The Care and Feeding of a Baby Dream

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When people think of changing their lives, they often daydream about the BIG MOMENT, the point where they cease living the everyday and begin living their version of the good life. It is a lottery winner mindset, one that says "until X happens, you won't be living your dream."

If you think of your own dreams this way, waiting for something to happen to show you that your dream is finally real, I'd like to challenge you to try something new. Something revolutionary, in fact.

Stop imagining your dream as a full-grown adult and see it as an infant, waiting to be nurtured by you every hour of every day until it is ready to stand on it's own.

You see, your dream comes to life the minute you take the first step toward it, and it grows bigger every time you take another step. Most people are waiting for a mature dream to appear in their lives, not understanding it is up to them to grow and nurture this spark of an idea into a full-grown reality.

Nurturing your dream

Your dream needs care and feeding to grow, and this means everyday attention from you. You may think these tiny actions are not important, but over time they add up to the very thing you want the most.

Baby Steps

Your dream won't grow by leaps and bounds, but it will make pretty fast progress with daily small steps. If you want your baby dream to run marathons as an adult, you need to first teach it out to crawl.

Think of the smallest step you could take today toward your dream life and then do it. Aim for a task that will take less than an hour. The sense of completion will inspire you to take another small step tomorrow, and again the next day, and so on. This is how dreams mature.

  • Make the call
  • Write the outline
  • De-clutter one shelf
  • Walk around the block
  • Eat one meatless meal


Deadlines are the same thing as birthdays for your baby dream. Every time you meet a deadline, your dream gets a little bit more mature. Your sense of accomplishment grows each time, motivating you to do even more. (It's up to you if you want bake a cake every time you meet a deadline. I vote yes.)

  • Call 10 new people this month to share your idea/project
  • Write 2000 words per day on your masterpiece
  • De-clutter enough to park your car in the garage by December 1
  • Run a 10K race by next spring
  • Become a vegetarian by New Year's Day


It takes a while to raise a dream from infancy to adulthood, and sometimes you'll get tired. This is when the people you trust with your dream will come to the rescue, supporting you when you're down, encouraging you when you feel defeated, and cheering you on when your dream takes a growth spurt.

  • Share your dream with the people in your life so they can support you
  • Seek out others who want the same dream through clubs, the Internet and meetup groups
  • Ask for everything you need and most of what you want
  • Give yourself some downtime to recharge and rejuvenate
  • Repay your sitters by helping them support their baby dreams

Living your dream

A funny thing happens when you envision your dream as a baby instead of an adult.

You stop expecting the dream to work for you and begin doing the necessary work for the dream.

The mind shift is subtle but profound, and by realistically seeing your dreams – and the work needed to achieve them – you'll see far more of them reach productive adulthood.

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About the author

Betsy Talbot

Betsy Talbot and her husband Warren grew their baby dream of world travel into a giant, turning that spark of an idea into a lifestyle in just 25 months. They have been traveling since 2010, most recently in Spain. Find out how they created the right mindset and saved the cash in their book, Dream Save Do. Read more about their life lessons from world travel at  Married with Luggage