I intend to spend my life going in the direction of my dreams, not in the direction of my fears – Jennifer White
Where can you dream more and fear less?
How can you take one step towards a dream that’s big enough to get it going but not so big you lapse into fear mode?
Dream tasks: read about it, talk to someone doing, take a class, do a project just for yourself, volunteer in that area…mark your calendar for when you will do any or all of these things. Pick an action AND set the deadline.
After you’ve done a thing the same way over two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over. – Alfred Perlman
End of year is usually when people get introspective. Take advantage of that reflection and ask the big question Perlman implies. What do you need to throw away and start all over?
This might be difficult to admit – it could be a relationship you’ve outgrown. It could a belief that is preventing you from making a change or taking a chance. It could be a habit that you do by default.
Make a list of any areas you’d like to improve. Try to think of at least 5 alternatives to take in each area.
Don’t assume you need to more of the same thing.
“Now” is the operative word. Everything you put in your way is just a method of putting off the hour when you could actually be doing your dream. You don’t need endless time and perfect conditions. Do it now. Do it today. Do it for twenty minutes and watch your heart start beating. – Barbara Sher
What could you do right now that moves you toward your goal?
Set a timer for 15 minutes so it’s not a big block of time, and just do something. If you mean to do more networking, email people in your contact list that you haven’t connected with in the last 30 days. Do part of that exercise routine you mean to do regularly. If you want to do more reading, pick something up and read as far as you can in 15 minutes.
Stay at 15 minutes for at least a week so you work on consistency and routine and not just duration. You also now build you goal into a daily habit.
So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable. – Christopher Reeve
This is so true of big goals. Graduation seems daunting to a child, but we’ve done it multiple times – elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and beyond. It is impossible and then inevitable. Saving money sometimes seems futile till you check your account balance years later and realize that the drip savings have become significant. I just celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary – in high school, when we met, I still remember wondering if we’d ever start dating!
What would you do if you believed your goals were not impossible, but inevitable? What would you start? Start this now.
The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this; decide what you want. – Ben Stein
One exercise I give all of my clients when deciding on the ideal next job is to make a list of everything they want. This typically numbers in the dozens – salary, bonus, flexibility, great boss, mentorship, etc. Then, they pick their top half. Then, the top half of that. Then, they keep dividing in half until they can no longer imagine taking a job that doesn’t meet the remaining criteria. These things are the real deal breakers. These things are what you really want.
You can do the same exercise outside of career – with your personal goals, your weekly to do list, even your list of approved cheat foods (my deal-breakers here are chocolate-covered nuts and ice cream).
What are the nice-to-haves and what are the MUST-haves? How much time and attention are you giving the MUST-haves? How can you better preserve your limited bandwidth for what you really want?
Great things are only possible with outrageous requests – Thea Alexander
A VP in a big bureaucratic corporate job lands the top job at a start-up. Oh, and he chose among 3 offers in 2 months.
A financial services executive plotting spinning her wheels for 2 years finally identifies and makes her career change (to K-12 education) in a few months.
A small business owner uproots her year-old firm to move thousands of miles away and manages to grow her business and land a magazine feature in her first year away.
Outrageous, yet, true. These are all real-life examples of clients I’ve worked with who made outrageous requests of themselves and their dreams and reaped the benefits.
What outrageous request will you make?
Make voyages. Attempt them. There’s nothing else – Tennessee Williams
In 2012, I produced my first short film and I saw it on the big screen earlier this year. Who knew?
What voyage will you begin (or continue)?
If you’re afraid it’s too big, too hard, or too risky, how can you make it more manageable?
If you don’t know your next step, who is that one person you admire for getting things done? Can you coopt him or her to help you get started?