Donna Price, President
Compass Rose Consulting, LLC
Copyright © 2005, Donna Price

How do you create a dream? What are your dreams? Spend a few minutes, right now, writing them down. Of course, don’t edit your thoughts, just ask –what are my dreams? And start writing down the thoughts that come immediately to you. Make a list.

I’m a dreamer. I got it from my Dad. Several years ago I looked at my life and wondered – how did I get here? It felt like it had all just happened and I had watched and participated but I hadn’t necessarily been in the driver’s seat. I took some time to figure out what type of career I wanted. At the time I was a mid-level manager in a non-profit organization serving people with disabilities. It was work I had been doing since I was 14 years old. I explored my desires and dreams through experiential adventure. First, I participated in a 72 day leadership course with Outward Bound. At the top of an 80 foot rappel I sat terrified behind dark sunglasses, wondering – how did you get yourself in this mess? And the reality was I had signed up for the course and each step was a challenge and accomplishment.

After finishing the Outward Bound course I returned to my non-profit job and continued to explore my destination. My work in residential programs with people with disabilities had been filled with creating life plans and program plans for the people we served. We looked at some key things:

  1. What is your dream?
  2. What are the resources you have available to accomplish/achieve your dream?
  3. What resources do we need to create to support you in achieving your dream?
  4. What are the steps you need to take in order to move closer to your goal?
  5. When will you know you have succeeded? What will it look like, feel like, and sound like?

Through this process we created all sorts of new and innovative living arrangements, jobs, community supported goals for people.

I did much the same thing. I found a long lost passion for cycling and joined a bike club and started riding. I hadn’t really ridden a bicycle in 15 years. I could barely ride 20 miles and didn’t know how to fix a flat tire. As I started riding I joined a bike club. Soon, I was telling people that I was riding across the country – “next year”. Within a couple of months I had completed a bicycle tour leadership training, had a national organization to sponsor the tour and was planning the route with an advisory committee overseeing the plan.

In creating the Peace Tour I had to keep working each step over and over to create the overall plan. And I ended up with a great tour route. One year later, I was biking across the country with a very small group and I loved it. I love the feel of my bike with packs on it and the feel of the open road. A bicycle with everything I needed, right on it, a true recreational vehicle.

Can we create the life we want? Can we take a vision or a dream and make it happen? Definitely. It is what is done in large corporations all the time. It is the clarity of vision and of purpose that provides a clear path or direction for the people within an organization. As individuals, we too, have vision and can develop a plan for making it happen. Setting a step by step plan has a better chance at success than does just having a passing or recurring day dream. For me, cycling cross country happened because I made it happen. I took it step by step. Ask yourself; what are the pieces that make this dream happen? What do I need to put in place to create it?

Take it one step at a time. First, write your dream or vision down. Write in great detail, as if it is happening right now or picture yourself in the vision. How does it feel, how does it smell? What are the sounds you hear? What do you see? What are you doing? How has it changed your life? Write the details including all the feelings that being in your vision creates.

Step 2: What are the resources that you already have that can help make the vision a reality? Money, materials, supplies, time, property, frequent flier miles, friends, colleagues, and/or acquaintances? List them all.

Step 3: What resources or supports do you need to achieve your vision/dream/goal? List everything that could help you in succeeding. This is not the place to write in winning the lottery. Each item needs to be realistic. Things that seem out of reach are okay because these are often reachable, with determination and a plan.

Step 4: What steps do you need to take to achieve your vision/dream/goal? What are the steps? Break the vision down into the steps that need to happen. These often have a chronological order, but also may have steps that have to keep happening over and over. The steps can become the smaller goals you work towards, so make them small and easy to achieve.

Step 5: When will you know you have succeeded? What will it look like, feel like, and sound like? This might be similar to your vision that you developed earlier but it is an important step as it helps you to measure your success. You can develop a measure for each step of the way and then check it off when you complete it. Or buy stars and give yourself a star for success for each step along the way. I have used stars for years with staff working with me. People think it sounds silly, but we all got a charge from them when we saw them on our paper in elementary school. As adults, we go right back to those feelings when we get one as adults. It makes the process a game. The check marks or stars become reinforcing for you as you succeed. They build enthusiasm and energy for success and they keep you moving forward.

I recommend once you are clear on your plan that you also tell people about it. Share your excitement and enthusiasm with others. They can be your resources and perhaps resources you didn’t realize existed. Talking about your plan helps to move it forward. When I started telling members of the bike club I rode with that I was cycling across the country they started helping me train. They made sure I was out riding and riding far. They helped me ride hard and fast and prepare for the Rocky Mountains. Share the plan.

The last step is to do it!

Being a dreamer is great when you take hold of the dream and move it into your life. Dream, create, live.

Author's Bio: 

Donna Price is a Success Coach, author of “Launching Your Dream” and “Bizology.Biz – The Science of Business Success”. As a Success Coach, Donna works with individuals and groups on personal development and success focus. To pick up your Entrepreneur’s Resource Guide go to:

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