Maybe you’ve been called a dreamer your whole life—by others and by yourself. However, saying you are a dreamer or a doer is like saying you are good or bad. Nobody is 100% one way or the other, but they may lean more in one direction. It’s a spectrum, and the good news is that you can shift the paradigm so you’re a little more balanced.
Remember that being a doer isn’t necessarily better than being a dreamer. You need both to succeed.
If you’re really off kilter and have a lot more dreamer tendencies, it’s time to take action. Here are some of the easiest, quickest ways to embrace your inner doer so your dreamer can take a little break. Remember, without a comprehensive, balanced approach you’ll just keep going in circles:
1. Write down goals and give them a deadline
So you say you want to write a novel and have it ready to submit to literary agent or publishing house. That’s awesome—but how far along are you? What do you define as “submission ready”? How long can you write per day, and is it scheduled into your routine just like work or going to the gym?
Depending on where you are with your draft, choose a deadline for being submission ready (less than two years out), or schedule mini-deadlines, such as two chapters written by month’s end. This approach works for any goal, not just a novel manuscript.
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2. Balance wants and needs
Every time you decide you want to do something, follow that up with a list of steps you need to take to make it happen. This might mean saving a certain amount of money for a special event like your wedding. If you want to save $10,000 in one year, look at your budget and figure out what you need to cut to make that happen. You might also need to pick up more hours at work, a second job or practice more frugal living.
When I decided for the first time to stop living paycheck to paycheck I sold the new BMW I was driving and bought an old Ford Focus. That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It allowed me to save an extra $800 per month. After a year I had almost $10,000 in the bank, which allowed me to start my business, Pixloo, that eventually was acquired.
3. Surround yourself with doers
Birds of a feather certainly flock together, but you probably have more doer acquaintances and friends than you realize. Who are your five best friends? Dreamers feed off of each other, but if you’re around doers they will inspire you. The staunchest ones aren’t quick to indulge your dreamer tendencies and will want to know what your plan is. Remember: you are in charge of your support network.
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4. Stop doing what doesn’t work
You know Einstein’s definition of insanity, so why do you get stuck in that rut? If you’ve been dreaming about something but your attempts haven’t led to positive results, it is time to stop, reassess, figure out what’s wrong and try a fresh approach. You’ll never get anywhere making the same mistakes over and over again.
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5. Assume everything will take longer and cost more
One of the downsides of being a dreamer is that it is easy to think of everything as, well, easy during the dreaming stage. However, things have a tendency to take more money and time than you imagine. When writing down your action plan, increase time and money by 10% and give yourself a buffer. The worst case scenario is you’ll succeed with time and money left over.
Don’t let your drive to be a doer brush your dreaming tendencies totally under the rug. It’s your source of inspiration, creativity. and means of reaching for the stars.