10 Steps To Make Your Dream A Reality

What do you dream about?

Not at night.  What do you dream about during the day?

If you’re like me, you have many thoughts, ideas, and dreams that come and go without becoming real.  What’s stopping you from making your dreams a reality?

I’m working on a book project (my first book project), and I’m learning a lot along the way.  This weekend, my project took an important step as I move towards realizing this dream.  I finished an outline for the book idea.  For me, this was important because it meant getting thoughts out of my head and onto paper in an organized structure.  Hitting this milestone has taught me a lot about processing our dreams and getting feedback.  Whether you’re writing a book, building a business, or chasing another dream, it’s helpful to process and to get feedback.  In today’s post, I offer some ideas worth following as you chase your own dream.

10 Steps To Make Your Dream A Reality

  1. Process your idea first.  It’s important you have put some thought into your idea before you do anything else.  Part of this could involve prayer.  And a major part this involves time.  I’ve been thinking about the idea for a book for a while.  This month I finally put some solid time into praying and processing my idea.  I wrote down a lot of notes.  I talked it over with myself before I shared it with anyone else.  Before you waste someone’s time with your idea, make sure you put in time of your own.
  2. Talk about your idea with some close friends and advisers.  Share your idea with them.  Does your idea make sense to them?  Can you explain your idea fairly easily.  You should be able to describe your main idea in a few sentences without going into all the detail.  For my book project, I talked to my wife, to a good friend, and to a couple other select people to see if my idea made any sense to them.  In each of these cases, they gave me things to think about in taking my project more seriously.
  3. Process your idea again.  This is important.  What did you learn through the first two steps?  Take time to write it down.  For my project, this is when I wrote an outline for my book idea.  The end product make look very different, but an outline provides an opportunity to get into more detail, to determine your potential structure, and for discovering any roadblocks.  For my book project, I spent a couple of solid afternoons adding to my outline.  I wanted to do this before I sent the outline out for more feedback.
  4. Develop a review team list.  This shouldn’t be real long.  The list should contain people who you trust to give you honest feedback.  They should be people who have some expertise in the area of executing your idea.  For my project, I chose ten people who have experience in book writing and/or short-term missions.
  5. Ask a select few to review your idea.  Before you assume those on your review team list will have the time to look at your idea (or outline, in my case), you should ask them.  This could involve an email or a phone call.  Your message or conversation should include a brief description of your project, an explanation of what you need from them, and a deadline for when you want their feedback.  For my book outline review team, I sent out an email message to my list.  I explained what I was working on and how they might fit into the project.  And I asked them if interested and available to provide feedback in one week.  I did not include the book outline with my message.  I only sent the book outline to those who replied with a willingness to help.
  6. Be open to the feedback.  This may be one of the hardest parts.  You send your idea to others for feedback.  Now, you have to accept the feedback.  People will have all kinds of ideas.  Keep a record of these thoughts and ideas.  They will help you!  You must remember this.  Iron sharpens iron.  So far, I’ve gotten some great feedback on my book outline.  I’m so thankful for people in my life who are willing to step in an constructively critique.
  7. Process again.  It seems like this is a common theme here.  Once you get the feedback, you need to process (and pray) again.  What will you do with the feedback.  Filtering is a healthy aspect to this.  You may use the feedback or you may not use the feedback.  You have the choice.  In my case, I’m still reviewing the feedback and processing.  I’m realizing I have a lot to think about.  What is my expectation for my book project?  Why am I writing the book?  Who do I want to read my book?  I’d appreciate your prayers as I journey through this step.
  8. Move forward.  Once you’ve processed the feedback, make a decision on the direction you are going and keep moving.  One of the reasons I asked for feedback within a week is that I do not want to lose momentum.  I want to keep moving ahead with my project.  Don’t give up (unless the feedback tells you too)!  I know there’s a lot of work ahead in executing my idea, but I’m excited to keep writing and to move ahead.
  9. Thank your feedback team.  It goes without saying that people who help you process an idea deserve some thanks.  I plan to do this through hand-written thank you notes (of course) and a mention in the final product.
  10. Go back to step 1 and do it again.  Our ideas and projects involve several iterations of processing, review, and feedback.  Keep leaning into these steps.  I’m excited to see where this journey leads me in realizing the dream of a book.  I know I will need to process again, and I’ll definitely need the feedback of others.

What steps would you add to this list?  What has helped you make your dreams a reality?