Tag Archives: plan

How to create your own Dreams List

I frequently make reference to My Dreams List in this blog.  People often ask me about it.  You too can use this tool to begin the process of fulfilling your dreams today.  The first step that I recommend is to create your own Dreams List.  Doing so will only take 15 minutes, requires no special training or skills, and could be the first step towards making your dreams come true.

We each must dream for ourselves.  No one else can or will do it for us.

Your time is limited, so don’t let it be wasted living someone else’s life. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. You’ve got to find what you love. Do what you believe is great work. If you haven’t found it, keep looking. Don’t settle.
Steve Jobs

Why is the Dreams List such a powerful tool?

Because it allows us to get clear about what we want and then to remain conscious of it.  See Why Dream Big and My Dreams List for more information on this.

So, what is a Dreams List?

It is the list of things that I would love to happen if I had no constraints whatsoever.  The things that I wish I could accomplish or experience if I had unlimited resources.

How do you create your own dreams list?

Get a blank piece of paper, and write the following across the top — “If I had unlimited time, money, and ability, I would…”  Then find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted, and for the next 15 minutes, write down whatever you would love to accomplish or to experience in your life.

This is a brain-storming exercise.  Do not edit yourself.  Write down whatever comes to mind.  Do not limit yourself in any way.  Remember that you have unlimited resources and no constraints.  All obstacles will be eliminated.  Everything is possible.  Dream like a child would.  Let your dreams pour out onto the paper.  There are no wrong answers.  Have no concern for what others think, why you want something, or whether it is worthwhile.  If you need more time than 15 minutes, keep going.  On the other hand, your list doesn’t need to be long or even complete.  You can always add more dreams later.  Have fun with it.

Not sure what to write?  People often have dreams about their health, education, career, home, lifestyle, family, relationships, travel, etc., but your dreams are yours alone. Don’t feel obligated to write anything down, even about your spouse or your kids, unless it is something that you really want for yourself.

I’m too <fill in your own consideration(s) here> (e.g. old, busy, poor) to dream.

You’re never too <repeat your own consideration(s) here> to dream.  Everyone has dreams.  There is nothing, I repeat, NO-THING (e.g. young, stressed, sick, or afraid) that can or should prevent you from dreaming.

But why write down things that I’m unlikely to ever accomplish?

It doesn’t hurt to dream.  You never know what will happen.  Perhaps one or more of your dreams will come true.  Wouldn’t that be great?  Something is better than nothing.  What could it hurt to try?

“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.”
— Bob Goddard 

OK, I did it.  Now what do I do with my list?

Keep it.  Put it some place where you’ll look at it periodically, at least once a month.  For example, on the inside cover of your journal or daybook, or on your bedside table.  Those who are more technically inclined might put in a spreadsheet, but print it out and don’t forget about it.  It’s important to review it periodically.

What else?  Shouldn’t I start taking action to achieve my dreams?

If you want to, then please do.  If you’re not ready yet, that’s OK too.  Just keep reviewing your list periodically.  Add additional items if you want, but don’t remove any.  If you see an opportunity to fulfill a dream (or take a step towards it) then go for it.  If you’re the planning type, consider your dreams when you plan your year or your month.

Final Thoughts

I believe that by creating my dreams list and remaining conscious of my dreams, that I am fulfilling more of those dreams than I would have otherwise (Dream Big).  I believe that the same thing can happen for you.  Please try it and let me know how it goes.  If you’ve already done it, I’d love to hear how it’s working for you.

The word 'DREAM' written in sand with a puple tinge

Our Unplanned Route

This trip has been an ambition of mine for a while.  Although not officially on my Dreams List, it’s something that I’ve been thinking about for several years, and it will provide an opportunity to fulfill other dreams that are on my list.  Initially, I had only the vaguest of ideas.

Map of Canada and the United States with an red oval surrounding most states and provinces with the words "See This" in the center

Initial Concept

We left home with only the vaguest of routes in mind.  Head south to the warm weather as quickly as possible.  Turn left in Southern California.  Visit family and friends in Arizona.  Continue East until Florida.  Turn left again.  Drive North until we cross the Canadian border.  Turn left somewhere in the Maritimes.  Drive West until we return home.  Along the way, stop as appropriate.  That was it.

Map of Canada and the United States with lred lines around the perimiter of the Unisted States and going through the Canadian provinces

Version 1 of Route Plan

Our only constraints are:

  1. Canadians can stay for a maximum of 6 months less a day in the United States for immigration and taxation reasons
  2. we want to be home in British Columbia before the Canadian winter makes travel difficult.

The basic idea is to follow the sun while circling and seeing as much of Canada and the United States as possible.

Before leaving home, I made a list of the things that I wanted to see, those that I could think of off the top of my head.  I also searched the Internet for ideas of places to visit (e.g. “top travel destinations United States”).  I combined several of these Internet lists into a spreadsheet.  I also added in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites from both Canada (16) and the United States (21).  I sorted my list by state and province, and hoped that I might get to as many of these places as possible.

Now that we’ve been on the road for a while, we’ve had some time to think and some excellent advice that has allowed us to refine our route further.  The overall plan hasn’t changed, but now we have an expanded list of places to visit, attractions to see, and even some places to stay.  The details remain to be worked out.  We try to roughly plan a route as we enter each state, but not the day-by-day details.  We’d rather take it one day at a time.  And of course, everything is subject to change.

We have also gained a few contacts in various parts of North America, people who can give us their local suggestions.  We would really like your input also.  Please leave a comment with your North American travel recommendations — places to visit, routes to drive, ‘must-see’ attractions, favourite restaurants, places to stay, etc.   If you have a friend who can provide us with recommendations on any of these, please forward this post to him or her. We would be very grateful.  I look forward to blogging about some of your favourite places!

Preparation — Diane’s Perspective

To say the last month has been stressful would be a bit of an understatement. As Patrick already told you in his blog post, things have been a bit crazy for us. He has worked extremely hard getting things ready for our trip, finalizing stuff for his parents’ estates, etc. Yes, we’ve done lots of shopping which under any different circumstances, I would say would be terrific. However, with a list that measures as long as the height of Kilimanjaro (4 miles), I don’t think that even Paris Hilton could go the distance. One list after another and I thought that I might lose my mind. After organizing, sorting and reviewing several times it was afternoon on Saturday (departure day) and we were finally ready to start packing. I must say that even I was a bit impressed with our ability to get everything into two 38 litre packs. This really was due to Patrick’s attention to detail and endless lists, but boy oh boy it was a tough process for me. You will need to check back with me in a few months to see how I am faring with only one pair of shoes, a pair of sandals, and limited clothing.

Patrick and I had lots of help from family and friends in preparing for our world adventure. I want to tell you all again how much we appreciate your support along the way. Even my precious Skyler thought he should test out my new down North Face jacket for comfort and warmth. I think he thought that it would pass the test. What do you think?

Patrick and I also tested out our stuff by washing and wearing it several times to make sure that everything fit right and would be appropriate for our trip.

Waxing our boots with the use of Kevin’s hot air gun worked great and hopefully this will keep the rain/snow out when we climb Kili.

But by far for me, the most challenging part of preparing for this trip was saying goodbye to family and friends. The goodbye parties were greatly appreciated and we both feel extremely privileged to have such great family and friends. We love you all and will miss you.

I know that we are blessed to have an opportunity to embark on such a fabulous adventure and we are both looking forward to sharing our experiences with you. I am sure that I will be feeling home sick much sooner than later so please feel free to post your comments and send email.

Until next time, lots of love,
Diane

Preparation

By Patrick

The last few months have been extremely busy and stressful for me. Getting ready for this trip, in addition to the many other things going on in my life, has been exhausting. It has been the most sustained period of intensity and hard work I’ve ever experienced. The last month especially has been a whirlwind –- my father’s memorial; my parents’ estates; setting up our lives so they run on auto-pilot while we’re away; planning, shopping, and packing for our trip; gathering information from other travelers and connections; and good-byes with family and friends. I’ve been running on about 5-6 hours of sleep a night for the last month, and busy every other minute. There are bags on the bags under my eyes!

In order to have any chance of making it, I tracked the key activities on a spreadsheet. Here are the final stats:
· Completed – 219
· Canceled – 41
· Do when we return – 26
· Ask Diane’s sister Shelly to complete – 5
· Do while traveling – 6

Perhaps the most frustrating and tiring was the shopping for our travel items. After about the 20th trip, even Diane said that she was tired of shopping! I’m pretty sure that this has never happened before.

And what did we pack you ask? Well, I have a list of that also, of course, but I won’t bore you with it. Here are pictures of everything we brought – before and after packing.

Before….

And presto, chango, ala kazamm… after!


Our packs are about 18 pounds each when configured for flight, and easily passed the carry-on test.

The time spent planning, shopping, and packing was all to achieve our goal of having the smallest packs possible. Benefits include:
· easier to carry, especially in the heat
· the ability to walk and carry our packs ourselves, rather than needing transport or assistance
· no checked baggage means no lost bags during flights, and no need to wait for bags in airports
· no risk of losing bags off bus roofs or by theft while in transport
· the ability to carry our bags while visiting attractions en-route between locations, if necessary.
Anyhow, I’m so glad that all the prep is done and that we’re finally on the road. I’ll probably need a week or 2 to recover, but I’m confident that it will all have been worth it in the end.

Thanks to everyone who supported us over the last few months. Your assistance is greatly appreciated, and helped to make our trip possible.

Patrick