How to Break Down the Dream and Get Started
three steps to creating a plan
Overcoming feelings of being overwhelmed starts with analyzing the mental, spiritual, and emotional sources of those feelings.
But even once we get past the mental blocks and feelings of being overwhelmed, we might still be in a place where the Dream seems overwhelming.
Now we're at the place where we need to break it down and figure out how to get it moving forward.
take time to map out a vision
, strategy, tactics
Breaking down your dream into a vision, some strategies, and their associated tactics is the key to beating these feelings of being overwhelmed and not getting started.
Carve out some time to do this work. Set aside just a couple of hours to focus and think about how to get this done, and you'll feel so much better on the other side of it!
### Start with Vision
What is a vision, especially in the context of your Dream?
Your vision is the tangible representation of your Dream. You see a need in the world and want to make a difference on a high level - to contribute to the efforts of others in this area, perhaps.
Your vision is how you specifically will go about working on this Dream. It's a tangible way to work on a Dream and something you can visualize happening. An organization, a business, a tangible product or piece of art. The vision is the chunk you're going to take out of the need in the world. Your contribution. And you're going to trust that God has other people working on serving the world in this way, perhaps with a very similar vision and definitely with a very different one.
So at the outset, make sure you have both a Dream and a Vision. Don't settle for a tangible Vision that isn't attached to a larger Dream. And don't let your lofty Dream be out of touch with the real results you're looking to achieve.
In other words, if you have a Dream but haven't visualized it, you need a tangible Vision. If you have a project you're working on, but haven't thought more deeply about they why behind it, the Dream that will power you through the difficult parts of your project, then you might have a Vision but you need to connect with that larger Dream.
### Create some strategies
Once a tangible Vision is in place, it's time to break it down a bit further into several different strategies that at this time you believe are the best strategies to accomplish this Vision.
You should aim for about three to five strategies, prioritized. If you have more than that, you may need to put some aside for now so that you can focus well enough, or perhaps group a few together if you've broken things down with too much detail. If you have less than three to five, you may need to expand a bit so you're not putting all your eggs in one basket, and can be exploring and testing to see what works and what doesn't. (Although if you're already certain about what works, then focusing on one strategy at a time can be a great idea.)
### What are your tactics?
These Strategies are still quite broad, and need to be broken down into specific, actionable tasks that will accomplish these projects.
Getting specific here is important. These are the items that can be easily visualized as accomplished, and can be checked off a list in a reasonable amount of time (say, less than a day).
Obviously, this list of tactics will be ongoing. Some of the items might be recurring, but others will get added on the fly as you move forward. So you won't be able to create a "master list" up front for any Strategy. Try to start with three to five tactics for each Strategy.
### Don't skip a step
Each of these steps - Vision, Strategy, and Tactics - is critical.
If you stay at only the tactical level, checking off task after task, without ever revisiting the Strategy or Vision, you will get lost in the Tactics and lose sight of whether your tasks are even making sense.
And likewise, you must keep evaluating whether your Strategies are serving your Vision. You may get off track, or you may find that after some time with a Strategy you realize it's not accomplishing the Vision. At that point, you'll need to evaluate whether the Strategy should be ditched or the Vision needs to be reworked.
freedom and creativity
It might sound like all of this planning will stifle your creativity. It won't. You'll actually find that getting this simple map in place will free you up to be more creative, without worrying about whether your actions make sense or not.
And remember, this process is not a one-time activity. It's a great way to get started, to get underway in something new if you are feeling overwhelmed. It's also a great way to re-energize your Dream and make sure you're on track with what you've set out to do.
And if you're still feeling the need to make it more creative, then take your Vision-Strategy-Tactics outline and do something creative with it.
### Time saved
Creating a map like this is a huge timesaver. If one of your obstacles in your Dream is time, because your available time to work on your Dream is very short, or the energy to work toward it during those times is low, then this map is going to be a time-saver, helping you know exactly what to work on next. You won't need to spend time thinking up new ideas, nor limiting and choosing from the crazy amount of ideas you might already have.
This map also gives you a chance to stretch and get a bit more creative, pushing yourself to fill out your Vision-Strategy-Tactics outline.
In other words, it's both limiting and expanding, and therefore energizing.
Getting this simple map in place for where you're going is the best way to beat overwhelm and get yourself started.
If you'd like a simple framework for getting started, with a few key questions to help you, be sure to download the Strategy Map below!