A few weeks ago I talked about what to do if you don’t know what your big dreams are for your life just yet. I’ve been thinking about it since then because I do know what my big dreams are, and I wanted to let you peek behind the curtain. The fact is that the daily rituals I use to support my dreams help me get clear on what I want, and they can help you find clarity, too.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that most mornings I write down five things that I’m grateful for, followed by my ten dreams for ten years from now.
My gratitude practice brings me two things. First, it brings awareness to what is good in my life, which makes me feel positive about my situation. Second, I can extrapolate what’s most important to me as I look back on my list. For the past two and a half years, I’ve found that family and health have stood out the most.
Read More: What I Learned from 591 Days of Gratitude
Writing down my ten dreams also gives me two gifts. The first is that it keeps me connected to them. Time passes so quickly, and it’s easy to forget our dreams and passions; especially when something urgent (like a pandemic) happens. The second gift is that by writing my dreams in the present tense, it tricks my mind into believing they’re true. And when your mind believes something has already happened, it’s easier to take the actions to actually get there.
Here’s my not-so-secret secret about my big dreams: most of them aren’t all that special. They’re special to me, of course! But my ten dreams aren’t earth-moving, Nobel Prize-winning things. Envisioning your ten dreams is meant to create a picture and feeling of what you want your life to be like ten years from now.
When I lead women through the live or DIY version of my Design Your Decade workshop, we spend a lot of time looking at the year past and the year ahead. We look at your big and small wins, what you liked or didn’t, and how you can do things differently in the future to create a different outcome. The important takeaway from this exercise is realizing that your actions create your results. And the more you take responsibility for those actions (aka your life), the more power you have to change it.
Some of the questions I ask when helping women envision their dreams are: What do you want in your life ten years from now? Who is in your life? What are your relationships like? Where do you live? How do you feel? What are you doing with your time?
Then I lead you through a process of consolidating it down to ten dreams. Whether you consider them big or small isn’t important. What is essential, however, is taking consistent, daily action towards them, and believing that it’s possible for you to achieve what you want.
I’m going to use three of my own dreams to show you what it means to take action each day towards them. The three dreams are:
A big part of taking action on your dreams is by living with intention. For example, if I want to be an extraordinary mom, I have to decide how I’m going to be with my children on a day-to-day basis. One way I’m doing that is learning to respond rather than react.
My children are older now, with one at home and one in college. Responding to them looks like showing gratitude when they’re doing well. Or if I see them doing something I don’t like, I try to pause and decide whether I throw them a parachute or let them fall. Sure, sometimes I react or judge too quickly, but I can then decide to apologize and talk with them about it. I spend time thinking about how an extraordinary mom behaves. For me, that means sometimes I set healthy boundaries and say “no”, while other times I give them space to make their own mistakes and grow.
Eventually coaching thousands of women is a big dream of mine, but I know it will take time to get there. I need to start now and identify the things I need to do daily, monthly, and yearly to live into that dream. I also have to imagine what a life coach with thousands of clients in her program would be doing with her time.
I started working on this dream by coaching a small group in the 2021 Extraordinary Life Tribe cohort, and it will get bigger this year, and each year after that. But to keep growing, I’ve got to spend the time coaching, preparing, and setting up structures to help women achieve their goals faster. I need to attract people into the program that want to succeed, by creating content like The Extraordinary Life Podcast, or my blog, or newsletter, or on social media. And I know that (sadly,) I won’t reach my goal by watching Netflix all day.
When I first started writing down my dreams three years ago, being fit and healthy wasn’t on the list. But after writing down what I’m grateful for and spending more time with my dreams, I realized that my health was missing! I’m fifty-two years old now, so if I want to be fit and healthy at sixty-two, I’d better be working on it. I moved some things around in my planner and began to prioritize my health. This means I make time to exercise and ensure I have healthy groceries in the house to make nutritious meals.
For me, making healthy meals is also part of an extraordinary mom. There happens to be a lot of crossovers in my dreams, and you’ll probably find the same. It might look like:
Do you see how your “big dreams” don’t need to be scary? And they certainly shouldn’t be someone else’s dreams. It’s about saying “I know how I want my life to be. And as I move towards that, I’ll become more aware of the opportunities I have. My dreams may get bigger. They may shift. But I’m going to keep moving forward.”
Yes, we will sometimes slip up or need to take a break if we’ve worked really hard. That’s great! Even if it’s two steps forward and one back, you’re still taking action. And sometimes that’s what helps me stay fresh and moving forward in the long-term. And of course, the wrong actions often lead to clarity or will teach us a lesson.
When it comes to my big dream of helping women create their extraordinary lives, this is the first step. I help them to be more aware of what they really want in their lives, who they want to be, and what they want to be doing.
The next cohort of The Extraordinary Life Tribe begins in April and is limited to just twelve women. If you’d like to learn more, join me in one of my FREE Group Coaching Workshops on Thursdays in March at 12pm PST. If that time doesn’t work for you, make an appointment with me for a free chat, to see if coaching is right for you. I’d love to help you improve your life and make it extraordinary!
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