Today was a good day. I had planned a time (11:00am) to spend an hour working on targeting some baby steps toward making a couple of my dreams come true. Lately, as I have been dealing with current realities, my dreams have seemed far away I have become aware of a growing gap between my reality and my dreams. I’ve noticed that this has left me with a lack of energy and passion for life. I wanted to get back to my positive attitude and my ability to see beauty everywhere and to find the silver lining in every situation. I knew that thinking about my dreams always fills me with positive energy, so I decided that I would take some time today to think about my dreams.
In yesterday’s post, I shared some helpful hints that I found online and decided to use to help me in my “dream work.” This morning, I woke up excited to put these ideas into practice. John and I had our traditional Saturday morning coffee on the front porch. It was a lovely morning and I felt full of joy to be able to sit outside and watch my neighbors going by. Then, I did a few chores and the morning flew by. Soon, it was almost 11:00 and I was eager to start planning my steps.
The first thing I did was to look through my dream book. I’ve written a lot of dreams in my book, and it was fun to turn the pages of the book and see all the things I have dreamed so far. My mission was to choose two or three dreams that I really want to work toward making come true. A couple of them jumped out at me and one really tugged at my heart. So, I knew that I had my three dreams. Each of them is achievable, but each of them are going to take some work. Here are the three dreams that I chose:
1) Write an inspirational book illustrated by my photos. I have written about this dream before. I have longed to be a published author for as long as I can remember. I can never decide what type of book I want to write – the great American novel, a self-help book, a children’s book – and this indecisiveness has really held me back from writing anything. I decided this morning that the idea for an inspirational book has been in my head for a long time and I have finally made a commitment to working on this.
2) Run a 5K. Again, nothing new here. I have written a lot about my dream of running. I have even been working on it by going to the Y, but I have been very inconsistent in my efforts. I know that I have to get to work if I am going to make this dream a reality.
3) Take a trip with John to visit the places our ancestors came from. This dream is really important to me. John’s ancestors are from Italy, Sicily and Ireland and mine are from Germany and Catalonia (between France and Spain). Some were more recent immigrants and some were here before the Revolutionary War. I have this desire to see where they all lived and worked and walked, to see if anything remains of the villages where they originated.
Once I had settled on the three dreams that I wanted to work toward, I had to choose a baby step to take toward making each dream come true. I began by taking Michal Spiegelman’s visualization exercise. For each dream, I imagined the best case scenario of where I would be in six months after committing to making that dream come true. I spread the timeline out to a year and saw myself running a 5K, working away on my book, and saw John and I planning our trip to Europe. I fully entered into the visualization. It was an amazing experience. I could see that my dreams really could come true. After I let the scenes fade away, I was ready to set some concrete steps.
Next, I brainstormed some steps I could take toward making each dream become a reality. Big steps and little steps and tiny steps all got written down. I came up with quite a few possibilities for each dream. I definitely felt as if I had options for a place to start. Now, to choose a step. I looked over the list and felt stuck. I reminded myself of J.D. Roth’s advice to just pick any step that is headed in the right direction and go. I tentatively chose a step for each dream, but I was still hesitant to commit. I decided that it would be a good idea to get some feedback from John. I ran through my brainstorming lists with him and told him the steps I had chosen. He agreed that they were good places to start. I put an * next to the baby step I am going to take to work toward each dream. I also tried to find a way to make each step SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Sensitive
This is what I am committed to doing:
1) For my book – I will choose 40 of my favorite inspirational verses. These verses will be the basis of my book and I believe that choosing them is a great first step. I will do this within the next month.
2) For my 5K – I will commit to working out at the Y three days a week, Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00pm and Sunday at 1:00pm. I will begin this week. If I have to miss a workout because of a conflict, I will make it up the very next day.
3) For our trip – I am going to research where, specifically, each of our ancestors comes from. John and I chose 5 family lines that we want to trace back to find their origin in Europe. We are very fortunate that a great deal of genealogical research has been done in both of our families. I am going to allow myself until Dec 30 to complete this step.
It took me the entire I had allotted to complete this exercise. The hardest part was choosing which step I would commit to from a long list of very worthwhile possible steps. I see the value in just choosing one and going with it. I could have wavered and debated and talked myself right out of doing anything. Now, because I have chosen, I feel so empowered to get moving and actually take these steps. I feel full of energy and optimism and hope. I can see my dreams coming true. I can feel the space between my dreams and reality shrinking and becoming more manageable. I believe I can make it so.
Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so. – Belva Davis