The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Our country touts the formulation of big vision or “dreams,” along with new year’s resolutions. I regard these as noble, worthwhile endeavors, yet what I often witness as a psychotherapist and life coach are “eyes bigger than stomachs” or “biting off more than you can chew”—apt idioms.
For me, the most significant vision involves clarifying your central life purpose. This overarching mission then serves to provide direction and informs you where to allocate much of your resources, such as time, energy and perhaps money.
Dreams or heartfelt desires may then be determined and prioritized in various areas of your life, some of which may interact or dovetail, e.g. family time and development, career, income, home ownership recreation/travel, spirituality, etc. In my opinion, the most powerful dream-building combines a distinctly achievable (realistic) objective with a definite “stretch,” but not a fanciful, “pie-in-the sky” desire that represents sheer wishful thinking. I find that it’s best to initially err on the side of realistic, and then gradually expand your dream as you fulfill simpler/smaller parts of it.
Fulfilling each stage of your vision/dreams requires:
- sufficient intention, motivation and drive
- setting specific, measurable goals
- discipline/persistence to follow-through toward attainment of those goals
- non-judgmentally recommitting or altering the goal when you miss the mark
- affirming and celebrating successes
Again, the key is working with “manageable chunks,” just one or a few specific goals at a time. Once those are attained, you can go on to develop and execute the next set, either in the same area or a different one.
You know as well as I do how many of us fail to accomplish our long list of new year’s resolutions. Also, with regard to the quote at the top, I would add that we can also enjoy the process—being present to and appreciating the journey, one step at a time. Furthermore, remember that the tortoise defeated the hare in the race. Too often it’s the proverbial “rat race” that seduces and sinks us.