Why aren't most of us living our dreams? It is unrealistic to think our visions are within reach? Depending on your TRUE answer (your first gut reaction), you'll be able to predict for yourself whether you reach them or not. A half-believed vision can be a death sentence for that vision because our day to day lives are a matter of prioritization. Your top priority gets the most consistent attention while lower priorities get your attention from time to time. For most of us, a paycheck = survival so it's not uncommon to think of our jobs are our top priorities, after our friends and family. This works for a lot of people but not all of us, especially fellow dream chasers that don't find themselves fulfilled in a traditional career path.
The gap between our current realities and our vision often seems sooo wide it paralyzes us. Time passes us by, our jobs start consuming us, family and friends need our time and gradually you (along with your vision) are pushed down to the bottom. BUT what if we really believed that whatever that vision is, it was placed inside us for a reason by our Creator, for an important and specific reason, at this time, on this planet? Would it move up on your ladder of priorities? This is merely a decision, a decision you can literally make right now or gradually over the next few months. Just like I've decided many things in my lifetime, I'm deciding my vision is a priority. This is what claiming your vision requires: a decision and a belief in that decision.
After you've claimed it, you need to bring your vision from your inner space and beam it down to earth (aka make it "real"). This sends a signal to the Universe that you mean business and you're ready for your next direction. Here are the 5 steps I'm currently taking:
1. Talk Numbers
I put it first because it is my least favorite and least intuitive step. If you have your head in the clouds most of the time then your vision may need some grounding energy like mine did. For me, continuing to build this digital platform in order to share my insights and aha moments on this spiritual and creative journey is the broad vision. At the moment, the quantifiable steps are X amount of blog posts a quarter, X amount of social media posts a week, X amount of outreach to online magazines, etc. Pretty much, I looked at what I did last year and upped the ante a bit.
Action: Take the part of the vision you currently have (since our Creator tends to reveal in bits and pieces as to not overwhelm us) and work backwards by breaking it down into smaller quantifiable goals. As you get more ideas, break those down too as much as you can.
2. Track Your Progress
At school you have a teacher, at work you have a boss, but when you’re following a vision you have to do the tracking. Sure, your life will reflect it in some shape or form, but we tend to be so in it that it’s hard to tell that you're making moves. When you’re working out, before and after pictures are important because we get used to our own bodies. The same is true for our dreams. I know I feel everything’s the same ole’ same ole’ until I really start to analyze all the tiny victories. This isn’t something I have been good at but just realized it’s important to keep the enthusiasm and motivation.
Action: write down where you're at now. Do this quarterly. Compare. You can start by using the quantifiable goals in step 1 and recording where you’re at it currently. Revisit at the end of December.
3. Clock Into Your Dream
If you're like me, your pour yourself into other people's visions because you believe in them. It's sometimes easier to believe other people's visions because you're not in their head hearing the insecurities and negative self talk you may have around your own vision. Self doubt slows down our progress. We procrastinate either out of fear, because it “don't pay the bills” (yet), or a bunch of other excuses. That's where the Hours Keeper app, or something like it, comes in handy.
Action: download the app. Make yourself your own client. Clock in once a day (even if for 5, 10, 15 mins). That shit adds up. You’ll be able to actually see how much time you're spending on making your dream a reality on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis.
4. Recruit an Accountability Partner
I’ve been trying to unlearn my “good student” training for some years now but I can’t deny I like affirmations when I’m doing good and feel more motivated not to slack off when I have someone to “answer to”. This is especially important when you’re starting something solo and have no immediate consequences for not doing what you planned to do. Eventually my own self satisfaction will suffice but until I get there, this is what has been helping me recently.
Action: pick someone you know that will take your progress seriously and share your vision and quantifiable goals with them. How frequently you meet will be decided by whatever works for the both of you but I think at least quarterly is important. If you can, find a friend that’s also following a vision and be accountable to each other. This motivates the other person to stay on top of you because they want the same from you. Win-win.
5. Tell People (the ones you trust)
Your vision is your baby to love and to protect so when you first start you probably just want to tell the people you know will add flame to the baby fire. My semi-openness is a result of the gradual clarity I’ve received around the vision. After I truly claimed it I began been telling more and more people because that makes it more “real” (with a lower case r) to me. The more I talk about it the more I believe it. And now, I not only have one accountability partner, but several mini partners on this journey. You may not know this but you are my partner on this journey now just by reading a few words. :)
Action: none needed if you’re not ready just yet. But when you are, keep in mind you can email me. I'm really good at adding flame to baby fires.