31 Days to a Dream: Define your Dream

a dream is a wish your heart makesWhat is your dream? Do you know?

Is it some nebulous cloud of ideas floating around somewhere out there, foggy, undefined?

Or do you know exactly what it is that you hope to do? You’ve spent hours thinking about it, defining¬† and refining it until you know exactly what your dream looks like?

It is quite normal to not know exactly what your dream and passion are – our society tells us we need to put our dreams aside and be “responsible.” I feel we can be perfectly responsible and live our dream at the same time.

Clearly defining your dream is the very first step toward making it happen. As one friend of mine put it, “How will you know you’re there, if you don’t know what ‘there’ looks like?”

A dream is very different from a hobby, though they have many of the same characteristics. Your dream is that which you are meant to do;¬† it becomes your purpose in life. It’s an all-consuming passion. It is that one thing you are meant to do and do it well. Defining your dream is one of the initial steps to bringing it to life.

Once you find out what you really want, you are half way there.

Here are some steps that can help you realize what your dream really is.

Take a good, long look at yourself

Sometimes you have to look a little bit deeper within yourself to actually realize what your passions are. It might require you to take a trip down Memory Lane to realize what made you the happiest from the beginning. Think of what you do that makes you most fulfilled in life. What is it that you find yourself doing when you manage to get a few extra minutes? What do you daydream of when you allow your mind to “go there?” Go into meditation mode if need be. If you look deep enough, you will start to put your finger on it.

Make a list of your strengths

think big dream bigChances are strong that your dream will involve something you are already good at. Add items to your list randomly. Anything and everything you’re good at gets jotted down. Are you a people person? Write it down. Have a natural talent for conflict resolution? Numbers speak to you? Have a scientific mind? Write it down.

When you think you have everything down, start prioritizing them. Also consider the satisfaction you derive from each of them. Rewrite them afresh in their order of priority as you consider each one. Is it something you’re good at, but not passionate about it? Then move it lower on the list. Your passions will most likely reside right at the top of the list.

Pinpoint the dream

What is it that you will dedicate the next portion of your life to? Define your dream. Be specific. For us, the dream was To Pedal From Alaska to Argentina. We knew our starting point. We knew when we would be there.

What about you? What is your dream?

Define it succinctly and clearly in five words or less. That will help you know what success will look like.


Here are the other posts in this series:

Day 1: Define your dream

Day 2: Believe in yourself

Day 3: Believe in your dream

Day 4: Break out of the rut

Day 5: Go public with your idea

Day 6: Don’t fear failure

Day 7: Change your mindset

Day 8: Commit to your dream



books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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4 Responses to 31 Days to a Dream: Define your Dream

  1. Suitcase Stories - Nicole February 17, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    Im one of the lucky ones who are living their dream as we speak. My hubby and I left our conventional life almost 12 months ago to live a nomadic life of travel. I am grateful every single day for being able to life my dream life. Like yourself, I hope one day to inspire others to do follow their hearts and live their dream life, whatever they may be!

    Lovely, inspiring post.

  2. Melanie Murrish February 18, 2013 at 3:53 am #

    This is very succinct Nancy! I have just bought Dream, Save, Do on your recommendation; I thought long and hard about the purchase as I have read tons of stuff on the subject, however, I am so glad I took the plunge! I am only on page forty, but this is by far the best resource I have come across; so readable and amusing. Thanks.x

    • Nancy Sathre-Vogel February 18, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

      @Melanie Murrish, YAY! I’m so glad you are finding it useful! I think Dream, Save, Go is the best resource I’ve seen on the topic of saving enough money to travel.

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