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Posted on October 4th, 2012 by Dawn Bowles
A Dream, a vision, a goal, a desire, these are all things most of us know we need when we are working towards success but have somewhere along the line, forgotten why it is so important we follow them through.

So I have created this list….. Well, lets call it a reminder of why it is so important to follow your dreams.

The 16 Reasons Why It Is So Important To Follow Your Dreams

1. The secret of living is giving, if you follow your dreams then you will have something worth sharing with others, hope, inspiration and a meaning to live, and that to me, is a great contribution.

2. Chasing your dreams will develop your courage. Courage is your fuel to achieve amazing success in life, follow your dreams and exercise courage. In sure enough time you will be unstoppable.

3. There is a reason why as kids we loved magic and dreams. Stop chasing your dreams and you will forget how it feels to live hopeful and young.

4. Great dreamers grow to be independent, learning that they can make a difference all by themselves.

5. Dreams can distract you from the negative events in life. You will weigh up what is more important, your dreams or the drama. Drama seems obsolete when you are passionate about following your dreams.

6. It gives you something to share and inspire your kids with, you have led by example that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.

7. Through accomplishing your dreams you will come to appreciate the experience of failure and know that failure is just part of success and that it wasn’t really all that bad as it was all worth it in the end.

8. Regret is a terrible thing, and a dream is powerful enough to bring you regret if you don’t take the chance to at least follow it.

9. Because you are never too old to dream. Age means nothing when we know what we want.

10. You become an interesting person, you show others you have meaning, direction and purpose.

11. The unknown of following your dreams may spark a little fear, this is okay though because a little fear is known to make you feel more alive.

12. It is fun proving the world wrong, so why would you follow the status quo?

13. The more you chase and accomplish your dreams the more the lines of the boundaries that the world puts in front of us fade, as we learn that any and everything is possible.

14. When you accomplish your dream, you are the first to see it happen. You can share your accomplishments with the rest of the world but you where there in the front row on a single chair to experience the magic that unfolded.

15. Your dreams have no limits, you are the creator of your dreams, big or small. When this is understood, you are able to design a way to favour you plan and accomplish your end goal.

16. A dream is strong enough to define you, once accomplished you prove to others they have no say in who you can and can’t be.

Posted on October 27th, 2011 by Dawn Bowles

Yes, that’s right-106!

I love this highly readable guest post by Tommy Walker on www.chrisbrogan.com. Somehow, it only takes a few minutes to scroll through for a quick jolt of “just do it” juice.  At least that’s what it did for me. Enjoy.

Posted on May 4th, 2011 by Dawn Bowles

We first posted this last year and it’s that time again. Just some refresher ideas on how to “green” your wedding.

With Earth Day not long ago passed, and wedding season starting to kick off, we thought we’d focus on the ways couples are planning eco-friendly weddings. Becoming more popular and more mainstream – “Green Weddings” are the latest trend in wedding planning. Here are some tips for planning an environmentally friendly union:

Reduce
With the economic down-turn, many couples are reconsidering that ice-sculpture or the 10 white doves being released at the ceremony. If budget isn’t enough of a reason to trim your wedding, hopefully the environment is. Consider whether or not you really need all the pomp & circumstance – often it’s the small touches that are remembered.

Alternative Venues
Getting married in an unconventional setting like the beach or at the entranceway to your favorite hiking trail is a great idea. It is a perfect opportunity to draw attention to the beauty of the great outdoors and strengthen your environmental commitment.

The logistics of an outdoor wedding without the basics can be a nightmare, so plan carefully. Also, remember to look into permitting from your local municipality.

Also, having your wedding and reception at the same venue will save time and money while reducing the carbon footprint of your wedding. Being able to move outside while the space is being made over from ceremony to soiree is a great help, and your caterer will thank you too.

Invitations
Now more than ever people are finding that their friends are scattered all over the globe. Rather than sending invitations via snail-mail, why not send out an e-vite instead? Without the costs of embossing, envelope addressing, stamps and of course the carbon footprint of mail, you’re going easy on your wallet while also going easy on the earth. There are many websites tailored specifically for wedding invitations, check out Wedding Tracker, Wedding Window and EWedding.

The Menu
Food is a hot topic – how do you plan for an eco-friendly meal? The best bet is to try to use local food whenever possible. Encourage your caterer to shop at farmer’s markets and local grocers. If you aren’t a complete carnivore – consider a vegetarian or fish-based meal. Not only will it be lighter, meaning your guests won’t be feeling sluggish when it’s time to hit the dance floor; but you won’t have to navigate through the meat debates (Organic? Free range? Grass fed?). Consider serving organic wine at your table too.

Flowers
Some people have made beautiful arrangements with wild flowers. If you haven’t got the time to go flower picking, the next best option is to look for locally grown, fairly traded, organic or Veriflora flowers. Veriflora is a sustainability certification program for flowers that are grown in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and meet the highest standards for freshness and quality.

Bridal Registry
We’re a little biased here, but we think DreamBank is the best option when it comes to an eco-friendly alternative in the world of gift registries. Not only does posting your dream gift ensure that you get what you want – but it also means that no unwanted ‘stuff’ is going into landfills and automatically help a charity in the process. Check out some of the great wedding ideas other dreamers have posted: South East Asian Honeymoon, A Bunch of Cool Things, and a Piece of Original Art.  If you want a straight cash registry (without the charitable benefit), there is also, ourwishingwell.com and uponourstar.com.

Other interesting options are gifts in kind. Consider creating a list of duties that guests can volunteer for. You may know a graphic designer who might agree to design your e-vite and there are always friends that will help decorate your venue.

Keep it Casual
Keeping it casual works well for weddings where green is the theme. If you are married to the idea of a traditional wedding with all the trimmings, then going green can be prohibitively expensive. Renting as much of what already exists in the world is your best course of action.

The Honeymoon
According to a Wedding Bells Magazine survey, a typical honeymoon lasts 8.8 nights; 67 percent plan to spend their honeymoon outside of the country, and 56 percent plan to stay at an all-inclusive resort, spending $3,735 on average. This involves flying and that means more carbon emissions. What can you do? Consider purchasing carbon offsets (carbon offsets are where you trade off one activity that contributes to greenhouse gas emissions with a financial contribution to an activity or cause that saves emissions).

You may look at offsetting the CO2 generated by the air travel of guests attending your wedding by buying credits in a green technology. Visit a site like Carbon Fund or Offsetters where you can use a handy calculator to tally up your entire carbon footprint for the wedding. You can then buy credits in anything from renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects.

For more resources on how to plan the perfect green wedding, check out:

Suite101’s Green Wedding Article

GreatGreenWeddings.com

GreenWeddings.com

And check out some of the more popular wedding sites like bride.ca and theknot.com, as they have “green” sections. Just type in ” green” in their search area and you’ll find some more ideas.

Happy planning and please let us know what else you’ve found or done to keep your special day “green”.

Posted on March 29th, 2011 by Dawn Bowles

So many dreams gifts on DreamBank are somehow related to travel. Whether it’s a honeymoon in South East Asia, surf camp in Costa Rica, or an urban adventure in big city London,  we humans seem to crave discovering new places and experiences.   I found the post below about strategies to fund that special trip on Your Wisdom, and though maybe the dreaming community could use some inspiration and pointers to help fulfill that travel dream. The blog is target to women but there’s a tip or two for everyone. We add  DreamBank to the list too, of course:).  Happy planning and bon voyage in advance!

By Mimi Bullock – Tue, Nov 9, 2010 6:50 AM PST

The hardest thing about travel planning is saving for your dream trip. For me, putting enough money aside was the difference between a one star and a five star trip. Small sacrifices I made paid off huge when I had my backpack ready and was holding my ticket to Java in my hand. My travel planning began long before my plane ticket purchase. I didn’t have a large bankroll or “sugar daddy” to fund my trip; I did it on my own with some practical travel planning.

There are four main ways to save for your dream trip. Allow yourself some time, up to a year, to save all that you need. Try these practical ideas and get to your destination quicker.

Earning Extra Moolah

It’s the greenbacks that you need lassie! Use your creative noggin to make some extra cash to place in a savings account. Open your account to prepare for the extra cash you’ll be bringing in with these extra ideas.

• Take a second job

• Moonlight on the side by getting some private work and private pay

• Do some weekend babysitting, bartending or personal shopping

• Sell things from your home on eBay or Amazon

• Teach a craft or skill for a fee

Expense Slashing

Besides making more, you will need to trim your current budget. Look at your monthly expenditures and start snipping. Remember today’s sacrifices will pay off tomorrow!

• Stop ordering and eating out

• Quit smoking

• Skip the bar, have a drink at home

• Brown bag your lunch

• Trade down on your car

• Turn off cable

• Cancel magazine subscriptions

Save, Save, Save

Manage your savings with smart girl savvy. Use these tips to help you save, save, save!

• Stash loose change daily in a piggy jar or travel jar

• Review your travel plans and select the less expensive options

• Store your travel savings in an account that draws you interest

• Keep a spending journal

• Create a budget for you trip

• Make a goal poster featuring pictures of your destination

Offset Travel Costs

Consider taking a non-standard trip. You can offset your trip costs by doing a little “work” along the way. Offset travel costs by trying these money saving travel tips.

• Divide your trip into legs and assign each “leg” a budget amount

• Visit travel forums and ask other travelers about their trip costs

• Volunteer along the way and get free room and board

• Consider alternative travel like train, bus or sailing

Dream Trip Tips

• Keep your money with you at all times

• Carry small bills of both US and local currency

• Put your money in a money belt, neck or leg wallet

• Travelers checks are good to carry too

• Carry a prepaid credit card

Budget Travel Insurance

Whether you dream of dancing around the Pyramids or exploring Pompeii you may need travel insurance. Travel insurance protects you when you lose your belongings, your money is stolen or your trip is cancelled. Review the pros and cons of travel insurance before making a decision.

Pros

• If you don’t know the local language and you are hurt, medical insurance will give you medical advice in your native language.

• If you have an accident while trying the bungee or get sick eating a foreign delicacy you will be covered.

• If you have limited personal assets that would be depleted if you were hospitalized.

Cons

• Travel insurance can be expensive.

• The insurance coverage may be confusing.

• You may never have occasion to use it.

Alright, adventurous woman, the open road lies before you. Don’t take it by foot; travel in style using your travel savings!

Posted on January 24th, 2011 by Dawn Bowles

DreamBank is nominated for the Index Design to Improve Life Award 2011!

Please take literally 5 seconds to “like” our nomination here. The judges are the ones who decide in the end, but it never hurts to be popular.  Please excuse the poor display images in our entry. There are some glitches in the INDEX system but apparently the judges see the images and info properly.

Though not the most user-friendly system for public consumption, it’s worth the effort to see some of the diverse (very!) “design” projects represented from all over the world. From Fireshield Underwear to crazy looking cars of the future. You may  stumble on a few big names too. The iPad? Never heard of it…:)

And here are a few more random examples:

  • SOccket: A soccer ball that captures the energy generated during game play (North America)
  • The UN Global Compact Dilemma Game: A game that empowers businesses to act against social and environmental abuses (Europe)
  • Benga Toilet: Provides a sanitary, dignified means of disposing human waste for slum dwellers ( Africa)

At INDEX:, we dream of a world that is designed to suit the needs and aspirations of mankind. Our eight years of experience have shown, through thousands of conversations and thousands of life-improving designs, that design is a decisive factor of a better world. More about INDEX and the award

We  “heart” INDEX and the fantastic work that they do!

Posted on December 24th, 2010 by Dawn Bowles

Wishing you a fun and festive holiday with friends and family!  We’re planning some exciting changes in 2011 and will keep you posted for your information and feedback.  For now, here’s an instant injection of energy to start the holiday party rolling!  See if you can watch and not start bobbing up and down….(so far I am zero for three).

Dancing Christmas Lights

All the best to you and yours.

Dawn and the DreamBank Team

Posted on November 14th, 2010 by Dawn Bowles

In honour of the  “Thank you’”  holidays recently passed, and coming up, here’s a 3 minute Ted Talk video on the power of that magic word:

Laura Trice suggests we all say thank you

And to all you DreamBanker’s out there, “thank you”,  it is truly a privilege to witness the exciting and inspiring things you are up to each day.

Posted on August 19th, 2010 by DreamBank

Even though (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) it’s technically the “lazy days of Summer”, it seems like most people I know are using August for business and life planning mode.  I’ve had an unusually high number of discussions with friends and colleagues about goals, planning and what’s important to them this year and beyond, and I seem to be  in the same mode myself.

So, maybe some of you are in planning mode too? Whether you’re remodeling the house, deciding on the trip of a lifetime,  or going after your dream career,  the first step is figuring out what you want to do and to make a plan , and the then, as we all know, the most important step is to “work the plan”. ( darn, if only this was the easy part… hmm).  With that in mind, here’s a post we found that will get you thinking about tactics to keep moving forward with  those dreams and goals, whatever they may be.   Go for it!

From ZenHabits.net

Top 20 Motivation Hacks – An Overview

For the last two weeks I’ve been posting the Top 20 Motivation Hacks, one by one. These are the tips and tricks that, if used in combination, are a nearly sure way to achieve your goals.
Achieving goals is not a matter of having “discipline”. It’s a matter of motivating yourself, and keeping your focus on your goal. Follow these hacks, or any combination of them that works for you, and you should have the motivation and focus you need.

Here they are, in reverse order:

#20: Chart Your Progress
. Recently I posted about how I created a chart to track my progress with each of my goals. This chart is not just for information purposes, for me to look back and see how I’m doing. It’s to motivate me to keep up with my goals. If I’m diligent about checking my chart every day, and marking dots or “x”s, then I will want to make sure I fill it with dots. I will think to myself, “I better do this today if I want to mark a dot.” Well, that’s a small motivation, but it helps, trust me. Some people prefer to use gold stars. Others have a training log, which works just as well. Or try Joe’s Goals. However you do it, track your progress, and allow yourself a bit of pride each time you give yourself a good mark.

Now, you will have some bad marks on your chart. That’s OK. Don’t let a few bad marks stop you from continuing. Strive instead to get the good marks next time.

#19: Hold Yourself Back. When I start with a new exercise program, or any new goal really, I am rarin’ to go. I am full of excitement, and my enthusiasm knows no boundaries. Nor does my sense of self-limitation. I think I can do anything. It’s not long before I learn that I do have limitations, and my enthusiasm begins to wane.

Well, a great motivator that I’ve learned is that when you have so much energy at the beginning of a program, and want to go all out — HOLD BACK. Don’t let yourself do everything you want to do. Only let yourself do 50-75 percent of what you want to do. And plan out a course of action where you slowly increase over time. For example, if I want to go running, I might think I can run 3 miles at first. But instead of letting myself do that, I start by only running a mile. When I’m doing that mile, I’ll be telling myself that I can do more! But I don’t let myself. After that workout, I’ll be looking forward to the next workout, when I’ll let myself do 1.5 miles. I keep that energy reined in, harness it, so that I can ride it even further.

#18: Join an online (or off-line) group to help keep you focused and motivated. When I started to run, more than a year ago, I joined a few different forums, at different times, on different sites, such as Men’s Health (the Belly-Off Runner’s Club), Runner’s World, Cool Running, and the running group at About.com. I did the same when I was quitting smoking.

Each time I joined a forum, it helped keep me on track. Not only did I meet a bunch of other people who were either going through what I was going through or who had already been through it, I would report my progress (and failures) as I went along. They were there for great advice, for moral support, to help keep me going when I wanted to stop.

#17: Post a picture of your goal someplace visible — near your desk or on your refrigerator, for example. Visualizing your goal, exactly how you think it will be when you’ve achieved it, whether it’s financial goals like traveling to Rome or building a dream house, or physical goals like finishing a marathon or getting a flat stomach, is a great motivator and one of the best ways of actualizing your goals.
Find a magazine photo or a picture online and post it somewhere where you can see it not only daily, but hourly if possible. Put it as your desktop photo, or your home page. Use the power of your visual sense to keep you focused on your goal. Because that focus is what will keep you motivated over the long term — once you lose focus, you lose motivation, so having something to keep bringing your focus back to your goal will help keep that motivation.

#16: Get a workout partner or goal buddy. Staying motivated on your own is tough. But if you find someone with similar goals (running, dieting, finances, etc.), see if they’d like to partner with you. Or partner with your spouse, sibling or best friend on whatever goals they’re trying to achieve. You don’t have to be going after the same goals — as long as you are both pushing and encouraging each other to succeed.

#15: Just get started. There are some days when you don’t feel like heading out the door for a run, or figuring out your budget, or whatever it is you’re supposed to do that day for your goal. Well, instead of thinking about how hard it is, and how long it will take, tell yourself that you just have to start.
I have a rule (not an original one) that I just have to put on my running shoes and close the door behind me. After that, it all flows naturally. It’s when you’re sitting in your house, thinking about running and feeling tired, that it seems hard. Once you start, it is never as hard as you thought it would be. This tip works for me every time.

#14: Make it a pleasure. One reason we might put off something that will help us achieve our goal, such as exercise for example, is because it seems like hard work. Well, this might be true, but the key is to find a way to make it fun or pleasurable. If your goal activity becomes a treat, you actually look forward to it. And that’s a good thing.

#13: Give it time, be patient. I know, this is easier said than done. But the problem with many of us is that we expect quick results. When you think about your goals, think long term. If you want to lose weight, you may see some quick initial losses, but it will take a long time to lose the rest. If you want to run a marathon, you won’t be able to do it overnight. If you don’t see the results you want soon, don’t give up … give it time. In the meantime, be happy with your progress so far, and with your ability to stick with your goals. The results will come if you give it time.

#12: Break it into smaller, mini goals. Sometimes large or longer-term goals can be overwhelming. After a couple weeks, we may lose motivation, because we still have several months or a year or more left to accomplish the goal. It’s hard to maintain motivation for a single goal for such a long time. Solution: have smaller goals along the way.

#11: Reward yourself. Often. And not just for longer-term goals, either. In Hack #12, I talked about breaking larger goals into smaller, mini goals. Well, each of those mini goals should have a reward attached to it. Make a list of your goals, with mini goals, and next to each, write down an appropriate reward. By appropriate, I mean 1) it’s proportionate to the size of the goal (don’t reward going on a 1-mile run with a luxury cruise in the Bahamas); and 2) it doesn’t ruin your goal — if you are trying to lose weight, don’t reward a day of healthy eating with a dessert binge. It’s self-defeating.

#10: Find inspiration, on a daily basis. Inspiration is one of the best motivators, and it can be found everywhere. Every day, seek inspiration, and it will help sustain motivation over the long term. Sources of inspiration can include: blogs, online success stories, forums, friends and family, magazines, books, quotes, music, photos, people you meet.

#9: Get a coach or take a class. These will motivate you to at least show up, and to take action. It can be applied to any goal. This might be one of the more expensive ways of motivating yourself, but it works. And if you do some research, you might find some cheap classes in your area, or you might know a friend who will provide coaching or counseling for free.

#8: Have powerful reasons. Write them down. Know your reasons. Give them some thought … and write them down. If you have loved ones, and you are doing it for them, that is more powerful than just doing it for self-interest. Doing it for yourself is good too, but you should do it for something that you REALLY REALLY want to happen, for really good reasons.

#7: Become aware of your urges to quit, and be prepared for them. We all have urges to stop, but they are mostly unconscious. One of the most powerful things you can do is to start being more conscious of those urges. A good exercise is to go through the day with a little piece of paper and put a tally mark for each time you get an urge. It simply makes you aware of the urges. Then have a plan for when those urges hit, and plan for it beforehand, and write down your plan, because once those urges hit, you will not feel like coming up with a plan.

#6: Make it a rule never to skip two days in a row.This rule takes into account our natural tendency to miss days now and then. We are not perfect. So, you missed one day … now the second day is upon you and you are feeling lazy … tell yourself NO! You will not miss two days in a row! Zen Habits says so! And just get started. You’ll thank yourself later.

#5: Visualize your goal clearly, on a daily basis, for at least 5-10 minutes. Visualize your successful outcome in great detail. Close your eyes, and think about exactly how your successful outcome will look, will feel, will smell and taste and sound like. Where are you when you become successful? How do you look? What are you wearing? Form as clear a mental picture as possible. Now here’s the next key: do it every day. For at least a few minutes each day. This is the only way to keep that motivation going over a long period of time.

#4: Keep a daily journal of your goal. If you are consistent about keeping a journal, it can be a great motivator. A journal should have not only what you did for the day, but your thoughts about how it went, how you felt, what mistakes you made, what you could do to improve. To be consistent about keeping a journal, do it right after you do your goal task each day. Make keeping a journal a sensory pleasure.

#3: Create a friendly, mutually-supportive competition.We are all competitive in nature, at least a little. Some more than others. Take advantage of this part of our human nature by using it to fuel your goals. If you have a workout partner or goal buddy, you’ve got all you need for a friendly competition. See who can log more miles, or save more dollars, each week or month. See who can do more pushups or pullups. See who can lose the most weight or have the best abs or lose the most inches on their waist. Make sure the goals are weighted so that the competition is fairly equal. And mutually support each other in your goals.

#2: Make a big public commitment. Be fully committed. This will do the trick every time. Create a blog and announce to the world that you are going to achieve a certain goal by a certain date. Commit yourself to the hilt.

#1: Always think positive. Squash all negative thoughts. Monitor your thoughts. Be aware of your self-talk. We all talk to ourselves, a lot, but we are not always aware of these thoughts. Start listening. If you hear negative thoughts, stop them, push them out, and replace them with positive thoughts. Positive thinking can be amazingly powerful.

Posted on June 23rd, 2010 by Victoria Ronco

At DreamBank we love anything about stretching out of the confines of  “the box” and trying something that is said to be “impossible”- a word we don’t really believe in around here.  Here’s a great post & video from one of our favorite blogs that definitely qualifies. Enjoy!

From IdeaDrunk..

Every once and while, a group of people attempt the impossible. They reject the laws of their environment and change it. Such thinking has overthrown governments, cured diseases and put humans on the moon. All because they decided to question what was possible. And reject the restrictions that society had put on their minds.

Here’s another group that’s doing that. They are a group of “Liquid Mountaineers”. Basically, they’re trying to walk on water. This isn’t a joke and it isn’t an illusion. Check it out:

If you can’t view the video, click here.

If these guys are out there trying to run on water, what are we doing inside?

Posted on June 11th, 2010 by Dawn Bowles

Hi Everyone,

You should now be able to contribute on IE 7.  It was a very elusive bug but our clever Technical Director figured it out in the end! Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your patience.

Dawn and the DreamBank Team

Hi Everyone,

We’ve just found out there is a problem contributing  for people using Internet Explorer.

It’s working fine from Firefox so if that’s an option for you, try access the site from another browser and you should be able to make the contribution. Otherwise, please bear with us while we find out what the problem is and fix it!

We’ll modify the post “fixed” when it is.  Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your patience.

Happy Friday.

Dawn and the DreamBank Team