Do you want to speed up the arrival of your dreams? Of course you do! So why does it feel like it’s taking so long? One reason might be because you haven’t uncovered your big dreams yet. It’s essential to be crystal-clear on what your dreams are before you start thinking about your goals, next project, or new year resolutions; because if you haven’t envisioned how you want your life to be, how do you go about creating it? This is exactly what I help women do in my Design Your Decade workshops, and I’d love for you to join me in one of the January sessions (or grab yourself the DIY version). In the meantime, you can get a jumpstart by asking yourself the following questions.
These questions will help you start to uncover your life’s dreams and make them a reality. So grab your journal, and start dreaming!
1. What is your highest priority in this lifetime? I know that's a big question, but think about what's most important for you to experience, explore or embrace. Until you answer this question, your life goals could be off-purpose. If you're unaligned with your inner passion, your intentions can lack the power to attract the people, situations, and opportunities necessary for your dreams to become a reality.
To answer this question, think about when you’ve felt the most joy, what activities you enjoyed as a child, and what hobbies you have now. This may take some thought, but you’ll get there. Once your goals are aligned with who you are inside, synchronicity can guide you to your target.
2. Are you following your dream, or someone else’s? Our beliefs about ourselves can run deep and be buried in our subconscious, stemming back to childhood. These beliefs were put there when we were young by someone else, and we've internalized them - even if they may not serve us. These thoughts about who we’re supposed to be, what we’re supposed to want, or what we should be doing can hold us back.
Ask yourself if your goals and dreams are truly your own, or are you striving to fulfill what others think you should be doing? In your old age, you don’t want to look back and wish you’d followed a secret passion. Not that it’s ever too late to start, but we only have the time that we have. And before you think it might be selfish to go after your own dream, think about how you can inspire others by going after it instead.
3. Are you settling for less than? Are you resigned to accepting less than your share of love, health, or success in this lifetime? Are there places where you’ve compromised or sacrificed what you really want for your life? Anything short of living your true passions will never make you truly happy. Are you settling?
Another way to look at this is “tolerance”. Over the years, I’ve had three mentors who had me write a list of the things I’m tolerating in my life, because the little things can make a huge difference. For example, rather than wearing nice undergarments, I was tolerating the ones with holes in them because they were “good enough”. If I was settling for “good enough” in this one area, was I settling in other areas, too? The little things that you might tolerate in your daily life can keep you from moving forward and actualizing your dreams.
4. What will it feel like when you reach your dreams? The feeling of living your dream life might be my biggest motivator. When I write down my ten dreams every morning, I get excited.
I picture drinking my morning coffee up in the mountains, smelling the fresh air. I feel the crisp air on my skin. I see the sun coming up over the cliffs and I feel the peace and joy that solitude in the mountains gives to me.
This is just one of my ten dreams, and the feelings I get surrounding all of them fuel my motivation to accomplish the tasks for the day, especially the more difficult ones.
5. What steps can you take today to move toward your dreams? Don’t defer your dream; every day is an opportunity to move one tiny bit closer to it.
In my workshops, I have women envision their lives ten years from now. That may seem like pretty far into the future until you think about how fast the last ten years went. When you’re able to look that far ahead, it’s easier to see the opportunities that will help you reach your dreams. You can set up supports and systems around you to translate your intentions into action. And most importantly, you can say “no” with confidence to things that aren’t in line with your vision for the future.
In A Different Way to Look at Productivity, I talked about deciding to become a coach for my son’s mountain bike team. It aligned with several of the statements on my dream list, including that I’m fit and healthy, and also that I’m an extraordinary mom. If my son hadn’t wanted me to be a coach, I probably would have declined, because it would’ve only aligned with one of my dreams. Since it aligned with two, I decided to say yes.
I did several hours of online training, went to some practices before the season started, and I began to feel like maybe I’d made the wrong decision. Coaching is a big time commitment, and I was feeling too busy. Then this week we had our first official team rides. As I rode to the meeting point with my son, I experienced such joy!
It almost felt like a return to my twenties when I used to ride my bike all the time. And that feeling made me realize that yes, I had made the right choice. I’m also noticing that I’m getting a bit fitter, and I’m grateful to spend the time before and after rides with my son (since he’s much faster than me!).
Think about what little things you might be able to do now that will lead to your larger dream, and then celebrate all of your small wins!
6. Are you stopping yourself from achieving your dreams? Many people don’t believe they can have their dreams. This goes back to number two, how your belief system can hold you back, but there are other reasons we sabotage ourselves. Perhaps you don’t believe you can’t make a living doing what you love, or that you don’t deserve to have your dream. To avoid the pain of feeling like they can’t have their dream, people often bury them instead.
I know many women like this, which is a big reason that I do what I do. I’ve seen too many women give up on their dreams because they seem too big or they’ve literally forgotten about them.
I hope you take some time during the holiday season to go through this list and do some journaling. Your dreams deserve attention, so allow yourself to envision them, write them down every day, and start taking little steps towards them. If you’d like to take it a step further, sign up for one of my Design Your Decade Workshops. It's a lot of fun to do this work in a community and hear the ideas of other women.
Then, my Success Habits Reboot starts in mid-January, which is a great place to experience how the high-success habits can help you speed up the arrival of your dreams in 2022.
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