How many times have you told yourself that you are going to do something – start learning a language, writing that book you play over and over in your head, taking up an instrument – and then you don’t do anything?
The excuses are there: I’m exhausted from work, I don’t have the motivation to actually reach the end, I don’t have time…
But excuses are all that they are.
If you want to do something badly enough, you’ll put the energy and effort into it even if you don’t have that much time. However, if you keep feeding yourself reasons to not push forward then you’ll just continue dreaming of maybe one day probably doing that one thing that fills up your head.
So how do we move from the dreaming stage to the doing stage?
Find a way to hold yourself accountable. I’d been telling myself for years that I was going to start a real blog but kept putting it off. By joining with Meagan and Alyssa, I was able to find someone else to hold me accountable to this goal. Plus, we paid for the domain name and money is always something that holds me accountable. Find friends or a partner that will help make sure you are doing what you say you are going to do. Or put in an initial investment that encourages you don’t to give up.
Practice good time management. “I don’t have enough time” is not a good excuse when it comes to your dream. Manage your schedule so that you are able to put in enough time to practice an instrument or work on your writing. Some people find that waking up an hour or so earlier in the morning gives them the time to focus on things that they normally wouldn’t have time for. You can also use your lunch break at work to focus on personal activities. I always spend my lunch time during November writing my NaNoWriMo and I’m hoping to move that into an all-year habit (except for when I’m reading a really good book). Even manage your downtime at the office to work to your advantage.
Download apps that help you meet your goals. So maybe not every dream can be solved with an app – that’s understandable. But there are apps out there – like Habitica – that help you with holding yourself accountable to tasks that you have given yourself. Add things on your to do list that are associated with your goals: thirty minutes a day of reading self-help articles, an hour a day practicing violin, thirty minutes of exercise… You don’t reach your goal in one giant leap. You get there by taking small steps, by creating daily habits that just mold into your routine.
Embrace fear. There is not a day that goes by where I’m not afraid of something. Sometimes they’re small things and then sometimes they’re much too big. I overthink, I tell myself that I’m not good enough, I stress myself out… And then I take a deep breath and tell myself that everything will work out. I end up embracing the fear, pushing forward, and enjoying ever moment after. And finding out that the fear was really never worth worrying over. Will Smith really has an inspirational talk about this that I recommend watching.
Don’t avoid struggle. I was at a happy hour last week and an attendee started telling me about a book that she had read (which I’m considering getting because she was just super inspired by it), about a certain question that had stood out to her. “How much are you willing to struggle for what you want?” Sometimes we give up on something and say we couldn’t do it, didn’t think we could do it, when truth is that we just didn’t think it was worth the struggle. But there’s no freaking way anyone can make a dream come true without some sort of fight or struggle. No. Freaking. Way. So don’t avoid the “struggle” of the things that you really want to do. Know that it’s just part of the process and that it will be worth it in the end.
Stop expecting things to just happen. Things don’t happen without you putting effort into them. One can’t write a popular book series by just writing ideas in a notebook. One can’t develop a new habit if they just makes plans for when they should practice that habit. The stars are not going to align just for you to make your dream come true (as much as we would wish for them to).
It can be hard to move from just saying something to actually doing it. It can be a big life change. But if it’s something that you really wish to happen, it’s a big life change worth having. You might fail. But dust yourself off and get right back to it after. Failure just makes you stronger.
What do you do to work towards your dreams? How do you develop the habits that make you achieve your goals? What struggles are worth going up against? Share and comment below!