Active Steps to Pursue your Dreams
We are a week into 2017 and by now everyone should be back to their routine after the Christmas break. We are now able to stop and think about what this year has in store for us.
At Island Feather our eyes are open to the opportunities around us, we see life as a gift and we want to live a life that brings us health and happiness. We have so many dreams and aspirations for 2017, and whether they are big or small, we apply the same principles to identify, formulate, reflect and celebrate achieving them.
I want to take a moment to share these principles to help and support you to take a journey in pursuit of your dreams.
Sometimes life takes over and we can become blinded to the world of opportunities around us and therefore the path to our goals is unclear. With a background in psychology and therapeutic work a technique that I find useful is the solution focused therapy miracle question tool.
The Miracle Question: “If I woke up tomorrow and a miracle had happened, what would my day look like?”.
This question would help me to identify what my miracle day would look like. You can think about where you wake up, who you wake up next to, where you live, what you wear, what you do in your day, how you get there, who you meet in the day, what they say to you and how you feel about yourself, for example. This helps to visualise your day and will reveal a variety of dreams and aspirations.
BELIEVE IN POSSIBILITIES
The next step is to identify recent times where you may have already experienced small pieces of your miracle day. Say them to yourself and write them down. This will help you to feel that your goals are possible as you have experienced some of them before.
FORMULATE & PLAN
Step 1: After going through your miracle day, you should be able to pick out some of your dreams, ambitions, aspirations; what we can call goals. Some of your goals may be short term goals, e.g. find a new hobby that I love, whereas some may be long term e.g. Own your own house, get a new job. This does not matter because all your destinations will have a journey with small achievable steps to reach your goal. I would normally pick out 1 long term goal and 3 short term goals for the year as for me this is realistic without becoming overwhelming.
Tip: Pick out what comes from your heart or warms your soul and don’t be afraid to take a road less travelled.
Step 2: Write each goal down as a visual destination. E.g. at the end of a path, at the end of a country road, at the end of a ladder, at the top of a mountain. Whatever you feel depicts the journey for you. Make sure that when you are writing down your goals that you add in the why? E.g. Start a new hobby that I enjoy because it will bring me happiness, introduce me to new people, feel a sense of belonging in my community.
Tip: Display your visual goals in a place that you can access to help you stay motivated.
Step 3: For each goal write down or type the steps that you need to do or put in place to achieve this goal. These can be placed along your path/ road/ ladder/ mountain — or whatever you choose as your visual. For example starting a new hobby that I enjoy: the steps to achieve this could be:
- Research into new hobbies in my local area
- Redesign my monthly budget to allocate money for my new hobby
- Work on my self esteem and confidence to be able to try out new things in new places
- Try a different hobby per week to see what I enjoy and brings me happiness
Tip: Be prepared to do things that feel out of your comfort zone, and remember that it may make take some time to obtain your dream but taking active steps will be closer to making it happen.
Step 4: Write down or type how you are going to celebrate or reward yourself when you achieve each step and goal. I would suggest rewards that are not based on money or overindulging. We live in the age of consumerism where it breeds the idea that we have more freedom in choosing what we want and a desire to have our needs met instantly through purchasing and spending. Reward yourself with experiences such as taking a walk to the beach, having a long bath in candlelight and catching up with a friend, for example. These experiences will positively impact your health and wellbeing which will be more fulfilling and support your ambitions and desires more long term. It is important to experience gratification for your goals, however the power of delayed gratification will teach you skills of self control, willpower and patience but still providing you with a sense of gratitude for the journey you have taken and your achievements.
Step 5: Make a schedule and decide on the time frames in order to progress along the road to your goal destinations.
Tip: You can add in time frames, dates to achieve your steps towards your goals, however be realistic with these and prepared that your journey may change so be willing to adapt and take a different route if you need to.
Put into practice what you have set yourself. Goals change and so it is more important to be present, keep your eyes open to the world around you and enjoy the journey. People have a lot to learn from one another so connect with people and listen to their stories. At this stage your focus is on your health and happiness, if what you are doing does not support you with this, it is time to stop and make some changes to your goals.
Alongside your schedule identify time for yourself to stop and reflect on your goals and progress. Be prepared to change your goals or go in a different direction. It is important to reflect and ask yourself questions such as: How have you managed to carry on? How have you managed to prevent things from becoming worse? These questions allow you to stop and reflect on your resilience and determination.
Use scaling questions help you to assess your situation, track your progress or evaluate how you or others may rate you on a scale of 1–10. This can be used in many ways e.g. motivation, hopefulness, confidence and progress that has been made. E.g. on a scale of 1–10 where are you in your motivation to achieve your goal? If the answer is 3 this allows you to look into it further of what a 3 looks like and then ask further questions. For example, what makes it a 3? What would a 4 look like and what would need to happen or take place to make it a 4?
“If you are on a journey in life that does not bring joy and happiness then life isn’t going to be the life you deserve.”
Celebrating is a priority. Whether you celebrate on your own or with others you need to celebrate and reward yourself with those things you identified in your plan.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Good luck for 2017! Stay tuned as we will be showcasing others achieving their goals for 2017.