As a young girl I had big dreams and many things that I was passionate about. I loved gymnastics and wanted to be just like Nadia Comaneci. I loved to dance and wanted to become a professional dancer. At some point in my life, I also remember wanting to be an astronaut, an inventor, and an author of horror books (don’t ask me why).
Do you remember all the big dreams you had before the wear and tear of each day bogged you down? If you were like me, you probably put them aside or have long forgotten about them in order to hold down a career and raise a family.
It’s a shame how many of our dreams stayed just that…a dream, never seeing the light of day.
Well…not anymore! I’ve reached a point in my rocking 40’s where it’s time to start dreaming again and put the focus back on myself. Perhaps it’s better this way because I feel stronger now, and oh so much more capable of actually fulfilling my dreams, both from an emotional and a financial standpoint. I also know a lot more about life and what is realistically feasible so while I probably will not be going after a gymnastic Olympic gold medal, you better believe I am passionately going after my newfound dreams.
So while dreaming is easy, it’s the implementation and follow through of our dreams that is more challenging to accomplish.
While I encourage my kids to dream big for example, I also tell them (and repeatedly to myself) that to make dreams come true, you need to work at it, and hard, every S I N G L E day. It takes a plan and it takes a lot of action. That’s where the toughest part lies and where most of us fall off the wagon.
After working closely with a personal coach and talking to several women entrepreneurs, I’ve learned that there are four major setbacks that keep us from fulfilling our dreams:
- Having vague or too broad goals: you need to take your big idea/dream and break it down into a lot of smaller chunks. For example, a common goal like “lose weight” or “be happy” is meaningless if there isn’t an actionable plan behind them. Your answer to these goals should be concrete and achievable every step of the way.
- Your brain gets in the way: it’s funny how our brain has a way of messing with us and keeping our aspirations far away. The feeling that you’re not good/strong/smart enough, or the fear of failure, or the fear of being judged, all lead to lack of action. If you think you’re not going to make it, you won’t. Simple as that. Don’t let YOURSELF get in the way, do not be easily discouraged, and rid yourself of this mindset. Find your inner strength and persevere. You can do it!
- You’re a master procrastinator: I have fallen in this trap so many times, especially working from home. You see, procrastination comes in many forms and disguises. It may be you’re keeping yourself busy with menial work in order to avoid doing the harder and less pleasant work. It’s being easily distracted, it’s about a lack of focus, it’s about inactivity and feeling tired, it’s about feeling overwhelmed. You can overcome this, if you have very clear, small and achievable goals (see #1) which help you see your progress.
- You don’t have a schedule and anyone to hold you accountable. I get things done not only by breaking down my goals into small, actionable steps, but by scheduling them in my calendar, and using Evernote to keep track of it all. Also, share your dreams and goals with your significant other or relatives or your coach, and encourage them to become your accountability buddy to help you make strides along the way. That has helped me tremendously.
So despite these setbacks, your internal naysayer, and all the hoops you have to jump through, the only way you will find success is to take away the chains holding you down, and pursue your dreams with maximum effort. Press on and hold on. You’re rocking over 40, you’ve got this!
I would love to know what your dreams are and how you go about achieving them. Let me know in the comments section below or on our Facebook Page.