What would your year look like if you had the courage to schedule your dreams? As someone who does this year after year, what I can tell you is that your life would be extraordinary. And that’s what this episode is all about.
Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.
What is happening, my beautiful friends? I am so excited about 2021. But I was excited about 2020. And if you listen to my podcast about three lessons learned from last year, I was pleasantly surprised by 2020. That doesn’t mean it was an easy year, but it’s definitely a year that will go down in the books for me to be one of my biggest years of growth.
And so, with that said, I want to talk about 2021; more specifically scheduling your dreams. In the School of Self-Image, I am going to be offering my popular program called the Dream Atelier, where I basically show women how to take a big dream and break it down and create it 30 days at a time.
And one of the big things that we use in the Dream Atelier is a schedule. Now, I used to be so resistant to a schedule. I thought it would take away from spontaneity. I thought it would make my life so rigid. I thought it would take away my freedom.
And the crazy thing is, it’s done the exact opposite. I have space now to be more spontaneous. I have space to relax more. I am more free than I’ve ever been. And all of that came about when I started to create a schedule and stick to it.
But a lot of people are afraid of scheduling. And listen, I get it. I used to be afraid too. I was talking to a friend of mine and he was expressing his resistance to creating a schedule and sticking to it. And his excuse was, “Well what if things change?”
And what I said to him is, “Yeah, that’s always a possibility because this is life. But what if things don’t? What if everything could go according to your schedule? Wouldn’t you be glad you had one?”
Because what a lot of us do – and I’ve done it too, my friends – is we are passive in our lives. We just sort of go with the flow. And I used to think that was such a beauty. And I still think being flexible and being open and being willing to change is an amazing thing. But don’t give up on your dream.
Don’t give up on where you want to go. You may have to change how you get there. But a lot of you don’t even allow yourselves to dream. And you certainly don’t schedule your dreams because you’re afraid that you can’t create them.
And I’m here to tell you, that’s all a lie. You would not be given a dream that you couldn’t create. And that’s why I love the Dream Atelier so much. Because I get to witness women make dreams come true. And I give them the framework to do it.
And if you want to learn that framework and apply it and practice it, come join us in the School of Self-Image. It’s what we’re going to be doing in the month of February. You can go to schoolofselfimage.com/join, read all that you get for the membership, and also know that we are including the Dream Atelier in the month of February.
But let’s talk about scheduling your dreams. A lot of you, what you’re used to scheduling are things that really don’t move your life forward. They keep things in maintenance mode. Like picking up your kids from school, buying groceries, cleaning the house, going to the meetings. And these are all important things. But if your dream is not on your schedule it will never happen.
So, what does it look like to schedule your dreams? Over New Year’s, I was with my friend Brooke. And we were doing a lot of journaling and really thinking about our year, like what do we want to experience? Where do we want to go? What do we want to create?
And so, I spent some time alone just journaling. What do I want 2021 to look like? What do I want it to feel like? At the end of the year, what do I want to be celebrating? That is one of my favorite questions to ask every New Year’s Eve. At the end of the year, what will I be celebrating? And then, I celebrate as if it’s already happened.
But then, those celebrations need to go on my calendar. I need to schedule them. And a lot of times, what we do is we sit around and we think about our dreams. We may even talk about our dreams. We may even write them down on a piece of paper. But how often do you put your dreams in your schedule that you’re going to show up for?
Because that’s the other thing. If you schedule it, you have to commit to showing up for what you’ve scheduled. And this is where a lot of us disappoint ourselves. We write things down in our schedule because that’s the easy part. Showing up for it is the hard part. But that’s the part that grows you and that’s the part that makes dreams come true.
And so, I just allowed myself to have fun and I wrote down everything that I want to do this year. And then, I narrowed it down. Because we only have 12 months in a year, 365 days, and there’s a lot of stuff I want to do, just like I know there’s a lot of stuff you want to do. And a lot of times, we’re so afraid of choosing a few things that we choose nothing and we end up not moving the needle forward on our lives.
So, I wrote everything down and then I said, “What is the most important? If I could do certain things on this list that would change me, what would they be?” Because I think that’s the beauty of having a dream. And then the goals that get you there is who you become in the process.
And so, again, I wrote it all down and then I started to narrow down my list of what’s most important this year. And for me, there was travel on the list. And I had another friend that said, “But what if COVID is still going on and you can’t travel.” And I told her, I’m like, “I’m not going to plan my life around COVID.”
Last year, I had plans. And some of them didn’t come true because of COVID. But I’m so glad I had the courage to write them down and schedule them. Now, I had to change some of them, but imagine had I not had them at all, which is what a lot of people do.
They’re like, “But what if I lose my job/ What if we’re still in a pandemic and we can’t travel? What if my parents get sick? What if something happens with the kids?” We’re always living in these horrific what-ifs that are just our imagination gone wild in a negative way.
I like to go to the positive what-ifs. What if COVID is under control and we’re all traveling again? What if everyone in my family is healthy and happy and doing well? What if this is the best year ever? How would I schedule that out? And that’s the schedule I like to plan for and follow.
And so, I opened up my calendar. I use Google Calendar. In the Dream Atelier, I bring you along on how I use my calendar in a very strategic way. But for the purpose of this podcast, I use Google Calendar. You can use a paper calendar; whatever calendar works for you as long as you work your calendar.
And then, I started to plug things in. In the fall, I have a trip to Europe planned. I have some projects that I stuck in my calendar, "These are the dates that it will be done." I called up some girlfriends and I planned some weekend getaways. I was like, “Hey, listen, this is what I’m thinking. Are you in?” And they were a yes. So, those went into my calendar. There are some projects within my business that I am so excited about. I put those in my calendar.
Most of my 2021 calendar is already decided. It’s already been scheduled. Now, imagine, all I have to do is show up for my schedule, which is often the hardest part. It’s so easy to schedule, you all. It’s so easy to put things in a calendar. But committing to showing up for them, that’s where dreams come true.
And this is a lot of the work that we do within the Dream Atelier, is working on the mindset around making dreams come true. Like, who do you need to be? How do you need to show up? How do you need to follow through to make your dreams come true? But once you have things in your schedule and you show up for what you’ve scheduled for yourself, how can they not come true?
I love living from my future because for so long, you all, I lived from my past. I didn’t schedule anything except the bare necessities. I was just bouncing through life, calling it going with the flow. And the fact is, I was a hot mess. I wasn’t free. I wasn’t excited about life. I was reacting to life instead of being proactive.
And I will tell you, now I have more free time than I’ve ever had. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I am more productive than I’ve ever been. All of the thing that I thought having a schedule would do to me has done the exact opposite. It’s given me my dreams.
And that’s why it’s so important for you to spend some time thinking about what do you want this year to look like? What are the dreams that you want to pursue this year? Where are the places that you want to go? And then, you need to put them in your calendar. And then, the work is doing the work, reaching the goals that will get you there.
So, for example, I’ve put Europe in my calendar for the fall. I have the date scheduled. But Europe just doesn’t happen. I have to plan for that. So, now that the dates are in my calendar of when I’m going to be there, I’m going to have to work it backwards. I’m going to have to think about where I’m going to stay, what countries I want to visit, who’s going to go with me. I’ve got to plan airline tickets.
So, putting it in my calendar secures the dates on which I’m going to experience it or create it. But then, I have to do all of the legwork so that I’m prepared for my dream.
One of the things that I want to convince you of is that it is a bold move to schedule your dreams. And the bigger the dream, the more resistance you are going to feel. In fact, there was one dream that I scheduled for this year that I’m already having so much doubt around.
I’m already having things like, “Who do you think you are? Do you really think you can pull this off? You’re a little bit crazy. You’ve never done this before,” which is a terrible thing to say because anything we’ve not achieved yet, we haven’t done before. What if we just proved to ourselves that we can?
And that’s a reason why so many of you don’t schedule things. Because you let the doubt and the negative self-talk convince you that you can’t make it happen. But what if you committed 100%? You’re like, “100% I’m going all in on this. I’m not going to let anything stop me. It is a must. I must do this thing.” And then you showed up for it. Imagine what would be possible for you.
But a lot of times, when you start to feel the doubt and then you start to tell yourself you’re confused, you’ve used all of that as a reason not to schedule your dreams. I want you to schedule them and then deal with all of the resistance that’s going to come up. Because again, the bigger the dream, the bigger the resistance.
But imagine who you will become if you face that resistance and you work through it and you don’t let it dictate your life. Because that resistance wants to keep you where you are. And I’m looking at you from where you’re going. And I know where you’re going is going to require that you walk through that resistance, that you deal with it, that you don’t allow it to run your life.
It’s like letting a little toddler run your life, just having temper tantrums. No, be bold enough to schedule your dreams. Open up your calendar and decide when and what you’re going to achieve this year. And then, my favorite question to ask after that is, “Who do I need to become in order to do it?”
And this is a lot of the work that we do within the School of Self-Image. We look at the women we need to become to create what it is that we want to create. We look at how we need to show up differently, how we need to think differently, what we need to surround ourselves with that’s different than what we’re surrounding ourselves with now. And when you begin to work those three areas of your life, you cannot not change.
And honestly, that is the best part of scheduling your dream, or your dreams. You need to decide what you want and put it on your calendar. And then do the work to become the woman who will create that for herself no matter what. How powerful is that?
So, what do you want to be courageous enough to put in your calendar for 2021 that you’re excited about, that also makes you a little sick? Because again, you didn’t come here to live an ordinary life with ordinary dreams. You are an extraordinary woman with extraordinary dreams. I want you to have the courage to schedule them and then to show up for that schedule this year.
And again, if you want to go deeper into this and you want to learn a step-by-step process of how to take your ideas and your dreams and turn them into reality 30 days at a time, we are going to be doing this work within the School of Self-Image in February. So, come and join us. It’s so fun. You can go to schoolofselfimage.com/join.
I love you all. I’m excited to spend this year with you. I’m excited for us to be celebrating all of the things that we’re thinking about now, I’m excited to be celebrating them being completed by the end of this year. So, schedule your dreams, my friends. I love you. I’ll see you in the next episode. Cheers.
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