Upton: Mapping out your dreams

Upton: Mapping out your dreams

January 19th, 2012 by Tabi Upton in Life Entertainment

One of the best ways to achieve something in life is to make it plain by writing it down.

Depicting what you want in concrete ways empowers the mind to begin the process of achieving your goals and desires.

For example, say you want to one day purchase a house. A simple way to keep your idea alive is to find a picture of the kind of house you may want to purchase and post it where you can see it and visualize it easily.

You may want to write an affirmative statement over it that says, "One day I will buy my dream house."

There's something amazingly powerful about the visual expression of ideas. Sculptured art on a city street loudly proclaims beauty and transformation. Billboards often inform and shake up one's thoughts. And your own dreams portrayed openly make them appear less far-fetched in your own mind and more attainable overall.

Mind mapping is an interesting way to visually stimulate creativity that helps generate more ideas and come up with solutions to challenges. You begin with a question or dilemma that you write in the middle of a piece of paper.

Let's say your dilemma is attending college with no money. You write the question, "How can I go to school when I don't have money for tuition?"

After you've written this on paper, circle it, draw lines out from this beginning point. Try to brainstorm a possible solution to attached to each line or branch, such as scholarships, a savings plan, a small business, fund-raising.

For each of these possibilities, branch out even more. For example, you may want to write out some easy side businesses one could perform around other obligations, such as selling snacks or drinks in the park on weekends. This is a powerful way to begin the process of goal-setting.

Imagination is the key to activity and progress in our lives. But we can remain in the clouds forever if we don't somehow tame those wild ideas and cage them in the form of fun goals and action steps. And if we don't depict them literally, it may be hard to stay focused on them.

An ehow article explains how to write out what are called S.M.A.R.T. goals. These are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-framed. Specific goals outline what one wants in clear and concise language.

To be measurable, it must be quantifiable. Say you want to write more. Your goal may state, "I want to write for 15 minutes every morning for the next year." Attainable goals are things that are humanly possible, though they may seem daunting at first. Relevant goals fit in with your responsibilities, your skills set, and your lifestyle. Giving a time-frame may be a specific time of day to perform the goal, or the amount of time in life you want to dedicate toward this goal.

Lastly, creating a dream board can enhance the excitement and anticipation one feels about living out one's passions and dreams. You begin by cutting out stimulating images of what you want out of life from magazines or pamphlets, or even from your own catalog of photos. Colors, inspiring words, and even artsy symbols help add to their impact. You can arrange these on poster board in a collage-style presentation, and mount it on a wall where you can view it regularly. The joy of what you've already created can set an atmosphere that keeps you motivated to see the rest come to fruition.

Tabi Upton, MA-lpc, is a local counselor, free-lance writer, and speaker. Email her at tabiupton@bellsouth.net.