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 that miracles 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 in your life.

For the purpose of doing this exercise, all that’s needed is to focus on 1 area of your life right now.

Step #1: Choose a General End Result

Which general area of your life are you going to 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 1 of those, or you could focus on your overall Happiness.

Out of those 6, which 1 will you choose?

I choose Livelihood. Now I get to pick 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, you get to list out 10 details that you can excitedly visualize and anticipate. The details help you to 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 than that.

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 that you might not be aware are even possible for you.

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, ones that you simply can’t predict. The details that show up in your life 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 getting to maintain 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 get to 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!

Now what are 10 details that you can specify without getting attached to them?

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

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

In this step, you get to list out the baby steps that you might take in order 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 that I apply for.
  3. Apply for 2 jobs each day, 14 jobs per week.

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

  1. Interview people that I already know, starting with 2 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 3 posts each week.

As you can see, there are 3 possible paths to my desired general end result with a total of 10 baby steps that I could take.

What are 3 possible paths to your desired general end result? And what are the 10 baby steps that you could take to get there?

Go ahead and list those out right now.

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

“Without messing with the cursed hows” is another reminder to make sure that you’re detached from the idea of how you’ll arrive at your desired general end result. The main thing to keep in mind is the importance that you do take 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 so 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 even try to figure everything out in advance. Simply get going and take the actions that you know to take. Your path can become clearer as you go along.

Opportunities that you didn’t know about before will present themselves, all because you got taking 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. Above all, you’ve got this. I believe in you, and I’m thankful that you’re a dreaming doer. You have dreams, and you do what it takes to make your dreams real.


“Obviously, your lists could be much, 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 what your general end result will be for 1 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, then read through this post again and apply those 3 steps.

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

Thank you for reading. Here is what else you can do:

  • Add any questions or comments you have in the comments section below;
  • Subscribe so you can be notified by e-mail when I add another post on this website; and
  • Share this post, including on social media.

Until next time,

James Barnett

Please follow and like us: