THE BLOG
12/28/2014 03:31 pm ET Updated Feb 27, 2015

The Simple but Overlooked Key to Achieving Your Dreams

When I was a young girl, I dreamed of being a writer.

Then life happened. I listened to everyone but my own soul, the dream of a writing career feel by the wayside, and I followed a much more traditional career path.

Then the voice of my inner spirit and guide started pestering me loudly. And once again, I decided I would become a writer. This is how I did it.

I researched and read hundreds of blog posts on how to be a writer.

Did it make me a writer? No.

I took an online course at a popular writing school.

Did it make me a writer? No.

I reached out to some of my writing heroes and asked them to tell me in detail about their own path and tips.

Did it make me a writer? No.

I spent time in the shower, on my morning walk, sitting on the couch and lying in bed thinking about being a writer.

Did it make me a writer? No.

I sat down and wrote an article. It was not the greatest piece of writing. In fact, it was rather ordinary.

Did it make me a writer? Yes.

The moral of the story (in case you haven't picked it up) is that you achieve things through taking action, not just thinking and hoping and dreaming.

Learning and researching is fantastic, but you need to take what you've learned and put it into practice.

Visualizing and dreaming is essential, but you need to take real action in daily life.

Feeling inspired? Here three tips to take your dreams and make them a reality:

1. Start before you feel ready.

There will never be a perfect time to start, and you will never know absolutely everything about a particular task or undertaking before you try it.

Remember that you will learn as you go, and have faith that you will be able to overcome any challenges as they arise.

2. Break big dreams down into smaller steps.

If you dream of becoming a marathon running or writing a book, the mountain ahead of you can seem overwhelmingly huge. That's why it's useful to break your bigger dreams down into smaller, actionable steps.

You won't be able to run a whole marathon tomorrow, but you can run a few miles around your neighborhood and aim to increase your distance each week. You won't be able to write a book in a day, but you can outline the subtopics and write 200 words each morning before work.

3. Get comfortable with the feeling of uncertainty.

You don't always need to know exactly how you'll achieve your dreams - you just need to know the next few steps. Here is a short visualization exercise to help demonstrate the point.

Imagine yourself walking along a long road late at night. It's dark, and you've got a lamp which lights up a few feet of the road out in front of you. You're trying to reach a beautiful, warm and cozy house filled with friends, good food and laughter at the end of the road.

Does it matter that it's dark and you can't see all the way ahead to the house?

No. All you need to see is a few feet ahead on the road -- once you walk forward, the lamp will light up another few feet in front of you. This will continue all the way to the house.

It's the same with life. You don't need to know steps 1-100 to achieve your dream career, find your soul mate or tap into wealth and abundance. You just need to know steps 1-5. When you complete step 5, you'll probably have figured out steps 6, 7 and 8. When you complete step 8, it's likely that steps 9 and 10 will be clearer. Continue until you reach step 100.

Take a moment to picture your biggest dream or goal right now. What small steps can you start taking today to make it happen?

Elyse is the founder of NotesOnBliss.com, your guidebook to happiness and creating a beautiful life, and the creator of the Beautiful Life Bootcamp 6-week eCourse. For free tips and inspiration, sign up now.