Remember the days of being a kid, when you would lie on the grass, look up at all the funny shaped clouds and dream of what your life would look like in 20 or 30 years? Maybe you dreamed of being a firefighter, having a home with a big yard, and traveling the world. Perhaps you wanted to write a book or see your name in a Broadway playbook. But for many of us, as we grew older and our dreams met reality, the dreams often faded away to make room for what we thought was more realistic.
The good news is you had it right as a kid. Dreams are an important part of figuring out what you want to achieve in life and aid in getting your priorities straight. Before you start your rebuttal on how day-dreaming is foolish, consider some of these positive aspects of having dreams as an adult.
- Dreams show you have meaning, direction and purpose in your life.
- They can help you to focus on the positive in the midst of a difficult time.
- As you work toward your dream, you will likely run into tough times and setbacks. The achievement of the dream after such times helps you to then appreciate the experience of failure and gain the knowledge that failure is part of the path to success.
- Dreams help you to grow to be more independent. Often as we imagine our dreams, we see ourselves fulfilling them on our own and this gives us a sense of belief in our own abilities.
So now that we are adults and have the ability to achieve these dreams, how do we put our dreaming to good use? After all, it is important to avoid the extreme of dreaming our lives away as much as it is important to not stop dreaming altogether. It is helpful to think of dreams in the same way as we would realistic goals. By giving dreams a priority in our lives, we show a determination to continually be progressing.
Set aside time each week, perhaps 30-60 minutes, and allow yourself to dream. What are your dreams? What dreams have you already fulfilled? Which of your lifelong dreams have not yet been accomplished? Is it feasible to turn the dream into a realistic set of goals?
Once you have evaluated your dreams and which you would still like to work toward achieving, write them down. Studies have shown writing down our goals makes them much more likely to be achieved. After it is written, break it down into the steps you will need to fulfill to work up to the dream. Take the time to educate yourself on what it will take to accomplish your dream.
For example, take the basic American dream of owning property and building your dream home. If this is something that is important to you, break it down into the steps you will need to accomplish to get into that dream house:
- Decide where you would like to purchase property and research the neighboring community and what it has to offer.
- Figure out how much you can afford and how you will save the money required. Research other financial means you could utilize, such as loans.
- If you would like to be an integral part of the actual house building, learn how to read house plans by checking out this helpful article and spend time each month perusing house plans online for inspiration on what you would like your dream home to look like.
- Ask friends and family for recommendations on contractors or decorators, if you plan to utilize others’ services.
Finally give yourself a timeline for when you would like to achieve each individual step and a final deadline for the ultimate dream. As you hold yourself accountable to the guidelines you set for yourself, you will be more likely to achieve each step and work your way toward seeing your dream become a reality.
Dreaming does not need to be a thing of the past and something we only look back on fondly. We can allow ourselves to put our dreaming to good use to and set goals that will increase our sense of self-worth and belief in our abilities. By combining our childhood pastime of dreaming and our grown up sense of reality, we can see our dreams come to fruition.
What are your dreams for your running/fitness level?
Any unfulfilled dreams you still want to achieve?