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.

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s already Week 10 of the Dream Coaching program. Or that I’ve gotten as far as I have on my book in that amount of time. One of the “assignments” for this week is to list all the successes achieved during the ten-week period. And there have been many, including blasting through some of the roadblocks that have stalled or stopped me in the past.

I finished a decent first draft of the book, and have gotten halfway through the editing and rewriting that I’ll do on my own before turning the manuscript over to some readers for feedback and to a professional editor for further polishing. I’ve got the book divided into logical chapters, and I’ve found relevant and inspiring quotes to accompany each one. I compiled a list of the things I still need to do before the book is ready for publication, and of people who can help or advise me on each of them. And I finally came up with a title I love, which is something that had been eluding me for most of the time I’ve been working on the book.

I didn’t reach all the goals and deadlines I set for myself, but that’s part of the process. Not everything works perfectly, or ends up exactly the way we planned. But when that happens, we don’t give up or beat ourselves up. Instead, we adjust, course-correct, and continue on the journey.

In a way, I feel like Dorothy and her pals in ”The Wizard of Oz,” when they get to where they can see the Emerald City in the distance, even though they’ve got a long way yet to go. They still have some challenges and struggles ahead of them, and some pretty fierce hazards and hurdles to overcome. But now that they can actually see their destination, they’re more determined than ever to reach it.

That’s how I feel about getting my book finished and published.

Although I don’t have a Wicked Witch chasing after me the way Dorothy did, I know that I still have obstacles and challenges ahead of me. My readers and editor may point out problems in the manuscript that I don’t know how to fix, or that will take a frustratingly long time. I may get stalled or stumped by technical or legal issues regarding production. Choices and decisions I still have to make may get overwhelming, especially in areas I’ve never dealt with before.

But my goal, my final destination, is within reach. Even though I don’t know precisely how long it’s going to take to get there, I know that I will.

Getting to the end of the Dream Coaching program is like finishing one chapter and launching into another – which is a great analogy with a dream of writing a book, but it’s equally appropriate in any area of life. The dream may not be totally completed or achieved by the end of the program – and if it’s an ambitious enough dream, it most likely would take more than ten weeks to finish – but it’s far enough along, and with a clear enough path to completion, that going the rest of the distance feels more real and doable than ever.

Week 10 includes the assignment of writing down a date by which you’ll realize your dream and celebrate your success. For my dream of finishing and publishing my book, I’ve written down Christmas of this year as my end date. There’s a story about Christmas in the introduction to the book, so getting it published by Christmas this year will make a nice bookend – no pun intended – to the project. It will also allow me to give copies of the book as Christmas gifts to the friends and family members that I think would enjoy it.

If you’ve been following along with this journey as I’ve been writing about it in my weekly column, I hope it’s given you some ideas and incentives for pursuing your own dreams, and the information and advice that can help you achieve them. If you’ve been actively working on a specific dream while I was working on mine, I hope you’ve found this to be a rewarding experience.

Congratulations to you if you’ve already achieved your dream. And if you haven’t quite reached it yet, I trust that you are well on your way, and that you are more excited and determined than ever to reach your ultimate goal. In the meantime, spend some time this week writing down all the successes you’ve already had, and the date on which you intend to celebrate getting all the way there.

Then keep working. And start dreaming about what you’re going to accomplish next!

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on July 11, 2013.
©Betty Liedtke, 2013
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