&ou can do anything you set your mind to, right? We’ve been told that from a young age, but as we get older the reality sinks in. We’re reminded to follow our dreams, but only if they’re smart or realistic. How do things like your gender, race, location, or your looks affect your dreams? Are they attainable?

Well, I say screw SMART goals. Here are my three tips for narrowing down your dreams and bringing them to life.

Dreams are never just dreams, they are reality waiting to happen.

Sarah Burton

Three steps to dreaming big

Step 1: Picture it

Sit down and picture what you want. The first step in attaining your goals is to define what they are. What does your dream look like? Dive deep and focus on what you want, not what you think you can achieve or what your family wants. Don’t rush this step, it takes time to truly define what your dream is. Once you have a clear picture, you can move onto step two.

Step 2: Plan it

Dreams don’t become a reality overnight (unless you’ve won the lottery) so you need to put a plan into place. Start by looking at that dream and work backward. Let’s say your dream is to buy a house on the ocean, you need a down payment. How much do you need to save from every pay to get you there? How long will it take? What will you sacrifice to achieve it faster?

Or maybe your dream is to run a marathon. How many weeks do you want to train? What does your training plan look like? Do you have a goal time? When will you schedule your runs? Will you join a running group?

Dive deep into your plans. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but plan as much as you can to prepare for any obstacles on this new journey.

Step 3: Action it

It’s not easy to achieve your dreams. If it was, you’d already been exactly where you want to be. It will take blood, sweat and a lot of tears—but it will be worth it. Picture yourself overlooking that view or crossing that finish line. How does it feel? Keep pushing for your dreams because there are no limits to what you can achieve with hard work and a strong plan.

More Inspiration: You might also enjoy this great article on 4 tips to have a positive day.

Author: Jessica Clerke is a writer and the digital editor for HUM@Nmedia the parent brand of Optimyz Magazine and is based in Nova Scotia.

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