How to Finally Get Started on Your Big Dream
We all have those big dreams. You know the ones:
• to write a novel
• to backpack across Europe
• to leave your job and start your own business
• to makeover your home
• to go back to school
• to recreate your life
• to improve your health (exercise, eat healthy, quit smoking or other toxic habits)
But time passes and “life” gets in the way. We are “too busy” or “too tired.” The groceries, your job, and daily obligations all seem to demand our attention more urgently than our dreams. And over time the dream starts to fade. But it never dies. And here’s the big news:
So how do you do that? Grab a notepad or blank notebook and let’s get started on your big dream!
1. Time to Dream Again. Do you really want this dream? Why? What are the benefits and joys you will experience from realizing your dream? What pain you will avoid by reaching your dream? Take time to daydream about your big dream. Visualize it. See the positive outcomes. Cultivate your desire.
2. Yes You Can! Come up with some positive affirmations/mantras regarding your dream. Write them down. Brainstorm a bunch of them. Then every morning upon waking start your day thinking these inspiring affirmations. You don’t have to really believe them at first. But if you keep it up every morning, during the day, and again upon going to sleep, you will not only start to believe it, but, more powerfully, you will KNOW deep down in your toes, that “Yes I Can Do It!” I really like the simple “I can do it” mantra repeated slowly, simply, and gently. It is deceivingly powerful when used often.
3. Frame Your Plans. All of your plans should revolve around an “I Can Do This” framework. As you make your plans, any obstacles should be tackled with the question “How can I solve this potential problem?” or “How can I go around it, under it, over it?” etc. This question assumes that it is possible, which with enough time, planning, and perseverance, it will be.
4. Step by Step. Think about your dream and the steps it will take to get there. What ground work needs to be laid down first? Research, interviewing others who’ve reached the same dream, saving money, and scheduling all might be first steps. Include timelines and update them as you go to allow for more or less time as needed.
5. Getting Unstuck. Anytime you have a place in your journey where you don’t know how to get there, ask yourself, “What are the things I must do to get there?” And if you don’t know, find someone who does. Search online. Email an expert. Call someone who’s done what you want to do. Most of the time people love the opportunity to be an “expert” and help you.
6. Scheduling. Come up with a schedule and/or a routine of the actions you need to take. If they are scheduled, like any other appointment, you’re more likely to get it done.
7. Make It Public. Tell others about your dream and your journey to reach that dream. Letting others know will also help set expectations about how you’ll be spending your time going forward so as to avoid conflicts and hurt feelings when you can’t spend as much time on things you used to do.
8. Secure a Mentor. If possible find someone who is willing to mentor you, coach you, or at the very least ask you for updates on your progress, act as a sounding board, and be there to celebrate your successes.
9. Journal to Success. Keep it simple, but do write down your dream, your steps, your progress and changes to your plan along the way. Use it to acknowledge and celebrate your success. If you have time write down how you feel, and when you get down remember to ask “How can I solve this?” and you will.
10. Take the First Step. The pool may be cold, but once you jump in you’ll get used to it pretty quick. Plus you’ll be invigorated. So take that first step and get started! And then plan for tomorrow’s step! Repeat.
11. Review and Adjust. Look at your progress weekly. Review your plan and make adjustments according to changes in your progress, goals or circumstances.
12. Celebrate Small Successes. Journeys are made up of many steps. Sometimes the small steps we take today seem so insignificant. That’s why you must look at all the connecting dots and celebrate along the way, even when you make small progress. Think of this as an example: If you wrote just one page a day, by the end of a year you would have a 365 page book! Slow and steady wins the race and reaches the dream!
What is your big dream? How will you start today? Sharing your dream publicly just might be your first Big (little) Step! Let’s hear it!
|Written on 1/23/2014 by Kris Stone. Kris Stone is a writer, runner, and dancer. She writes about life-hacks at LifeLearningToday.com and about positive body image at RealWomensBodies.com. Prior to becoming a writer she was a financial consultant and sales trainer for 15 years.
Photo Credit: KayVee.INC