You finally figure out your big dream is to open a children’s book store. You respond to this revelation by:
- Dismissing the idea because it just isn’t practical. You have bills to pay and too many responsibilities.
- Looking into it, only to lose track of your dream because there is simply too much going on in your life.
- Say to yourself (and others) you are going to do it. However year after year you don’t take any concrete steps towards making it happen.
- Feeling scared because this goal is way outside your comfort zone. However it also excites you, so begin by taking small steps.
Which option best describes how you have lived your life to date? If you are like most people, some variation of options 1, 2, and 3 will describe your life perfectly.
Do you want more out of your life?
- Yes or No
If you answered No, is that because your life feels great the way it is or are you letting fear get in the way of your dreams?
If you answered yes, then you need to figure out what you want, make a plan and take action.
Step One: Figure out what you want by asking yourself some simple questions.
What dream or desire keeps coming back to you year after year?
What are you afraid to admit to yourself that you want?
What would be exciting change in your life?
Reflect on these questions and be honest about what you really want. Then pick the desire that both excites and scares you, and that fits your vision for the life you want for yourself.
Step Two: Make a plan by writing down the most obvious steps you need to take.
Do you need to research this idea further? If so, set a deadline to complete your research by so that you’re not stuck here. Research can include talking to people that have done what you’re trying to do, reading specific information on your topic, or implementing a scaled-down version of your idea.
Figure out what you need to do to stay on track with this goal. Examples include: creating a vision board for your goal, creating a schedule for yourself, setting deadlines, or enlisting a friend to act as a task master.
Step Three: Take action
Take action despite your fears. Fear is normal, so don’t let it stop you! Here are some great books that can help you with this overall process:
This year I will by M.J. Ryan (2003)
The Joy Diet by Martha Beck (2006)
The Follow through Factor by Gene C. Hayden (2010)