When you are ready to dream big and invite change into your life, it’s exciting! That’s probably why I often get asked, “what can I do now to get working towards my dreams?” The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do today, and then each and every day, to set the ball in motion. In fact, I came up with seven!
7 Ways to Get Closer to Your Dreams Today
This list is a step-by-step mini-guide to creating your extraordinary life; however, you can stop and re-visit any step when it feels right. In fact, I regularly make time to go back and change things if they aren’t working, or if my goals have changed. So start with step one, and then take your time working through the rest. Remember: creating the life of your dreams is a daily practice, not a race.
Practice Gratitude. Learning to practice gratitude is always the first step to take in achieving your dreams. I talked about this a few weeks ago, when I reflected on my 591 days (and counting) of gratitude. It strengthens your relationships, you get more of what you want, and it helps you to stop sweating the small stuff. Most importantly though, practicing gratitude helps to rewire your brain to become more positive, an attitude that is essential to creating your dream life.
Create a Dream Framework. It can be difficult to figure out how to get to your dreams when they are just floating around in your head. That’s why I like to create a “dream framework” to create a place for those goals to live, and to build the plans on in order to achieve them.
This is an exercise that I did when I was doing my health coaching certification. Write down where you want to be in one year, three years, and ten years from now. It doesn’t need to be perfect - it’s just a framework! We’ll work more on this in the next step. For now, let’s look at the framework like an algebra problem, and put in the information you know now.
For example, how old will you, your spouse, and your children be at those times? What year will it be? What grade will the kids be in? Are there any other facts you can put in? I like this as a beginning exercise, because it pulls life into perspective. When I did the exercise, my son was seven, and my daughter eleven. Those first seven years of my son’s life flew by - and putting it down on paper made me realize that in just five more years, he would be nearly a teenager, and my daughter learning to drive. In fact, she’d be about to go off to college!
Once you have a picture of what your life will look like at each of these stages, you can start to fill in what you want your life to look like then, which brings us to finding clarity.
Get Clear on Your Dreams. Being clear on your dreams might seem like a no-brainer when it comes to achieving them, but many people don’t put enough thought into this step. When you aren’t completely clear on what you want, your actions will be disorganized, and you’ll spend a lot of time stopping, starting, and flip-flopping in your efforts.
For example, most of us want to be healthier, which is great! But saying “I want to be healthy” is also vague. What does “being healthy” look like? Feel like? What does a healthy life look like, day to day?
Finding this type of clarity takes time, and journaling is a huge help. Get deep into the details of what your dream life will be like next year, three years from now, and ten years from now. Then when you crystal clear on what that life looks like, go back to the framework and fill in the blanks.
Identify Steps & Blocks. Now that you have a clear vision of your dream life, it’s time to make it happen! What are the steps you need to take? What could possibly stop you from achieving what you want? What has stopped you in the past? What's stopping you now?Again, I’m going to send you back to your journal to really flesh both these out. In order to create the extraordinary life of your dreams, you need to be very intentional - and journaling is an excellent tool for this. It takes ideas and makes them real once you put them on paper.
Set Short Term Goals. You’ve done a lot of work imagining your dream life, what it will look like, and the steps you need to take to get there. It’s finally time to make an action plan. Take a look at the steps you identified in the last exercise, and come up with a few short term goals that will get you moving towards those steps. Choose no more than three, and focus on the next three months to a year. What can you accomplish realistically to get you closer to your dream life? In the “get healthy” example, some short-term goals could be to walk three times a week, drink a set amount of water a day, or eat a vegetable with every meal.
Visit Your Goals Daily. It’s very easy to get caught up in our daily lives and forget about the bigger picture, which is why I want you to look at your goals and dreams every single day. Even better? Write them down each day. I spend time every morning writing down my ten dreams for ten years from now. This helps to start the day with a positive outlook, and my actions and thoughts that day will flow from a place of intention: to create my extraordinary life with everything I do.
Schedule Time to Work on Your Goals. Marie Forleo, the life and business coach once said, “If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real.” You can spend all the time in the world dreaming up your extraordinary life, but without action, it will never happen. That’s why you must schedule time to work towards your goals. For example, I want to see on your calendar that you're going to go for a walk Monday, Tuesday, and Friday; or that you're going to work on developing your business idea with your coach each week.
We all know people who have huge dreams, yet never seem to get any closer to them. Maybe that’s been you (until now). The days, weeks, months, and years pass by so quickly, especially if you're a parent - and unless you stay connected to your dreams, they never will become a reality.