This week I am away from home. I am in America for the second time in my life and I am over the moon about it. New York City is a place I’d dreamt about visiting since being a little girl and once I got there, last year, it lived up to those dreams so much that I got to spend holiday time here again.
Funny thing is, when I tell people I’m heading to NYC the first thing they always say to me is “wow, I’d love to go there”. So I always think to myself, well why don’t they? We can all of course come up with a zillion reasons why not but there is, I think, a much better way to think:
Start working towards your dream. If you have had an idea – something you want to achieve in life that has bobbed around your head for so long now, ask yourself why? Do you want to keep it in your head or do you want to really do it?
One of the biggest hurdles to any dream is that they look great in your head (often with bright lights and sound track music) but knowing how to make it a reality and what to do seems either complicated or worse confusing.
If you do want to turn that never ending dream into real life then it can help to have a solid process to make sure it will happen.
Six steps to make your dreams come true
- No more excuses. Don’t put it off any more. You can make this happen.
- Write the dream down. Don’t just pull a random dream out the hat because either everyone else is doing it or you feel you just need to tick it off some list. Your dream is totally unique to you and it doesn’t matter how crazy or lame it sounds, just write it down. You tend to know it’s a dream because you either talk about doing it all the time or you’ve never told anyone about it because you fear it’s too silly/unattainable. They are real dreams!
- Define the dream completely. Wanting to go to America was not specific enough for my dream. America is a huge country. Each state has many attractions for me but I had to be absolutely specific in my dream. I wanted to go to NYC. I wanted to stay for a set period of time and I didn’t want to stay in the traditional tourist area. I wanted to go to NYC to experience Brownstones, Coney Island and walking down Broadway. So make your dream as specific as possible. The more detail you have the more real the dream starts to become.
- Cost the dream up. Get an idea of how much this dream will cost you and start to write it down. I started to list flights, hotels, and spending money. Once I had a ball part figure in my head the next reasonable step was to get a date in mind that ‘real’ costs could be attached too. High season was out of the question so I just kept changing the dates of the hotel until I could afford it and then found the flights to accommodate it.
- Once a complete price is written down add another 10% for unknown costs. That way you’ll be more than covered for any eventuality you hadn’t planned for.
- Decide how long it will take you to save up for that final X cost. 12 months? 6 months? At this point the dream is within hands grasp. It’s up to you to make it a reality so make the dream your priority by putting every spare bit of cash you have towards it. Cut out buying coffees and sandwiches and the savings pot will increase even quicker. Forget quick wins, dreams are about long term plans and lasting joy. It took me just over a year to save up for NYC and between my deposit going down and flying off there were many temporary things I could have spent my money on such as new clothes or new books but I knew that the more I spent on those things the less I’d have to spend enjoying myself in America. It was rather a sobering thought.
- Put your name on the line. Put a deposit down (if possible) and that way you’ll be even more committed to save towards it, or sign up for that important class. Either way make that formal commitment.
Your dream has now become a reality.
Work towards your dream. Whether it’s training for a big sporting event, or going to Timbuktu, becoming an artist, growing a zen garden, or learning how to catch and record elephants in the wild. Nothing is impossible.
But only you can make it happen.
You don’t need to be mega organised, nor have 101 spreadsheets and lists scattered about. You just need to have one piece of paper (or spreadsheet) with the following on:
- What the dream is
- What you need to purchase in order to make the dream a reality (a course, a piece of equipment or a flight)
- How much it will cost + 10% for unexpected costs
- When you want to make it happen
- How long it will take you to save up
If it sounds easy, that’s because it really is.
What are you waiting for? What dream have you made reality? I’d love to hear your stories and share your achievements with my readers.