Note: For ten weeks, I am using the Dream Coaching® program to work on my dream of finishing and publishing a book about my trip to Uganda, and I am reporting on my progress in my weekly column. As always, my column is posted on my blog every Friday. To read the series from the beginning, start with the introductory post, dated May 3, 2013.

I have always found Session 8 of the Dream Coaching program to be a challenge – both when I am going through the program myself and when I am coaching others. The reason it’s challenging for me personally is that it utilizes skills and strengths that don’t come naturally to me. But they are crucial for success in achieving our dreams – or for pretty much anything we want to do in life – so even though this is a challenging session, it’s also an extremely valuable and important one.

The session is about taking serious steps forward, and it’s where dreams and goals turn into actions and strategies. It involves coming up with a project – ideally something that has three to five main steps and that can be completed in a month or less. Assignments for the week include listing the steps needed in order to accomplish the project, assigning completion dates for each of them, determining what resources are needed and making arrangements to acquire them, and then buckling down and getting to work on them.

I work best – and I think most people do – when I have a detailed list of what I need to do, dates or deadlines for when it needs to be done, and instructions or guidelines on how to go about doing it if I don’t already know.

It’s easy to follow a plan like this. What’s not so easy for me is creating the plan in the first place. And that’s what I had to do this week.
Since my dream is to write and publish a book about my first trip to Uganda, and since I have the first draft completed, I decided that my project for this session – and this month – would be to finish my own editing and rewriting, and get the manuscript into the hands of people who will read it and give me feedback.

My date to have the manuscript in my reviewers’ hands is July 10, and the steps I need to take in between now and then include touching base with the people who have agreed to read it in order to let them know of my time frame and deadlines, confirming that they’re still willing and able to read the manuscript and give me their feedback, finishing my own rewrites, polishing and formatting the entire document, and emailing the manuscript or delivering a hard copy to my reviewers, along with the date by which I’d like to have it back.

With the project and plan spelled out like this, it’s easy for me to explain exactly what I need and want when I’m asking others for their help. Even more important, it’s easy for me to see and understand exactly what I need from myself.

The part of this session that seems to push the parameters comes from the fact that this session’s project is to be completed within a month, yet there are only two weeks left of the Dream Coaching program. But the program isn’t just about achieving one particular dream. It’s about learning and implementing the skills, the techniques, and the mindset to achieve any dream. So this session starts the transition from working with a coach to incorporating everything learned into the “outside world” and the rest of our lives.

If you’re working on a dream of your own at the same time I’m working on mine, come up with a project this week that will move you forward toward achieving your dream. Make it something that you can finish within a month, and that has three to five specific and measurable action items for you to do.
Then get to work. Before long you’ll be enjoying the satisfaction of completing your project – and marveling at how much closer it has brought you to achieving your dream.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on June 27, 2013.©Betty Liedtke, 2013

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