Once upon a time I had a bucket full of Someday Dreams.
You know, those dreams that sit on your Life List, just waiting to be crossed off.
My Someday Dreams included everything from “run a half marathon” to “get my license as a Professional Counselor”; “buy a car” to “start a business”; and to top it all off, “read 50 French novels”.
Big goals. Big dreams.
But these dreams were tucked away neatly in a notebook where they stayed for many years.
I was busy, of course. I had a job that took up most of my time. I had happy hours to attend and Friday nights out with the girls. I had Facebook and Twitter to keep me occupied when I was bored.
My life wasn’t anything to complain about. Not at all. But I also wasn’t stretching myself. I wasn’t getting outside my comfort zone. I was focusing only on what was directly in front of me, not on what was truly important to me.
Secretly, I knew the real reason my Someday Dreams weren’t coming true: I was scared. I was scared of failing, scared of screwing up, scared of realizing I wasn’t good enough, and scared of embarrassing myself. I created excuses (“I’m too busy”, “I’ll work on that next year”, “I’m not ready yet”) and allowed my fear to hold me back.
It’s like that Tom Bradley quote says, “The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is you.”
Then, I began to feel restless. Time was rushing faster. Drop by drop, minute by minute, each day seemed to last only a few moments. It didn’t matter how much I accomplished or how much further ahead I got, I was still on this never-ending, society-induced treadmill. I knew I wasn’t going after my Someday Dreams and I wasn’t satisfied with the life I had created for myself.
I believe this is what they call a Quarter Life Crisis.
When I recognized what was happening, I took a step back. Through several weeks of deep, honest, let’s-be-real-about-this conversations with myself, I re-evaluated my dreams, my current reality, and began piecing together how the two might fit into one super awesome life.
Slowly, I began taking one step after another toward each of my goals. It didn’t happen over night, but several years later, here I am: A Licensed Professional Counselor, a business (and car) owner with 3 half-marathons under my belt. And the 50 French novels? Well, they’re still in progress.
I’ve made my Someday Dreams happen and you can too.
5 Ways To Go After Your Someday Dreams Today:
1. Create a healthy vision.
Many of us have fallen into this mindless race of always chasing goals, looking forward, but never quite getting there. Or we’re the complete opposite, totally living in the moment and aimlessly wandering throughout life without any real direction.
If we want to go after our Someday Dreams, we have to find a balance between the constant chase for happiness and the hedonistic view of living in the moment.
Which do you need? More inspiring goals? Or maybe a little more presence?
When you have a clear vision of what going after your goals will look like, you’re ready to take your first step.
2. Take one baby step forward.
Once you know what your most important goal is (your Someday Dream), ask yourself, “What one step can I take right now?” It doesn’t have to be huge. In fact, it’s probably better if it isn’t.
This could be doing a little research, starting a blog, writing an email to an expert, creating an exercise plan, or writing an outline for the first chapter of your novel. It doesn’t matter what this step is, as long as it gets you started.
You don’t have to know every step of how you’re going to make your dream happen, you just have to know the next step. (Click to tweet this.)
And then take it.
3. Stretch yourself (without snapping).
If we stay in our comfort zones our entire lives, we’re not gonna feel great. (And boy, do I know from experience!)
But if we’re constantly setting ridiculous goals that we expect to happen in a super short amount of time, we’re basically setting ourselves up for failure.
We have to stretch ourselves, but not so far that we snap (which may look like feeling burnt out, losing motivation, being overwhelmed, etc.)
What does your stretch zone feel like?
4. Take another step forward.
It’s easy to commit to something like a Someday Dream, especially when you’re feeling excited and motivated about your decision to pursue this goal.
It’s a totally different thing to actually honor that commitment, especially when you’re exhausted, just don’t feel like it, and would rather spend the next five hours watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix.
So, how do you honor your commitment to your Someday Dream?
Step 1: Take a step forward. Step 2: Take another step forward.
Baby steps are progress and that’s all your need to move you forward.
5. Find Support.
When you begin going after your Someday Dreams, it can feel overwhelming, scary, and even lonely at times. An easy way to alleviate these feelings is by joining a group of supportive, encouraging people along the same journey.
They will understand your roadblocks, recognize your fears, and be a shoulder for you to lean on as you navigate this new path, which is exactly why I created Dream Quest.
Dream Quest is a 6 month group coaching program to help you move through self-doubt, overcome your fears, take action, and make those Someday Dreams actually happen.
If you’re looking to go after one of your Someday Dreams today and want a little extra support, we’d love for you to join us. Registration for Dream Quest ends on Friday, 6/28, and there are only 4 spots left, so don’t wait too long!
What are your Someday Dreams? What holds you back from going after them right now?
[photo credit: jms2]