“Welcome! Welcome! Live your dream. I hope your boys are living their dreams. My son is living his dream today.”

The words flowed out of the exuberant opposing team fan as he walked toward my husband and me along with fellow University of North Dakota football parents with us. We had taken an Uber ride from our hotel in Odgen, Utah, to watch our sons play in a Saturday afternoon game at Weber State University.

Katie Pinke, Agweek publisher
Katie Pinke, Agweek publisher

It felt like an idyllic college football November game day and we commented on the mountainous scenery, beautiful weather and on how friendly fans have been at previous games at the University of Utah and Southern Utah in past seasons. And now this fan was reinforcing our past experiences.

As we visited, the fan’s wife also joined in our conversation and they shared they were the parents of Weber State head football coach Jay Hill. As we gathered in the stands of Stewart Stadium, several other UND football parents commented about being greeted and welcomed by a fan encouraging them to “live their dream” and what a kind man he was. The encouragement stuck with me and I started asking people around me about their dreams.

Are you “living the dream” or working toward achieving a life’s dream?

Have you gotten stuck in a rut and can’t seem to focus on the big dreams you once had?

Or were dreams just for your younger years and you’ve put those dreams behind you, never to dream big again?

I had Sunday flights home after the game to think about how my dreams or my husband’s dreams, and how our dreams are not necessarily our son’s dreams. How can we encourage one another to keep chipping away at achieving our own dreams? How do we support one another in achieving them?

I have more questions than insightful answers.

For me, dreams aren’t goals. Goals have deadlines. I differentiate them. How we achieve big dreams is by setting small goals to work our way to achieve larger dreams.

I am a dreamer, a big idea person. But all the steps to get to the big dream are more difficult for me to achieve.

My husband is more analytical and breaks down the steps, daily, weekly, monthly for us to work together on our dreams. As he often says, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

I have zero interest in eating elephants so animal rights activists, stay back.

I think of my dreams as the big elephants and my goals as the bites to accomplish the larger dreams.

Feeling stuck? First, if you want to live your dream, show up and start working toward the dream.

Second, communicate your dreams. Write them down. You’re far more likely to accomplish your dreams by writing them down and sharing about them to a trusted teammate, spouse, friend or cheerleader in your life.

Next, work on the smaller “bites” or goals of the “elephant” or big dream.

It’s the end of a decade, an ideal time to start dreaming for 2020 and ahead, no matter the difficulty you’re in right now as we finish 2019. The dreams of our past do not have to be the dreams of our future.

You get to reinvent yourself. Your dreams change. But it never means you have to give up chasing after your dreams and accomplishing them.

My biggest takeaway from the head coach’s father is to never stop encouraging my children, no matter their age, career path or choices to keep living their dream.

I hope I live with his exuberance for life and have the opportunity to watch my children live out their dreams while continuing to chase after my own dreams and encourage others to do the same.

Are you living your dream?

Pinke is the publisher and general manager of Agweek. She can be reached at kpinke@agweek.com, or connect with her on Twitter @katpinke.