Dare to Dream: Turn your small steps into an actionable list

Most people don’t do this

Most people don’t do this: they don’t turn their dreams into actionable steps, because they want to keep them as, well, dreams – out there somewhere, unobtainable, undefined. Perhaps we’re frightened that if we work out the actual steps it would take, we won’t have the dream any more, it will be come rather mundane. That won’t happen if you truly want the ‘dream’ – in fact it’s a good test. If the actual steps put you off, you probably don’t want that dream after all!

 What’s the most important step you could take?

What’s the most important thing you could do, for each of the dreams left on your list, that will make the most difference? Find ways to do those things first, breaking them down into small steps as you see fit.

How do you do?

How do you keep your to do list? In a shareable list on Evernote, on the back of an envelope, in your diary, in a quick note on your phone, in a complicated spreadsheet, in your head? All of those are possible, but for this next part of the review process, you really need to write or type out the actions, simply so you’ll know if you’ve done them or not. Adding them to your diary might be the best way to do it, as long as you’re specific, so write “Phone Ned and order posters at 1pm” rather than “Ned” or “posters”.

Actionable and measurable

Now take the first few steps from each goal, and turn them into actionable measurable items that you can put on your to do list. Again, check in with yourself: do I still want this dream? Create a to do list with space for notes, and add in a deadline for each of your small steps.

Working it out by taking small steps

Now, you’re not going to be able to achieve all of your dreams in one year. So once you’ve taken small steps towards all of the dreams on your ‘dare to dream’ list, you’re going to need to choose to focus on one of the dreams on your list. The point of taking small steps towards all of them is so that you work out – through doing – which you’re longing to do the most. So say you want to build your own house, travel round the world, write a novel and learn to play the guitar. Your small steps might be: pick up a book on house building from the library, look into the price of round the world tickets, sign up for a half-day Creative Writing class, make a list of guitar teachers in my area. Once you’ve done those, you decide the most viable one is learning the guitar, so you phone the people on your list! See how it works?


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