Cathy Chester | An Empowered Spirit

Four Ways To Mentally Prepare To Make Your Dreams Come True


Dreams Wish

My husband and I grew up in suburban New Jersey.  We left for a few years to attend school, then came back, met, married and built our home. We raised our son in New Jersey and continue to live here today.

We dream of moving elsewhere, to a place that’s warm year-round. Somewhere where we can live a simple and joyful life, in a place where I’ll feel healthier from the change in weather. That change could mean a difference in my physical strength, enabling me to live a richer, fuller life.

We long to live in an area where winter means sunshine and a temperate climate. We talk about warmth whenever there’s a snowfall, or if the temperature dips below freezing.

“What are we doing here?” I’d often say to my husband. “Your whole family lives in warm weather, soaking up sunshine all year long. We must be crazy!”

We are not fancy people, so our needs are quite simple. Like any parent, we want our son to be healthy, happy and fulfilled, and we’d like the same for ourselves. Wherever we live that is all that we ask.

Alice laughed. “There was no use trying,” she said. “One can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,”said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes, I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” ~Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

Spending our leisure time enjoying the outdoors year round, without the need for sweaters, boots or heavy coats, seems surreal to us right now.

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ~J.K. Rowling 

J.K. Rowling is right. We don’t want to forget to live, and are mindful that where we are right now is where we are meant to be. But still we continue to dream.

We talk with friends and family who live in communities we’re interested in, and have met with realtors to visit some listings. We scan the Internet for information about best places to live and best places to find jobs for 50-somethings.

We talk, plan, dream, hope and wonder.

The dream seems unattainable. There are too many things holding us back. Yet life moves on.

Our story is not unique. Many people feel disillusioned with their lives; they feel wholly unfulfilled. As Baby Boomers there are circumstances that may tie us down. We begin to believe that our dreams will never come true.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

The poet Robert Browning once said,

“Each life unfulfilled, you see;
It hangs still, patchy and scrappy:
We have not sighed deep, laughed free,
Starved, feasted, despaired, –been happy..”

Yes, an unfulfilled life is at a standstill, hanging in the balance.So we must continue to visualize our dreams for our own sake – whether it’s a career change, moving to another location or planning a trip around the world.

Now that I’m in my fifties I have a strong need to try to take my first baby steps toward realizing my dreams. It may take awhile, even years, but it’s time to begin the work.

I’ve outlined four tools to help us mentally prepare to make our dreams come true.

  1. CREATE A VISION BOARD – While in my twenties and thirties, most vision boards were related to issues concerning career paths or confidence and self-esteem boosters.  My vision board will be focused on where I want to live. If you’d like to try your hand at making your own vision board, take a look at Christine Kane’s “Mentor to Women Who Are Changing The World” – it’s a good introduction to what a vision board is and shows you how to make one.
  2. SPIRITUALITY – It’s important to find something to believe in that provides us with inner strength during good and bad times. I’m guided by the basic Jewish tenets of honoring The Ten Commandments, doing mitzvahs (good deeds) and believing in one G-d. But I find I need more. I have a keen interest in spirituality. I’ve witnessed people relying on their faith when weathering personal trauma. So I’ve started my own spiritual journey. I’ve read books about Buddhism and the teachings of the Dalai Lama (The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by Dalai Lama.) My daily meditation and weekly yoga classes have taught me about mindfulness (Jon Kabat-Zinn: Mindfulness for Beginners and Reclaiming the Present Moment – and Your Life.)
  3.  COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPYIt helps to send positive thoughts out into the Universe.There is something to the power of positive thinking, so learning how to replace negative thoughts with positive ones is important. According to CBT, first acknowledge a negative thought, visualize wrapping it in a ball and tossing it away. Then replace your negative thought with a positive one.   
  4. 4. COMMUNICATION – It ‘s important to discuss your thoughts and feelings with others. It’s freeing, and perhaps you’ll learn a different perspective on a situation from someone who cares. Be open and honest with yourself as you learn the realities necessary to take that first giant step toward your goals.

We’ve rounded the corner past 50. It’s time to visualize how we want our life to look for the next fifty years. Where do you want to live? Do you have a passion you’d like to try? Would you enjoy learning a new skill? Do you have a Bucket List?  Whatever you’d like to do, visualize it, research it, plan it, talk about it and then (as Nike says) – JUST DO IT!


38 thoughts on “Four Ways To Mentally Prepare To Make Your Dreams Come True

  1. Doreen McGettigan

    My husband and I also dream of packing up and moving somewhere warm, even if just for the winter months.
    Its hard to think about leaving 13 grandkids who all live close by, so a winter home may be better for us.
    Doreen McGettigan recently posted…Stolen Joy…My Profile

    1. Post author

      I know what you mean, Doreen. It’s the ones you would leave behind that make it difficult to move elsewhere.

      Thirteen grandkinds? Yes, I think a winter home is your best choice. How wonderful Christmas must be for you having those pure, beautiful faces surrounding you!

  2. Pamela

    what a great post. My husband and I was just “dreaming” about what we want to do with the rest of our lives. Thanks for this list of things to do to see our dreams come true!

    Oh and I hope you get to that warm weather soon!

  3. Donna Hanton

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Cathy! This phase of our lives seems to produce a feeling of ‘now or never’, but without a clear plan of action, our dreams will remain just that. I am working through my own process (a post is coming after Xmas), but love some of your ideas… because it’s important not to let our dreams die.
    Donna Hanton recently posted…My Annual Christmas Chick Flick Extravaganza!My Profile

    1. Post author

      I’m sure where you live you sometimes dream of warmth as well, Lisa. And the vision board keeps me happy. Sometimes all it takes is cutting out photos that make me feel good. Easy peasy. Just like Pinterest I guess (which I’m not good about doing…)

  4. Ruth Curran

    Dreaming is good. Planning is good. Setting goals driven by dreams will change your world. I am with the Queen the Hearts of this whole topic. More dreaming and more wondering and more reaching for the stars — all before breakfast!

  5. karen mulhern

    Great post!
    I’ve rounded a huge corner this past year and can attest that your techniques will work for anyone who tries them. Approx 3 years back, I began slowly laying the groundwork by changing my thinking…then my habits..and now finally I’m getting the life I NEVER thought I could deserve. Dream big and set small goals toward attaining them…it DOES pay off!
    karen mulhern recently posted…One Central Hub for All Your ContentMy Profile

  6. Lois Alter Mark

    YES YES YES! Fill that vision board with lots of photos of San Diego! I’ll send you some pictures of your new house and the group of friends who are waiting patiently for you here! We even have friends for Gary!! xoxo
    Lois Alter Mark recently posted…nightcrawlerMy Profile

  7. Rena McDaniel

    I honestly believe that the best thing that ever happened to me was getting sick and starting over in SC. You couldn’t pay me to move back to KY. Not just the weather but I know now that anything is possible if you don’t give up. We moved here and didn’t know a soul but now I’m happier than I have ever been in my life! Wonderful opportunities in SC! Don’t give up on your dream Cathy…just cross your fingers and don’t look back. You’ll be so happy if you do.
    Rena McDaniel recently posted…KIDS AND CHRISTMAS GO HAND IN HANDMy Profile

  8. Helene Cohen Bludman

    It is just a matter of time. Someday the stars will align and everything will fall into place. And I can’t wait to visit you!

  9. Nancy Hill (@Nerthus)

    I live in Tucson. There are great things about AZ in spite of the political fiascos that are State politics. I think it is easier to be positive and dream big dreams, at least for some people, when living in a liberal enclave in a warm, sunny climate where there is art, music, cultural and historical richness, and yoga, hiking, and other wonderful things. I’m still figuring out what I will focus on when I grow up.
    Nancy Hill (@Nerthus) recently posted…Siblings and Older Foster Kids Need ParentsMy Profile

  10. Estelle Sobel Erasmus

    I know you will make your dreams come true, Cathy. I believe someone once said that mountains can be moved by just starting with a single step. My friend Tara Sutphen of Valley of the Sun Publishing produces some wonderful meditation tapes. I love vision boards and also find writing down your goals and wishes and putting them away is helpful as well. Every year on my birthday I also do a powerful candle ritual. Best of luck making your dreams come true.
    Estelle Sobel Erasmus recently posted…My Google+ Hangout with Stephanie SprengerMy Profile

  11. Shirley Dietz

    I grew up in the very northern part of this country but have lived in Florida for more than 20 years now. It is beautiful here and much easier to enjoy the winters. That being said, I have had much happiness from learning to love wherever I happen to live. I found valuable things in rural Texas, northern Wisconsin and even in urban Pasadena, California. I may end up back in Wisconsin to help my parents who are in their 80’s. They have at least five months of cold and lots of snow. That will be a challenge.

  12. janet tancredi

    Cathy,my computer skills are so poor! I’ve wanted to post comments forever. I’ve finally decided, I’ll just say a few things at a time, rather than my wordy self. Keep your fingers crossed for me that the phone doesn’t ring or there’s no other interruptions to screw me up. I too turned 56 in October. Happy belated birthday! I was diagnosed with MS after my daughter was born 25 years ago prior to any medications. I live in Bergen County N.J. I have a list of Brilliant things that I would like to share. Because I’m slow, I will add some continually so I don’t spend too much time. Here goes: I could eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. ( not in the cold) I’ve lived in N.J. my entire life, dream of living somewhere warm. I love the sunset. The touch of sand on my feet. The smell and sound of the ocean. Snuggling! OMG, my CHILDREN! The greatest gift in life. Even though, now I know it may have been selfish, I had my son after I was diagnosed. I can’t imagine life without him! Dinner is about to be put on the table so I’ll have to continue at a later date. Told you I could go on forever. I have so much to add to my brilliant list. Will write again when I can! Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

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