes to make them real.


“Your lists could be … much longer. … Stay enthused and … show up with baby steps. … Naturally, these lists will perpetually need refreshing. And once you take the baby steps you listed above, … continue listing more “to dos” every week so that you are always out in the world, engaging life, increasing possibilities.” – Mike Dooley

Did you go through Mike Dooley’s 3 steps for creating change?

Did you choose your general end result for one area of your life?

Did you get into the details without attaching to them?

Did you take action without messing with the cursed hows?

If you haven’t, reread this post and apply those 3 steps.

If you have, please share your experience in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you, and I thank you for taking action to make your dreams real.

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Until next time,

James Barnett

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