By Stephenie Craig, LCSW
Journey Bravely moved cross-country to Florida and we are pinching ourselves daily when we see the ocean! We started dreaming 2 years ago about moving to a sunnier, ocean-side community. We realized in our coaching and counseling work we were encouraging people to Journey Bravely and needed to take some brave steps in our own journey to a new home. We were excited, scared, hopeful, doubtful, and motivated for change. We determined a 2-3 year timeline and just over 2 years later, we have landed and moved into our permanent home in Santa Rosa Beach.
How are you supposed to get from dreaming to realizing your dream? First, explore how comfortable you are with dreaming in general. Consider these questions to get your dreamer working. What do you want to be true in your life? When you come to the end of life, what will you regret having not done? What relationships and experiences bring you the most joy? What contribution can you bring to the world that brings you excitement? When you think of a daily reality that feels meaningful, what does that look like? In addition, try dream related reading and podcasts to improve your dream flow.
Second, create a vision board using pictures and words to represent future priorities and dreams for your vocation, family, finances, travel, character development, generosity, etc. Place your board visibly and spend time daily focusing on dreams and action steps to make it happen. Vision boards are flexible over time as you experience personal growth.
Third, it’s time to break down your dream into manageable parts. Once you choose a focus, set goals and action steps. If the goal is moving in two years, what are the practical steps you must take? For us that included vocational change, selling our house, talking with our kids, and finding Florida housing. Sometimes dreaming is easy and action steps feel overwhelming or boring. However, people who write down goals regularly are 42% more likely to achieve them. This is where you gather your grit and do one thing at a time and gradually progress toward your dream.
Fourth, it’s time to make friends with healthy risk. Most people who realize dreams learn to navigate some calculated risk. Being risk aversive people, the big step for us was listing our well-loved house. We waffled for several months, sought wise counsel, faced our fears, and eventually listed the house without solid jobs. Twelve days after listing, the house sold causing momentum resulting in our dream being realized 3 months later. It was very uncomfortable moving without clear jobs, but had we not done so, we would not have been here when my husband’s current job was posted specifically for someone living in the area.
Fifth, when you realize a dream, savor personal growth and celebrate the outcome. Dreaming, opening your life to change, and taking action steps is work that results in transformational change in your faith, your relationships, and how you see and understand yourself. Slow down, take note of your change, carrying your new perspective forward into life. Celebrating acknowledges your faith, your work, and all of those that were part of your journey to the realized dream.
We are regular people who were scared our dream would never happen. We decided it would be our responsibility if we found ourselves 10 years down the road having never taken decisive action to reach the dream. Our process has left us certain that the work and risk were worth the reward and foresee this realized dream being the first of many to come.
The brave journey to realizing a dream is beautiful, hard, risky, transforming, and life-changing. Once you have experienced it, you know you can do it again. What are your dreams? What is holding you back from pursuing them?
Stephenie Craig is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in practice for over 16 years providing counseling to those ages 11 and up for issues like stress, anxiety, depression, life transition, divorce, boundaries, managing emotions, and healthy coping. She recently moved cross country with her husband, Todd, and their three sons 14, 11, and 7 to make a home in sunny Santa Rosa Beach. Stephenie loves to support individuals, families, and the community in being emotionally, physically, and spiritually well. Connect with Stephenie at her Santa Rosa Beach private practice, Journey Bravely, at journeybravely.com.