When I turn on the TV, open a newspaper or hop online, all I see and read are the negative stories about our horrible economic situation. This news is very important, as it affects the lives of every American, but I’m beginning to wonder—are we focusing on it too much?

We all need balance in our lives. Unfortunately, right now many are weighed down by the discouraging news. I’m beginning to see people’s dreams crushed by the economy and many losing sight of their dreams.

So I decided to write this article to begin balancing lives with positivity. My goal is to give you and every American a little hope—hope that your dreams can and will come true.

Don’t have any money to achieve your dreams? Don’t let that stop you! I am living proof that you truly can accomplish your dreams with little or no money. I’ve done it time and time again, and you can too. Here are a few of my tips and secrets to help you achieve your dreams in today’s economy.

•Focus on the Positives

The best way to lift your spirits is to focus on the positive aspects in your life. While growing up, each night we’d go around the dinner table with stories from our day. But before we could begin, we had to answer one question: what good thing happened today? At the time I’d roll my eyes when it was my turn, but as an adult I look back and see the value in this. It trains your brain to think positive, which brings more happiness into your life. So the next time you sit down for dinner or breakfast, or your meal on-the-go, stop and ask yourself: what good thing happened today?

Another great way to focus on the positives is to surround yourself with cheerful and positive things. I like to place quotes or pictures around my desk, so I have something that inspires me throughout the day. You could also try watching a TV show that sends a positive message or even pick up a book or magazine to read a positive story.

•Remember Past Achievements

When I’m faced with a challenge or if I’m feeling blue, I like to reminisce about the great achievements in my life. It reminds me that I’ve overcome obstacles and succeeded in the past, which means I can surly do it again.

Flip through old photo albums and journals to reminisce on the good ol’ days. Better yet create a book about your lifetime accomplishments.

•Give Yourself Permission to Dream

This is the most crucial piece of advice I could give you. Stephen Leacock once said, “It may be those who do most, dream most.” This quote pretty much sums it up. If you don’t give yourself permission to dream, then you’ll never achieve your dreams. So what if we’re faced with some difficult financial times right now. It doesn’t hurt to write down your dreams—both big and small.

Take some time right now, to start creating your dream list. What would you like to do? Where would you like to go? What would you like to see? Who would you like to meet? Dream Big!

•Be Aware of Opportunities

Once you write your dream list, you’ll start noticing more opportunities related to your dream. If the time is right, jump on it. Don’t let those opportunities pass you by!

•Start Simple

Boost your confidence by starting with a simple dream first, that you can achieve with little time and money. When you’re able to check off a couple items, you’ll notice your spirits rise and your heart will feel more fulfilled.

Another way to start simple is to break your big, complicated dreams into smaller steps and goals. This is important for achieving any dream at any time in your life. I guarantee you’ll feel less overwhelmed if you focus on small steps. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself accomplishing your dreams.

•Get Creative

Here comes the fun part…well at least for me it’s fun. Try to find creative ways to achieve your dreams with little or no money. Believe me, anything is possible. You just need to think outside the box. Many of the dreams I’ve accomplished happened with little or no $$. Here’s how:

1) Trade Your Products or Services: If you don’t have the money for your dream, why not see if you can trade your products or services?

2) Work in Exchange: If you don’t have the money and you don’t have products or services to trade, see if you can work in exchange. Even if you work fulltime, you may be able to find a couple hours each week to work in exchange for your dream.

3) Find Free Services: We are very fortunate right now. We have an amazing tool that has never been available in our history until now. It’s called the internet. Jump online and do a little searching on your dream topic. You’ll be surprised to find out how many products and services are free online.

4) Network: Share your dream list with others who might be able to help you along the way. You may get tips and connections from others who accomplished your dream. Join online groups or forums to connect with like-minded people. Maybe you can join forces to make your dreams come true.

•Make It Happen
Don’t let the financial crisis crush your dreams. Tell yourself, I CAN and WILL achieve my dreams. So stop giving yourself excuses and start making your dreams come true!

Remember that the economic downturn is only temporary. Be aware of what is happening, but don’t let it get you down. I’ll leave you with a quote that I read quite often when I’m faced with challenges. It gets me pumped to overcome my obstacles and I hope it inspires you too.

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
~ Albert Einstein

Author's Bio: 

Since her childhood, Melissa Borghorst, author of the Dream List Photo Journal series, has been dreaming up fun and exciting things to accomplish in her lifetime. By following a few simple steps and creating her own Dream List Photo Journal, she has achieved extraordinary feats: skydiving, river rafting, riding in a hot air balloon, backpacking across Europe, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, singing, dancing and acting in a musical, and becoming an author and entrepreneur. Through life coaching, workshops and seminars, her positive spirit and can-do approach has inspired audiences to follow their dreams and celebrate their accomplishments.