Making dreams a reality doesn’t have to be difficult. It only requires a few things:
- Believing in yourself.
- Mapping your dreams.
- And taking small action steps everyday.
In this post, I’ll talk about tools you can use to achieve your dreams. Some of the topics covered include: creating a life list, vision map, and how to start loving life now.
You only get one life. So your choices matter. Pursue what brings you happiness and joy.
1. Create a Life List
“Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder…” —Thoreau
Have you ever wanted to take a sabbatical? Work from any location in the world? Or remove yourself from the work-watch-spend treadmill?
Then I would encourage you to start a life list. Write down everything you've dreamed of doing in your life. Your life list is a place to record your dreams; a place where you can be accountable to yourself.
Once I created my life list, something magical happened. I started to make my dreams a reality by completing once small task everyday. There is something powerful about the act of writing down your dreams on paper. They feel more tangible and real.
Micro-action: Write down your dreams. Don't stifle your voice, let all of your dreams flow onto a piece of paper. Once you have your life list in place, start taking a small step everyday to accomplish your dreams.
Think about what you want to do with the short life you've been given?
2. Turn Dreams into Reality
“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” —W.H. Murray
By writing down my dreams, I’ve taken a number of steps towards making them a reality. For instance, since I wrote my life list last year I left my day job, started my own business, moved to Portland, and wrote my first e-book.
Let’s use leaving my day job and starting my own small business as an example. Making such a big moved required getting out of debt and saving more. So I slowly began paying off my debt every month and saved a little bit of extra money too. Re-evaluating my finances was a key part of making that dream a reality.
Anything is possible, you just have to make it a priority.
Micro-action: As you write your life list, think about small steps you can take everyday to achieve your goal. For example, if you want to leave your day job start saving more and spending less. Or if you want to bike across the country, take small weekend trips and see how they go.
3. Make A Vision Map
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” — Eckhart Tolle
A vision map is one way to help define and visualize what you want your future to look like. It's one way to make your dreams and goals tangible.
Creating a vision map is fun and simple. You'll need:
- Crayons or colorful pens
- Poster board
Set aside one to two hours to create your vision map. Start going through the magazines you've gathered and look for images that resonate with you. Once you find the images, cut them out and glue them onto the poster board. The options are endless.
Think about your vision map and consider creating a time-line for the future you see. For example, when I made my vision map last year I knew we would move to Portland. By taking small steps everyday and constantly reflecting on my vision, I was able to accomplish this goal.
Micro-action: Create a vision map!
4. Focus on Daily Intentions
Gwen Bell inspired me to start writing down a list of daily intentions. My intentions include three items that I can accomplish everyday. Last year, my to-do lists were super long and a lot of the tasks were not completed.
By narrowing down your to-do list (or killing it all together) you can accomplish a lot. This is a simple and easy way to increase your productivity and embrace your creative genius. By focusing on a few small steps everyday, you'll get closer to accomplishing the tasks on your life list. Remember to focus on activities that make you happy.
Micro-action: Begin writing down your daily intentions.
5. Start Loving Life Now
Working on your life list, vision map and daily intentions is a lot of fun. Setting goals and making plans is a positive activity. However it’s essential to live mindfully.
Sometimes goals won’t be accomplished and that’s okay. I think we all have a tendency to get wrapped up in future plans. It’s easy to forget how amazing life is.
Micro-action: Be mindful of the beauty in your everyday life.
6. Take Action
We must, if we care about our lives, and if we care about the life of the planet begin to remember how to think critically, how to think for ourselves. —Derrick Jensen
It’s my hope the tools in this post will inspire you to take action. Go out into the world and make your dreams a reality. It’s scary to think about making big life changes, but worth it in the long-run.
If you lost everything today, who would you be? If you couldn’t do the work you love, what would you be known for? Are you happy with what you have and the life you are leading? Or are you looking to make a change?
Be happy. Pursue your dreams. And question everything.