New Year, New Goals: Tips for Working Toward Your Dreams
Hey all you somedayers, wishers, and must-be-nicers. Those of you who plan for 'when the kids are older' or 'when we retire.' Listen up! This one is for you. YOU ARE MY PEOPLE.
Nic and I sat night after night with every one of these words in our mouths. The finances, the kids, the time, the comparison to others doing what we wanted. We were wishing our days away while living ... no, surviving our lives. Working, paying bills, doing our adult chores. Just making it. Everyone is tired, everyone is doing something safe. Then we realized we were living a life MILES away from our passion. Because that's what you do right? Get married -- check. Buy house -- check. Have kids -- check. (i.e. Grow up and stop playing games; take the safe route and just pay the bills). We are creative people. We met performing in shows, singing and dancing, living a vibrant diverse life. But, we lost focus of that.
Here we were pouring words into our kids about following dreams, and being what they wanted to be -- "find what you love, and DO IT", only to be showing them something completely different. No more. We are taking charge and going for it, and you can (and should), too! Instead of saying why, we decided it was time to say why not? WHY NOT? If you can fail at doing what you hate -- you might as well try going for what you LOVE!
Wishing is a wonderful thing, but only so long as it leads you to reaching your goals! Which brings me to my point - the new year is upon us, and this is your chance to focus on DREAMS. Not just wishing for them, but working towards them.
We have been super focused on going for our big dreams (which included moving into an RV -- check!) And while I'm not a professional, here are a few helpful steps for how we target, plan, work for and hopefully achieve our goals. It may not all work for you, but I can't find a single way it could hurt either.
7 Tips for Working Towards Your Dreams
1. Make a decision
First of all, your dreams are not my dreams. I mean, maybe they are, but the first thing you need to do is put down the comparison chart, and decide what you want for your life. Strip the guilt, the unknowns, fear and if-onlys away from the conversation. Money isn't an issue, neither is time. In this scenario, no one and nothing is stopping you -- no restraints, no contingencies.
What do you want? What is your passion and how would it manifest in your life if you pursued it? That may be a difficult question for some people to answer. It may have been a while since you last let yourself dream or dare to think fanciful thoughts. If that's you, just start noticing what you tend to daydream about, follow online, or do when you have free time. What have you always wanted to do?
2. Write it down
Now, write down three steps to reach that goal. Write. It. Down. Normally, this is where I think of three reasons why it is irrational, irresponsible, poor timing right now, but maybe someday, etc. Not today, guys! Write down three steps to reach your goals. Just getting it outside yourself is already a big step. It is scientifically documented to immediately make you more motivated and driven to reach your goal when you make a plan and write it down. Don't type it into a note on your phone, dictate it into a voice memo or any technologically linked system. Go grab your pen. I have found that a dry erase marker on a bathroom mirror can be incredibly effective also. See it every day. Keep it present in your mind.
3. Visualize it Happening
This step will be skipped by many people, but it is so important. We dodge this one because it sounds hokey, pointless, and requires us to break down a wall built of a fear of failure, self-consciousness, and dare I say doubt of self-worth? Oooooo it's getting real! Look, you have to believe in yourself, and if you don't yet, fake it. That's right, pretend you do, and soon you will prove your fake confidence right. Take a moment and meditate on your future. See what you want and get excited for the journey you are beginning! This is also a great time to start a journal or, at the very least, write your milestones down on a calendar (such as 'set goals,' 'took a step,' etc.)
4. Tell someone
It always fires me up a little more when I tell people I'm going to do something. I work under a healthy amount of pressure, so having accountability and eyes on my projects pushes me. Maybe not so much for you, but if it does, shout it from the rooftops! Take a chance and be brave. If it scares you to shout, find your person. The one that is a builder in your life who encourages you and supports you. This is the person who would wipe your sweat and hand you some water after round five in the ring. Tell them and then see how it feels -- a little scary, a little invigorating.
5. Take a step
It's time to move. A big step, a baby step, a half-step to set up the first step. There's not much else to this one. Just do SOMETHING to take charge of your dream and reach your goal, then celebrate!
You don't have to reach the top of your 'goal mountain' to have a little celebration. Just deciding on your goal is big, making a plan is huge, and taking the first step is a MAJOR cause for celebration! When you allow yourself to get excited and proud of yourself throughout the stages, it makes the setbacks, timeline adjustments, holding patterns, and challenges much easier to take on. It doesn't have to be extravagant. Do a dance, have a glass of wine, take a walk, have a Netflix marathon - whatever gives you some piece of joy!
Life is too short to wait until the end to believe in yourself or to acknowledge your accomplishments, no matter the size.
7. Be Ready for Setbacks
There will be quitting moments, roadblocks, frustrations, why-did-I-do-this thoughts, naysayers, and all out haters on your dreams. Before growth comes conflict and change. Remember there is a whole other part to your life waiting on the other side of that "impossible" mountain. Oh, and when you hit those setbacks or what seems like endless waiting rooms, take a look back at that journal or your calendar you've been jotting in and see how far you have come from day one. Let it build you up and keep moving. Every step can be scary. Acknowledge the fear, swallow the fear, and take another step.
So, there it is, my non-professional, totally objective, people ask me for advice a lot so maybe this stuff will work for you, step-by-step guide for how we have taken the leap to follow our dreams! It starts with a dream, but it begins with one small step. Now, get to steppin'!
5 Quotes to Get You Motivated
Still need more motivation? Here are my top five quotes that have gotten me off my tail and running towards my goals!
1. 'You will never be as young as you are today.'
What if my body can't when I am older? What if my mind isn't strong enough? What if I wait and then I'm not around later? Today is the youngest I will be. I have more days left today than I ever will. I need to make sure I use them accordingly.
2. 'You either build your dreams or help someone else build theirs.'
I have heard this several times. I believe this is true. I hope to do both in my lifetime. I have spent a good while building castles for others. So now, maybe it's time to add some walls to my own castle, and maybe it's time for you too!
3. 'There is no expiration date on your dreams.'
Let me say that again for the back row -- There is NO EXPIRATION DATE on your dreams! When was it that we all decided that there was? This imaginary time stamp that sent us to the 9-5 line, the survival line, the content and complacent line if we didn't "make it happen" by then.
4. 'It's only scary until you do it.'
The unknown can only be intimidating until it isn't so unknown anymore.
5. 'The time is going to pass anyhow.'
This is something my dad said to me when I was young, and it has always stuck with me. Whether you do it now, do it later or never do it, the time is going to pass. You can either be halfway there, all the way there, or wishing you had done it by the time the time has passed.
Do you have a favorite quote that gets you going or gives you strength to conquer mountains? Share it in the comments section!