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Making Dreams Come True

5. Turning Dreams into Reality –the Game Plan…

By July 30, 2016 Career, Making Dreams Come True, Organsation and Planning
dots

This is the fifth and for now the final installment in the Make-Your-Dreams-Come-True series of posts.  Once you are clear on your goals, it’s time to make things happen!  Planning, organisation and regular reflection on how things are going can turn a lofty dream into an achievable goal.

Tips for turning a goal into reality:

  1. Use  the SMART approach (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound), to further define your goals.
  2. Make a Master Plan/Timeline

I like to make the master-plan/timeline pretty and pleasant/motivating to look at, including tick-boxes to check-off as I complete things.  I also place it somewhere I can see it and refer to it each day. There is something very satisfying about crossing or ticking things off as you go!

  1. Each day look the timeline and think about what you want to achieve for that day or week and make a list of things to do in the immediate future
  2. Each week , briefly reflect on how things are going and if anything needs to change
  3. Customise the timeline to the goal and the way you like to do things.

For example,   if there is not a definite deadline eg. the goal is to run a blog… the plan could be structured as follows…

 

dotstable

 

If there is a definite deadline, eg the goal is to pass an exam, then the master plan might be organized as below. It’s a good idea to build in contingency time.  Things often take longer than expected.  I always include a plan to “celebrate” after the deadline has passed.  It seems to help me maintain a positive mindset and remember what I am working towards!

 

flowertableGood luck with your dream-making, planning and achieving.  If you decide to try any of these tips, do let me know you go in the comments below!

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4. Live The Dreams –that’s right, plural…

By February 21, 2016 Career, Making Dreams Come True
casares at dusk

Some people might be brilliant at and passionate about one thing only, others of us need to pursue several different interests to feel balanced and complete.

“Can I pursue more than one “serious” dream?”

Yes! Though you might have to pick one or at most 2 at a time to really concentrate on and become really good at. (No one wants to be a jack of all trades but master of none!).

Make a Plan to Concentrate on One or Two Things at a Time

You don’t have to pursue every goal you have for your life at the same time…For example if you want to play a sport professionally, you probably need to start as early as possible. If you want to write a book, that can potentially wait until later in life. Often, the skills you develop in one area can give you a unique edge in another and you can use this to your advantage (eg. you could write a sports book or write about something which helped you succeed in sport as well as other areas of life). Just because you are concentrating on one thing doesn’t mean you can’t have other things on the boil in the background. For example you may spend all day training for a sports competition but you might find it do-able, even enjoyable to spend an hour in the evening writing your book.

You may have to adapt some goals, particularly if they are further down on your list of dreams to pursue

If something you want does not seem realistic, consider what it is about that thing that you actually love and decide if you can achieve that another way. For example one particular dream I had as a little girl was to be a ballerina. As I grew into my teens, I knew this was not going to be possible if I also wanted to pursue a career as a scientist or doctor. So I took up a number of other forms of dance which required less rigorous and ongoing training, and for a time was able to fit in dancing gigs between other commitments. I still dance but have now moved on to focus on writing/blogging as you can see!

So there may be no need to choose between the things that you love. If you plan it right, you may just be able to have your cakes and eat them too!

sandakan high tea

 

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3. How Decide to Which Dreams to Pursue…

By January 17, 2016 Career, Making Dreams Come True
which dreams to pursue. photo by P.Tupz

Of course no one else can tell you what you should be doing with your life.  Only you can decide that.  Also, no one single approach is going to suit everyone. Some people don’t mind jumping in with both feet and quitting their day job to pursue their dream, trusting that everything will work out. That is fantastic and I really believe that if you really want something, you absolutely should pursue it. But I myself like to be reasonably sure of financial stability and some chance of success before putting in a lot of time and resources. So here is my slightly risk-adverse take on making major, potentially life-changing decisions….

“What should I do with my life?!” 

Remember daydreaming about what you might “be” when you grew up?

I have one amazing friend who, as a child,  said she was going to be a scientist (and has written proof of this!), and then proceeded to do exactly that.  But we don’t all have such foresight! I myself had a list of any number of things, which would change from week to week depending on how I felt at the time.  I have never been able to map out my career years in advance with any certainty, but have taken up opportunities as they arose.  I have no regrets about where I am now and the path I have taken to get here.  So I guess, the point I am making is that:

  1. It’s OK not to know exactly where you want to be in 10 years. There is no harm planning, of course, but be prepared to adapt and change your plans. That way, you will be open to opportunities that might lead you to something even better.
  2. Do have an idea of what sort of thing you might want to do and start there.

I generally set off in the general direction I want to go, and then make more specific decisions and take up various opportunities as they arise.

Say you are interested in science but you are not sure which field.  So at university you try papers in botany, biochemistry, biology and psychology.  You develop a particular interest in one of these areas, start a project with a professor you admire and thus find your way into that field.

 

What If I think I want to do something but am not sure?”

Thinking in terms of these questions usually helps me to clarify if I am really prepared to put in the effort to make something happen.

  1. Is this something I am really prepared to work hard for?
  2. Would my life feel incomplete if I didn’t do this?
  3. What is the chance that I might realise it’s not what I want after all?
  4. If I tried but couldn’t achieve the goal, what would I lose?
  5. Would having tried give me the closure to move onto something else?
  6. Is quitting an option if it doesn’t seem to be working out? If so, how will I decide when to stop?

 

“ Can I really make this happen?”

There is no fool-proof way to eliminate the risk that your time, efforts and other resources might not pay off, but you could consider the following:

  1. Honest self-appraisal. We might be wrong about ourselves of course, so don’t stop there, but it’s the obvious place to start!  Gather all the information you can about what it might take to succeed and then consider your abilities.
  1. Consider the opinion of a trusted family member or friend.  Take their opinion into consideration, but remember those close to us may have  pre-conceived ideas about what we can or can’t do, so this is only one consideration.
  2. Consider getting an opinion from a professional in the field if applicable/possible
  3. If possible try to get some experience in the area you are interested in or take a course to see if you like it and might be good at it.

 

Just for fun, if you are considering pursuing a new path, try this!

Copy, print and fill out the table below…..

 

whichdreamstable

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2. Why you should R-E-A-C-H for your dreams

By January 7, 2016 Career, Making Dreams Come True
reach (2)

Why should you reach for your dreams?

So that you can be fulfilled and happy right? And because you almost certainly can make at least some of your dreams come true.

The more pertinent question is:

“Why shouldn’t you?” (What is stopping you?):

Lack of funds? Time? Too much effort? Don’t think you have what it takes? Commitments to others? Lack of opportunity?

Ok, not every dream anyone ever thought of is going to be realistic. But you owe it to yourself to at least go through the process of figuring out what will really make you happy (if you don’t already know), exploring what it would take to happen, and if you are prepared to do what it takes.

Going this process, if nothing else, will at least allow you some closure if you decide not to pursue a given path. At best, it will start you on the path to fulfilling your wildest dreams!

In my next few posts in the Make-Your-Dreams-Come-True series, we will go through this process…

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1. How to Make New Year (or Any-Time-Of-Year) Dreams and Resolutions that Really Happen

By January 3, 2016 Festivity and celebrations, Making Dreams Come True, Organsation and Planning
new resolutions [198041]

I like to categorise my dreams and resolutions/goals into different aspects of life such as those listed here. You will probably want to modify this list based on what you want to work on this year.

Categories for Dreams and Resolutions

  1. Family/relationships
  2. Work/career
  3. Home
  4. Fitness and health
  5. Helping others
  6. Hobbies/interests/other pursuits
  7. Self development/improvement
  8. Enjoying life
  9. Style/image

Try this!

  1. Review last years accomplishments                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you wrote down resolutions or goals last year, get them out and check off what you have accomplished. Even if you didn’t formally write down anything down last year, you can still think of all the things you accomplished. Congratulate yourself on the goals you have seen through. For the ones you haven’t, don’t beat yourself up –instead reassess whether you still want to achieve them. If so, put them back on the list for this year and make up your mind to refine or adapt your plan to achieving them.
  2. Dream big, for the long term                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Go ahead and write down for each category, anything you would ideally like to achieve in your lifetime. Don’t be afraid to DREAM REALLY BIG, and write down your heart’s desire. You don’t need to share this with anyone else, but be honest with yourself. Write down as many dreams as you like for each category.
  3. Refine your list to goals really worth fighting for                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Success in anything generally requires hard work and often a certain degree of risk.   The risk of efforts and other resources and sacrifices not paying off. Some dreams are merely whimsical, for example in a fantasy alternate universe I might like to be a foreign diplomat, opera singer or Hollywood actress. However when it comes down to it I just don’t have the passion to seriously pursue any of these things. So dig deep and decide which dreams you are really passionate about. The ones you don’t mind working long and hard for and really committing to.

This is my first post in the Make-Your-Dreams-Come-True series.   I like to sleep on a list like this, and let thoughts and ideas randomly run through my mind for a few days before writing a more specific plan of how to achieve these goals.

So, see you here tomorrow for something different, a special post to kick off the New Year about how to inject magic, sparkle and wonderment into everyday life.  We’ll come back to our lists of dreams and resolutions to make a game plan to make them happen in a later post!

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