If you want 2018 to be the year you make your dreams come true, first you gotta have some dreams.
If you could design your life exactly how you want, what might the blueprint look like? (Do you even know what you want?)
I didn’t either. As 2017 threatened to dump me, I faced ’18 without one single resolution for the coming year. (Reminder: My title is Chief Empowerment Officer…for an experience engine that equips people to live boldly and better. Sh*t.)
I’ve been afraid to commit to anything, because dreaming big means setting big goals, and setting big goals means risking not hitting them (aka failure. Ew.) In the warped imagination that I pair with fear, I recall that pit-in-my-stomach feeling of failure with as even worse than the feeling of being lost.
Like many of the women I talk to at camp, this year I’ve been confused about how exactly I want my re-ignited life to look.
But then I dug into myself. I shut out the noise around me. I stopped keeping myself busy with distractions (even though sometimes those distractions were really FUN), and I started to tap into all I’ve learned from Campowerment (from Experts, from Campers, from Campower Rangers…from the very-excellent company I am blessed to keep.)
I took last weekend, the axis of old and new, to start dreaming and headed to the beach to try and create some kind of vision for my future. I tried to imagine what my life could look like if NO was not an option; if fear was quieter in my mind than chutzpah; if I had the guts today that I found five years ago when I risked a whole lot to found Campowerment.
In the dreaming, I realized my trouble isn’t in the way I do things or see things, it’s in the way I think of myself when I get nervous or worried; it’s how I talk to myself about myself in the dark. I found a resolution that fit: to finally let go of and replace the negative labels I’ve attached to myself: perfectionist, past my prime, workaholic, addicted to the concept of never enough.
If you’re as frustrated as I am by the way you see or talk to yourself, maybe this year you really can be ready to shut down those nasty voices in your head, once and for all.
Start thinking about what you really want for yourself. Not the things you always told yourself you want. The real stuff.
Ditch the idea of who you were supposed to be by now; what you thought you wanted. Clear space so you can fill it with who you actually want to be now; what you think you want in this time and place.
To begin my own process, I took some deep breaths and began to dream without boundaries. I didn’t make any judgements on my dreams, or attempt to justify them or make them realistic. I wasted no time worrying about how I would make that life a reality. I focused only on what that life looks like, smells like, feels like…and if it seemed to be a fit for my happiest self…if it seemed like it would make my soul sing, now, today, in 2018.
When I was done with that dreaming part, I had a new mission! I hurried home to put my thoughts out into the world. I’m a visual processor, so I broke out some magazines and started clipping out pictures and words that called to me. I was back to the drawing board, to create a new vision board like the one I made pre-Campowerment.
Back then, it was 2011 and I was working as a TV Producer and dreaming about creating a camp for women to live life bigger. I spent my entire July 4th weekend cutting out pictures: of ladies jumping into a lake, and beautiful images of nature. I adorned my Vision board with yoga poses and dollar signs, and sayings about taking a leap of faith and throwing caution to the wind. Every day as I got ready for work, I studied every inch of that Vision Board, and imagined that one day my life could really look like that. Two years later, it did. Through sheer will, and KNOWING exactly what I wanted my life to look like, I made my dream happen.
I haven’t made a vision board since.
(Why oh why do we ever think life- and self-work…that dreaming…is one and done?! When this sh*t works to feed our soul, we should keep doing it. After it’s full it gets hungry again!)
This time, the content I chose for my vision board surprised me.The exercise, which took all weekend, left me feeling inspired to share my daring plunge forward with others, and encourage them to take a leap with me. So I invited a few friends over last night to create their own visions for 2018. I dared them to dream big, and now I dare you, too.
Love the beach or the Rockies or Rome and wanna spend more time there next year? Want to do more business in the wine country or spend romantic nights around the fireplace (that you don’t have) with someone special? Want your life to be a little more colorful? A tad sexier? Don’t worry yet about how you’re going to make that happen; just picture what it’s going to look like and find pictures and words to illustrate to match. Glue the images onto a poster board or a mirror, or in my case, this arrow I found at Michael’s.
This arrow is pointing me forward, reminding me everyday to make the things on it become my new reality.
Point being? Even if you’ve made a Vision Board in the past, it’s probably time to do a new one. And this time, maybe cut out a red dress and consider wearing that color again, even if it’s been years, because it’s time to change things up a bit.
Start dreaming. Now. There’s no telling where your imagination might take you.