What if making ANY dream come true was as simple as completing 5 easy steps? Want to make enough money working from home as a writer? Want to travel the world? Marry John Stamos? I'm willing to be any of those things are possible if you stick to my totally un/scientific fool-proof 5 step action plan.
1. Commit 100% to your dream, and announce it to others. Decide on a dream and commit to it. Don't half-ass this. You know how many lives you have? ONE. You know how quickly it will go by? SUPER FAST. So, whatever the dream is that motivates you to drag yourself out of bed in the morning and endure the tedious 9-to-5 rat race commit to it 100%. Then, tell every single person you know about it. That way you'll feel extra obligated to follow through on it so you don't look like a quitter. When I decided to run my first marathon one of the hardest things (aside from 4:30 a.m. wake-ups) was posting on facebook that I had decided to run it.
2. Find someone who is living your dream and copy them. I want to make enough money off of writing online that I can support myself. In order to do this I follow other bloggers who make a living off of their online work and I copy them. I look at their layouts, what types of ads they have on their blog, what their post topics are on that get the most comments, and I incorporate that into my own work. If you dream of quitting your job to travel the world for a year then start reading travel bloggers who have done the same (I love Adventurous Kate.)
3. Make small, manageable goals. SMART goals are popular in the fitness realm but they can be applied to any goal you have. You can't just say "I want to make a living off of my blog" as that is way to general. You need to be super specific, and make an action plan full of small steps that will get you there. So, if my end goal is to make $3000 a month off my blog, I could first aim to bring in $1000 a month average for 3 months, and brainstorm as many things I can do to get me there (freelance more, guest blog on other sites, etc.) Once I reach that goal I'll set a new one. See, easy peasy. (Why are peas so sleezy anyway?)
4. Find a way to stay motivated. This may be the hardest part for most people. It certainly is for me. I can get super enthusiastic about an idea. I'm going to become a famous writer! I'll work 16 hour days from home to make that happen. I has all the possibilities! Once the initial adrenaline high leaves it can be a struggle to keep motivated through the monotony of every day life. When your feeling 'meh' about your dream create a vision board to keep near your work place. Read a book on the dream your working toward. Connect with others working toward the same goals (this one was HUGE for me at Fitbloggin last month.)
5. Think of all the excuses you will come up with to fail, and plan on how to beat them. As a teacher for almost a decade now I looooove excuses. No, really, I almost have to hide a smile when a student comes up to me with one because 99.9% of the time they are totally avoidable or manageable if the EFFORT to do so is there. I'm not saying it will always be easy, because it won't, but most of the shit life throws at you can be handled if you are willing to work through it. Whatever your default excuses are (no time/money/energy) think of ways that you can manage them and make an action plan.
What gives me the right to give any of this advice? Well, when anyone asks me what I do I tell them I have the greatest job/s in the whole wide world. I get to talk to people about ridiculously interesting/awesome topics (my teaching gigs) and I get paid to live and write (my blog and freelance work.) I've got some huge goals I'm still working toward, but I've already had quite a few of my dreams come true. At 22 I was a college drop-out, morbidely obese, chain smoker, binge drinker, and super pathetic person. At 30, I've been teaching college courses for 7 years, I'm a 2x marathoner, I make enough money writing from home to pay my rent, and I have the worlds greatest cat and a wicked cute boyfriend.
I'm NOT special. I just work hard. I'm stubborn, and like L'oreal told me - I'm worth it.
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What what you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
What dream have you had already come true?