June 15th 2018
When discussing the life you wish to see yourself in in the future, you often discuss having dreams. Big dreams, small dreams, crazy dreams, impossible dreams, dreams in general. However, there is a stark difference dreams and plans. Dreams are the foundation to which plans are built. Dreams are a hope, an aspiration that something will happen and that life will change course accordingly. What people don’t realize is it takes a lot more than hoping to turn your dream into a plan and turn your plan into a reality. So I have compiled a list of 10 surefire tips to turning that crazy dream you’ve been sitting on, into a plan for a new reality!
- Do Your Research- This should be your first step. So many people have dreams that they are completely uneducated about. If you want to be a zoologist that works with giraffes, you need to read up on how to make that happen. You need to see what certifications you need and what degrees and what schools offer those degrees and what zoos need a zoologist who specializes in giraffes. If you want to start your own online store, do research on good hosting sites, good manufacturers of products for your store, and if things go well read up on bank loans, learn to write up a business plan if you’re looking for investors, research branding and licensing, and, most of all, read articles written by people who have already done this before. If you go into a dream with real world knowledge, you’re that much closer to forming a real plan.
- Set Timelines and Deadlines- Another huge mistake that people with big dreams make is not setting up any sort of timeline. Don’t keep saying “One day I will own the biggest coffee shop chain in the country and kick Starbucks butt” say, “In 2 years, I will start my journey to being the biggest coffee shop chain in the country and in 7 years I will be bigger than Starbucks and kick their butt to next Tuesday”. And on an even deeper level, you need to say “In 3 months I am going to apply for a bank loan and for my food and drink license, and then in 6 months I will start looking at potential locations for my flagship store, then in 8 months I will start building out the interior and getting all the proper inspections, then, in a year, I will start advertising, and then I will hire my first employees in a year and 3 months, and then I will train them, and by 2 years from I will start my journey to being the biggest coffee shop chain in the country and in 7 years I will be bigger than Starbucks and kick their butt to next Tuesday”. The same goes for any dream. If your dream is to do 100 push ups, add 5 push ups every day and you will get there in no time! Just avoid the toxic and useless “someday”.
- Learn From The Greats- Odds are, there are people just like you who have the same dreams you do, or at least similar. Learn from those people no matter how far along they are. If your friend’s second cousin owns their own online greeting card company, and you want to break into an online business of your own, ask them what they’ve learned. You can learn some great tips and short cuts from these people. If you don’t know anyone from your personal life who knows how to do the things you hope to do, look online. There are articles all over the internet about everything from “How I Made Blogging My Full-Time Career” to “How I Stopped Doubting Myself and Became a Famous Author”. People have been where you are before, listen to their advice and use it to push you forward.
- Surround Yourself With Doers- Surround yourself with people who are actively pursuing their dreams. If you surround yourself with lazy bums with no ambitions and no plans, you will fall into lazy-bumness. Surround yourself with people who know what they want and have an idea of what they are going to do to get there. Find people who will hold you accountable for following your dreams and do the same for them. You’re not in this alone.
- Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew- Throughout my life I have known people who have wanted to do EVERYTHING. You ask them their dreams and they will tell you that they want to be a singer, actress, model, author, clothing designer, with a PhD, and their own chain of coffee shop, retail stores, home stores, juice bars, yoga studios, and still have time to spend every weekend jet-setting around the world. Where I am not one to knock someone’s dreams and ambitions, I wouldn’t advise having so many plans at once. Focus on one plan at a time, see how hard it is to execute and consider that before jumping into the whole huge laundry list. Dreams can be crazy, but try to root them in reality if you ever want to see them become reality one day.
- Think It Through- The best way to commit to a dream enough to make it a plan, is by thinking it through. Why do I want this in my life? What would being a famous painter do for me? What would I have to do to retire by 40? How important is it that I become a yoga instructor? Is it really worth the trouble to open my own clothing boutique? Ask yourself real, hard hitting questions. Don’t be afraid to really think and also don’t be afraid to revise your dream based on whatever you realize. You may realize that opening a clothing boutique is more work than it is worth, but decide that an online boutique is the way to go. That is fine, just make sure that you think about the who, what, where, when, and why of your plan before you move forward.
- Price It Out- If you have a dream that needs funding in order for it to pan out, price it out! Having an idea of how much you need to start making your dreams into plans and setting a plan in motion to find those funds in your own life, will help you take a proactive step in the right direction. Knowing early on if an endeavor will be pricey is important in getting started because that means your first course of action will be to get a bank loan or find investors. Once you have the resources all thought out, you can move forward with the planning.
- There Is No “Perfect Time”- Stopping getting caught up in the illusion that it isn’t the “right time” for you to start reaching for your dreams. If you want to be a super successful veterinarian but you are only 15 years old, get a part time job as a receptionist at a vet clinic. If you’re a stay at home mom who wants to start their own online knitting business, work while the kids are at school and if they aren’t in school yet, make time on weekends and throughout the day to work on your plans. Don’t sit around waiting for the right time because the right time may never come. Don’t miss out on your chance to do something wonderful because you were afraid it wouldn’t be “the right time”.
- Ask For Help- If you have a big dream and you don’t know where to start, ask for help. Whether you get a life coach to help you stay on top of your plans or ask a family member to sit with you and help out with some research, it is always a good idea to ask for a little help. Steve Jobs didn’t build the Apple empire without help from his friends. Asking for help doesn’t make you any less independent and doesn’t make your successes any less your own. Sometimes we all just need a push in the right direction to get us going.
- Keep a Journal- I think I have preached the value of journaling multiple times on my blog, but journaling does wonders. Write down everything. Your steps, your intentions, deadlines, milestones, contacts, articles to look at, books to read, techniques to try, keep it all in one place. Your journal can be online or written, whatever works for you. Just be sure you keep track of what is going on as you start to plan to pursue your dreams.
Although many of these steps are common sense, it is super important that you keep them all in mind as you try to move from dreams to reality. You can do anything you set your mind to with a little hard work and a whole lot of determination.~