Dream Rehab

Have you ever had one of those days when you felt like your dreams were so out of reach, that it hurts you to remember them?  Maybe you have had one of those moments when you can’t quite figure out how you got to where you are now, and exactly where you should go from here?

These moments sneak up on me sometimes, kinda like a bad cold. And although you can say you never saw the sniffles coming, at some point (usually during your third box of Kleenex), you think back and realize the warning signs were there. It’s the same way with dream deferment. At some point you saw yourself slipping, but by the time you decided to  re-up your preventative measures, it’s too late. You are breaking your back trying to catch the dreams you feel are slipping away.

Believe me, I feel you.  I feel as if I have been living in a fog for the past couple of months. I have accomplished some things, but I have  been slipping.  I’ve been allowing myself to lose focus by telling myself that I am too caught up in the present to think of my future, but we all know, that is some bull.

So, this weekend I had to check myself into dream rehab. What is dream rehab you ask? Well, that’s when you go someplace quiet with a notebook, and pencil (no computer!) and you just sketch it out. You brainstorm with yourself. You are free to write down whatever you feel has been blocking you. Dream rehab allows you to start to come up with some solutions.  And even more important, you tell yourself to stop making excuses for why things aren’t going your way. It’s about accountability with yourself.

Here is what my typical dream rehab schedule may look like:

1-2: Spend an hour just free writing whatever comes to mind. I don’t correct anything, or edit myself. I write to get what’s in my heart out onto the page.

2-3: This is when I make a list of goals. I use a tangible number of goals, and a tangible amount of time. For example: 5 goals in 6 months.

3-4: At this stage, I take the five goals mentioned previously, and I write out the things I need to do to achieve each goal. I don’t concern myself too much with thinking of specific time because I have given myself a six-month window.

4-5: At this point I have pondered, and written down my game plan. The only thing left to do is act on it. I ask myself, ‘What are three things I can do today to propel myself forward?’

What does a day at dream rehab look like for you? I would love to know how you give your dreams a boost when you are low on momentum.


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  1. #1 by Yogi's Playground on November 22, 2010 - 12:14 pm

    I was going through something similiar over the weekend…trying to come up with a few plans in order to start pursuing my career. Finding out how long it will actually take to get it off the ground if plan A doesn’t pan out…and finding out what other endeavors I want to start pursuing as well. I still have to write everything down….I’m working on my second dream so eventually I can go back to my first dream!

  2. #2 by TM on November 22, 2010 - 1:52 pm

    My day at “dream rehab” is a lot like this. Around steps 2 – 4, I incorporate visuals (in a vision board-esque way). Last week, I began to revive my “vision board” to start getting myself back on a track toward my goals.

    I usually have a problem with setting time limits. If I say I’ll accomplish X in six months and I need to do five things to make my deadline, I may not even be finished with #2 on the last week of month five. I’m a bit of a procrastinator…lol It’s not because of laziness, and it doesn’t seem to be about self-doubt; I actually find that I am able to produce my best in crunch time. However, if the project/goal is something I felt iffy about when I first set it, I worry about ditching the whole thing in the last minute.

    It’s funny how this issue only arises when I’m working on my own projects. I finish work for others quickly, with a high level of detail and oodles of time to spare. Hmm. Maybe it’s a doubt thing after all?

    • #3 by amberinnyc on November 23, 2010 - 8:19 pm

      I like the idea of incorporating visuals! The visual I most need right now? A big world map to stick on my wall :)

      • #4 by TM on November 23, 2010 - 11:15 pm

        Haha. I have a little globe on my desk to daydream by :-)

  3. #5 by Kim on November 29, 2010 - 1:28 pm

    I love everything about this post! Sometimes we all need to take some time reevaluating our goals.

    • #6 by amberinnyc on November 29, 2010 - 2:36 pm

      Thanks Kim!
      And I love what you are doing with For Harriet. I think Ms. Tubman would be proud!

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