Toward the end of last year, just as the winter season was quickly approaching here in Minnesota, a dream sparked within me. As you may or may not know, Minnesota winters tend to last a bit longer than any human should have to endure, and I always admire the snowbirds, who now retired, get to jet off and hunker down someplace warmer, without the need to wear a parka in order to survive.
I often dream about the elusive ‘one day’ when I will be doing the same and it got me thinking, “Why do I have to wait until that ‘one day’ when…
- I retire.
- We don’t have a million activities going on.
- My kids graduate high school.
- My soul mate shows up to whisk me away on his private jet (LOL).
What if I just made the decision to allow my dream to become my reality TODAY? You may be sitting there thinking, “But Erin, do you have the money? A destination in mind? How will your kids get an education? How can you travel all over the United states by yourself with your kids? How will they handle being without friends for that long?” Those are all valid questions. Trust me when I say, I have already asked myself all of them. Society has conditioned us to worry about how we are going to do something even when our why is a much more compelling reason to take the leap of faith. I let my brain run rampant for a minute, but the decision had been made, a goal had been written, a picture added to my vision board, and I began sharing with my friends about the grand adventure my two younger kids and I would embark on in the Spring of 2021.
I honestly had no clue how I was going to make it happen or what I needed to do in order to ‘road school’ my children as we traveled around the country, but all that will work itself out in time. However, when it comes to dreaming and setting goals, there are a few things I do on a regular basis to make my dreams become a reality that I am excited to share with you.
Step 1: Let Yourself Dream and DREAM BIG
Do not let your current circumstances limit the size of your dreams or keep you from making your dreams a reality. Quite honestly, when I came up with the idea to travel in the winter and started trying to figure out how I would make this happen and how I would get there, I imagined myself either buying an RV or renting Air BNBs as we traveled around the country. My brain screamed ’Don’t do it! It is too scary to travel around the country without another adult. You have never even driven an RV. Your kids will NEVER listen to you long enough to teach them anything outside of school.” All these were simply thoughts, limiting beliefs, and a way to distract me from the truth. The truth being that I can do anything I want to do, and the only thing stopping me is myself. There are a million ways I can get there, but there is only one way I will stop myself. Letting FEAR keep me from taking action!
Step 2: Tell Someone… Heck, Tell EVERYONE
Once I dreamt up this plan to escape the Minnesota winters, the first thing I did was start sharing my dream and talking about it over and over again. I talked about it with my kids, my friends, and even some of my family. What I found was that most people were just as excited about making my dreams a reality as I was. While on a 11-hour road trip down to Missouri to visit my childhood friends in July, my kids pointed out every camper or RV they saw, because I shared my dream with them, and they were my biggest cheerleaders. I mean, why not, since they will be partaking in this new adventure with me. Their enthusiasm got me excited enough to start googling the current inventory and cost of motorhomes, but no further action had been taken beyond that once we got to Missouri. My mantra has always been, “Whatever is meant to be shall be.”
During the Missouri trip, I stopped by my best friend’s parents’ house to check in on them. As we were talking, I asked what their plans were for the rest of the summer. Rick, my friend’s dad, told me they were going to go on a camping trip for a week. I mentioned, “I can’t wait to travel around the country and camp with my kids.” This elicited a question from him that I did not expect,” Would you want a pull-behind camper or a motorhome?” I had to think quickly, and if I was going to dream, I was going to DREAM BIG! Before I knew it, he was walking me over the hill to his neighbor’s house, and I found myself sitting in the front seat of the RV they were selling. It felt so right. I had asked them how much they wanted for it, and I nearly froze as my body hummed at the words coming out of the woman’s mouth. They were asking the exact price I had written down on my 2020 goals to save for either an RV or an AirBNB trip in 2021. I knew it was meant to be and, after doing my due diligence to ensure everything checked out okay, I became the proud owner of a cute little motorhome to take on my 2021 trip with my kiddos.
Step 3: Write Your Dream Down
While it is exhilarating to talk about your dreams, it is impossible for it to become reality unless you write your dream down and start taking action. This makes it clear that it is your priority and that is how this Dream made my top 4 list for 2020. Despite the circumstances I found myself in during the year, there was nothing that could keep my dream from becoming a reality. I even created a vision board with pictures of everything I envision for my future, and you better believe a picture of my ideal road tripping spots made the top of my list. Just know that you want to be clear and specific with whatever your dream or goal is. For example, writing down that I want to take a road trip in 2021 with my kids is much different than I want to save $20,000 for an RV or Airbnb trip with my kids. You may take note that I wrote down two options for my goal (RV or AirBNB), and while my heart truly wanted the RV, my limiting beliefs were trying to tell me an AirBNB would be a safer bet. Ultimately, I knew I wanted the RV, so I really had no need to confuse the universe by writing down what I would be willing to settle for. There is no settling when it comes to your dreams. Therefore, I ended up with the RV, and I chose to not let my fear of the unknown keep me from being the captain of my own ship (or RV).
Step 4: Take Action
While it is exhilarating to talk about your dreams, it is impossible for them to become reality unless you write your dreams down and start taking action. While I talked about my dream regularly, which led me to writing it down, I did not see it come to fruition until I took action. Every step I have taken this year has been intentional and led me to watching my dream become reality. This has everything to do with the why behind my goal and ensuring that it aligns with my overarching values and vision of the future. My why is that I want my children to see and experience every state in the United States, which will allow us to spend more quality time together where we can learn and grow from one another in the process. Ultimately, allowing us to feel a deeper connection and love in this lifetime. What is your why? If you don’t have a strong enough why, it becomes really difficult to motivate yourself to take the steps necessary to save for or accomplish your goal. Sometimes the more you talk about it, the clearer it gets, so do not think you need to throw out your dream just because your why isn’t strong enough yet. Just take time to recognize and acknowledge what it is you want and how this goal or dream is going to help you realize it.
Step 5: Repeat
Once your dreams become reality, you get to do it over and over again! Doesn’t that just light you up inside? I know it does me, and it also gives me hope for the future my heart never knew it desired. It is so cool to watch my kids’ faces as these very dreams unfold in front of our eyes, and it is equally as exciting when we are driving down the road living our dreams.
If you think that you have no dreams, there’s nothing to look forward to, or you can’t jump on board with what I’m saying, because I have no clue of what you’re going through right now, I totally get it! Sometimes life gets in the way and blocks us from seeing what we want for ourselves. When I became a widow, my dreams had fizzled out in an instant. I no longer wanted to imagine living a life that did not include both of us in it. It hurt and was extremely painful to feel his absence radiating through my soul, but what I began to realize is that the things I enjoyed most with my late husband I could also enjoy by myself. It has led me to feeling more connected to him as I experience new and exciting things that I know he would be doing with me if he were still here.
Whatever may be stopping you from dreaming big or dreaming at all, it is time to step back and rediscover what lights you up inside. Who knows, maybe it will lead you one step closer to wherever it is you are headed on this journey called life. You may find yourself dreaming so big that you surprise yourself.
Erin is a Transformational Life Coach for Widows. If you are ready to take the next step on your journey click here to get started.
Hi there, I’m Erin.
Transformational Life Coach
I’m serving the widow community by connecting them to resources, life, and each other as they rediscover life after loss. When I’m not coaching, I love to travel and spend time with family and friends. If you’re ready to take the next step on your journey start here!