After you've prepared for the planting season, it's time to plant the seeds for your dream. By gathering the information necessary to formulate your plan and analyze your circumstances, you've had time to consider the amount of work involved. Now it's time to move from thinking to doing. The planting season is when your commitment to your dream will be tested. Because if you've truly prepared for the planting season, you're intimately familiar with your weeds (your baggage). It's time to start pulling them. Are they emotional, spiritual, financial, physical? And only you know the best approach for addressing them. Is it counseling, therapy, forgiving, releasing, asking others you believe are successful to mentor you, etc.? If you don't pull the weeds by this stage, you take the chance that they may strangle the shoots of your dream. At a minimum, they could significantly decrease the joy of realizing and living your dream.

If you've determined you don't have the necessary professional and/or interpersonal skills to realize your dream, this is the time to close that gap. It might be through volunteering with an organization that does what you're dreaming of, attending classes--whether in-person or online, networking with others via social media, or good old-fashioned face-to-face connections, etc.

Whatever your dream, it's time to put your plan into action--file the applications, apply for the license, the loan, find your office, house, purchase your airline ticket, etc. And while there's often a natural order to things, it's the nature of life that some things happen before you're ready or think you're ready. The question is whether you take the leap and move forward or wait until you feel prepared. Sometimes, it's an opportunity to stretch yourself; other times, it's testing your willingness to wait for the right timing. It's important to catch opportunities when you can, but it's also important not to jump too soon. Either way, there's a lesson involved, and only you know based on your individual circumstances which risk(s) you're willing to take.

I believe it's important to envision yourself actually living your dream. In my case, I don't think I could have made the leap to move to Paris if I had not envisioned myself there. My circumstances were such that it didn't seem possible, even though there was no doubt in my mind that I had to go. But it's also important not to throw caution to the wind. There will be flags. Some mean move forward, some mean stop, some mean proceed with caution. Rather than moving forward with reckless abandon, see the flags for what they are and be grateful for them. Perhaps there's more work to be done, or the timing is off. Or, maybe they appear because of your doubts and fears. Just don't let them paralyze you. Otherwise, they'll steal your blessing(s).

Finally, the planting season is an opportune time to allow for and make revisions to your plan. It's important to leave a little room around your seed for it to grow. If you hold on too tightly to your original plan, you may jeopardize the health of your seed. Make room for mistakes, setbacks, discouragement and disappointments--they will occur. Try to see them as opportunities for growth. If you're committed to your dream, you'll find the courage to face them and make the soil for planting the seeds of your dream healthier. Utilize your support system for encouragement as it's important to water/nurture your soil.

Is it possible to realize your dream without taking the aforementioned steps? Some people do. But a strong, firm foundation certainly helps when you're trying to maintain what you've accomplished. As in life, there are no guarantees. Bear in mind that weeds will sprout from time to time, but if you nurture your soil, you'll be more likely to battle the weeds successfully. If you remain grateful, optimistic yet realistic, committed, and tenacious, with proper preparation and action you should be well on your way to determining if the seeds you've planted will take root and grow into the realization of your dream. Enjoy the journey!


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