How to Dream & Make Change Happen

By Philippa Gillström

Our brains love new beginnings and certain dates in the year trigger us. We slow down to take a bigger picture look at our lives. We make decisions about the goals we want to work on and we put more energy into focusing on achieving them. Simply put, we get fired up and motivated to get things done. 

The beginning of a new year is one of these temporal landmarks (the term social scientists use). That’s why we have New Year’s resolutions. It’s one of the best times of the year to make firm decisions about the changes we want to make in our lives and to start working on them. Fortunately we don’t have to wait until the beginning of a calendar year to tune into our dreams and set goals for ourselves.

Best Times of the Year to make Change Happen

There are many other times of the year when we can be resolute in our intent to act. At the beginning of a week, a month, a season or quarter. Personal dates such as birthdays and anniversaries or the first day of a new job are perfect days to initiate change. The beginning of the academic year is another example. These are powerful times to envisage the life you want to lead and the person you want to be because you are more easily motivated to put these intentions into action.

For me the beginning of a school year is the natural time to launch new projects and August is the month I usually use to set myself up for success. It’s probably because I’ve worked in the education sector for over 30 years. It’s become ingrained in my body rhythm. 

August 2023 I used to plan and launch the project “The Year When Everything Changed”. I started this blog, a podcast and launched a community. Listen to or watch the story behind the launch of this project in this podcast episode

In August I looked through my “Dream Journal” and decided which ones I wanted to put into action.

These were dreams I’d had for months and even years. I then decided to make the year from September 2023 to July 2024 “The Year When Everything Changed” for my life and business.

I use a Dream Journal to capture my dreams, otherwise they either end up passing like clouds in the sky or are hidden away in the depths of my brain gathering dust. 

In order for dreams to become reality we want to be nurturing them. “Nurturing” is about having a process to capture our dreams, reviewing them regularly and deciding which ones to make real.

How to dream in 5 easy-to-do steps

Set yourself up for success with these steps so you too can nurture your dreams, aspirations and imagination.

Step 1: Exercise Your Imagination Muscle

At the core of every dream lies imagination; our ability to envision possibilities beyond the constraints of reality. Imagination is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes.

Carve out time to allow your mind to wander freely, explore new ideas, and visualise scenarios that excite you. Imagination is the place where you can break free from the limitations of practicality and let your creativity flow. 

As you grow and change, your dreams are likely to evolve. So keep dreaming throughout your life and allow them to adapt and transform as you gain new insights and experiences.

Step 2: Dare to Dream Any Which Way

Dream big and small. Dream special occasions and everyday things. Imagine things you could do yourself and things you need others to help you with. Some of your dreams you could do in a day, others may take years and even decades.

It’s not all about dreaming “big” and having audacious goals. Dream in any way you like and have fun doing it.

What goals and aspirations do you have that you hesitate to say aloud? A career change, a grand adventure, or a personal transformation perhaps? 

💡 learn to salsa dance
💡 see the Northern Lights
💡 a ride on a snow scooter
💡 a romantic weekend away
💡 swim in the pool of a waterfall
💡 exhibit your artwork in a gallery
💡 hug a Californian Redwood tree
💡 exercise regularly with a personal trainer
💡 grow 3m (10ft) high sunflowers from seed
💡 drive in a rubber-duck-yellow Lamborghini

The list is as endless and as varied as your imagination can stretch to. Dreaming is fun so whatever it is, allow yourself to envisage freely.

Step 3: Take Time for Reflection

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to neglect the introspection needed for dreaming. Make time to think and dream by actively choosing to do this over the millions of other activities you could do instead. 

Consider the number of times a day you reach for your mobile because you have a moment between tasks. Put your mobile back down and let your mind wander as thoughts and ideas come up. Give yourself this precious dreaming time.

Some of the ways you can do this:

  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Simply daydreaming
  • Go for a walk on your own, without listening to something, so your thoughts can flow

Use these pockets of time you give yourself to reflect on your desires, goals, and the kind of life you wish to lead.

Step 4: Capture Your Dreams for Future Reference

Next, you want to have ways to capture your dreams and ideas. Write them down or record yourself so you can come back to these gems regularly.

Let’s be clear, it is not about making everything you dream of into a goal or a project to be completed. It is about you becoming better at using your imagination to produce lots of ideas that you can tap into when you want to make some changes in your life.

Most people struggle to answer the question “what do you want?”. Capturing your thoughts like this is a way for you to get to know the answers that truly excite you and can help you feel you are living your life fully.

Have a Dream Journal. This can be any paper or digital notebook that you feel is the sort of space that invites you to have fun and dream freely.

I love colour and so my Dream Journal pages are covered in collage paper, paint and ink. I like to create backgrounds to write on. The process also slows me down enough so I can think through different aspects of my dream. How will it feel when I have turned this dream into reality? Who else is involved? What is happening and where?

Here are some pages from my Dream Journal to inspire you and show you that there is no right or wrong way to do this.

It doesn’t have to be neat, legible or presentable for anyone else.  It’s your Dream Journal. For you and no-one else.

Step 5: Take Action

Dreams without action remain mere fantasies.

Look at your dreams regularly so they don’t become something you regret not doing. Reviewing them gives you the chance to decide to turn them into goals and projects that you are taking intentional steps towards achieving.

Every action, no matter how small, brings you closer to realising your dreams.

Remember you don’t have to wait until the beginning of the calendar year to make change happen in your life. There are lots of great days and dates to start. And today is also a perfect day for this because you are merely a click away from starting…

Download your Dream Playbook and let your imagination flow.

Get more support in dreaming and creating your vision. Let’s be Success Partners and join me for “The Year When Everything Changed” project. This is all about making change happen and living our dream life now:
The podcast.
The blog.
The community.

By your side, Philippa

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