We all know that having dreams and goals is important, yet surveys of the general population have shown that 83% of respondents don’t have goals, 14% had plans but not in writing, and only 3% had written goals.

Research done by psychologist Gail Matthews has shown that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if they are written down. Writing your goals, dreams, intentions, and priorities down helps to increase your clarity and focus.

The research goes on to show that you are 76% more likely to achieve your goals if you have accountability. One woman is helping people follow their dreams and achieve their goals by offering accountability and strategy.

Dream coach Charlene Ridley lives in Charlotte, NC with her three children and two dogs. She has a Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Maryland and an MBA from Benedictine University. In addition to being a dream coach, Charlene is an author, speaker, and founder of Unpause Your Dreams & the Unpause Your Dreams Scholarship Fund.

As a dream coach, she empowers people to get what they want professionally and personally by getting clarity on their dreams, overcoming obstacles, and taking action to get results. She delivers this coaching through one on one  programs, workshops, conferences, and retreats.

We had the opportunity to interview Charlene and gain more insight.

What are some of the most meaningful goals that your coaching has allowed clients to actualize?

I have helped people open new businesses, scale existing businesses, land dream jobs, promote at work, grow their salaries $40K – $80K, relocate to new cities/states, build dream homes, go back to school to transition into new industries, and write books.

Why should everyone strive to fulfill their dreams? 

 Life can be lackluster and somewhat hopeless when we aren’t dreaming or taking action to bring our dreams to fruition.  When people are taking action on their dreams or living those dreams they experience greater levels of joy, creativity, connection, meaning and overall fulfillment. If many people were experiencing these outcomes the overall energy of communities and the world would shift. The quality of life would improve, and the environment would become more harmonious. So, it’s in our best interest to go for our dreams!

Everything in life takes time, and with that comes a degree of patience. With that in mind, what would you say to someone who is thinking of quitting the process of fulfilling a dream. 

There is a gestation period for everything in life.  We don’t get pregnant one day and have the baby a few days later.  It takes time and even if we get impatient, we trust the baby is coming and push through the nine months. Treat your dreams the same, even though you don’t have an exact delivery date.  Believe you were not given desires if they were not meant for you to have. Your dream will become real if you keep pushing and stay in action until you see the fruit of your labor. You will have some discomfort or obstacles.  You will get tired.  You may want to give up; but don’t stop. Rest if you must and keep going because you have no idea when your dream will become your reality. Just know when it does there will be no words to describe the splendor and you will be grateful you didn’t quit.

Tell us what pursuing your dreams has done for you personally.

As a little girl I wasn’t taught to dream.  My parents thought it was impractical and a set up for disappointment.  Instead of striving to become an attorney I was encouraged to grow up and get a “good” state job which would provide me a stable life.  My parents intended to save me the heartache of disappointment but instead it created a limiting belief. For most of my young adult life I believed I wasn’t worthy of having the things I wanted and so I settled — in relationships, companies, and environments that weren’t what I really wanted. I was very successful at advancing my career and growing my salary but secretly I was unhappy. I wanted more from life but I didn’t know what that more was so I’d move from degree to degree and job to job hoping to find it. Then a few friends enrolled me in a transformational leadership workshop that changed my life. In that workshop, I started to figure out what I really wanted out of life and got the courage to go after it with everything I had. That class saved me and changed everything for my kids and I.

In your opinion can dreams and goals genuinely change over time? 

One of the biggest misconceptions about dreams is that we have one singular, lifelong dream.  It’s not true.  We are multifaceted people with many dreams—health, career, financial, community and lifestyle dreams, all at the same time.  Throughout our life we learn more about what lights us up, what we want and how we want our lives to look.  We experience some of our dreams come to fruition and we also feel ourselves outgrow others. It is natural that as we progress some of our dreams will change. When dreams change, we must find the courage to let go and allow ourselves to dream again.

How can people follow you? 

Follow me on IG @unpause_your_dreams or on Facebook @unpauseyourdreams and visit