We are starting this post off with a small exercise. In a second I want you to close your eyes and spend a few minutes thinking about your dream. It can be anything, a dream job, dream house, etc.. After you spend a minute or two thinking about it, I want you to notice the thoughts that come up for you.
Close your eyes.
What were some of the first thoughts you were thinking after visualizing your dream? If it was anything like, “I’ll never be able to make that happen,” “I have no idea where to start,” or anything close to that, you are not alone. Up until recently I had those same thoughts. I’ve since then had a mindset shift and I want to share it with you.
Your Dream Is A Small Step Away
The Inspiration Behind My Mindset Shift
A couple of months ago I was on the launch team for Jordan Lee Dooley’s new book, Embrace Your Almost. I got to read the book early and help promote the book as well. In one of the chapters Jordan talks about this idea of taking small daily actions towards your big goal. It may not seem like you are making much progress in the day to day, but if you look back over what you’ve done in a month you’ll see it differently.
Jordan gave an example of this concept in her book that really showed me the impact this exercise can have. In this example there is a woman that dreams of owning a bakery. By doing small steps each day, at the end of the month she was selling her baked goods in a coffee shop. This wasn’t her ultimate dream of owning a bakery, but she is a lot further that she would have been by now because of those small daily steps. Now that you’ve seen an example, let’s get into the how and why of this activity.
How To Turn Your Dream Into Small Steps
At first glance it may seem impossible to break down a big dream into small, daily actions. It can be done though! Here are the steps to doing just that.
- Define the big goal and time frame: What is your dream? Write it down and get as specific as you can. I even want you to put a deadline on it.
- Write a list of what you need to do: Think of this as your brainstorm stage. Write down any and everything you can think of in relation to your dream. It doesn’t necessarily have to be small tasks, you’re just getting ideas out right now.
- Organize that list into small daily tasks: Now here is where things get organized. Grab your monthly calendar, a piece of paper works fine too. Write a small task that you can do within a 30 minute to an hour time frame, or even 10 minutes if you are strapped for time. Go through each thing you wrote down in the previous step. Does anything need to be broken down further? Once you have your month filled in you are ready to go after it.
Why This Exercise Is So Important
While this seems like a simple exercise, the impact it can have in your life is huge! There are two major benefits for doing this:
- It makes your dream feel more attainable: We are always told to dream big, but big can be scary and overwhelming. That doesn’t mean you stop dreaming though. By doing this exercise you are making your dream seem more attainable. That means you are going to be more likely to continue dreaming because you’ll start to feel, and know, that it’s possible to achieve.
- It helps you to focus on your dream: It’s easy to get unfocused when you don’t have a plan. By planning out your daily tasks you’ll always know what the next step is. It also helps you get on track if/when you miss a few days.
3 Tips For Success In This Dream-Chaser Exercise
Before you start this new and exciting journey, I have a few tips to help you as you begin.
- Write it down: When you write something down you are more likely to remember it. The more these tasks are on your mind, the more likely you are to accomplish these mini-goals. I write my daily tasks in my planner. You can write it anywhere, even digitally if that works better for you. The point is to just get it out somewhere so that you can visually see it.
- Get accountability: Never underestimate the power of having someone right beside you when you are doing big things, like following your dreams. Whether or not your accountability partner, or group, is doing this activity doesn’t matter. The important thing is that they know your plan so that they can cheer you on and keep you accountable. Knowing someone is just as invested in your dream as you are is so encouraging. I know that I’m extremely grateful for my accountability group. They are able to encourage me in ways that no one else can.
- Don’t be so rigid with the plan: This may seem counterintuitive given that the main part of the activity is writing down the daily tasks, but trust me here. You may come into points in your dream-chasing journey where you need to pause and dig into a certain task more. It’s perfectly fine to adjust your plan to do that. For example, say you are wanting to start a business and your task of the day is to research your potential competitors. There is no way to know how long that will take ahead of time, especially if you are thorough. You may find that there are more competitors than you realized. Take that extra time to get the information you need.
These tips should help you get started on the right foot. If you need a little extra nudge in the right direction, download these wallpapers for your phone and/or computer. Hopefully they will keep you inspired on the hard days.
I hope this post has inspired you to go for your dreams! All it takes is a simple step to get going. If you take it one step at a time each day, you may wake up one day in the future and realize you are living your dream!