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ashley’s dream report: week five
March 5th, 2010     |    Life

Making all of these decisions about following my dreams has forced my brain into overdrive this week! it has been an intense (emotionally) couple of weeks. Excluding the time that I was so sick last week i have not been able to stop my mind from generating idea after idea after idea. There seems to be so much to think about and so many things to do…i need to decide between Typepad and WordPress, i need to design my brand, i need to decide on etsy, big cartel or my own shop, i need to finish up the lessons from the biz class, i need to create some actual products, i need to be writing blog posts…i could go on forever. And unfortunately patience is not a virtue that I am good with so I want it all to happen right now.

So, in order to keep it all in perspective and to remember my truth I have developed a few practices that seem to be working for me to aid in controlling the mental chaos.


With the encouragement of my Life Coach Lisa, I have intentionally developed the habit of waking up and immediately going into the bathroom to brush my teeth. It may sound silly but I use this little routine to set my intentions for the day. I don’t mean practical intentions like cleaning the house or finishing a project, i mean mental intentions around how I want to feel and who I want to be throughout the day. Before I developed this habit I would jump out of bed and immediately start into something….email, dishes, a project, etc. And I wouldn’t make it back into the bathroom to brush my teeth until an hour later. But this isn’t really about dental hygiene – its about the practice of setting intention. And it works for me.


Another thing I have learned is that I need constant reminders in front of me to keep my mind focused and to keep from stepping into a victim or overwhelm mindset. I have post-it notes in my bathroom with affirmations and/or quotes (i change them often). I have them on my nightstand and on the fridge and most importantly above my computer monitor.


Again, this practice that I have may sound silly but I believe that these little things are really helping me to stay focused on the realities that I want to create in my life. They help me remember to dream big and to not shrink back into a victim mindset. This is powerful and I encourage you to try it.


And one more thing I have been doing is keeping a notebook (yes, a moleskine) right next to me at all times so I can jot down any idea that comes into my mind. This can be anything from a product I want to create to a website I want to be sure to explore more. I have to do this because it seems to free up space in my brain. If I get the idea out of my head and onto the paper it relieves me of the pressure of remembering it later and possibly the experience of loss if I forget it. Since I started this practice I feel like my mind is lighter and not so overwhelmed and scared of forgetting something.

There are tons of small practices like these that can be used to stay in line with intentions. I honestly believe that it is the small practices that turn into daily habits that create the lives that dreams are made of.

Do you have any habits or daily practices that help you stay focused on your dreams?

  • Great advise! I really like 🙂
    I’m just starting to make my dreams a reality (it’s equally scary and exiting!)

    To make me going in the morning I write a To Do list in bed before I go to sleep, it helps me to wake up and think “well, I can’t be laying around here, I got lots of stuff to do!”

    It looks like this:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/97449581@N00/4408021945/

    I keep them in that notepad, just to be able to go back and see that I’ve actually done plenty of things when I doubt myself.

    Best of luck to you!

  • To get me going in the morning I have some me time. I feel like this way I can reflect and think about my priorities for the day. Usually this involves a cup of tea, reading my Google reader and creating a to-do list. I also have my vision board posted above my desk to keep me focused.

  • This is wonderful. I love your creative and positive collage. I have an inspirational article on my vanity about being happier today at work. Best of luck with this, everyone has their ups and downs. I feel like when how I’m feeling consumes me, it becomes a downward spiral. For what it’s worth, I think you’re headed in a great direction and seem have all the right tools to keep it going 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

  • I want to start with this.. Don’t say the things you are doing are silly.. they are not at all.. you are taking actions that you feel will help you bring your gifts forward.. Nothing about that is silly, you don’t have to apologize for it..

    I too do the braindump, just random spewings and capturing I even call it braindump so that was great to hear someone else call it that too! I love my moleskine 😀 but that is actually not where I do the idea capturing ..

    What has been helping me in bringing my dreams closer to the surface and to full on reality is remembering these things..
    1- You don’t have to do it all at once.. maybe you have 2 ideas that you can grab and focus on, you don’t have to bring it all “to life” at once.
    2- That making progress sometimes comes in small spaces of time – if I have a busy day with my other stuff then I set a time for 15-30 and do what I can on my dream stuff at least then I am making consistent progress.. You would be surprised what can be done in shorter amounts of time.

    Thanks for the tips, I will be looking at what daily practices I need to get back to ..

  • wow, totally love this post… and I’m SO much more motivated now thanks to you!!

    I can’t wait to start working on my inspiration board, it sure will look an awful lot like yours haha… 🙂

    thanks again!

  • Ah, oral hygiene! I’ve spent a lot of time on my blog talking about flossing (boy, I make myself sound boring!) but as you conveyed here, it is about so much more than that. The act of creating a positive habit (even a small one) is so empowering – makes me think of what more I can accomplish. But you stated something else here that I hadn’t thought of – the conscious decision to not dive into things the second you wake up and thus consciously decide what to work on and how your day will go. I usually want to shake off the guilt from the previous days lack of productivity (whatever I deem that to mean that morning) and then it’s noon and very little has been accomplished. Repeat, repeat. I’m really enjoying this series and have added your blog to my reader. Have a great wkd!

  • Great ideas for me. I love setting your intention for the day!

  • Jadyn

    Glad you’re feeling better this week – missed your post last Saturday! I like the idea of starting your day off with something that gets you into a pro-active mode…I’m going to start thinking about the way I start my day. I do this on and off, but I think I need to get back on track with that! Thanks for the reminder.
    A couple of posts ago, you were talking about re-decorating your home office and I’ve been working on mine too. I’d like it to be a really inspiring and welcoming space for my best self – where I am reminded of my real desires, who I want to be and where I want to go. Seeing things like the reminders, quotes and inspiration board that you put up for yourself inspires me to work on mine and how important it is to do that stuff for yourself. All the best for every little step on your journey!

  • Erica

    I agree, writing things down to free up space in le brain is so helpful – otherwise, forgetfulness occurs (more often than I would like).

    I love the different things you are doing with your website – kudos, my friend!

    Erica

  • I love the “braindump”! This is the first time I heard this term, but I’ve been doing it for awhile under the guise of VERY rough drafts of blog posts. Sometimes they are a few words to help me remember an idea and more often they’re a list of links that represent background info for a blog post. I also have a few Word docs that would be incoherant to anyone but me that was essentially brainstorming for a big project. Keep dumping!

    Here’s another idea: I love your graphic approach to inspirational phrases. Maybe you could offer PDFs of them on Etsy (or your blog) for a few dollars each. I definitely would fork over $10 so I could print some of them out and post them throughout my daily life to remind myself to stay on track!

  • Ashley I love these! After reading Jess’s recent posts on makeunder my March I am currently making a vision board right now. I also feel a little silly putting it up in my room – my family aren’t into this stuff, but it’s who I am so I’ve decided to embrace it 🙂

    I also have a little daily intention practice. My yoga teacher told us that tilting your neck side to side for 30sec helps to release your lymph nodes, which carry all sorts of energies up to the brain and out to the body. So when we stretch she encourages us to focus on our life intentions, to help let the right energy flow in and release any junk. It sounds a little hippy-fied, but its really all about renewing your purpose and focusing on your goals – I do it every morning as I shower.

  • I’m totally on this path with you! Living with intent is harder than most people realize, it sounds small, but it isn’t!

    on the typepad vs wordpress-have you taken a peek at squarespace.com? i’m designing my own site through them (and begging my web designer husband to help me with the advanced CSS functions!) and so far it is *really* great!

    best of luck! I totally appreciate you documenting your process/progress. . .it’s such a daunting thing sometimes!

  • first off, i love your handwriting, love your little drawing in your book, and love your quotes (some of which i will be borrowing for myself!)!

    i have recently started doing this. i make my to-do lists at night, so i’m not trying to scramble around in the morning, figuring out what needs to be done. this has helped tremendously. i also have taken to writing a lot of my ideas down, especially as it pertains to blogging and business–i keep a moleskin in my purse, but it’s really not for ideas like that, so i’m looking for a great notebook to keep everything together. this is small, but i’ve also started paying more attention to my writing utensils–it makes writing that much more fun.

    i just started reading success magazine, and every month it comes with a cd. this month of of the speakers was talking about setting your “big 5” goals, and doing 5 things everyday towards that. at then end of the year, he calculated that you should have 20,000 steps towards your goal(s)! he contends that it’s not the big steps, but the small ones you do everyday that matter. i agree. (sorry so long!)

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