How to plan sufficiently and pursue your dreams

Everyone has dreams, but many of us see them as not realistic. Like a very high mountaintop, they seem unreachable – only the very strong and brave ones can climb the Mount Everest. What if I tell you that that isn’t true? Everyone can climb that mountaintop, only it’s not possible to do it in one day. You will need preparation, training, belief in yourself and a lot of motivation. It might take you days or years, but it’s definitely possible.

So if you want to work on making your dreams become reality, start planning! Get your notebook ready and take the following steps:

What is your dream?

Ask yourself the following question: ‘What would I do if I couldn’t fail?’ I came across this question and it’s eye-opening how we often don’t see our real dreams as an option.

So, write down your real dream. Think big and, but also consider the details. For example, ´I am going to have a very successful business´ is an amazing goal, but it’s unclear and this makes it difficult to make it a reality. Instead, if you want to start a business, think about what you want to sell, to whom and where etc.

If you can’t choose a fixed goal, you can start with a brainstorm and from there choose a goal for this month and then for the next month etc. It is also possible to choose to work on several goals at the same time and plan in how much time you will spend on this goal every day or week. I recommend you to not choose more than 3 goals, because you’ll risk doing everything half and not succeeding.

Turn ideas into action

Maybe your dream seems very big and unreachable, but what if you dedicate 1 hour a day or a few hours a week to that dream for one year? The chances of realizing your dream are getting bigger and bigger. Therefore, try to move forward each week, doing small tasks that lead you to your goal. To set up your business or get that job, what do you have to do in three months, in one month and a week? Divide your big goal into manageable smaller goals.

Which actions do you have to take each consistently to get closer to your goal? Break them down into small steps that are achievable in for example one hour. Find your rhythm and decide whether you want to spend an hour a day on your goals, maybe two evenings a week or one whole day a week. Write down a checkmark in your agenda just after you finish your tasks. This way you can track your progress. If spending an hour is difficult at the beginning, promise to do 15 minutes every time and write down your checkmark. These small wins keep you motivated.

Evaluate

Don’t forget to evaluate your progress and keep on planning. Every Sunday night you can evaluate how the week has gone and decide which steps you want to take next week. You can use a diary, an agenda or a planner, but make sure to be organised. Also, sometimes things don’t go as expected and maybe you won’t succeed immediately. Be grateful for everything that comes on your path and see your journey as a chance to learn a lot. Every obstacle you overcome gives you more experience and makes you stronger.

Keep in mind that everyone has bad days. Don’t beat yourself up when you didn’t reach your goal for that week. Do try to stay motivated and think about why you want to make your dream reality. Whatever happens, keep on working on pursuing your dream. The world needs your talents and knowledge!

When life gives you lemons…

Less than a year ago moving to Spain and following my dreams sounded like an illusion or at least a crazy idea that would not work out as planned. Even though I managed to overcome my fear and move away, I must say that things, in fact, didn’t work out as planned. There were some difficulties along the way. But was the struggle worth it? (Spoiler: yes, it was!)

My first struggle was that I didn’t find a full-time job because I wasn’t registered here, but when you don’t have a job you can’t register. Very logical, right? So, this vicious circle registration process got on my nerves. Eventually, with a little help from a lawyer, I finally got things done.

Before I left, I imagined finding a “real” job within a few weeks, what a deception! However, life turned out more rose coloured than I expected because my part-time teaching makes me happy. Seeing little kids interested in the beautiful language English is, is priceless. With extra time on my hands, I decided to study a master in Emotional Intelligence and NLP.  I didn’t plan to start studying again, but now I am kind of grateful that finding a full-time job didn’t work out. My master relates to sociology and comes in handy while teaching. I even do my master in Spanish to improve my language skills and in the hope to get rid of my silly accent.

The second struggle that came on my path was that I didn’t feel at home in Barcelona. I missed the flat green Dutch landscape, stamppot (a Dutch dish that many foreigners find terrible), and above all, my family. Before I left, I imagined I would feel at home immediately while eating paella and getting a nice tan. Unfortunately, this had been a lie. Even though Spain is beautiful and the weather is a gift from the gods, for me it turned out to be difficult to leave my homeland. I felt very “unrooted”, while I also loved being in Spain and wanted to stay here. After 7 months I finally feel that Barcelona is my home. My second home, because I will always be a Dutch girl.

Despite my fears, things turned out better than I ever imagined. I still can’t believe that I really moved to another country and I am curious what the future might bring. I bet it’s beyond what I can imagine.

Lastly, I will give you my recipe for good luck. When life gives you lemons, make ceviche. For those of you who don’t know yet, this is a raw fish dish with a lot of lemon juice, fresh onions, coriander and many other things. You will love it!

Are there any fellow wanderers who want to share their experiences about getting used to another country and learning a new language? I am curious about your stories, so leave a reaction below!