Wellbeing

How to Dream Big in 2019:

1
Jan

How to Dream Big in 2019:

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

As another new year rolls around, many of you will be thinking of ways to improve your life over the next 12 months, and making resolutions in order to achieve them.

But I’m not a big fan of resolutions.

Whether we aim to lose weight, find a new job or be more mindful, most of us have forgotten about our resolutions by the end of January, which leaves us feeling more despondent than before.

Instead of setting a resolution, I want to share my method for achieving my dreams, to help you have a happier, more prosperous 2019.

Setting the scene for 2019

Most people know that I’m a keen triathlete and in 2019 - my 50th year - I want to qualify for the World Iron Man Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

To qualify, I need to be about 20% quicker.

In order to achieve this, I set about researching other people who have dreamed big to learn their secrets. On the way, I discovered that there’s a formula for success. There was an algorithm: D. R. E. A. M.

D – Dream It

To realise a dream, you must first have a dream.

Successful people who have dreamed big paint every little detail on the canvas. It’s usually something they have a dream passion or calling for.

They write it down. They stretch it. They challenge it. They plan for all the key milestones and events along the way.

They write it down. They stretch it. They challenge it.

Take Jaco Ottink. He successfully climbed the highest peak in each of the seven continents, a feat that took him 19 years to complete. What struck me about Jaco was the attention to detail in his planning. This was not only for the things that went right, but also for the things that went wrong, so that if they did happen, he knew exactly what to do.

I reflected that in my plan. For instance, I’ve entered a qualifying race early in the season, so if I don’t qualify, I can have another go later in the year.

Think about your big dream. Have you written it down? Have you stretched it? Have you planned it? Or is it just a dream?

R – Routines

Successful people who have dreamed big have daily rituals and routines to keep them on track.

One of these routines is energy management. There’s no point in having a dream and pursuing it if we’re going to fall over in the meantime. We need to make sure we’re looking after ourselves by having enough sleep and rest, staying hydrated and looking after our bodies. Our physical and mental health are keys to our success.

Despite my arduous training regime, I try to make time to meditate every day, to get enough sleep and drink enough fluid.

Another key routine that I’ve found is visualisation.

When she was growing up in Greece, Arianna Huffington dreamed of going to Oxford, so her mother took her there to walk the streets and halls. When she returned to Greece, she was able to visualise exactly what it felt like to be there. Needless to say, she got the grades and went to Oxford.

Personally, I visualise myself crossing the line at Kona every single day.

When it comes to your big dreams, what will be your routines and rituals that will help achieve them?

E – Effort

Successful people who have dreamed big are prepared to put in extraordinary effort. In the run up to the Beijing Olympic Games, Michael Phelps worked five straight years without a single day off; not Christmas Day or his birthday. He said that if you want to be the best, you have to do the things that other people are not prepared to do.

I’m working hard, putting in the effort on my journey. If I think about ending a training session early, or not doing it at all, I simply say to myself:  ‘Ian, that’s not going to get you to Kona.’ And, unless I’m ill, I push through.

When it comes to your big dream, are you prepared to put in extraordinary effort?

A – Accountability

Successful people that have dreamed big have been accountable to somebody.

In the sporting world, this is obvious: the sports person and the coach. However, many other people who have dreamed big have had accountability too.

Bill Gates was accountable to Warren Buffett. Mark Zuckerberg to Steve Jobs. Richard Branson to Freddie Laker. But the special relationship I want to draw out is the one between Oprah Winfrey and her late mentor, Maya Angelou. She described the civil rights campaigner, actress and poet as her mentor, sister, mother and friend. She said that Maya’s advice freed her from her past and allowed her to be who she was and who she could be – not who she had been.

I’ve recruited Joe Beer, one of the UK’s top triathlon coaches. He holds me to account. He challenges me when I get it wrong, and praises me when I get it right.

For your big dream, who is going to hold you to account?

M – Mind Set

Enid Blyton, Thomas Edison and Colonel Sanders have one great thing in common.

They all failed more than 1,000 times. Blyton is said to have had over 1,000 books rejected by publishers; Edison failed to produce the lightbulb more than 1,000 times; and Colonel Sanders went all over America to find someone that would take his secret chicken recipe. He was successful on the 1,010 visit.

Successful people who have dreamed big are prepared to overcome failure and setbacks.

Of course, this is not the only part of mind set. We have to adopt a positive mind set towards our dream. We need to always be adapting, learning and owning it. It’s not the responsibility or fault of anyone or anything else.

You need to own your dream.

Three years ago, I suffered a serious cycle crash, which left me with delayed concussion and various other injuries. Four weeks later, I pushed myself to cycle to Paris and complete the marathon when I got there because of my mind set.

Will I get to Kona? Will you achieve your big dream?  I like to think that by following this plan – these five steps - we have the best chance of success. We’ll get much further by dreaming than by not dreaming at all.

What are big dreams and goals for 2019? Share them with me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, to make sure you’re accountable this year!

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