Advertising
Advertising

How to Make Your Dreams Come True

How to Make Your Dreams Come True

This year I’ve achieved many of my dreams.

Not goals…dreams.

These are the big things that I’ve wanted to do but didn’t think I could or should.

Of the dreams achieved or will be achieved soon this year, here are some highlights:

I started the Embrace Possibility blog.

I wrote my first book.

And …

I’m leaving next month for a trip around the world that includes an expedition cruise to Antarctica.

Advertising

If you asked me a few years ago whether I would have fulfilled just one of these dreams, I would have responded:

“Maybe if I win the lottery.”

Well, I didn’t win the lottery (it’s partially my fault since I don’t play very much).

So what does all this have to do with you?

Well, if you’ve read this far, I can bet it’s not because you’re interested in me.

So let me give you what you came for:

If you want to achieve your dreams, here is what you should do…

Choose a dream

The first thing you need is a dream.

Advertising

It sounds obvious but many people struggle with this.

It is tempting to pick the perfect dream and this need for perfection can paralyze you.

What you want to remember is that this is not a one time deal. You’ll have many dreams and there is no reason why you can’t fulfill most if not all of them.

My advice to you is to just choose one and make that decision now.

Commit to your dream

Now that you’ve chosen your dream, it’s time for you to commit.

The only way to commit is by taking action towards your dream every day.

So what action do you take?

I don’t know but there is someone out there who does. Whatever dream you may have, chances are there is someone out there who has already done it. Your next step after choosing a dream is to find those people who have already done what you want to do and ask them how they do it.

Advertising

The Internet has made this much easier and if you are not a people person, there is a book or internet article out there covering exactly what you want to do (I’m serious, do a search).

Once you’ve learned how to make dreams come true, use that information to create your step-by-step plan. Start with your monthly milestones then your weekly deliverables and then finally breaking those down into your daily tasks.

Follow your dream

Now is the exciting part.

Just begin working your plan.

Everyday no matter what you do, make time to do the daily tasks that’ll bring your closer to your dream.

That’s how I did it and it works.

It’s not going to be easy so make sure you don’t make any of these mistakes.

Celebrate

When you achieve your dream, it is rewarding.

Advertising

Very rewarding.

Take time to enjoy that moment and to appreciate yourself.

This will give you more confidence to go for your next dream. Usually I find, dreams get bigger and bigger as you begin to achieve them.

Life is much better when you wake up everyday and all you’re doing is going for your dreams.

What are you waiting for?

Featured photo credit:  Young man sitting on a wooden floor and using a laptop with hot-air ballon via Shutterstock

More by this author

Robert Chen

Executive Coach

10 Greatest Success Tips in Both Life and Business The Downside of Being an Expert What You Can Do Every Night To Make A More Productive Tomorrow 13 Lessons Life Has Taught Me Top 3 Reasons Why You Choke Under Pressure

Trending in Productivity

1 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works) 2 15 Highly Successful People Who Failed On Their Way To Success 3 14 Powerful Leadership Traits That All Great Leaders Have 4 Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony 5 40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2019 Updated)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on June 18, 2019

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

Advertising

From Making Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

Advertising

The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

Advertising

But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

Advertising

Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More About Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

Read Next