In a previous article, we talked about how fear (1st article of this series) stops many people from traveling. Today we’re focusing on making your dream more concrete.
Following your dreams can be described as a type of problem-solving. It’s finding the answer to “How do I accomplish my dreams?”
To better solve these problems we have to first understand what kind of problem we have.
1. What kind of dream do you have?
If my biggest dream is to climb mount Kilimanjaro, I can go online and find out how I will get there, what gear I need, how much that will cost me etc. Next, I can come up with a plan (and probably also a Plan B & C) to gather that money together. I will also have to get in shape. But I’m sure there is enough information to be found about how to train for such an endeavor. It doesn’t mean it will be easy but overall it will be fairly simple to figure out which steps have to be taken to give this dream a chance. In psychology we call this a “well-defined problem”: The goal is clearly defined, all the relevant information is specified, and you know when you have the solution and reached your goal.
If my dream is to travel the world, however, I’m in trouble. Here it’s far less clear how the solution and end-goal looks like ( = “Ill-defined problem’’). How will I travel, which direction, which route, where or when will I have reached my goal, how much will this cost me, …. Tons of questions which are difficult to answer. And as a result for many it seems undoable and they put this dream back on the shelf.
So how can you increase your chance to achieve your ill-defined dreams:
1) Define smaller subgoals!
2) Make these subgoals as concrete as possible!
2. What are your subgoals?
By defining smaller, achievable subgoals the path to follow becomes clearer. There are fewer questions that need answering and fewer steps to be taken. And in return you will sooner experience success. Quick wins will keep you motivated to pursue the big dream.
“I want to travel more” becomes for example “Next month, I want to travel at least 2 weekends.”
Or in our case, “We want to travel the world” became “In 2017 we want to travel to Poland in May and the UK & Ireland during the Summer…”
Your overall big dream (traveling more or traveling the world) is a guide, to keep you walking in the direction you want to head to. But they shouldn’t be a fixed destination. Goals, dreams, aspirations evolve over time. They should be flexible so they can take your current situation or changes in your priorities into account. By creating smaller, achievable goals you will enjoy the path there. You will focus on what is now in the present, instead of living for the future alone.
“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
– Ralf Waldo Emmerson –
3. WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW, WHO, ….
Formulate your plan for action as concrete as possible.
What do I need to do?
Where will I do this?
When will I do this?
How will I do this?
Who can help me? …
The more concrete your plan is, the bigger the chance that you will put your plan to action.
Because on the difficult days, when other things in your life are claiming all your thinking energy, you already know what you need to do that day to move one step closer to your dream. It protects you from living on automatic pilot that merely helps you survive the day. By setting up your own concrete plan of action you will live the life you chose instead of one that someone else decided for you.
“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal.
A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan.
A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”
– Greg S. Reid –
Want to move from dreaming to daring and finally doing, then I recommend the following book. It’s full of practical insight and sound advice. For anyone who wants to make his/her dreams come true.
Dream Dare Do: Managing the Most Difficult Person on Earth: Yourself
by Dr. Ben Tiggelaar
Languages: English, Deutsch, Nederlands (link above will bring you to your local online store)
# of pages: 200