18 Save-Your-Life Strategies To Turn Your Dreams into Plans
When you’re trying to accomplish a major life goal, you’re incredibly motivated and you feel like you can take on the world. Of course, you’re going to be able to accomplish your goals! Your passion is unmatched!
And then reality sets in, you realize you’re busy, and you spend most of your free time binging on Netflix or at your summer job. And your dreams are slipping away.
There is hope. You can turn your dreams into plans and this is the month to make it a reality. We’re going to share with you exactly how to do it, right here and right now:
1. Write it down. Sure, you may have a steel-trap memory like the server at your favorite restaurant (I still don’t know how they do it), but you are more likely to remember key facts if you write them down. I use an online task list, Wunderlist, so it’s available anywhere I go.
2. Use your bonus minutes. I don’t have tons of spare time (Preaching to the choir, amirite?!?), so I use the extra minutes already built into my schedule. I write articles (like this one) during my lunch hour, I check items off my task list while waiting in line, and I work on bits of my project before meetings start. By using my bonus minutes for my dreams, I’m making daily progress.
3. Make it an important, regular appointment. You know who is important? You. You know who has important dreams? You guessed, it. You. When you make an appointment with yourself for your dreams, you’re more likely to accomplish them. Put it in your schedule today.
4. Break your mega dreams down into tiny tasks. I often meet people who are overwhelmed with their dreams because they seem too big to even get started. I break every single goal that I have into tiny, manageable tasks. Want to write a book? Spend a scheduled hour every day writing a few pages. Want to lose weight? Plan your daily workouts and list them in your calendar. Want to find your first job? List your job-finding tasks individually on your task list and schedule time daily to accomplish them.
5. Know the difference between “Don’t want to” and “Need to take a break.” I have a goal of building relationships and I’ve made a rule for myself that if my other choice is “watch Netflix at home” then I need to go spend time with other people. I’ve made regular plans in my calendar to have friends over for dinner, spend time with friends at the lake and attend community events. But every once in a while, I need to stay at home and watch Netflix to recharge. Learn the difference and you’ll make more progress toward your goals.
6. Don’t count yourself out. Too often we have already counted ourselves out before we have even started. We decide before anything happens that it will be doom and gloom. We are our biggest and worst critics – stop being that critic! Take a breath and realize you got this!
7. Lose control! Give in to the madness and let it just happen. Take a leap! There will be times where the best-laid plans have interruptions. Sometimes those interruptions are the best because they help you get to the end through a different route. They help you see the other side of the coin which may, in turn, help get you to the end faster.
8. Do your research. I am the type of person that needs to have a lot of information … input is one of my signature strengths, which can also be my demise. But when I gather information, it makes goals more manageable for me. It helps to take away the anxiety I have over getting it done. Arm yourself with information – knowledge is power.
9. Give yourself permission. Give yourself permission to do it! There were a number of times where I was the biggest obstacle in this thing called life. I needed to give myself permission to do it and enjoy doing it! Fear was holding me back and I needed to allow myself not to give into the fear.
10. Listen to your inner self. You have the answers – listen to them! Don’t listen to others who might want to hold you back for one reason or another. Motivate yourself first … you have the ability to be your biggest cheerleader. Why not show yourself some inner love?
11. Say it out loud. Not only should you write down your goals and dreams but you should also say it out loud. Shout it from the highest building or shout it from a mountaintop. Tell a friend, tell your parents, or tell anyone you see walking down the street. But say it out loud! The more you say it, the more you will believe it.
12. Find an accountability buddy. Okay, so you really want to do something big, and that’s great! The first thing a lot of us do is post it for the world to see on social media. However, many people quit after posting. Why? Because just announcing it was seen as an accomplishment. Instead, find yourself someone who can help keep you motivated and on track. When you need the extra push, this person can guide you up the hill.
13. Network. Get out there and meet people! Easier said than done, right? It is important to gather ideas and make connections because you never know who might be able to help you on your way to reaching your dreams. You might want to consider volunteer work, joining an association related to your job or dream job, searching MeetUp for a fun group to join, or starting a group of your own.
14. Motivation is key. What keeps you moving forward? Write it down and put it somewhere you can see every day. When stuff is dragging you down, you can always look to that motivator to get you going again.
15. Stash to invest. Save your money for that first purchase that will lead you on the road to success. Maybe it is a project management software. Or, a new computer because you need something more reliable. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but saving a little now can help you realize your dream later.
16. Visualize the end. In other words, work backwards. Where do you want to be a year from now? What steps will you have to take to get there? These steps become the foundation for achieving your goals.
17. Show up. All of these tips are fine and dandy, but at the end of the day they are just that, tips. It is up to you to show up and do it! So …
18. Don’t wait until you are ready. Start today. If we always waited until we were ready, we’d never get started on anything. You are worth investing in your dreams. Take the (best ever) risk and start today.
Andrea Battaglia is an organization expert and wellness advocate that enjoys sharing her successful strategies for organization, healthy living, and innovation through facilitating workshops, streamlining processes and relevant solutions. Andrea is a proud Greek alum, former Greek Advisor and currently works in Higher Education Fundraising & Development in Springfield, Missouri and happily spends her days immersed in marketing, fundraising strategy and volunteer management. Follow Andrea on her blog at https://andreabcreative.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/andreabcreative/.
Andrea Weber, Ed.D., is the Director of Student Conduct at Missouri State in Springfield, MO. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in human resource development from Oakland University, a Master’s of Science in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University, and a Doctor of Education in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Andrea is an Alpha Delta Pi and also an active member on the Connections Editorial Board.
Andrea Starks-Corbin is the Director of Marketing & Communications for the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values and for the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in professional writing from Missouri State University. Andrea is a Sigma Kappa and currently serves as the communications advisor for the Gamma Alpha chapter at the University of Northern Colorado.