Working full time while pursing your dream is not easy. You struggle sometimes because you misjudge how long something will take. You get upset because it seems like there is never enough time for your dream amidst your daily life. You’ve tried planning and it helped – well until your perfectionist tendencies kicked in and you went overboard leaving you stressed out. So you stop planning because you view it with a mix of fear and/or hate. You are left with only one conclusion – you have an have unlimited amount of energy and there is not enough of you to pursue your dream.

If you’re saying “Yes that’s me” –  know that it was me too for most of my life. That is until I found my cadence; the daily rhythm that allows things to flow more organically. The old me looks at that sentence and says “Ok hippy. How does this pie in the sky crap really work?”.

Well the first part of this cadence, starts oddly enough with scheduled tasks/time and planning. Self discipline is a major requirement for allowing you to carve out time to purse your dream. To illustrate this is my typical day/week:

5 AM wake up, feed the dog, make coffee, spend time with Jesus – journaling/praying/meditating. From 6 AM to about 7:30 – 8:00 AM I work on My Dream Catalyst then I eat a quick breakfast and get ready. I get to work/first appointment/conference call somewhere around 8:30 – 9:30 AM. My day as a Manufacturing Growth Specialist, on the UDRI FASTLANE-MEP program, varies every day. Most days I get home around 6 PM. I make dinner or do chores or go to a work networking meeting and “try” to go to bed around 9 PM. And then there are the weekends. I work on My Dream Catalyst most weekends ranging from 5 – 10 hours. All this in an effort to create 40-60 hours/month to build up the content and tools for My Dream Catalyst while doing well at FASTLANE-MEP, being a wife, being an active partner in our race car business (March – Oct), taking care of my household, being involved with my church, having friends, having fun and visiting out of state family & friends.

When you look at this on paper it seems daunting yet unless you put it all on paper it’s near impossible to carve out time for your dream. In addition to planning my time daily and weekly; carving out time has also taken a shift in mindset allowing me to release my first book last year. Below are these mindset shifts.

  1. Go Deeper: Do less but go deeper. Pick one goal that you want to work on for the next 3-6 months and only do that. Change your expectations to focus on this one thing. Having limited time requires laser focus on what you want to do with the time once you have it.
  2. Details Matter: You know that saying “the devil is in the details”. I would change it to say “your dreams are in the details”. To carve out time you need to know how you spend your time and how you plan spent it. Put everything on your calendar and share it with your spouse; let them know when you want to set aside time to work on your dream so they can support you. Also, if this can feed your perfectionist tendencies then schedule times where you don’t track anything.
  3. Consider Everything: Newton was right –  for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When you look at a 24 hour day and at all that is on your plate also look at how it effects your energy level. If you have an after work event and you’re an introverted morning person  – you won’t be doing much work on your dream when you get home – expect it and plan for it when you’re scheduling your time in #2.
  4. Sacrifices:  While there may be some tasks that you may have to sacrifice to carve out time the biggest change, I saw, was when I sacrificed these old beliefs: scarcity (i.e. there just isn’t enough time), comparing myself to others ( did she get that gig) and lack of gratitude (i.e I wish, if only).
  5. Get Help: There will be times when you will want to quit the dream journey; like when the newness wears off, when you receive criticism, when you seem to forget why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place. Talk it through this with your spouse, a friend, buy a book on the topic of your struggle, hire a coach, a counselor and/or find an accountability partner. Many times our biggest break throughs come right after our biggest battle.

Which strategy will you use to make Time to Pursue Your Dream today?

Copyright 2015, Mary R. Miller