A few months ago I posted my “Bucket List” on my blog. These are things I want to accomplish, do, or see, before–you know–kicking the bucket. Anyway, #1 on my bucket list was to ride in a hot air balloon. It was one of those things I’ve wanted to do — well, always, but never had the chance. It was such a big bucket list item that I almost didn’t want to fly in a balloon until I was much older, since I figured that would be the ONE time life experience and then it would be over.

My First Balloon Flight

My First Balloon Flight

But a few weeks ago we met some neat sport balloonists, and we got to crew and fly in a hot air balloon. It was everything I’d ever anticipated, and more. And it made me reassess my bucket list. How big ARE my dreams, anyway?

So I decided, why stop at just a ride once in a hot air balloon when I can PILOT a balloon? OWN a balloon? If it’s something that was so special, why just the one time, why not throw myself into it with everything I’ve got? So, no, my pretty yellow roadster will not tow a balloon trailer, but those are just details.  Meanwhile I’m going to do everything I can to work toward the goal of one day owning a hot air balloon and being a licensed sport balloon pilot. Maybe five years from now, maybe eight or ten. But I’ll get there if I want it bad enough. And meanwhile, what a cool hobby, getting to crew for local balloon teams!

What dreams do you have that might not be as big as they can be? What are you doing to achieve those dreams and make them a reality? When I think about goal setting, I think about the movie “What About Bob?” where Bill Murray, a scared-of-everything psych patient, is told to just take baby steps. Baby steps to the door. Baby steps down the hall. Baby steps to the elevator. What baby steps are you choosing for the path to reach your goals?

My balloon “baby steps” right now consist of reading the FAA Balloon Flying Handbook, and crewing for different balloons as often as my schedule allows. My “baby steps” for my “Going to Japan” bucket list item consist of studying my Kana and Kanji, and learning to speak and read Japanese. “Baby steps” for getting my novel published? Doing NaNoWriMo to get at least a workable “zero draft” this month. The big picture is there, but if you just keep your head down and baby step toward your goal, it makes it a whole lot easier.