Dream Tomorrow

Dream Tomorrow

Dream Tomorrow

Dream Tomorrow.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the vinyl wall decor above is displayed in my living room (I made it myself!). It’s my mantra.

Dream Tomorrow is my daily reminder that my dreams will only come true tomorrow if I plan for them today.

A goal is a dream with a deadline.

With the start of a new year, I often spend at least an hour or two planning my goals for the year. Here’s my process – give it a go and see if it works for you:

Big Picture Goal: What do I want to accomplish this year? Think in terms of financial, professional, health or personal goals. Publish a novel. Lose at least ten pounds. Save a thousand dollars. Write each of these at the top of a different piece of paper. Bonus points if you write them in your day planner (and if you are looking for a print it yourself planner page, please check out my Etsy store – the download is only $1).

Stepping Stones: These are the smaller milestones that you need to do in order to reach your Big Picture Goal. For instance, my Big Picture Goal is to publish a novel. Some of the smaller milestones I need to reach in order to make my dream come true are (1) write the draft of the novel, (2) edit/rewrite the novel, (3) polish the novel, (4) line edit the novel for grammar, punctuation and spelling, (5) research agents and/or publishers, and, finally, (6) submit.

Daily To-Dos: These are just what they sound like – the things that you need to put on your to-do list to make it happen. For instance, while I am drafting a novel, I will write “WRITE 250 words” on my to-do list every day until I type those two magical words “THE END.” The important thing here is to be specific. Don’t write “write” without setting a goal for yourself. This is where you need to be tough. Be your own coach. Set a task and make sure you do it.

What are some of your Big Picture Goals for 2014?

NOTE: If you like this blog, please consider stopping by my Etsy shop. You’ll help me out, and you’ll get something for your money. 🙂

Creating my Path

My life is in transition now. I thought I was doing a good job of preparing for the Empty Nest, but when my daughter moved out unexpectedly, I was forced to transition sooner. That got me to thinking about the Path each of us takes during our lifetimes. It’s not about forging a path. “Forge” isn’t really the right word. Forge indicates a forceful manufacture – I picture a blacksmith holding a blazing red chunk of iron in a roaring fire, then pounding that metal into shape with every swing of his heavy hammer. Clang-clink! Clang-clink!

That is not what we do. Instead, it is a more organic process. We create a path. It zigs this way and that, occasionally backtracking. The Path may be fast and swift, through a clearing, but more often it is slow-going, over and around obstacles.

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Creating my own Path has been difficult at times, and as I look back over the years, I realize that there were many, many crossroads where I had a decision to make. According to string theory, each of those crossroads created a new universe. In another universe, I may well exist as a canoe-paddling explorer out to chart new waters in the Boundary Waters along the US-Canadian border (trivia: I took a bunch of Girl Scouts on a 3-day backpacking trip in the BW area. It was an exercise in patience and survival.). In another, I may be an Olympian guiding my hunter-jumper over spine-tingling jumps. But in this world, I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, paralegal, writer, animal lover.

What was an important crossroad for me? Going to the World Affairs Seminar comes to mind. At that seminar (thank you, Centralia Rotary Club, for sending me!), I suddenly realized that there was a whole world beyond my little hometown. Talking to students from all over the world was an eye-opener. My weekly thoughts were “What movie am I going to see with my boyfriend?” and “What color should I paint my nails?” It was mind-boggling to talk to other kids the same age as me, who were thinking things like “Is Mutual Assured Destruction really a smart foreign policy?” and “Should the US government be aiding rebels in Central America?” After listening to folks from the State Department and talking to other teenagers who actually cared about more than themselves, I decided my own future deserved a little more attention. Although I was tired of school, I went to college determined to earn my degree and do something worthwhile with my life (which is why I decided to go into education).

Creating your Path is an individual thing. When you reach a crossroads moment, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where do I want to end up?
  • What are the directions I can take?
  • What will it cost me to take each direction (“opportunity cost” will be discussed in a future post)?
  • Which path will take me towards my desired destination?

Please share below the crossroads that have had an impact on your Path.

TURNING DREAMS INTO REALITY: What if you couldn’t fail?

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Like most writers, I am fairly introspective. I spend time thinking about who I am, what made me this way, and where I’m heading. I have learned that we need to spend time thinking about our dreams, and finding ways to make them a reality. If you find yourself not pursuing your dreams, I encourage you to try working your way through “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. It is a revealing journey. It taught me that I can make my dreams a reality, and I learned a lot about myself in the process.

One thought I have pondered recently is this – What three things would I do if I knew I could not fail?  1) I would quit my job and I would spend more time writing. 2) I would open a scrapbook store (my favorite stores are the Scrapbook Store & More in Mexico, Missouri and Soul Sentiments in Millersburg, Missouri). 3) I would get my pilot’s license.

I am interested in hearing YOUR three things. Email me or post a comment and tell me your three things. I’ll discuss your responses in a future post. But first . . .  now that you’ve decided what three things you would do, it’s time to take action. Take a moment to consider these things. What can you do to incorporate these things into the coming week? You have 7 days, and 24 hours in each day. Surely you can devote one or two hours to one of these things. For instance, I plan to spend an hour today scrapbooking. Sure, I need to bless my house (for those of you who know Flylady, you know exactly what I’m talking about).  And laundry needs to be done. And I need . . . well, you know how it goes. But I can spare one hour to pursue my dream. That’s all I’m asking. One hour. Are you seriously going to tell me that you are so busy this week that you can’t spend ONE measly hour on your dreams?

I didn’t think so. :o)

Plan your week. Make time for your dreams. They deserve your time and attention.