“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!” – Goethe
So…..I am sitting here at my desk, a couple of days after the Cotswold 24 hour race. I am itching to enter another ultra and I will but for the moment I wanted to document how you turn a dream into a reality.
You see, one of the questions I have been asked most in the last couple of days is:
“How on earth do you do it?”
I see running ultra races just the same as any other part of my life…. it is the destination on a map that needs GPS.
It is that simple.
When I was out there on Saturday, trying desperately hard not to be sick (again). I thought a lot about goal setting.
When I set big audacious goals, ones that scare me a little and I put the right action steps in place….they happen.
I don’t buy into the whole social media inspirational stuff that doesn’t require any action to be taken.
Without action, we don’t get anywhere. It is one of the reasons the book The Secret bothers me so much. Just visualising stuff isn’t enough for it to magically appear.
Those that tell you it’s enough to do that, aren’t telling you the whole truth.
Since the racing weekend, I have had a few requests from people asking me to help them get to a goal race. This is exactly what I do with every goal that I have. It works for me every time and it can work for you too, with some action.
This isn’t just for runners either… you can apply these steps to anything that your heart desires!
How to go from dream to result in 7 steps:
Find the ‘why’
I cannot begin to tell you how important this first step is.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen and take your big dream and write it in capitals in the centre of the page.
Then with arrows pointing away from it, write down all the ‘whys’ of why you want it to happen.
Once you have all of your whys written down – take a look at them. If any of them are to please someone else then circle in red.
Let’s take finding a partner as an example:
- To have someone to share memories with.
- To have children with.
- To keep my feet warm on winters nights.
- To have sex with.
- To share problems and triumphs with.
- To split household costs with.
- To travel the world with.
- To please my parents…. (this would be a red circle).
I like to find at least 5 reasons why (preferably 10). The reason I want you to circle the ones that please other people is that they are not enough to make the next action steps stick.
The WHY is what will get you out there and be taking action on your dream.
Pick a deadline
This is important in whichever category your dream falls into. Personally, I like goals that take me less than 6 months to complete. Any longer and I start getting twitchy. These dreams can form a larger set further down the line but for your first dream to reality task, pick something that takes less than 6 months.
Find someone who has already done it
This has always been an important step for me.
In the ultra running world, I have dozens of examples of people who have done what I want to do. A few them are friends of mine now so I am surrounded by example and inspiration.
If it is a job goal, seek out someone who has the job that you dream about and use them as your muse.
Write down some key facts about them that you believe make them successful in that role (these will become some of your action steps in your 15-minute activity).
I will use a real life example of someone who could be a muse for a ‘dream career’ exercise:
Linda (name changed!)
Linda is head of marketing for an international events company. Here are some of her facts:
- Educated to degree level.
- Volunteers for a charity helping with social media.
- Goes to a London networking event, once a month.
- Spends 10 minutes every morning connection with people on LinkedIn.
- She guest blogs for a few key online sites.
- Her Instagram account isn’t full of puppies and food, she uses it as her ideas board.
I could go on…..
This will give you a really good idea of how Linda got to where she wanted to be – she used a roadmap of actions to get her from junior in a small marketing role to a six figure salary simply by changing how she approached her goal.
Work out an ‘if X then Y strategy’
I like to be a little stoical about my big dream, I always look at worse case scenarios!
It is always advisable in this process, to come up with an ‘if the shit hits the fan’ set of rules!
Let me explain….
Let’s take someone who wants to complete the London to Brighton Cycle Challenge.
Here would be part of my X then Y list:
- IF I injure myself in training THEN I will find another non-injury site exercise to do until better.
- IF the weather is terrible one day and stops me cycling outside THEN I will go and take a spinning class.
- IF I get a puncture THEN I will learn how to fix it myself or call a mobile puncture service.
Get these jotted down before you start – my list was about 20 long for my ultra training!
Find something meaningful and put it at stake
It’s no coincidence that companies like DietBet work really well for people in pursuit of weight loss.
The idea is that you put money into a fund with other people and get a pay out if you stick to your goal. Some companies have a ‘biggest loser’ pool so you win a prize if you smash your goal.Financial motivators work
Financial motivators do work well for people – there is a nutritionist that I know who gets her clients to put $1,000 into her account and if they succeed in their goal, they get it back, if they don’t then it gets split between 5 charities….. no one wants to lose $1,000…..
My biggest motivator personally, is accountability. If I have made it public on social media that I am going for a goal, then not reaching it would really disappoint me.
Spend at least 15 minutes a day in pursuit of your dream
This is where the magic happens.
Now depending on your goal, 15 minutes probably isn’t enough (especially if it is sporty).
But 15 minutes really is a magical amount of time – it is achievable for everyone.
Let’s say your dream was to write and self-publish a book then my advice would be to set your alarm 15 minutes earlier every day and after you have made a cup of coffee you sit down at your computer, set a timer and write for 15 minutes.
Or, if you had a dream of being able to complete 50 press-ups without stopping you could spend the time with a quick warm-up and every day add one extra press-up.
You get the idea.
Track Track Track it!
Tracking = end result.
Our brains love quick wins and in pursuit of your dream, the more little wins you have along the journey, the better.
Celebrate those wins. Don’t be British and self-deprecating about it! Buy that new sports top when you have dropped a dress size, buy a smart jacket to go to interviews with.
You NEED to measure your success and celebrate it.
So let me hear your goals, let me help you reach them. I love picking apart the GPS signals required to get you there.
I love the journals from Daily Greatness and highly recommend them.
Fear says “No you can’t”.
Determination says “Yes you can”.
Results say “I told you so”.
I will be holding a ‘Dream Big’ talk at YogaFit Ibiza in October. I would love to see you there, come with your big idea and let’s see how quickly we can get you there.
To get booked in use my Discount Code YOGAFITBRIDGET