Top Three Secrets to Making Your Dreams Come True

Follow these three simple steps to make your dreams a reality.

People who know me know that once I commit to a goal, I accomplish it. I often hear “I wish I could do what you do,” whether it’s a career change, a body makeover, or planning to travel the world for a year. “How do you do it?” they ask. In this post, I’m going to share my top three secrets for accomplishing what I set out to achieve.

Europe trip June 08 135

Avebury, England, 2008. Way before I lost 25 pounds.

First, let me brag a little on some of the things I’ve achieved that seemed impossible at first:

  • After a 28-year career as a hairstylist, I graduated with honors at the age of 44 with a BS in chemistry. 
  • While I was in my first year of graduate school and living on a student income, I quit school and bought a brick-and-mortar business, building and all.
  • When I  lost said business after seven years because of the economic crash, I had to file for bankruptcy. Talk about starting over! My life was a blank slate at the age of 53, which sounds fun, but it’s not. After taking a year off (living on unemployment), I decided to become an editor, having no idea what that even really meant. And in just three years, I have an editing business that provides exactly what I want: the freedom to take my work on the road and travel for a year.

Before I go any further, I want you to think about something you really want to do, something that seems impossible. Now ask yourself what is stopping you. It’s probably the usual: family commitments, job, not enough money, not the right time, I’m too old, I’m too young, I’m too tired, and on and on.

While all of the reasons you have for not doing what you truly want to do are real, I am here to tell you that you can remove virtually all obstacles when you really, really want something. But removing obstacles is another post. Here I want to share with you my top three secrets for reaching my goals:

1. Decide you’re doing it. Just. Decide

     Yep, for everything I’ve ever accomplished, I started by simply deciding that I was going to do it. I think this is the number one most overlooked and underrated step in achieving your goals. Once you decide, you’re on your way. (Commitment is built in to decision, by the way.) When I decided to become an editor, I had NO IDEA what to do. But because I had decided, I took the steps to research what it takes to become an editor. I also spoke to people who were already doing what I wanted to do. And I did that. Now, with my decision to travel the world for a year, I’m connecting with people who are already doing it. They are so willing to share how they’re doing it that I’m a little overwhelmed with the information I’m collecting! 

2. Visualize yourself doing it.

   That’s right, start vividly imagining yourself actually DOING what you want to do. What is the weather like? What are you wearing? What are you eating? Who is around you? Where are you? What do you hear? When I decided to become an editor, I pictured myself taking my laptop to coffee houses, parks, anywhere I could be outdoors sitting in the sun. I hadn’t realized then that I was also visualizing working while traveling. Now, as I prepare to travel around the world, I visualize myself in shorts and a t-shirt listening to the sparkly splash of a nearby waterfall as I feel the spray from the water tickling my face. I’m eating goat meat off of a banana-leaf plate. You get the idea. Visualize as clearly as you can exactly what you desire.

3. Take the first step, no matter how small.

   What is one tiny thing you need to do to make your dream come true? When I decided to edit, I offered my services for free everywhere I saw the opportunity. I had no idea what I was doing, but that wasn’t going to stop me. I started telling everyone I was an editor long before I could actually claim to have the skills. I had decided, I was visualizing, and I was taking action. For my RTW journey, I immediately socked away the little bit of cash I had on hand. It wasn’t “extra” cash, either, but my bills were paid, and I had some money to set aside. I also immediately cut out discretionary spending. No more daily coffee out, no more new lipstick or going to the movies for now. It is far more important to me to set aside that money for my travels. I also started contacting people I knew who lived in various countries around the world, and asked others for their connections. I started an Evernote notebook. (Geez, I love that app.)

So, whatever your resolutions are for 2015, take just one thing you really, really want to do. And if you really, really desire that, try taking these three secrets to heart. And maybe, just maybe, you will find yourself joining up with me in Indonesia or New Zealand or Croatia or . . . 

Happy New Year! Make at least ONE of your dreams come true in 2015!

Oh, and please follow my blog and leave a comment. I really appreciate it!


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. theycallhertammi
    Dec 30, 2014 @ 12:34:47

    I love this. My one thing is to become a party/event planner. I love throwing parties but came up with every excuse why its impossible. Your blog made me realize that it isnt. Happy new year!!

  2. Jessica Vineyard
    Dec 30, 2014 @ 12:37:39

    Gosh, thank you! I am thrilled to be able to inspire you. Life is just to short to keep wishing you had done something. Go for it, girl!

  3. Alaya
    Dec 30, 2014 @ 20:12:57

    Great to share the journey with you Jessica. Much love to you ~ Alaya

  4. Carol Browning
    Dec 30, 2014 @ 21:35:36

    Your determination and “no excuses” show a rare courage. I wish to become an author who inspires people-likely with poems, essays (many blogs already), and the bigger project-a memoir about being a BirthMother. I want to uncover my playful self-dance, sing and celebrate more; here I need to get specific with my visualizing. I want to continue unloading clutter so I can more easily move when the opportunity comes, hopefully in the spring of 2015; this will entail having a circle of friends to give me a hand & share the dream this is possible. I need to again, be as specific as possible, so these dreams become true first in my imagination! There is more, but you have certainly inspired me to open up my heart and move beyond the fears! Thank you! Carol

  5. Jessica Vineyard
    Dec 31, 2014 @ 01:39:56

    Carol, thank you for your kind words! It sounds like you’re on the right track. After you know what you’re going for, DECIDE to do it. It gets easier from there. Best of luck to you!

  6. Jessica Vineyard
    Dec 31, 2014 @ 01:40:45

    Thank you, Alaya. I love having people along with me as I walk through every aspect of my life!

  7. Trackback: Top Five Reasons for Traveling Around the World | Around the World, Paleo Style
  8. Trackback: Am I Crazy? What Have I Done? | Around the World, Paleo Style
  9. Annette
    Jan 28, 2015 @ 16:49:25

    Hi Jessica,
    well done on the new Paleo book, very cool.
    I just wanted to let you know how inspiring it was for me to read your blog just before the new year. With that in mind I decided on New Year’s Day to go to New Zealand yet again after an eighteen year absence. My husband had just returned from Cameroon and so was reluctant to commit to leaving his job again. I dropped a few hints that week and then I found good flight deals, then it was all go. Turns out Joes skills as an Arborist are on the ‘ most wanted ‘ list as far a skilled migrants are concerned so we leave in two weeks to scope it out with a long range view of spending our summers here and our winters in NZ ……but one step at a time, first we must get our US citizenship by the end of summer then apply for the Skilled Migrant Visa to get into NZ.
    Once the decision was made the ball just started rolling.
    Thank you for your inspiration.
    Be well


  10. Jessica Vineyard
    Jan 28, 2015 @ 16:52:56

    Hi Annette! Thanks so much for your comment. I’m thrilled to think I inspired you to move closer to your dream. And what a wonderful dream it is. All the best to you, my friend. Maybe we’ll catch up in NZ!!

  11. bustrainboatwalk
    Sep 22, 2015 @ 22:42:39

    So glad I’ve been doing exactly what you’ve suggested here. My first step came only about 10-15 years after the initial ‘bug’ to do the things I’m about to do in the very near future. That was about a year ago. My first step was tiny, but hello, without a passport, where could I really go? So passport in hand, I’ve made traveling outside Canada a real thing. That was only the small step before my BIG PLAN. JAPAN. (yes, that rhymed). I won’t say ‘I can’t.’ Any. More. 🙂

  12. Jessica Vineyard
    Sep 22, 2015 @ 22:58:23

    Excellent! And congratulations on moving up close and snuggling your dream. Love it!

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