What Does it Mean to Project Your Dream?
Now that we’ve discussed identifying your doubter (Step #5), choosing your beliefs (Step #6), and the power of personal practices (Step #7), you’re ready to create a Dream Project that will make your dream a reality. This is such an important step. Often, big dreams or long-term dreams die when they are just jotted down on a to-do list. Dreams must be broken down into smaller, manageable projects. I recommend projects that can easily be accomplished in one month or less. Why? One month is a short enough period of time for you to stay passionate and excited about it, but a long enough period of time for you to produce a substantial result. Results are a must in order to stay motivated.
To start, write your big dream out in as much detail as possible. Dream University ® Certified Dream Coach ® clients will remember that process from Dream Coach ® Step #4: Access Your Dreamer. After you’ve gotten a good description of your dream, break it down into projects that you can accomplish in a month’s time. Choose your first project and break that one down further into strategies, action steps, and other smaller tasks. People will often say, “Wait a minute, you don’t get to strategy and action steps until session number eight?” Well, let me make it very clear. This process is not a linear process. At any given time, it may be helpful to go back and work again on doubts or revisit integrity or deepen our beliefs. But more importantly than that, if we get to the strategy too soon, we’ll compromise our dream down to what we realistically think is possible rather than seeing beyond our limitations.
I want you to have clarity about your dream (the C step), then do the work from Dream Coach ® Step #6: Believe in Yourself. Then, move into A – action. You’ll be taking some action steps consistently towards your dreams—little baby steps—but every time you can break the dream down into a project, the likelihood for success is much increased. That’s what I want to invite you to do. I want you to create a short-term project out of your dream that is something that you can easily accomplish within a month.
The criteria for the project is as follows. Number one, it must move you forward on your dream. Number two, it needs to be something you’re passionate about. Number three, it needs to be specific and measurable. Number four, it needs to be something that you can easily accomplish in a month. Even if the project is doable within one week or one day, that will be progress toward the overall goal. If you’re really motivated, you can create a simple action step. It could be writing an email, making a phone call, signing up for a course, or sharing your dream with a friend. Do something to demonstrate that you’re serious about your dream.
Creating Dream Projects
If the dream never gets turned into strategy, then it will remain a fantasy. But if you go to strategy too soon, you may wind up just squelching the passion and compromising it. This delicate balance needs to be considered when organizing your dream process. Some action steps can be taken on a regular basis, but I want you to open to the big dream before you really start figuring out all the details of how to make it happen. It’s really critical, as this is your moment of truth. Demonstrate that you’re more committed to your dream than to any doubt, fear, or reality by taking action and using your new fundamental belief as support.
Just think, “Wow, if I really did believe in myself, what would I do? Where would I go? What changes would I make?”
Some projects are easy; you merely have to schedule them into your calendar. Others are complicated, and require a well thought out plan to get there. Remember, a project has to be specific, but it can deal with any aspect of your life. Don’t make the mistake of thinking projects only apply to your professional life. For instance, if your dream is to travel the world, your first project might be to plan to go on a vacation this year. That certainly moves you forward on your dream and, therefore, will ignite your passion. To set that project in motion, you can set yourself a measurable, specific goal of choosing a travel destination and booking the trip within one month.
If your dream is to spend more time with your family, then you might create a project to renegotiate your work hours with your team at the office, handing over some specific responsibilities and empowering others so that you can work from home one day a week or reduce your hours. This puts you in action toward the dream you are passionate about, it has clear and measurable results, and it’s achievable within one month.
There isn’t one way of organizing your projects, however. Some dreams will require only one project, while others might include multiple projects. Perhaps your dream is to build a business based on your purpose. In that case, you’ll have to create numerous projects—a project to write a business plan, another project to transition out of your former job, and another project to find a business partner or a venture capital firm that’s interested in funding your dream. Each of these projects is a definable goal that moves you toward your dream and each can be accomplished within one month.
Streamline Your Strategy
Once you know what your first project will be, all you have to do is figure out how you’re going to make it happen! There are multiple ways of completing any project or achieving any end result. To make your project part of your reality, you will need strategies and steps to guide you toward your dream.
Some of us are great dreamers that are just a little lacking in the strategy department. Others of us are brilliant strategists, but need a little practice dreaming. I think we should pump up both muscles, both sides of our brain. Let’s dream and imagine and be practical and strategic. Let’s dream and make our dreams come true.
A strategy is the approach or plan you will use to actually achieve your dream. Tactics are the specific step-by-step items that will help you accomplish your strategy. Sometimes, when an entire project is put on a “to do” list, the project is actually composed of four or five separate tactics. When those separate tasks aren’t listed individually, the project might never happen. As a matter of fact, the number one way a big or long-term dream dies is when we put it on a “to do” list as one unmanageable item. It must be broken down into small, manageable steps that can actually be accomplished and scheduled, or we’ll probably never attain the dream.
Project Your Dream Exercise
Meditate or sit in silence for 15 to 30 minutes and consider one of the big dreams that you’ve been sitting on but not taking any action towards. Now, come up with a small project that will definitely move you in a direction towards that dream. Next, break the project down into action steps and write them all out in your journal, or you can even use the section at the end of this workbook. Finally, using your new empowering beliefs and habits, take action on the project that is in service to that dream.