By Bonnie McFarland

It’s January, a time that many people, hoping to improve their lives, make New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately experts say that in less than a month the majority of those resolutions will already be broken.

So why not completely skip the resolutions and create a “lights on” vision for 2008 instead? A vision of what you truly want that can energize you and guide you as you make this your best year ever!

My Vision Became a Reality
In 2002 I realized how much I would love to have a water view house. I shared my dream with Denny, my husband, who then joined me in looking for a new home.

We drove around countless neighborhoods, searched on the internet, let people know we were looking, checked out any likely possibility, made calls, and wrote letters to property owners. For five years!

During this time, I used my “life tools,” (many of them over and over again): getting clear about my vision, setting my intention, creating a vision map, calling on my allies, following our lights (what energized and enlivened us) and our curiosity, noticing what was and wasn’t showing up, shifting my attention away from Monkey Mind and toward what I wanted, de-cluttering our existing house, and releasing the outcome.

Many times we became discouraged and frustrated (especially me!). I would give up for a while. Then I would return to my vision of what I really wanted, refining it over time and still knowing I truly wanted a house with a view of the water. Denny stayed patient and persistent, trusting it would happen, persevering.

On December 7, 2023 — nearly six years after we began the process — my vision became a reality. On that day, we picked up the keys to our water view home!

It is different than my original vision. It’s on Samish Island, rather than in the Seattle area. It’s a house in need of some updating and remodeling, rather than a new home. It doesn’t even have a garage, which my car-loving husband wouldn’t have thought he could do without.

And we love it!

This new place is so much more than I ever dreamed. The property is more than water view; it is waterfront, so close to the water it seems as if we’re sitting on a boat. On Samish Island, we unexpectedly and delightedly have found community and an ever-growing circle of friends. We love the quiet and natural beauty of this area.

We had a vision. It took us a long time and we faced a number of challenges. We didn’t give up our vision, though, and now our dreams have come true.

In Your Life
How can you make your own dreams come true? Try these steps:

1) Get clear about what you truly, deeply want for this year.

What lights you up? What do you love? If anything were possible, what would you ask for?

Imagine the life you desire. Sense it. See it. How will you feel when this comes true?

The more specific and detailed your vision, the better. Don’t worry if you’re not yet crystal clear. Start with what you do know and let that evolve and become clearer over time.

2) Make it concrete and keep your focus on it.

Write it down. Create a drawing or collage that represents your vision. Post your vision where you’ll see it frequently so it will remind you of your desires and your commitment to create your vision.

3) Use whatever life tools work for you.

You may well face challenges and obstacles. As I mentioned, I used many of my life tools over and over during this process. What are your most effective tools for living? Use them.

4) Take “lights on” actions.

Follow your curiosity and your energy to choose action steps. The steps can be big or small; what matters is that you are moving in the direction of your vision.

5) Notice and be open to what shows up.

Life sends little clues to guide you, clues that may look different than expected.

Denny was lights on about spending time on Samish Island. When we did that, we fell in love with the island and shifted our home search there, 100 miles from where we had been looking. Samish Island turned out to be just the place we were meant to be and it was very different from our initial vision.

6) Balance between focusing on your vision and releasing it.

We first heard that our new home might be coming on the market nearly a year ago. In the months that followed, we sometimes joyously thought the house would be ours; sometimes disappointedly believed it was sold to others.

We did our best to ride this roller coaster. We repeatedly returned to our clear desire to own a home on the Island and our trust that it would be that particular one if it was for our highest good or, if not, something better would appear (even if we had no idea what that could possibly be!).

The key is “Don’t give up your dream.” It may take longer than you’d like (not that it has to take you six years!). It may look different than you thought it would. And don’t give up your dream.

May all your dreams come true — and even better!


Author’s Bio

Bonnie McFarland works with women at midlife who are bored, stuck, or restless and wondering what to do with the rest of their lives. Bonnie’s e-book, “What Lights You Up? Your Guide to Pleasure, Passion, and Purpose in Life,” as well as “Light Matters,” her ezine with tips and tools for getting more of what you truly want, are both available free at