This probably seems insanely obvious. Dreams don’t just come into fruition out of nowhere.
But it wasn’t until I started journaling every day that it became clear to me there was a disconnect between my big dreams and my daily life. The act of connecting with myself each day made this absurdly obvious.
The funny thing is, if you don’t make an effort in some way to check in with yourself, to generate awareness around your dreams and the way you are living your life, it’s easy to go months or years without realising this.
I’ve never had trouble with the dreaming side of things – that has always come naturally to me. I’m a romantic, a day dreamer, an optimist, and an ever-hopeful creative with a big heart. I’m forever dreaming up projects, plans, changes; ideal homes, days, lives.
I dream of travelling to distant lands, I dream of creating abundantly and helping others to do the same, I dream of living a sustainable life where I can live off the land and support myself. I dream of having books published, touring and inspiring thousands, leaving a mark on the world and making it a little better.
And the thing about journaling each day is that I found myself clarifying exactly what I wanted and when I wanted it. I drilled down to the bedrock of my deepest values and hopes. Suddenly, going about my ‘normal’ daily life, right after writing about the life I really longed to live, seemed absurd. Getting up to go to the same job each day to pay bills for a life I didn’t love almost became comical.
And that’s when I began to realise that unless I made conscious choices, each and every day, to take action, to step past my current life and into the life I wanted, nothing would change.
So what did I do? I started blogging and sharing my creative journey in order to connect with other creatives and develop a base from which to build an online business. I went from full-time to part-time work in order to have less stress and more mental, emotional and creative breathing room. I began the crazy process of building a tiny house with my partner. We purchased some land and moved a little further out of town so we could start to live a lifestyle more in alignment with our values.
In other words, I actually took steps to change my life. As long as I keep journaling I will maintain the awareness required to make sure my life is in alignment with my dreams.
Set aside a little time when you won’t be bothered or disturbed. On an empty spread in your journal, make a giantbrainstorm (or list, or whatever method you prefer) of all the things you want. It doesn’t matter how big or small they are. You may want to visit every country in the world, or you may want to get a new piece of furniture for your home. You may want to be in better shape, or you may want to meet new people. Whatever it is, get it all out. Write until you fully run out of ideas.
Now, on another page, answer the following questions:
- What are you doing each day to make one/some of/all of these dreams a reality?
- What are you not doing to make them happen?
- What is one small thing you could do today to take you one step closer to one of these dreams?
Write out this quote from Picasso and put it somewhere prominent:
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
Try this: remember Venn diagrams from school? On a new spread in your journal, draw two big overlapping circles that take up most of the pages (see image in the link above). In one circle, write all the things you dream of for your life and yourself. In the other circle, write about the way your life actually looks/is. In the overlap between the two circles, identify areas where you are already taking steps towards, or actually living the life you want.
Note: this post was originally part of a series of 30 life lessons and journal prompts for my 30th birthday. You can access the rest of the lessons and prompts here.