7 Ways to Pursue Your Dreams Right Now

So you’re feeling stuck in a rut and you’re not in the place you imagined you’d be 5 years ago— we’ve all been there. Don’t give up. Accomplishing your goals and making your life HAPPEN is totally doable. The most important thing is to start small. Don’t jump right in and expect everything to fall instantly into your lap. That really only works on the big screen. For the rest of us, it takes time, patience and dedication. Here are 7 quick goal-getting ideas to make your dreams a reality.

1. Want to write? Start a Tumblr.

I joined tumblr as a junior English major in college. My Tumblr began as my idea of the perfect magazine and allowed me to write about the kind of subjects — obscure disco, emerging fashion designers, feminism — I never could while writing papers on Hemingway and Lawrence. More than anything, it was my Tumblr that turned me into a writer. Practice makes (close to) perfect and writing consistently opened me up to new ideas, people and opportunities. It led me to internships, magazine articles. . . even a job. And with a warm, welcoming community-based atmosphere, Tumblr is the perfect place to get your feet wet.

2. Want to run a marathon? Join a local marathon-training group.

Running a marathon does not have to be as dire of a task as it seems. Seriously! I have many friends who never considered themselves runners or even exercise enthusiasts. But running a marathon is one of the most rewarding and most attainable fitness goals. You don’t have to be a world-class runner. And many churches, community centers and fitness clubs offer year-long marathon-training groups for every fitness level so you can work yourself up from “Never in a million years!” to “Catch me at the finish line!”

3. Want to be a style superstar? Join Pinterest.

I’ve been a sequins, glitter, leather and lace girl for most of my life. But as I quickly near my 27th birthday, I’ve wanted to explore different styles I’ve never thought I could pull off. Enter Pinterest. The visual board du jour is the quickest and easiest way to try on different looks and help you define whatever style you’re interested in next. Obsessing over Solange’s mix-and-match prints? Create a board that features only her outfits. Looking to pair down your need for excess? Search (and shop!) for minimalist looks that whisper sophistication.

4. Want to DJ? Download new software.

As a longtime music journalist, I have a lot of friends who DJ. Many grew up studying with albums and a turntable, but many others fell into the scene in the digital age. Software programs like Audacity and Traktor are easy-to-use solutions that teach you the basics from crossfading to chopping and screwing. And maybe you won’t be the next Seth Troxler or Nina Kraviz, but at least you can impress your friends at your next house party.

5. Want to learn a new language? Try Duolingo.

It’s been more than five years since I graduated college and my Spanish language skills have seriously diminished. But a good friend of mine recommended Duolingo as a way to brush up on the basics and I can’t recommend it enough. The smart phone app has tons of available languages and frames learning like it is a game. It also provides reminders when you’ve slacked off on using it.

6. Want to learn how to cook? Start simple.

For me, part of developing a healthy relationship to food was learning how to cook. I LOVE food, but I’m from a Southern family, so my favorite foods tends to be greasy, heavy and indulgent. But learning and loving how to fix different types of cuisine made food enjoyable again. And I didn’t start cooking French with a coq au vin recipe. Instead, I worked my way up with easy recipes for salads or roast vegetables, making cooking accessible and manageable.

7. Want to run a magazine? Create a zine.

We don’t all have the budget to create a new version of Vogue, but making our own zines are as easy as finding a cheap copier. And if that’s out of your budget, consider making an online-only zine. Think of a theme (female DJs? DIY clothing? obscure French films?), scout for images and get creative!

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