Say you’re sitting at a table with your four closest friends. Each one of you makes a New Year’s resolution—to lose weight, spend less, travel more … etc. But guess how many of you will keep that resolution?
According to research, just ONE of you will keep the resolution. Ouch. So what’s the catch? How can we actually get the things we say we so strongly desire? At HG, we teach that it all starts with dreaming.
As a teenager I used to dream that I would be a person who could save a family. Even though I had no love of camping, no experience and no skills (and I was 15!), I had a vision of myself taking families on camping trips and helping the members resolve their relationships with each other.
I marvel at that dream now for two reasons. First, how did I get the gall? I think kids usually have permission to dream, so they do. What a shame we generally lose the habit. Secondly, wildly enough, as a coach I kind of ended up doing a version of exactly that dream. But thankfully for my adult sensibilities and schedule, I’m not in the woods.
Fact is, in our culture, as you “grow up,” you are almost supposed to let your dreams die—certainly after the first onslaught of rude awakenings, insults and disappointments. You are supposed to get “realistic.” Luckily, here at the Handel Group, we are ushering in a new culture, one in which dreaming for your life not only feels good, but uplifts humanity by improving the consciousness in which we all swim. The world needs dreamers!
So, in the spirit of wild, life-altering dreaming, I am going to share the tips we’ve learned from years of coaching countless people to dream again.
1) Write It Down
The act of writing down your dreams is the first step to making them happen. Writing is a powerful way to think, plan and cause change in your life. If you write your dreams in the way we suggest, reading them will evoke a visceral response. Getting yourself into the “feeling state” of your desires is key to your ability to manifest them. Writing helps you consciously craft. You have to face it all when you write it down and you will easily see what fits and doesn’t, what feels great to read and what doesn’t. If you take your time, the writing itself will be a heart-exercise and a spiritual journey that your soul has been dying to take. Writing it out will get you a lot more present, a lot more emotional and a lot more “on the hook.” Goodie!
2) Take Out the Negatives
Most clients begin dreaming from a point of what they don’t want. This is probably because it’s easier for us as humans to understand change from the perspective of what already exists. We can’t help being tethered mentally to the past and the present circumstances, but help it, we must. Writing dreams is a purely creative endeavor, so you must suspend disbelief for a little while so you can design a future based on your ideals, not on “what you expect” or “what you don’t want.”
“I no longer hate looking in the mirror.” vs. “When I walk by the mirror, I think ‘WOW’ and feel full of pride.”
“I finally pay down my debt.” vs. “I enjoy paying my bills on time and I have extra money leftover!”
“I stop picking jerks.” vs. “I am in love with my soulmate.”
3) Take Out the Hidden Jabs and Sarcasm
Your real, true, heartfelt dream has no room for jabs at others or yourself. Most people unintentionally weave in these little buggers which end up zapping the power right out of their dreams. Read through your dream, and if you feel your good vibrations dip at a certain line, you may have snuck in sarcasm or a jab.
“My mom and I can finally be in the same room.” vs. “My mom and I treasure our time together.”
“I make zillions of dollars.” vs. “I am compensated abundantly for my work and my feelings of value start with me.”
4) Make It Real
Most of us will go from one extreme to the other; when we aren’t jabbing, we’re going to “pie in the sky.” Your dream has to be believable, real and uniquely you. Remove any clichés, because they distance you from the feeling of your dream by being “fluff.” You want to force yourself to think about and write what you actually mean, like:
“I feel like a million bucks” vs. “I am awake and alive.”
“I look like a supermodel” vs. “My body is trim and lean.”
“She is the absolute love of my life” vs. “I am so grateful for her.”
Then check for extremes and replace them with something truer, like these:
“I’m always present with my kids” vs. “I am present with my kids.”
“I have the perfect schedule” vs. “I adore making and sticking to my schedule.”
“I never scream” vs. “peaceful interactions are the norm in my life.”
5) Write It in the “NOW”
Write your dream only in the present tense language modeled above. As you can probably already tell, this exercise is about getting you to focus on being the person who could fulfill this dream. Writing it in the present tense will have you feel it right now, making it easier to relate to and draw into your life.
Sidenote: writing your dreams in the present tense will also force you to face your disbelief and negative voices. It’s important to face and transform these too, because if left unattended, they will undermine you from the inside out (very dangerous).
Don’t be afraid to dream big! A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. @HGLifeCoaching (Click to Tweet!)
P.S. Ready to dream BIG? Download our How To Write a Dream coaching tool and you’ll walk away with a clear, inspired dream—the first step en route to radical change.
Laurie Gerber is a Senior Coach and Co-President of Handel Group® Life Coaching. For over 15 years, Laurie has led international events and private coaching courses. She has appeared on MTV’s True Life, A&E’s The Marriage Test, Dr. Phil and TODAY.