How to deal with feeling overwhelmed about dreams and goals and how to keep track of their progress with a custom goal/dream board…
I’m a very visual person. I prefer writing my ideas by hand than typing them into either my phone or laptop. I also find that I process information and learn better by taking notes by hand.
I’m also a person with a lot of dreams.
And with a lot of dreams comes the need to be able to know what to focus on next.
A lot of the times, being self-employed introduces a few problems:
I have a lot of time at home, countless distractions or excuses to slack off and do something else, the feeling of relaxing – because thats what home represents to me.
So when I moved into my new home, I finally explored the opportunity to have my own “Creative Cave”.
What is a “Creative Cave” you may ask?
Its my version of a room that is decorated, laid out, conceptualised solely by me that I’m able to retreat to and lock myself inside to block out distractions and focus on getting things done. This allows me time to work on getting closer to my goals and dreams.
I know that some may not have access to a room of their own, separate from their allocated sleep quarters, but a desk can suffice as your “Creative Corner”.
Don’t let lack of materialistic things hold you back from starting a project or pursuing a dream.
A main feature in my Creative Cave is my Dream & Goal Board:
Something I look at everyday when I wake up to give me a clear vision of the dreams that I’m working towards.
Since it is a huge help to me, I thought I’d share it with my readers.
Introducing “The Anatomy of a Dream & Goal Board”.
The first thing you’d notice about my board is my centrepiece.
Its a dreamcatcher with a large bird sitting in the centre and with other, darker, smaller birds fleeing or leaving the dreamcatcher. To me, the smaller, darker birds represent negative thoughts, people and influences, whilst the larger, stoic bird represents my dreams.
And yes, I understand that technically, dreamcatchers don’t work this way. But I initially drew this as a scribble (without researching how dreamcatchers work, oops!), and decided to use it eventually for my board. And at the end of the day, the only interpretation of my centrepiece that matters is my own.
My centrepiece adds my own creative touch to the board and essentially makes it my own.
At first glance, some may think “You have too many goals”. Of course, I prioritise some over others – however, these are avenues I’d like to explore in this point in my life.
Within each envelope I describe what my Dream is: the achievements, the timeline, the fine details.
Because, just as you need to be specific when you pray, you need to be specific about what your Dreams are.
I’ll open up an envelope from time to time and envision the reality of my dream: its a small motivational boost and reminder of what I’m working for.
I haven’t based my design of my board off anything in particular – I just wanted an interactive surface that I could do something to feel the completion of a goal or task (such as crossing off a list, or in this case, pulling off and replacing a post-it).
My goals are week goals.
I constantly used to feel so overwhelmed about my dreams.
One of my biggest dreams is to become a successful singer/songwriter – and sometimes, looking at the people I look up at, or the things I want to achieve – I would think “but they’re so far away, and I feel so small right now, how is it possible to build my way up to that level?”
But someone once told me “If you could envision yourself when you have achieved that dream and you could ask your future self how many steps it took to get where they are, what would they say?”.
They would say “a lot of friking steps.”
And this simple conversation with my future self motivates me so much because,
“a lot of steps” translates to “its possible”. Thats why I keep going.
By taking the “next right step” i.e. the next immediate step from my current position (if your a writer and want to write a novel – write a single paragraph), I know exactly what to do.
“As E.L. Doctorow said, writing a book is like driving a car at night. “You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”“ – God Never Blinks by Regina Brett
So every week, I sit down and think: “what can I do this week to work my way closer to [dream]?”.
Its easy to find things to write down, because its “the next right step”, and I’ll feel fulfilled replacing the post-it with a new one after completing a small step that puts me closer to my dreams.
Lastly, I’ve pasted small quotes along the border of each segment that are related to each dream.
They add uplifting and positive messages to my board.
I hope this post inspires you to create your own Dream and Goal Board!
Dream big, beautiful!
Large Cardboard, Envelopes, Post-Its, Feathers, String from National Book Store / Decorative Cards from Typo / Coloured Notebooks from Powerbooks / Vase and Flowers from Landmark / Centrepiece Art, Hand drawn by Catriona Gray / Desk by Dimensione
All photographs copyright Catriona Gray