Making room in your life for your dreams

Submitted by:
PoliceOne Senior Editor Doug Wyllie


It’s déjà vu all over again. Since it’s Groundhog Day, I don’t feel too terrible about offering a tip we’ve all probably heard — in one form or another — way more than just once.

Don’t wait until “retirement” to begin doing the things you plan to do in retirement.

I heard this advice just days ago while I was attending a training seminar presented by a local San Francisco Bay Area police agency. Previously, I’d heard it from Tim Goergen last fall while attending the Street Survival Seminar up on Lake Tahoe. And of course, I’d heard the same thing — time and again — from my beloved father, Chuck Wyllie. Like I said, it’s déjà vu, all over again.

Write it Down
All too often we talk about how great it will be to do “fill-in-the-blank” once we’re retired and have the time. Problem is, we don’t know what’s going to happen this afternoon, much less what is going to happen in the years between today and the day after we strap on that proverbial gold watch.

Visualize something you see yourself doing — something you’ve always wanted to do but have not even begun because you’re too busy with the job, the family, the day-to-day stuff that seems to gobble up all your time. For me, it’s seeing all 50 states by the time I’m 50 years old. I’ve been to 41 and have nine to go, but the years remaining ‘till I hit that milestone age of Five-Oh are dwindling quickly.

Now, think of one thing you need to do to make that “dream” come to fruition. For me, it’s researching how I might be able to string together one big road trip — maybe a family vacation in a rented RV that would make the Grizwolds green with envy? — to include Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, and Idaho. That, plus a flight to Alaska and I’ve hit my goal.

If it’s helpful, print this tip out and use the below “form” to begin the process. Or don’t.

All that really matters is that next year, when Punxsutawney Phil pokes his little nugget head from that cage in Pennsylvania, we can all say that we’ve taken some meaningful steps toward improving the richness of our lives outside of “the job.”

I want to _______________________________________________.

In order to do that, I need to _______________________________.

Consequently, I should _____________________________________.

This time next year, I will have _______________________________.

Don’t let the duties of today prevent you from working toward the dreams of tomorrow.

Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 900 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community.

On a daily basis, Doug is in close personal contact with some of the top subject-matter experts in law enforcement, regularly tapping into the world-class knowledge of officers and trainers from around the United States, and working to help spread that information and insight to the hundreds of thousands of officers who visit PoliceOne every month.

Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Contact Doug Wyllie

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