By Stephanie Craig
Journey Bravely, our counseling practice, moved cross-country to Florida and we are pinching ourselves daily when we see the ocean! We started dreaming 2 years ago about moving to a sunnier, ocean-side community. We realized in our coaching and counseling work we were encouraging people to “journey bravely” and needed to take some brave steps on our own. We were excited, scared, hopeful, doubtful, but motivated for change. We determined a 2-3 year timeline and just over 2 years later, we have landed in Santa Rosa Beach.
How are you supposed to get from dreaming to realizing your dream? First, explore how comfortable you are with dreaming in general. Consider these questions to get your dreamer working. What do you want to be true in your life? When you come to the end of life, what will you regret not doing? What relationships and experiences bring you the most joy? What contribution can you bring to the world that brings you excitement? When you think of a daily reality that feels meaningful, what does that look like? In addition, try dream related reading and podcasts to improve your dream flow.
Second, create a vision board using pictures and words to represent future priorities and dreams for your vocation, family, finances, travel, character development, generosity, etc. Place your board visibly and spend time daily focusing on dreams and action steps to make it happen. Vision boards are flexible over time as you experience personal growth.
Third, it’s time to break down your dream into manageable parts. Once you choose a focus, set goals and action steps. If the goal is moving in two years, what are the practical steps you must take? For us that included vocational change, selling our house, talking with our kids, and finding Florida housing. Sometimes dreaming is easy and action steps feel overwhelming or boring. However, people who write down goals regularly are 42% more likely to achieve them. This is where you gather your grit, do one thing at a time and gradually progress toward your dream.
Fourth, it’s time to make friends with healthy risk. Most people who realize dreams learn to navigate some calculated risk. Being risky scares people, the big step for us was listing our much-loved house. We waffled for several months, sought wise counsel, faced our fears, and eventually listed the house without having solid jobs. Twelve days after we listed, the house sold which resulted in our dream being realized 3 months later. It was very uncomfortable moving without jobs in our future, but had we not done so, we would not have been here when my husband’s current job was posted specifically for someone living in the area.
Fifth, when you realize a dream, savor the personal growth and celebrate the outcome. Dreaming, opening your life to change, and taking action steps is work that results in transformational change in your faith, your relationships, and how you see and understand yourself. Slow down, take note of your change, and carry your new perspective forward in life. Celebrating acknowledges your faith, your work, and all of those who were part of your journey.
We are regular people who were afraid our dream would never happen. We decided it would be our responsibility if we found ourselves 10 years down the road having never taken decisive action to reach our dream. Our process has left us certain that the work and risk were worth the reward and foresee this realized dream being the first of many to come.
The brave journey to realizing a dream is beautiful, difficult, risky, transforming, and life-changing. Once you have experienced it, you know you can do it again. What are your dreams? What is holding you back from pursuing them?