Remember when you were sixteen years old and you thought that your twenty-five-year-old cousin was OLD? You assumed that she must have her life completely together from her career to her love life to her social life and everything in between.

Then the day came that you turned twenty-five and you realize just how wrong your assumption was.

Your life is a hot mess. You don’t know where you want to settle down, what you want as a career and Tinder has changed everything you thought you knew about dating.

There is one thing that you do know though and that’s the general gist of where you want your life to lead.

You know if you want to spend every day traveling or if you’d rather buy a house and create it into a home.

You know if you would prefer being your own boss or if you would rather have somebody else in charge of the important decisions.

You know that you want to be a bodybuilder or if you want to make hiking your number one source of exercise.

You know.

Here’s the secret that can help you get “there” as fast as possible.

Reverse engineer it.

What does reverse engineer mean?

It means you say, “I want to be my own boss one day” and then you figure out how to make that goal a reality by working backward.

Put yourself in the shoes of future you who is your own boss.

What step did you have to take right before you became your future boss? Not step one but step 99.

What does step 98 look like? 97? 96?

Keep working backward.

Some steps might be huge steps like launching your on website, getting an LLC, applying to grad schools.

Other steps are as small as waking up earlier, eating a healthier breakfast, working out, going to conferences, joining online communities, etc.

Work your way back to step 1. That step one is what you can TODAY to make your end goal a reality.

By reverse engineering all of the things that you want in your future, you can draw out a set path of exactly how you are going to get to where you want to be.

Want a caring and loving partner?

Reverse engineer.

Maybe step one would be to start embodying one of the characteristics that you would want in your partner but that you haven’t mastered yourself.

Enticed by the idea of traveling often?

Step one might be finding a place that you want to go and can afford to get yourself to. Maybe it’s putting more money away in your savings account so that you can start to plan more trips.

There is always a way to reverse engineer your way to the lifestyle that you want to be living and most of the time it’s pretty damn clear-cut.

Okay, so we’re in our twenties and we don’t have everything figured out that we thought we would by now BUT we have the secret to start making it happen.

Get your pen and paper, write your big-time goal and then work backward. Get creative, challenge yourself but most importantly make actionable steps that will force you into achieving your dreams.

The rest will be history.