“Dreams don’t come true, plans come true.” Larry Winget
I’ve been a planner and action-taker all my life, and what I know about planning is it’s how everything good happens. There are some basic steps to achieving any goal; the desire, the plan and the action. Here’s how to go about creating a badass plan for anything you want in life and how to make those dreams come true.
“Well, I can’t because…”
I can already hear your excuses. Just stop. Right there is the main reason nothing happens for you; you think it won’t or can’t.
How about thinking, believing and doing something different for a change? Stop sabotaging your own desires and dreams and wake up into the possibility of something better; something way better.
I’m blessed to have been born a planner, doer and shaker.
“Cool for you, but what about me, I was born a procrastinator!” You might be saying.
Listen, right there is the magical key out of a lifetime of thinking and doing a certain way that hasn’t gotten you anywhere. How about telling yourself something better? Like, “Everything I desire is within my reach. It’s only a matter of making a plan and taking the action to get there.”
Now that your mind is where it needs to be to get on this fast-moving journey of badassery, let’s talk about your plan. Here are six steps to creating a plan or strategy that’s a dream-maker!
1. You must know what you want
2. Your why must be big enough.
3. Your goals and steps must be written down.
4. Your action steps must be scheduled.
5. You have to protect that time.
6. You have to check your excuses, complaints and fear at the door
The best and most bad-assiest way to go about this would be to grab your notebook and journal right now. Here are the exercises to prime the pump for your plan and start making your dreams come true.
Exercise 1: Know What You Want
So what’s the goal? What do you want? Interestingly enough many people get stuck at this first step, not really knowing fully what they want in life, or their business. It’s okay to be in that space of not knowing, but it’s time to ask yourself, “What if you did know?”
If you know your goal or dream:
I want you to grab your notebook and write it down in as much detail as possible. Let me see, touch, taste, hear and smell your dream. Take as much time as you need to write all the details down. Be specific and give yourself permission to feel every bit of the excitement, hope, enthusiasm, gratitude and love you feel while you’re writing, as if you already were experiencing it coming true.
If you don’t know what you want:
Chances are one of the reasons you don’t know is because you’ve been living a life based on what you think you want; what everyone else has been telling you you should want. We grow up watching our parents, family, friends, teachers and coaches doing their life a certain way. We think we know what will make us happy because others seem to be showing us that or telling us that.
In reality we never really check in with ourselves about this until it’s too late and we’re married with a house, two kids, a dog, a job and a life. A life we thought we wanted until we realized it was making us exhausted and resentful.
So the good news is it’s never too late to listen to your soul and start aligning with it. Here’s an exercise to help you.
Take a few deep breaths, clear your mind and relax into your body. Set a timer for five minutes and answer the question: What do you love to do so much you lose track of time?
Here’s one more to try. Set a timer for five minutes and answer the question: If there were nobody left to offend, upset or disappoint I would _____.
See what comes and then revisit your goals. Remember, this can be a small starter goal. It doesn’t have to be huge and scary. Make it totally doable.
Exercise 2: The Why
Now I’d like you to think about why you want to do what you want to do. The why has to be filled with a big-enough purpose, passion and enthusiasm to be self-sustaining when shit gets real.
Take a few deep breaths, clear your mind and relax into your body. Set a timer for five minutes and fill in the blank: I want to do this because _____.
If you’re not turned on, excited, or a little “too much” over your own goal, guess what, it will never happen. You’ll fizzle out. You won’t have enough motivation or drive to keep going when things suck. So make sure you want this. Like, bad.
Do not censor your why. Give yourself permission to be fully selfish. It’s your why, for goodness sakes. Your why should be something that helps you feel great joy, pleasure, love or gratitude.
If your why is centered around someone else feeling a certain way, that’s a surefire way to sabotage your goals and plans.
Your why should be so big it makes you cry a little.
Exercise 2: The Mission and Goals
When a goal has a big why and a mission statement behind it, it’s more likely to have the stamina it needs to survive. You can come back to your mission statement often, as a little reminder about what you’re doing. Make sure to include some of the “why” in there too.
Here’s an example of mine:
My mission at Brave Healer Productions is to help healers cure burnout, overcome their fear, and write, speak and share the words that will heal them and the world. I aim to help 100,000 healers build their businesses, and leave the legacy they were born for by showing them how to write and deliver their messages in a powerful way while keeping them nourished and serving from an overflow. I built this company so that I can live in a way that allows me to generously take care of myself, my clients and the people I love.
I think of my mission when I’m writing blogs, copy for my website, or my books. It inspires me to stay on track and remember why I’m doing what I’m doing.
Grab your notebook again and at the top of a clean page write the words “My Mission.” Take a few deep breaths, clear your mind and relax into your body. Begin writing the mission statement for your goal or dream. Fill in the blank: My mission for _____ is _____.
Exercise 3: Write Everything Down
Hopefully you’ve been writing, and not just reading. If you’ve been reading and not writing anything so far, stop and go get a piece of paper. Better yet, go get yourself a really sparkly, pretty, inspiring notebook that is dedicated to your dreams and goals. Those things have an energy. And that energy fuels your dreams.
Go right now. Come back when you’ve got one!
Writing it all down makes it real. You’re moving the hopes, wishes, dreams, goals and then action steps out of your head and onto paper. Writing is one of the important action steps. If you think you’ll remember everything you’re fooling yourself. Don’t skip this. The other reason to write is because as inspired ideas move through, you’ll be ready to catch them.
Hopefully by now you have a few goals or dreams written down. And you have your why and mission statement, at least a first draft of those things, written down. Don’t worry about committing on paper. You can always change your mind, adjust and refine later. Don’t let your perfectionism paralyze you right now. Getting something down is the key.
Now it’s time to write down the action steps. So for each desire, dream or goal that you’ve described in detail I now want you to create a separate entry for each and begin to write down the small, medium or large action steps that you’ll need to take to get you there.
Let’s start with this exercise: Set a timer for five minutes. Take a few breaths, clear your mind and relax into your body. Answer this question: What are some of the action steps I need to take to get me where I want to go?
Think in terms of who you need to meet, what you need to research, what you need to create, who you need to talk or send an email to, what you need to learn…etc.
Exercise 4: Schedule Your Action
Similar to writing it down, if it’s not on your calendar, it’s not real. And here’s where your why comes back into play. You must want this. Bad. If you’re not feeling the motivation to start scheduling your steps, your why isn’t big enough. If it’s fear getting in your way, that’s okay. I still want you to put the steps on your calendar and then go read your why and mission statement again. Exercise 6 will have some fear-busting tips for you.
Get out your calendar and start scheduling in the actions you want to take. That’s it. Go. Do. It.
Exercise 5: Protect What’s Scheduled
If your dream matters enough you’ll do what you said you’d do. Protecting the time you’ve scheduled on your calendar is about feeling the doubt, fear and uncertainty and doing it anyway. It’s about prioritizing you and your dream.
It’s about giving yourself permission to put you first.
Practice this kind of integrity. Write it down, schedule it and keep your appointments. Be the kind of person you want to be. Be the kind of person you want to know. Creating a discipline of doing what you say you want to do is going to be a game-changing action step.
And if you’re struggling, go back to your big why. Read it again and if you’re not feeling it, revise.
Exercise 6: Stop Making Excuses and Complaints
You’re going to be reaching out of your comfort zone to make your dreams come true. You can expect the excuses, complaints, doubt, fear, uncertainty and all kinds of other ugly monsters to rear their heads now.
Don’t buy into it. Be a master of your thoughts.
Recognize your triggers and your old patterns and habits, especially the ones getting in the way of your goals, dreams and desires.
Excuses, complaints and fear will keep you mediocre, boring and stuck.
Making new goals and dreams come true will require new ways of thinking, believing and acting. Breaking old habits will be difficult some days. You might feel like it’s impossible. And right in the middle of all that resistance is exactly where you need to be and where you can make the biggest changes in your life.
With awareness you have the choice to think, believe and act in ways that align with your dreams. Choose your own dreams consistently, without apology and with more positive, purpose-driven enthusiasm than you ever have before, and watch with a smile as they all start to come true.
If you’re looking for a community of badass, visionary action-takers who are making the world a better place by writing, speaking and sharing words that heal, please find us ready to embrace your awesomeness in the Brave Healers Mastermind and Refuge on Facebook.
Laura Di Franco, MPT won’t let you settle for a mediocre life. Your health, wealth and happiness is one Brave Healing book, poem, workshop, strategy session or moment away. With almost three decades of expertise in holistic physical therapy, six books and a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Laura’s energy and method are contagious and unlike anything you’re experienced. She’s the owner of Brave Healer Productions at www.BraveHealer.com