Mr. Twain makes it sound so easy. And the truth is, that once you start, once you make a plan and take the steps to follow through – turning your dreams into reality isn’t as hard as you originally thought it was.
Here are some steps to take if you want to follow the motivational advice of “Explore. Dream. Discover” to follow your dream.
1. Pick a dream to focus on.
Some of us have what feels like a million dreams swirling around in our head. While others have that laser-focus that I aspire to have – where their one dream stands out easily, making this step more simple than ever.
Oliver Emberton wrote an excellent article on how to focus on one dream, not several.
2. What does that dream actually look like?
Use a vision board, get lost in Pinterest for an afternoon, brainstorm some specific details of your much larger dream.
For example, a few years ago my husband and I focused on the dream of “Travel Around the World Before we have kids” – when we broke that down into smaller details, we chose a handful of places we really wanted to go to, we decided how long we were going to travel for, etc.
Some of the more finite details will get figured out later, and the actual “plan” will usually be rewritten a few times, hopefully mixed in with a healthy dose of “going with the flow”.
Here’s an awesome visual of Mindy the Lion’s vision board – and the headline of this post is the best.
3. Find some mentors
As inspirational as it is to “follow the road less traveled” like Robert Frost tells us, the reality is that there is likely others who have followed the same dream that we have. Find them. Trust me, they’re out there on the world wide web somewhere. Read their blogs and what they share about how they made their dream become a reality. Make notes of what mistakes they made and what worked the best for them.
4. Transform your Dream into a Goal
This is where the action starts. Ask yourself what tangible things do you need to follow that dream? Focus on money and resources. Put in the research to come up with a realistic budget. How long will you have to save for to make that become a reality? Do you need other supplies? Be realistic and simple, and follow the examples from the Mentors you have chosen. Believe it or not, even for a big dream like “Travelling Around the World”, you don’t need a packing list that’s a mile long. When you focus on the bare essentials, and leave some wiggle room for things that come up along the way, you won’t fall into the trap of wasted money on unnecessary stuff.
Some of the best goal planning worksheets and plans that we’ve used successfully:
The Most Effective Goal Setting Plan You’ll Ever Find by Melissa Joy Kong on Technori
There are a variety of worksheets to choose from and methods to explore on 7 Minute Life
Michael Hyatt is well known for his practical advice on Goal Setting through podcasts and blog posts
5. Make it Happen. Follow Your Dream.
Follow through with your goals – save your money, complete your tasks. This is where you’ll spend a large chunk of your time. But if you’ve made it this far, this is where the magic happens!! As you see your piggy bank savings grow, and your dream get closer, the amazing sense of satisfaction you feel is difficult to put into words.
Use the same tools from step 4 for tracking your goals and monitoring your progress – when you start to see results, your motivation and drive will increase ten-fold!
6. Explore. Discover… You did it!
Your dream is now a reality. You made it happen. Live this dream knowing that you’ve done something huge. You found the courage, you followed through with the motivation, and like Mark Twain tells us, you won’t be disappointed.