Chase your dreams.

All around us we see inspiration and advice to shoot for the moon and not hold back. So we go for it. But our dreams are difficult to achieve and they sometimes feel so far away.

Enjoy the journey.

If chasing our dreams wasn’t enough, now they tell us to enjoy the journey too! Do they know how difficult that is? Do they know how it feels to dream of building a successful blog while struggling to get traffic to their site? Have they dreamed of making partner but exhaust themselves working 80 hour weeks? Have they tried launching a business while having everyone around them tell them they are nuts?

You have probably realized that following your dreams looks a little less like floating in a starlit sky toward neverland and more like an obstacle course that goes on for miles and miles. This is completely okay because you have already realized that you’d choose that obstacle course without hesitation because dreaming without doing only gets you so far. However, only doing isn’t the most productive way to go about it. The balance of dreaming and doing is crucial, we need both, and as the saying goes, where there is no vision people perish.”

Now, before you fall into the 24/7 hustle and grind lifestyle that is often celebrated by society today, and easily pursued when what you are doing is your passion; read through this list to note how you can chase your dream, AND celebrate every curveball or bump life wants to present on the way.

HOLD THE VISION, TRUST THE PROCESS

In order to chase the dream, help yourself out by knowing your vision. You’ll miss all the shots you don’t take, but taking shots with little aim will bring you the same results. Many of my clients focus so much on what they don’t want, they are moving through life dodging those things as opposed to being driven toward goals. If you don’t know where you want to land, how do you know if you’re there? Name what you want, work with what you know, then get to work.

See it in your mind, and then WRITE IT OUT

Dreams and thoughts can take outrageous forms while floating in the abyss of your mind. Bring it to earth, write it down. Name your dream, detail what it is, articulate what it would feel like to have accomplished it. It’s hard to aim without targets, we’re making targets!

Create a vision board

Light a candle, take your written dreams, and start building the vision! A vision board serves as a physical representation through pictures, pins, or motivational words that represent your dreams. Everything should “spark joy” or energize when you to look at it. These images will bring your dreams into your reality and your day to day so place it somewhere you’ll see it without thinking too hard! Curious about how to start? One of my favorite YouTubers, Lavendaire explains this a little bit more.  

RELISH THE JOURNEY

Dreams don’t happen overnight, as a result, the grind will burn you out before you even realize it. Start these practices to celebrate where you are as you’re working towards where you want to be.

 

Break it down into smaller wins, goals

Now that you have your big dream, you’ll want to break it down with mile markers, so you’re celebrating every step of the way! One of the main reasons resolutions aren’t kept is that people aren’t looking at the daily efforts needed to accomplish their grand visions. In a marathon, 26 miles feels daunting, but as you reach each mile marker you know how much closer you’re getting to that gratifying finish line. Write your breakdown of mini goals that lead to your big dream. Each time you reach a goal, decide how you will celebrate that! Share it with friends? Treat yourself with something that will motivate you towards the next, RIDE THE MOMENTUM!

Daily Gratitude

Start the practice of being thankful for every bump and break in the road! There is no success without learning and failing, this is where growth gets to happen. Be thankful throughout all of it, or you’ll trade the journey for a discouraged less inspired and more comfortable path. Fostering a positive outlook on stressful situations can be hard, start by listing 3 things you are grateful for each day, maybe in a planner or on your phone, it’ll keep you motivated.

Yes’s and No’s

You can do all things, just not all at once. It’s tempting to overcommit to all engagements with enthusiasm, only to find that you’re strained in all directions. Busy has become a celebrated symbol of success in our society. Be so intentional about marching against that beat. Burning out for the sake of your dream is also something that will delay your success and maybe, leave you with a less energized version of yourself when you get there. Create realistic boundaries around how many commitments you can make and do WELL in for that month or week. Honor that deal and say no to the rest. Overcommitment is a quick way to derail you of the health and quality of work it takes to reach your potential.

Praise reports

In my planner, there is a page at the end of each month dedicating praise. I welcome the first of each month with the acknowledgment of all the brave and proud things I did in the month before. This mindset helps me greet the new month with the same intentions and so forth. We receive praise from others when we do well, it’s even more important to remind ourselves and offer praise when we do well!

Recruit your squad

Any endeavor and dream chasing needs a cheer squad. It’s a tough journey, who are the people who will help you keep growing when you’re wanting to quit? An important piece of advice from Steve Harvey is “Don’t share your big dreams with small minded people”. This is because this will keep you from your dreams. There will always be people who share all the ways that they think something you’re dreaming about won’t work. You don’t have time for that! Watch him share his perspective with Oprah: 

Surround yourself with people you want to be like

You know how you start picking up the habits of the people you’re around?  Without even trying, we automatically start speaking similarly or dressing like the people we spend the most time with. Who do you look up to? Is there a company you’d love to work for? Network with people in those industries and areas so that you are naturally seeing and able to emulate what it takes to get there as well. Be intimidated, excited, and inspired to be where they are!

Work hard, play harder

Give yourself breaks, the hustle and grind is exhausting. You’ll never be where you are now, and there are good things about that too! Invest energy into things that inspire and motivate you to keep going. Take a vacation, unplug from work on the weekends, to recharge and reset! Incorporate yoga or meditation practice into your workflow during the week, hangouts with friends, meetups, and events so you can stay inspired and basked in the journey.

Let your dream be the map that guides your pursuit but bring in these daily practices to bask in the present that you’ve created. Mindfully pursue yourself, your health and your ideas, that’s what success is really made of. Incorporate any or all of these steps, a bit a time, and marvel at how small, day to day acts can create big moves over time.

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Ann Vu

Ann Vu

Ann is a career expert with a particular emphasis on the job search process. She has helped countless clients find and land jobs they love. Read more about Ann here.