Woman lifting weightsIt's funny what cyclical creatures we are. Every year, I--along with a zillion others--pledge to do all kinds of righteous things in January, the New Year, the season of fresh starts. I have the same approach to Mondays. No more messing around. Get down to business. I'm going to become a better person--volunteer, make more time for friends, get healthy, get more work, build my retirement portfolio, etc., etc., etc. By December (like Fridays), I'm just hoping to make it through the day/month in one piece and sink into oblivion for a while.

Of course many of these cyclical goals spring from long-nurtured, long-held visions, fantasies, and daydreams of what we want to be. Maybe you want to be free to travel the world or save the world. Not all dreams are based on wealth, beauty, power, and romance, though many are, and that's also a natural part of life.

Whatever you daydream about--try to see the goal of the daydream and take note of how it motivates you. When daydreams get powerful enough, when they visit us often enough, we may finally be propelled to act, to get off the couch, out the door, and into the world where we can interact with others and hopefully start turning those visions into reality.

To keep in touch with the momentum that descends upon us in January, learn how to tap into the ongoing energy and vision of your daydreams. The first step in learning how to work your daydreams is to simply NOTICE them. Some people are very aware of their daydreams; but for others, they run in the background like an out-of-focus movie or buzzing white noise. By noticing your daydreams, you can begin to see the long-held (maybe even long-buried) goals you have for yourself. You will also be able to see which daydreams no longer serve you or which daydreams might be causing you unnecessary anxiety.

To start noticing the effect your daydreams have on you, take note of the following:

  • When do you find your mind wandering? Do certain situations or activities trigger your daydreams?
  • How many of your daydreams are good? In other words, approximately what percentage do you associate with upbeat emotions, pleasant thoughts, and creative thinking?
  • How many of your daydreams are negative or disturbing to you? Do you have anxiety-filled daydreams? Or are they a distracting list of disjointed things-to-do?
  • Which daydreams go on the longest at any one time, playing more like an internal movie than sporadic images? Do you ever snap out of a daydream and feel like you've been in a trance?
  • Which daydreams really get your heart racing and give you a spike in energy?
  • Do certain daydreams repeat? If so, for how long? Weeks, months, years? Take special note of these.

By becoming more aware of your daydreams, you'll begin to notice the effect they have on you, whether they make you happy or anxious, energized or depleted, feeling positive about the future or stuck in a rut. You'll also gain insight into why you're thinking what you're thinking and what event (prompt) may have launched a specific daydream.

Daydreams are powerful motivators. By nurturing those visions you stand a chance of keeping your resolutions alive and burning all year long (or at least until December rolls around).

© Amy Fries
Photo: istock.com/ Bryan Creely
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