“How did I get here? I’m going to die tomorrow, and I have yet to live a day of my life,” gasped the 90+ year old hospice patient as she clasped the hand of her caregiver she was meeting for the first time. As the lack of living her life or her dreams or loving her hardest washed over the dying woman, the realization of what could have been overwhelmed her. She began to sob uncontrollably with regret as she calculated the last few grains of sand quickly funneling through to the other side of the hourglass and knowing her time to do anything different would be soon gone.

While this story is true, and one not all too uncommon, what does it mean to you as you go through your day merely surviving, desperate for the sun to set on yet another day of unfulfilled dreams — or worse yet no dreams at all?

There is no better time to begin slowing down the sands of the life not lived than right this very second. With each new step you take toward owning your own destiny and living the life YOU were created to express, you’ll quickly be shifted from the mindset of “How did I get here?” to one of “Whoo Hoo! Now THAT’S what I’m talking about!”And here are a few simple and painless ways to get starting dreaming and living again…today!

1. Find your own voice. From the second you were born, you were instantly under the influence and training of your parents. You were “blessed” to inherit their beliefs, habits, thoughts, labels and identity. Unless your parents did massive amounts of personal development work, your perspective was one — through no fault of your own — tainted by the shadow of outdated generational mindsets. Your authenticity was forced to walk around mute simply because no one ever knew it was okay to or even how to speak their own truth.

Today, however, is the day all that is about to change! You are hereby given permission to shed the mask of anonymity and step fully into your own purpose and future…step into your own present! Whether you need to start removing the mask slowly or you’re ready to rip it off and burn it to ashes, there is no better time than RIGHT NOW to begin warming up YOUR OWN vocal cords and start fine-tuning your days and your dreams to match your true identity.

2.  Dream a little — or a huge — dream. Fear is a powerful motivator, and rarely is it ever a catalyst for positive change. The “what if you fail” bandit is crouching in the darkness waiting for you to step into the light just so he can strike the fear of the unknown into your psyche. However, now that you’re able to speak up using your own authentic voice, the awareness of the joy stealer’s presence will be less threatening and the sound of your voice alone will send it running! YOUR dreams and YOUR life will begin to manifest, becoming more and more powerful, attainable and loving in the process.

3.  Check off your bucket list items. If you don’t have a bucket list…make one. Immediately. You already know the places you want to see and the activities you want to experience, so write them down. Yes, putting ink to paper and giving form to the ideas makes them even more real — often scary even — but wouldn’t you rather come down to your last days grateful for seeing the checkmarks on the page as opposed to the tears of remorse covering your life’s adventures missed?

“Someday” is a day which will never arrive, and the day when all the stars align for everything to be “just right” for your life to begin is also a day never to be found on the calendar. Today is the only day you’re promised, and there is no better time than NOW to redefine your life, your outlook and your legacy. Wouldn’t you rather grab the hand of a complete stranger during your last days and say with the utmost excitement and sincerity, “Oh my word I lived the BEST LIFE EVER!!”? That life is yours for the living…starting now!