Cooling Stress Tips: Going After Dreams You’ve Put On Hold

Judi Light Hopson
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Judi Light Hopson, author of the stress management book, “Cooling Stress Tips” shares her best advice to get your dreams back on track.


Do you feel frustrated that you can’t move your dreams forward? Maybe you’d like to finish your college degree. Or would you like to restore your grandfather’s antique car or take a trip abroad?

Your dreams are there in front of you, but they might be fading. You likely feel overwhelmed about the amount of effort they would require.

Before you allow a sad feeling to grip you, try a new approach. Take some small steps to get your dreams back on track.

Just getting a few things moving in the right direction can fuel your motivation.

These tips can help:

– Ask: “What single step would move me forward, even a tiny bit?” For example, could you do some research on refurbishing an antique car? Or, why not start watching online travel videos of the country you want to visit?

– Figure out the money piece of your dream. For example, if you want to finish your college degree, could you obtain a grant or scholarship? Does your place of employment offer financial aid for education? To afford your trip abroad, could you offer to go with a non-profit group? You might exchange work for airfare and hotel expenses.

– Dig until you find answers. For instance, could you join a car club to get ideas for restoring an old vehicle? Could you talk a friend into guiding you as you work on the car?

Most people give up their dreams when the steps seem hard. But, with creative drive and plenty of information, you can find a way to make a dream come true.

Building the steps to your dream should start on paper. Just like constructing a house, you have to envision all the steps and the final outcome. Write lists, scribble ideas, and make drawings.

“Losing a dream takes something out of your soul,” says a musician we’ll call Trey. “For example, I’ve always wanted to write a hit song.”

Trey got busy a few months ago writing 10 songs. He’s going to pick three to submit to performers and song publishers. He says, “My first goal is to get one song recorded by a good artist. My next goal will be to get one of my songs reviewed by a top artist.”

“I got so aggravated about my lost dreams, I went to a motivational coach last year,” says a real estate agent we’ll call Peyton. “Money wasn’t my problem. My fiancee had broken our engagement, so I felt like the new house I’d wanted to build was a lost dream. What good would my house be, living all alone?”

Peyton says he revamped his house plans, changing the square footage to include some amenities he’d dreamed of, such as a library room with lots of bookshelves.

“When my house was under construction, I got back into dating,” Trey explains. “Pushing ahead to accomplish something is always a good idea. My advice is to never stop one dream because another dream didn’t work out.”

Spending just two hours every week on writing that book, play or song will add up. Planning a trip for “someday” might require dedicated time every month. But moving in the right direction will rev up your motivation.

“My dream to visit Ireland worked out two years ago,” says a young teacher we’ll call Carrie. “My aunt got excited hearing about my dream, so she called a friend of hers in London. The friend helped us make all the arrangements and rent a small apartment near Dublin for two weeks. Your excitement can trigger other people to jump in and help you accomplish your dream.”

(Judi Light Hopson is author of the stress management book, “Cooling Stress Tips.” She is also executive director of USA Wellness Cafe at

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