“Go big or go home!”
We’ve all heard it but the truth is, most of us won’t go big. We’ve forgotten how to dream big for ourselves and we don’t dream big for anyone else. We’re used to letting life happen, we’ve settled into the ‘land of good enough’ and we’ve allowed the daily drudgery to put a stop to imagining an amazing future.
We think, when I see it I’ll believe it when the truth is, when we believe it, then we’ll see it. It’ll happen when we’re willing to ‘call those things that are not as though they are.’ All vision, all accomplishment, all dreams begin with listening to the still, small voice saying, “What if….” What if you wrote that book? What if you started that company? What if you went back to school? What if you lost the weight? What if you began the ministry haunting you since high school?
We all have them. I call them ‘Holy Tugs,’ something just on the edge of possible, a worthy thing worth having but one with a price attached. The price? Time. Work. Sacrifice. Sweat.
Because a dream is just a wish if we don’t put in the work.
God will drop ‘what ifs’ in our spirit. True dreamers actually think about them and start believing maybe God has something there. “Maybe I can,” they think. And they open the door to the possible.
Ten years ago I never dreamed I’d write a book. For heaven’s sake, it never even entered my mind! But a couple years ago when God dropped a little ‘what if’ in my heart, I didn’t reason it away but found myself actually thinking about it and the more I thought about it, the more I realized He’d already written the book in my heart and life. All I had to do was dig down and pull it out. Yes it involved time and sacrifice. And missed lunches and shopping trips with friends. But God handed me a gift I hope will keep on giving and inspiring.
Maybe you want to write a book. You have a concept, maybe you went so far as to write an outline. Now what? The reality of the work involved hits you and you realize, to bring this dream to pass, you’ll have to write. Everyday. When you feel like it and when you don’t. When you’re inspired and when you don’t feel you have a single thing to say.
Or maybe you’re finally willing to do what it takes to lose the weight and achieve your dream of a size 6. You’re realizing it’s a day-in and day-out affair of daily making the right choices. It’s thrilling to step on the scale and see pounds lost. But times come when even though you’ve done everything right, you hit a plateau. Will you throw in the towel and binge on Krispy Kreme or keep going, determined to reach your goal?
Dreams are meant to be chased! We have to determine to follow hard after them, single-eyed, until we see them taking shape. And now with a new year just begun it’s time to turn today’s dream into tomorrow’s certainty!
I’ve defined ten steps to help you take your ‘what if’ to reality.
- Define your dream. Be as detailed and specific as you can. “Lose weight” is just too loose. “Lose 15 pounds by Valentines Day” is a lot more specific.
- Set Goals. Do it in writing. Research proves those with written goals are far more likely to succeed than those who don’t write them down!
- Break goals down into monthly, weekly, daily tasks.
- Do something Everyday. Take action daily to move your dream forward.
- Remove Distractions. This is hard for me! Pinterest and Instagram call my name and you can’t even believe how fast an hour has flown by! Be vigilant with social media, the internet, and other time wasters stealing your dream. Set alarms (use a kitchen timer or your phone) and stick to them.
- Overcome Inertia. Laziness is my biggest enemy. Be relentless against excuses.
- Keep Going. Even when you don’t see any progress. You’re moving forward and establishing good habits. Don’t give up!
- Refuse to listen to the nay-sayers. Lots of voices will question why and say you can’t. Show them you can and you will!
- Reward yourself for small goals attained along the way.
- Celebrate when you reach your goal!