How to
go after your dreams

This column is about striving to achieve those big dreams for our lives, which can seem unobtainable when we have kids, mortgages and greater responsibilities.

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”

— Christopher Reeve

We all have dreams for our lives. My dreams involve a happy life doing what I love (writing), living where I love (the beach) and feeding my wanderlust with my family. What are yours?

But having dreams isn't enough. Sometimes, it can seem like too much -- to raise a family and feed your inner needs -- but going after your dreams and feeding that inner passion is so important. To do that, you have to go for it. Reach for the stars, as my kid's favorite cartoon movie character says. Here's how you can start going after yours.


Articulate it

The first step in going after your dreams is to put it into written words. This makes it tangible and real. Don’t worry if it takes a few tries to translate that mental image into a clear, written life goal. Just keep at it. Once you’ve articulated your dream, you have a clear picture of what you are aiming for. When I did this, it took days of writing and rewriting to find the right words for my dream.



Books, websites and classes offer tremendous insight into whatever you want to do. Be like a sieve, and suck in as much knowledge and tips as you can. For instance, if you want to be a writer, read constantly -- everything from books and blogs about being a writer to articles, books and more about any subjects you are interested in. Get inspired by how others communicate their thoughts.


Start doing

Don’t wait for that big, fantasy job to come calling. Start doing whatever it is that you want for your life now -- even if it’s in a small way. Want to be a chef? Cook at home, get a restaurant job, cater -- whatever, just start doing it. Then go after that culinary school dream, too.


Don’t settle

As we make small strides toward our dreams, it can be tempting to pause and accept it as good enough. But you can make your dreams happen, so appreciate those small wins but keep striving for bigger, better things. You will get there.


Be positive

Little known fact: My first real job was working at the Center for Positive Thinking, a division of Guideposts devoted to Norman Vincent Peale’s vision that powerful thinking is a positive driving force. I cleaned the building, and truth be told, thought the whole concept was hogwash.

Learn about five benefits of positive thinking >>

I was wrong. There is so much power in believing in yourself and your dreams. Don't let negativity drag you down. Instead, think positively and see how it opens doors and creates new possibilites.

More on Chasing the Dream

Chasing the Dream: What is a dream?
Chasing the Dream: Using your intuition to achieve your dreams
Chasing the Dream: An interview with author Debbie Koenig


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