By Dr. Carolyn Anderson
Many of us, in fact probably all of us, have some secret dream we have harbored for years. Some really big thing we want to do. You may be waiting for retirement or now be retired and wondering what happened to all your free time. Regardless of where you are in your life, it’s never too early or too late to pursue your dreams.
How do we find the time to dream, think big, and follow our hearts? I am here to tell you life gets pretty crazy. How can you think about dreams when you get up, make the coffee, have a workout, brush your teeth, have a shower, get dressed, put your make up on, wake your children, feed them breakfast, drive to work, and on and on it goes. I was talking to my sister yesterday and her schedule boggles the mind. With two little ones that have to get to school, sporting events and countless other activities, there is little time for anything else.
Often there is no time for our big dreams and they can pass us by. Life waits for no one. And if we can’t step back on occasion to give ourselves room to breathe and time to think, we will never have time to dream and even less time to take action on our dreams.
I think what we need are some techniques to help us step back and get in touch with our passions. Try the following three tricks to free up some time for the dreams.
- Treat your life like a business and plan. Sit down every Sunday night and plan out your week. Plan out your workouts, your childrens’ activities, your work obligations, who is home for dinner when, who is driving who to what etc… etc… When you can see it all in front of you it is so much easier to keep things flowing. Coordinate activities with the other members of the house and put it all together.
- Do a brain dump. When your mind is racing and thinking of a million things you have to do you have no brain power left for dreaming your big dreams. When you think of something that needs to be done, or something you are thinking of get it out of your brain and onto paper or a computer. Your neurons cannot be cluttered with the day to day stuff if you expect to be able to dream big
- Exercise. It clears your head and gives you energy. There is scientific research out of Harvard University that proves that daily exercise increases the brains plasticity. Spark is a groundbreaking book by Dr. John Ratey MD. It explores the connection between exercise and the brain’s performance. It reveals that even moderate exercise will supercharge the mental circuits to beat stress, sharpen thinking, enhance memory and help give us the capacity to dream. There is also scientific evidence to prove that exercise will improve cognitive function as we age.
Take yourself out of the flurry of activities every so often so you can see the bigger picture and embrace your biggest dreams.
About the Author: Dr. Carolyn Anderson is the founder of Impowerage. Her mission in life is to empower older adults with the information they need to continue living healthy active lifestyles.