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Daring to Dream Big: The Courage Needed to Pursue Your Goals

Hello loves!

It's finally that time of the year again. Winter is on its way with refreshing, chilly air and cozy, grey skies. The leaves are falling in piles of reds, oranges, and browns, and stores are filled with the smell of pine, cinnamon, and hot drinks. Just like every year since the first cold season, people are preparing to hunker down with friends, family, and good food to wait out the winter.

The world outside slows down and the Holiday season speeds up, and people find themselves with their thoughts a lot more than usual.

It's not surprising that winter = self-reflection. I mean think about it, we have a day just to remind ourselves of what we are thankful for in life, holidays that celebrate the moment a spark of hope came back to the world, and parties that ring in the New Year with resolutions about what we're going to do better next time.

November and December give us the chance to reflect on the previous 300-something days and think over what went right... and also what went wrong.

Perhaps it's the overwhelming emphasis on trying to constantly be "merry and bright" or just the ever-present cloudy overcast above, but I've noticed that toward the end of the year, people are just ready to be done with it. Already, I've been hearing things like:

"Thank goodness this year is almost over."

"2023 was exhausting. It'll be better next year."

"I just need to make it to January. I'll start doing ___ then."

There's a widespread belief that a New Year will push us to improve our lives. As far back as childhood, we associate the New Year with something exciting and promising. The first December 31st that we got to stay up until Midnight like all the super cool adults did, seemed to promise that the year would be full of chances for us to grow up. Even now as adults, we hold on tightly to the potential of a New Year.

The promise of things starting over. A clean slate. New Year, New Me.

And it's great to shake off the past, look to the future, and take the necessary steps forward in getting the life we want. But my question is: why do we have to wait until the New Year?

As a disclaimer, I just want to say I love making New Year's Resolutions. I love ending a year by looking back on all I accomplished.

And yet-- I don't like how easy it is to push off a goal because "I'll just wait until the New Year to try again".

It's scary to chase after a dream. And it's far easier to shove down the part of you that's been gazing at your faraway dream for weeks, months, or even years, and put it off as a *New Year Only Pursuit*. After all, everyone else will be working on their resolutions come January 1st, too, so you'll feel even more motivated to keep it up throughout the entire year, right?

Yeah, think of all the gym memberships that never get used after two weeks into the New Year and ask that again.

I think everyone has big dreams (secret or not) that they've been carrying in their hearts and quietly wondering what it would be like for them to come true. There are constant stories of athletes and researchers and creatives who do something spectacular and they always say something along the lines of "I've been dreaming about this day for forever!"

And there are constantly people who watch those big dreamers make their goals a reality and wish their dreams would come true too.

The difference between the active dreamers and the passive watchers is quite simply courage. No, you don't need enough courage to scale Mt Everest (unless that's your dream, which shoutout to you) or to battle with a dragon or something. What you do need is the courage to believe in your dream and to go after it, even when it gets crazy hard.

Pursuing something always requires you to get out of your comfort zone. It can take a lot of hard work and a lot of time to make a dream come true. No matter what social media says: No one has ever made their dream happen in one night. I promise.

In actuality, chasing a dream means you'll fail, at least once. Usually, the bigger the dream, the more times you'll fail. Sometimes, you'll fail publicly and in front of friends and strangers alike.

But that's okay! Failure is all part of the learning and growing process. It's nothing to shy away from. Any dream worth making real will always have a decent amount of failure accompanying it.

To achieve your goals, trust in yourself and your dream. Surround yourself with people working toward a similar dream or those who have already fulfilled an aspect of it. When times are hard, remind yourself of why you set out to do this in the first place. In the failure, find the lesson that will help you succeed more next time.

And most importantly, have courage.

Have the courage to dream big and to make that dream a reality.

Have the courage to change your life for the better.

And when you see those who have gone before, those who are reaching their goals, find the courage and confidence to tell yourself that one day that will be you.

Life is shorter than we think and gets busier than we anticipate. It's easy to play it safe, to wait for "the right time" or to try not to rock the boat too much. But if you want to pursue your dreams then you have to take a risk. You'll have to fail and have to learn that failure is a part of life. You'll have to ask for help from others who have gone before and accept that some people might not understand why you are working so hard for something.

That's okay. It is your life, after all. People don't have to understand your why so long as they support you in your efforts.

I have always believed that we are given our dreams for a reason. Trust that you have yours for a reason, embrace the wild and courageous side of yourself, and set out with strong, encouraging friends at your side.

You don't have to wait for the New Year to begin taking steps to the life you want now.

Love y'all!

"But as for you, be strong. Don't be weak and don't give up, because you will get a reward for your good work!" --2 Chronicles 15:7

"When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I have discovered things along the way that I never would have seen, had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve."-- Paulo Coelho The Alchemist

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