OK, so you've got some big dreams, and things you'd really like to have happen in this lifetime, but what happens when those big dreams actually hold you back?
Dreaming big is a good idea in theory, but sometimes that big dream can seem so unreal that it throws a wrench into our progress. Reaching for the stars when we can barely jump off the ground can seem unrealistic and like a waste of time.
When I broke out of my corporate America gig and decided to have a family, I knew deep down that I would eventually want to go back to work. I had big dreams of managing it all and making it all happen.
But the timing wasn't right. The bigness of it all - figuring out my next step while raising a young family seemed overwhelming. It was a struggle of balance - my dreams versus my responsibilities. And while I absolutely loved being with my babies and sharing those moments with them, the business-minded girl that had transformed into a mom still wanted some action.
Take Your First Small Step
While in full throws of motherhood, I had discovered a new passion - yoga. My big dream became to open a yoga studio, which seemed totally unrealistic at the time. But I had to do something, so I decided to enroll in yoga teacher training.
I was in love. I wasn't living my big dream just yet, but it felt good to be working toward it.
Any step in the direction of the ultimate goal is a good step to take, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, it is always, always progress.
I loved every minute of yoga teacher training and became so focused on the experience of it that I found myself completely satisfied with where I was in life. Things were moving, all because I took one step.
Taking Smaller Steps Keeps Us in Check
When we focus on small goals along the way, it gives us a chance to reevaluate what we really want. And for me, that was a good thing.
I dug into the yoga studio idea, attended yoga conferences, took tracks on how to open a studio, but something didn't feel right about having a retail space. I chose instead to start teaching out of my house and realized it was the teaching that I loved, not so much the idea of managing the business side of it. The idea of a studio became lackluster.
Small Goals Lead to Big Epiphanies
Realizing the business side of it wasn't the lure anymore, I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed teaching. I surprised myself with a change of heart. If I would have jumped in head first into a dream I thought I wanted, I would have been sorely disappointed. My small steps were leading me to a deeper knowing of a new dream.
Be Flexible to Change
As we change, so will what we want, which is why flexibility is crucial.
Each yoga class I taught I began to realize how much I enjoyed the connection I made with everyone in class. I also began to notice that yoga was a conduit for that connection, but I wanted to serve in a deeper way.
Having reached a place of where I thought I wanted to be - growing my in-home yoga business and doing some volunteer teaching on the side, I knew deep down this wasn't it.
Frustration can rear it's head when the realization of a dream that was once held is dissipating. There was something else for me out there, but I couldn't pinpoint what it was. Staying flexible to change - my own inner changes - without judgment or regret, I was able to accept what was in store for me next.
Be Open to Coincidences / Signs
Flexibility keeps us open, which was exactly what I needed to be when the idea of becoming a life coach came into my existence.
The mundane task of washing dishes changed the trajectory of my life, which was what I was doing when the idea of becoming a life coach was planted into my heart. I was listening to a speaker, who later became my teacher, speak of her work. It was as if every single cell in my body resonated with what she was saying, and coincidentally she was opening up a training that began the following month. Within the next few days I had the training and airfare to Chicago booked. I was taking a step on a path I had never really considered before and had never been so excited.
Focus on Feeling Good Now and Appreciate the Winding Path
Fast forward two years later and I am very happily coaching clients today. It is such an intrinsic part of my being, nothing I've done professionally has ever brought me so much joy. And I work around my kids' schedules, which means my inner mama is also very, very happy.
Had someone told me what my path looked like when I got started I would have not believed them! But looking back at the time I spent getting here, it all makes sense now.
Granted, I changed my vision boards a few times along the way, but luckily they weren't permanent. The big dream of opening a yoga retail business took me to what I truly love doing - coaching.
Setting small, achievable goals and getting started on those goals asap is such a great way to kick-start your happiness and contentment. This is true with anything you want to achieve - weight-loss, quitting smoking, changing vocations - you name it, it all starts with one achievable goal to get your momentum going.
And even when you go off the rails a bit, which we all do, another small achievable goal will get you back on track. It makes you realize that really and truly anything is possible, even those big dreams, one small step at a time.
With lots of love every small step of the way,
P.S. Do you have a small goal in mind? Spill the beans below and consider yourself well on your way.
You can find out more about Danielle at www.Danielle-Vaughn.com
HuffPost's GPS for the Soul app is based on two truths about human beings. First: We all have a centered place of wisdom, harmony and balance within us. Second: We're all going to veer away from that place, again and again and again. What we need is a great course-correcting mechanism -- a GPS for the Soul -- to help us find our way back to that centered place, from which everything is possible.
Because no one knows better than you what helps you de-stress and tap into that place of peace inside yourself, it's important for you to create your very own GPS guide -- a personalized collection of whatever helps you course-correct. Email us at GPS@huffingtonpost.com and we'll set you up with your very own HuffPost blogger account to share your guide on the site. If you're already a blogger, we encourage you to upload your personal guide today. We can't wait to see what you have to share.