What will it take to make this THE year you make your most heartfelt, important dream for your future a reality?
Chances are, even if you didn’t cast a resolution or set goals, that clean sheet of paper will fill quickly once the new year begins. There will be no shortage of commitments and obligations, of the things you want to do, and the things you need to do. So consider this…
Resolutions can serve as a “restart” button on your commitments and help you to live with intention.
Goals can help you focus and choose your priorities from the seemingly never ending list of possible distractions and demands you can expect on your time throughout the year.
Dreams, however, will require more than planning ahead. If you want to make meaningful progress in realizing a dream this year, consider you will need to make room in your mind and your heart.
After all, dreams are magnificent, but fragile things. Whatever your dream may be, if you want to make progress in realizing it this year consider the most important thing you can do now is to make the room you need to pursue it. Remember the wisdom of Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Here are 3 steps to making room for your dreams:
1. Write Your Dream Down
What is your dream? Why is it so important? What will it make possible in your life and the lives of others? If you are looking for guidance in discovering and clarifying your dreams I highly recommend Whitney Johnson’s book Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream.
Personally I resisted writing my dreams down for many years. I had no trouble with writing down goals, but dreams were differnt. In hindsight I can see that is because they matter so much more. Dreams aren’t just something we do. They represent who we are and who we are choosing to become. I think I feared that if I wrote it down and did not realize it, I would not be able to face the disappointment. Whatever your resistance may be, do not skip this step. It is crucial.
2. Create a Cocoon for Your Dream
Your dream needs to be kept front and center in your life. Yet it also needs to be protected for two reasons. One is your dream may pose a threat to others or the status quo of your current relationships. The second is because truly owning your dreams can make you vulnerable. So do share your dream with someone daily to keep it alive and help it develop and grow inside of you. And be selective about with whom you share it. Be sure those you entrust with your dream want your dream for you as much or as more than you do for yourself.
In these ways you create a safe environment for your dreams to develop until you and your dream are strong enough to face the world. It’s a lot like the cocoon that builds the strength a butterfly needs to emerge from safety to spread it’s wings and fly.
3. Commit to Clearing the Past that is in Your Way
There are two things that often get in the way of realizing your dreams. It isn’t clear or compelling enough for you to be willing to pursue it no matter what. If that is the case, then go back to step 1 because there is more work to do to get out of the gate.
The second is the influences and experiences of your past. If you haven’t yet realized your dream, or even gotten started chances are something from your past is in the way. It could be a belief or a fear from something that didn’t go as planned. it could be a disappointment from which there is lingering sadness or doubt in yourself. The good news is the moment you can identify it, is the moment when it loses it’s grip because you now have a choice. Do I choose my future or do I choose my past?
You will likely have to do this often. You may find you need the support of a close friend or a coach. However you approach it, if you commit to continuing to recognize and clear the past when you notice you are stuck, you will continue to make progress.
May 2014 be a year for you to not only dream, but to make room for your dreams to flourish!
Image credit: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/photo_18295744_concept-of-imagination-reading-a-book.html’>alphaspirit / 123RF Stock Photo</a>