We all get stuck sometimes.
When there’s no time to attend to those dreams you really long to make your reality.
Like breaking free from your day job… or moving abroad… or taking an early retirement… or seeing your byline in print… or just making more money in your spare time…
It’s easy to put dreams like those on the back-burner and leave them there.
If you’re doing that… if you’re feeling stuck, having trouble getting started, or just need a good kick in the pants, read on. Today’s classic article from our archives, by Valerie Young of ChangingCourse.com, should do the trick to help you turn dreams into reality.
Staff Writer, Great Escape Publishing
How to Turn Your Dreams into Reality in Five Minutes a Day and Other Tips for Time-Stressed Dreamers
By Valerie Young in Northampton, MA
You’ve already made up your mind that there has to be more to life than careers, cubicles, and commuting. Yet, the prospect of making a major life change when you’re already feeling caught between a “clock and a hard place,” feels overwhelming.
Here are five simple steps even the busiest person seeking a major career change can take to turn dreams into reality:
** 1. Turn griping time into planning time.
How much time do you spend every week blowing off steam about your lousy job? Instead of wasting precious time complaining about what you DON’T want, use the time to create a clear mental picture of what you DO want. Then make a plan for getting from here to there. Five minutes a day spent working your plan will move you far closer to your goal than 15 minutes of griping.
** 2. Keep your goal front and center.
Get out your calendar and set a target date for when you want your new life to begin. Besides being a great source of motivation, knowing how much time you have until “D-Day” lets you create a realistic plan for hitting it. Next, find creative ways to keep your dream — literally — in your face. As you come across images or quotes that reflect your dream, place them around your workspace, in your daily planner, on the refrigerator — any place you’re sure to regularly “see” your destination.
** 3. Buy with an eye to the future.
If your dream involves working from the comfort of home, you probably won’t need all those business suits overrunning your closet. Resolve now to make do with the work wardrobe you already have. When you do take the leap, you can donate your business attire to an organization like Dress for Success that assists men and women just entering the job market. Spend the money you’ve saved instead on things you’ll need for your new career or venture — like courses, buying or upgrading a home office computer, purchasing equipment, inventory, and so on.
** 4. Avoid the nay-seers.
Erma Bombeck once said, “It takes a lot of courage to show someone else your dreams.” Erma knew that most people — especially those closest to you — tend to discourage change of any kind. Unfortunately other people’s skepticism, like the flu, can be contagious. And, unless you’ve built up your immune system, these dream killers can knock you for a loop. Don’t look for support from pessimistic family or friends. Instead seek out people who can give your dream the support it deserves.
** 5. Do what you can — but DO SOMETHING.
As one Chinese proverb reminds us, moving a mountain begins by lifting one stone. To keep from being overwhelmed — yet still make headway — break your larger goal down into more manageable steps. Then, no matter how hectic your day, pledge to take at least one small step. Before you know it you’ll have turned your dreams into your life.
[About the Author: Outside-the-career-box expert, Valerie Young, abandoned her corporate cubicle to become the Dreamer in Residence at ChangingCourse.com, which offers resources to help people discover their life mission and live it. An expert on the Impostor Syndrome, Valerie has spoken on the topic of How to Feel as Bright and Capable as Everyone Seems to Think You Are to such diverse organizations as Daimler Chrysler, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Harvard, and American Women in Radio and Television.]
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]