I’m going to give you 3 tips to accomplishing your dreams that might seem counterintuitive. Most people think they need to create huge lists or vision boards to tackle their hopes and dreams. But those become overwhelming and don’t address the season you’re in, which dictates how realistic your current goals need to be.
When Bret and I were new parents, we knew we wanted to work for ourselves so that we had time with our children. That dream was important to us for that season…so we made it happen. We also wanted to travel, but we didn’t want to leave our kids; our goal was to be home, present and attend every single game or activity they participated in. So, the dream of travel wasn’t for that season. (Now that they’re out of the house though, we’ve made that dream a priority).
Accomplishing your dreams doesn’t take millions of dollars, or even that much flexibility. What it does take is strategy, and that’s where what I’m about to say might surprise you. You need to focus on the dream that’s appropriate for the season you’re in…not the one way off into the distance. And that means thinking SMALLER. If you dream off well into the future, you might not even want that goal when you arrive at that season.
So, allow me to break down exactly how Bret and I accomplish our dreams, and how you can too.
Bite-Sized Tips to Accomplishing Your Dreams
Tip #1: The first thing you want to do is write down the things you need to prioritize right now – things that won’t change in the next few years: if your kids are small, you’re in school, or you’re in a job you can’t get out of right now. Knowing you can’t change your current circumstances in the near future, what things are priorities to you now? List those on the left side of a piece of paper.
Tip #2: On the right side, write down the sucky things you wish you could change. For Bret and I, our priority was our children. We listed being with them, supporting them and driving them to and from school every day as our top priorities (on the left side). The things we wanted to change (that sucked) included getting out of debt. That part felt overwhelming! I also felt like a crappy mom because I couldn’t keep up with the laundry and housework. So hiring a housekeeper and getting out of debt were two things we knew we needed to change to make life more magical IN THAT SEASON. Some of the things on the “suck it list” take more time than others. But sticking to it and knowing how to get rid of those painful things makes a big difference to your present happiness.
Tip #3: Brainstorm any time you don’t see a way out. Take actual pen to paper and write down every possible solution, because one (or more) will work…if you’re not afraid to try. If you say to yourself, “I just don’t know where to start,” it’s a sign you’re afraid to fail. But by brainstorming, answers reveal themselves and create a way, even when you don’t see an obvious way.
How I Help My Kids Do This
No matter what it is…write, write and write some more. Google! Talk to friends and family…but don’t throw in the towel. Whenever my kids have an obstacle, they know to grab a journal and put pen to paper. I taught my kids the way to accomplishing your goals comes down to: resourcefulness, a positive attitude and a good old fashioned brainstorming session. Even though my kids are in their 20’s now, they still do this, and they frequently overcome big obstacles with this simple technique.
Don’t knock it until ya try it! I know it sounds too good to be true and way too easy, but you know what’s worse? Getting overwhelmed by the bigness of your dreams or problems and letting fear swallow you up and paralyze you from making any headway at all.
Bonus Tip: Speak it Out Into the Universe
When Bret and I began planning the season of our lives where we could travel to Europe for months at a time, I admit, we had moments of pause. “What would we do with the dogs? How would we work from different time zones? How will our staff cope?” But what we did was speak our dreams out loud to each other and those around us. And you know what? The universe conspired to let things fall into place. We found the right people to dog sit. We sold our office. Our staff became pros at working remotely. So aside from brainstorming on paper, speak things as if they are easy. Say them like it’s already happening…and you know what…you’ll be rewarded by the positive ways in which you dream.
Dream Smaller: Unconventional Advice From Bret and Me
If you’d like to hear the podcast Bret and I did where we walk you through specific examples of setting smaller goals, listen here.
Comment below if you like to set small goals too. Bonus points if you take pen to paper!
Oh, and did you know I have a Patreon? If you love my free episodes, you’re going to LOVE the extra ones that I reserve just for my homies. These episodes are juicer, more personal, feature my husband Bret completely unfiltered and are kinda like a secret club. Check it out here.