November 5, 2010

Achieving Your Dreams Takes Planning


The other day, my friend Li had a beautiful post talking about her dream to become an actress.  You should go read it, she did a great job. I’ll wait. …….

Ok, welcome back!

It’s something she really wants. But the glitch is that she not only has a day job, but also has financial obligations that prevent her from pursuing her acting full time. I know she’s not alone in having a dream and feeling that she can’t pursue it because of more practical obligations.

I left her a lengthy comment (and if you know me and my comments on blog, its actually very normal) about working to take positive steps toward making this dream, which truly is her passion, a reality. See, her post resonated with me because I too am a lawyer like she is.  And I, too, became a lawyer and realized shortly after passing the bar that being a lawyer in real life has little resemblance to those portrayed on television or movies.

But, just like Li, I’m a lawyer who knows there is more to life than what we do on a daily basis. And, I also know that when she say people think we make the big bucks that they are obviously unaware that many of us toil for well under six-figure salaries.

How do you just up and leave your job though? I admire people who do and then figure it out afterward. I’m a planner though, so you’ll never see me throwing caution to the wind and just winging it for the sake of just doing something.  That’s both good and bad.  Good because I’ll think things through and make a plan so I can succeed. Bad, though, because I’ll analyze everything six ways of Sunday and then again just to double check. Meanwhile, life is passing by.

Nonetheless, if you have a plan, it’s easy to know where you’re going. I’ve come up with 5 ways to help you achieve your dreams.

1. Create a vision board – put up words, images, inspiration trinkets, whatever it is that inspires you to keep working each day to achieve your dream.

2. Encourage yourself – write yourself encouraging messages and place them around your house, car and office so that when you see them you’re reminded of your goal and will be less likely to self-sabotage. For example, if you need to save money and eating out is a big chunk then reminding yourself why you should eat in or pack your lunch will motivate you not to hit the take-out line.

3. Enlist Others – you can’t do it alone. We need cheerleaders! If you share your goal with trusted friends, they’ll help to keep you going. Also, they’re less likely to sabotage your goal if they know you’re really working hard to achieve this. Friends, both online and in real life, are an invaluable resource for support.

4. Be prepared for relapses – we all get off track, but knowing that you’re off track will prevent you from completely going astray. If you veer off course, right your ship and get back on track.

5. Take small steps – you can’t get from point A to point B in one fell swoop (well, usually you can’t). You didn’t learn to walk in a day. You didn’t master the internet overnight. You didn’t find success in other parts of your life without interim steps. Create smaller goals so you have things to celebrate. Just like the fundraiser that colors in the thermometer as they hit certain thresholds, we deserve to reward ourselves along the way.

I try to implement these into my own life. Except I don’t have a vision board. I have notebooks and journals as well as photographs up on the wall. I even have pictures and saying and such taped up around my desk.  Just like great products go through brainstorming sessions, that’s kind of what a vision board is for each of us. It’s our own personal brainstorming session and we can update and change it as we like. Because it’s our dream!

So let’s create vision board together. Let’s agree to support each other by sharing our dreams and not being shy about what it is we want. No self-sabotage!  We can achieve anything we want if we want it bad enough. I can do it! I know you can do it. It just takes time and a plan. Map out your success and you will get there! We can get there together, because there is so much fun along the way but at the end, it’s magic!

Do  you have a vision board or written personal goals? What’s on your vision board?

PS: Yes, I love Wicked!  Let’s Defy Gravity!



Honey November 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Hi Sara,

I loved your post. I have read a few different posts recently about creating vision boards and I think that I need to take some time to make one.

Are you going to post a picture of your vision board when you finish it? I can’t wait to see it.


Cycleguy November 5, 2010 at 7:39 pm

And number 6? Marry a crazed risk-taking dreamer!

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang November 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Did you read my mind? Listen in to my conversation at lunch with Brian 🙂

This is GREAT advice!

I want to be a photographer. Babies, families and senior portraits. That’s as far as I’ve gotten, but I love this advice. I’m going to email it to Brian for accountability!

Li April 1, 2013 at 11:16 am

Amen Sara!!!!! Thank you for mentioning me and for writing such a kick-ass post. “5 ways to help you achieve your dreams” really has some great tips. Rock Friggin’ on.

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