Doing Things You’ve Always Wanted to Do

Doing Things You've Always Wanted to Do. How to dust off your dreams and get started making them come true.Come on, admit it. You have some secret dreams and things you’ve always wanted to do that are lurking in the back of your mind. Life came along and many of those dreams got filed away, but sometimes you still take them out and wistfully look at them, like old jewelry in a drawer. But life is too short to permanently postpone doing things you’ve always wanted to do.

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” ~ from The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware

Of course I’m not talking about throwing your family under the bus and going off to live on a tropical island that you dreamed of at the age of seven. But I believe that many of our dreams are given to us because they are part of our destiny. We are drawn to things that are part of who we are and what we are meant to do. We don’t want to get to the end of our lives and realize that we should have, would have, could have.

Of course circumstances happen that we didn’t plan on, and we end up delaying or denying our dreams. Love demands sacrifice at times–we all know that.

Why Women Give Up on Things They Always Wanted to Do

But before you immediately start listing the reasons why you can’t possibly do anything about your dreams, let’s step back and look at a few reasons why women give up on things they always wanted to do (not including truly necessary circumstances):

They don’t think they deserve anything good.
They figure “Why hope, it never happens.”
They get overwhelmed by everything that would have to be done.
They have so neglected themselves, they have forgotten their dreams.
They are waiting for someone else to make their dreams come true.

Ahem. Can I say “been there, done that?”

Finally Doing Some Things That I Always Wanted to Do

Without getting into counseling and analysis and preaching, let’s just say that in recent years I’ve finally done some things that I always wanted to do:

Went to Disneyland
Went on a cruise
Became a T-Tapp Trainer
Started a blog
Wrote a book (actually, several)

How did these things happen? Most of them, one step at a time:

Went to Disneyland (our daughter lived in the San Diego area, so we were able to go when we visited her)
Went on a cruise (saved up, actually made the reservation and went for an anniversary)
Became a T-Tapp Trainer (started with a CPR cert, then a personal trainer cert, and eventually a Mentoring program)
Started a blog (started with one post on Blogspot)
Wrote a book (actually, several) (started with my story of losing 100 pounds)

My current “Always Wanted To” is to learn to take decent photos. It may sound silly, but remember that I spent many years holding the baby while other people took pictures. When I was growing up, we just didn’t do photos. For years I’ve said things like “I am NOT a photographer” or “I am terrible at taking pictures!” Yet deep down I always wanted to. So I’ve decided to take it out of dreamland and make it a goal.

Tips for Doing Things You’ve Always Wanted to Do

Here are some steps that have served me well in the past to make a dream come true:

Decide I’m going to do this. A decision is actually where it all begins. It’s where you quit making excuses and stop saying you don’t deserve it.

canoncameraGet started. Really. I could have spent months researching cameras and fretting over whether I should get a point-and-shoot or DSLR. Instead, I did a reasonable amount of research, asked around and decided to start small and non-overwhelming. I bought a camera and ignored the little voice asking “But what if…?” But I’ll admit it took me a few days to actually open it. 🙂

Start small. Besides buying a less-expensive camera, I’m playing with it to get familiar with the functions. Too many times we postpone a dream because we’re waiting for a huge life shift when we can finally spend hours and thousands of dollars. Doing some is better than hoping to do a lot someday.

Change my language. And I don’t mean that I started speaking Spanish. I am no longer saying things to myself like “You’re giving the camera to the wrong person!” I am not saying out loud “I’ll NEVER learn to take pictures.” Instead, I’m thinking about how great it’s going to be when I can take good photos. I’m telling myself “I’m learning to use this camera well.” I’m saying “I’m learning about lighting and composition.” Words matter.

Keep the vision before me. I’m working on a vision board right now. It won’t be fancy or big, just a piece of card stock with stickers and pictures printed and cut out. It will have photos that represent dreams and goals. You can bet that I’ve already found a photo of the exact model of my camera. Whenever I glance at the picture hanging above my desk, it will remind me and inspire me to keep learning and building my skill.

This all sounds simple and it actually is. When we talk ourselves into making things complicated and impossible-looking, we never get started. It’s actually a way of blocking and protecting ourselves. Fear keeps us from starting. That ought to make us mad enough to do something about it.

What’s something you’ve always wanted to do? What are some things you’ve finally done?

16 Comments

  1. Nurit Nitzan says:

    Charlotte, you are such an inspiration! Your words, your stories, your examples, flow straight to my heart and make a huge and significant difference. When I am planing to manifest something I imagine you in front of my inner eyes! Thank you for who you are and for sharing it with the world. I feel blessed to receive the generous gifts you give us all.

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Aww, Nurit, I’m so glad I got to meet you in person because that means a LOT coming from you! Thank you so much for your encouraging words, dear!

  2. Thank you for this, Charlotte. It’s interesting because I actually just start subscribing to this thinking myself recently. It’s a little thing, but mornings are usually a little crazy and chaotic for me getting my husband’s clothes and food ready and getting him out the door for work. The reason they’re chaotic is because I’m never prepared and I go to bed too late and then wake up really tired. Something I’ve always wanted to do is wake up with all my “ducks in a row” feeling refreshed and go on a morning walk without feeling like I’ve got a mess of a day before me. So last night I cleaned up the house, got my husband’s clothes and food ready, and went to bed by a decent hour. Day 1!

    I’ll admit that even though things are going well and the day has started right, I was feeling a little nervous about everything because I’m not used to this much order and time so early in the morning. But then I read your blog post and it gave me a boost of courage. Fear really is the easy way out, and I usually let it win. But not today!

    I think the biggest thing that I’ve been hiding behind in recent years as an excuse for not living has been my inability to have children. In March my husband and I will have been married 5 years, and we’ve wanted children since the beginning. We’ve said a lot of “Someday when we have kids…” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this, except that we’ve put a lot of our dreams on hold by saying that we’ll live them “someday when we have kids.”

    But recently I’ve squared my shoulders. I’m writing a novel, I made caramel corn for Halloween, we actually are going to have a Christmas tree and decorations this year (they’re in my closet) and we took a trip to New York this summer that we’ve talked about since before we were married. Life doesn’t need to wait!

    Thanks for all your encouragement, Charlotte! I’ve missed you and I’m glad you’re back in the blogging world.

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      LOVE this! “Squared my shoulders”–isn’t that what we have to do? Take ourselves firmly in hand and move forward. And so true that life doesn’t need to wait. It will be exciting to see what comes of your new resolve!

  3. I have always wanted to know how to keep an organized, lovely home. I can get it organized one day, but it stays that way exactly one day. I don’t know how to decorate how I like on my tiny budget… it feels hopeless to me.
    However, I did start writing, which was childhood dream. Working on my first book now.

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Kay, you absolutely can learn those things! We’re not born with an organized gene or a decorating-on-a-budget gene; they are learned skills. Sure, some people may flow into it easier, but all of us have the capacity to grow and learn. Baby steps, my friend. Congratulations on working on your childhood dream–I absolutely love that! Your determination will spill over into those other areas!

  4. Charlotte, this post made me realize what I wanted to do and what I did! Thank you for being such a motivator!

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      I know a little of what that is is/was, Gergana. When you think about it, becoming a T-Tapp Trainer and traveling across the world to do it are HUGE accomplishments! Big congratulations–can’t wait to see what’s ahead for you!

  5. Hello,
    I have always wanted to be really in shape and be able to keep up with my kiddos even at age 50! Another desire I have is to create a warm, inviting, clean and organized home. My life has taken some unexpected turns and I am struggling to get through each day as a single mom….. A plan is what the girls and I need…. Maybe I will start with a vision board! And help my girls make one as well! They are 7 and 9.
    Thanks Charlotte!

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Have some fun with that, Keri! It really does help to keep a visual before us. From there decide on some simple, daily steps and then DO them. Your determination is such a great example for your daughters!

  6. Tami Rhymes says:

    Charlotte, I cannot tell you how much I loved this post. I feel like you wrote it just for me! I’m in that place of not even knowing what my dreams are, but feeling like “something” is in there and just wants to get out! I don’t know what that something is, but I’m going to pray that God shows me one step at a time, and that I’ll actually take those steps, instead of staring at the map for the rest of my life!

    Also, it’s so exciting to hear you’re learning photography. My daughter is a professional photographer, and oddly enough, when she started shooting, I wanted to learn. For a while, I thought “What can a legally blind woman do with a camera?” But I couldn’t shake the interest, so she taught me. And now it’s one of my favorite things! Maybe only one out of 50 photos are in focus, but that’s what the delete button is for! And I can honestly say, that the one good photo, is beautifully lit, well composed, and skillfully shot. So, I guess I did follow a little dream! Wow, thanks for reminding me of that!

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Tami, that is AWESOME that you learned to take pictures! I’m encouraged! Several of my children are amazing photographers so fortunately I have some free tutors, lol. I know that it is a matter of DOING, but it starts with believing I can and taking practical action. (and I think I detect a bit of the entrepreneurial spirit in that “something” that wants to get out!)

  7. A month before I turned 19 years old I married my childhood sweetheart and we had a dairy farm for 27 yrs.. The last seven years we feed an orphange of 150 children on a mountailn top in Honduras along with 80 head of cattle and a 1000 head of hogs on our family farm. This was our dream. Life happened.. I quit my four jobs out of necessity and became a jailer at age 42 (a glorified uniformed mother’s position with good pay & paid vacations). My children now adults and thru college. I feed, clothed, laid down the law, gave them their medicine, & turned down the lights at bedtime & said good night, and prayed for my new kids, the inmates in our county jail. Life Happened and suddenly at 46 yrs. of age I was a grieving widow. Gardening was my thearpy and passion. Two years later an old dormant dream arose from the ashes & I moved 350 miles south and attended a Bilble college and took on a full load courses while I worked full time as an armed guard in a bank. Dreamed fulfilled . At age 60 yrs. another childhood hobby of making floor plans practical and livable arose. Changing a house into wonderful place to live presented itself so I went back to school. Now at 62 I buy homes remodel them and either sell them or rent them out.
    My goal is aquire 10 homes and rent them out enabling me to quit my current job and do this full time. I have 3 homes so far. My goal sometimes looks like a mountain but knowing all I have to do is take a step of faith trusting the Lord to open the next door to the dream come true. You see the real dream behind this dream is to feed the orphans, widows, and single moms with my profits..

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Wow. This is incredible and SO encouraging, Paula! Thank you for telling your story. It is so fascinating to see how God uses our dreams to fulfill His purposes. And when we sit on our dreams out of fear or unbelief, we miss out on the adventure! Carry on, sister!

  8. Donnella Looger says:

    Thank you Charlotte and all the others for sharing your stories and dreams. I’ve wanted to become an inspirational writer and speaker. The venue to begin this has just appeared and your “Vision Board” was the missing piece. Thanks you.

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Donnella, that sounds pretty exciting! Enjoy the process and make your vision board beautiful–it’s a great place to start!

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