Most people cherish dreams that they never realise. They might talk about their dreams, but never get further than that…

…to turn your dreams into reality, you need to begin by turning them into goals.

[box type=”bio”]The main barriers that stops us reaching out for dreams include: a fear of failure, of getting it wrong, of losing, or of putting ourselves and our loved ones at risk. Imagine for a moment that you lived in a world where nothing that you tried to do could go wrong. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Write down FOUR of your most cherished dreams.
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When defining your dreams, try not to restrict your thinking. You don’t need to worry about practicalities at this point – what would you do if anything you chose to do was possible?

Dream with a purpose. If your first thought is ‘I’d win the lottery’ think beyond that. Coaches sometimes call this ‘lottery fever’ – we assume that if only we had a huge amount of money all of our problems would be solved. Many people waste their whole lives waiting for the big chance that never comes. The reality is that money can solve very few problems, unless they are financial – what it can do is give you the means to achieve your other dreams. However, there is always more than one way of achieving a dream. We can create our own ‘chances’.

[box type=”bio”]If winning the lottery is one of your dreams, take a few moments to jot down your thoughts on the following questions ‘What would winning the lottery allow you to do that you cannot do now?’ ‘What is it about having money that you would most value?’
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Once you have your list of dreams, think about how you might turn them into reality. Dreams may seem like pie in the sky but almost every dream is achievable if you plan properly and are willing to put in the time and work required to make it a reality.

[box type=”bio”]Write down your most cherished or important dream. It may be very far from where you are at the moment. Now think about how you could achieve this dream. Remember to break it down into small, achievable steps. Turn your dream into clear goals. We’ll look in more depth at how to do this in later articles.[/box]

Although some of the people around you will be supportive of the changes you are trying to make in your life, others will not be. We all know friends or loved ones who seem determined to discourage us, or otherwise sap our enthusiasm and confidence. Some coaches call these people ‘energy-drainers’. Once you recognise this as a problem – which in itself may be difficult if the energy-drainer is a close relative, partner or much-trusted friend – there are several ways you can tackle it. Often, reassuring the friend or relative concerned that change will bring benefits for everyone and will not damage your relationship with them is enough. Sometimes, however, you may decide that the only way to tackle the problem is to spend less time with the energy- drainer. Instead, you begin spending more time with people who are supportive and encouraging.

Sara

Sara was seriously overweight and her dream was to lose 8 stone. There were other problems in her life, but Sara connected most of them to her weight – rightly or wrongly. She had tried every diet and class known, but still the weight refused to shift; in fact recently she had put on another few pounds. Sara arrived in the coaching room at her wit’s end. She was 43 years old and had been overweight all her life. As a result she now had serious health problems, and she felt that she had missed out on much that life had to offer:

“When the children were young I couldn’t run around with them or play games like so many other parents did. There are so many things I wanted to do, but I’ve always put it off ‘until after I lost weight’. Now I’m frightened it’s too late.”

The coach helped Sara to assess all areas of her life (health, diet, environment, relationships, money and work). Between them they began to work out where Sara’s strengths lay, and where her problems were. The coach helped Sara to see that many of her problems were not directly related to her weight, but could be addressed independently of it. Sara began to see that there were many things in her life that she was grateful for, and things that she could and did enjoy right now – she began to consciously make the most of each day. The coach also helped Sara to begin planning to achieve some of her other long-held ambitions, irrespective of her weight. Some of these ambitions were small, and included shopping for nice clothes in an expensive department store, others were quite big, and included applying for promotion at work.

Sara went shopping for her new clothes with the support of a good friend. She was convinced that the shop assistants would laugh at her. What she found was that the assistant treated her just like any other customer, and was able to show her a gorgeous range of clothes especially designed for larger women. With this small change Sara began to see herself in a new light. She realised she could dress as she wanted to, and look and feel attractive in her own eyes, at the weight she was at currently. She still wanted to lose weight, but suddenly it wasn’t so much of a barrier as it had been.

This had a knock-on effect in her relationship with her husband. Because Sara felt more positive about herself, she finally began to believe her husband when he told her that he loved her irrespective of her size and had always found her attractive. Their relationship became stronger and more loving as a result.

Sara also applied for and was awarded a promotion at work. Her boss had been trying to encourage her to do this for some time, but she had always held back. It was another thing she would do ‘when I lose weight’.

With all the changes Sara was making in her life, she hardly noticed that the weight had started to fall away.

Note that what really changed here was the way Sara saw herself. Our belief system – the beliefs we have about ourselves and the way the world works – affect every aspect of our life.