Tips on how to turn your ideas into reality

Do you have an idea that you have been thinking about for a while? Is there something you want to create, try or explore? It is easy when we become parents to put our ideas on hold or the back burner because family life is our priority.

There are certainly seasons in my life, when I have been in what I call maintenance mode. Maintenance mode is where all my time, energy and thinking goes into just keeping myself and the family on track. Times when we have had a new baby, times when my husband was working long hours and/or studying or times when I was running on minimal sleep are all examples of when I have switched to maintenance mode.

But there are other times when the plans and routines are working well and I have space to explore ideas and pursue other goals. Writing my book was one of those times, as was training for my first marathon and creating my first online e-course.

There are so many wonderful side effects about exploring an idea and turning it into reality:

  • You feel a huge sense of accomplishment.
  • Your self confidence rises.
  • You become more productive with your time, to enable you to spend time on your idea.
  • You feel happier working towards a purpose.
  • You want to explore more ideas once you have turned the current one into reality!

Over the last few weeks I have been exploring the issue many parents talk to me about of not having enough time and I know that some of you will be thinking “but I don’t have time to for working on my ideas”. And yes this will be the case for some of you, as I noted above, some seasons of life do not always lend themselves to exploring ideas. However for some of you, my advice is that you do have time – you just have to decide to spend it on your idea!

Finding time to spend on your ideas and turning them into a reality doesn’t always look like what you think it will. For most parents it isn’t going to be hours of uninterrupted solitude while someone else takes care of the family. The reality is it will be smaller pockets of time carefully planned out of your days that you protect fiercely from distractions. It will be early mornings or late evenings and it will be sacrificing other activities, but you will keep going because the benefits you receive from working on your idea far outweigh the costs.

Below I have three short case studies of fabulous women who have taken their ideas and turned them into reality. They are all at different stages of family life and have different work circumstances, but they all committed to their idea and brought them to life – I hope you find their ideas and tips as inspiring as I did!



The first creator I would like to introduce you to is Kelly Exeter. Kelly is a writer, editor, designer and podcaster. And while Kelly is a writer, this idea she turned into reality is not her normal genre of writing at all!

If you are interested in reading more about the process Kelly followed, you can read this article on her blog which is super detailed and informative.

1. What was your original idea or inspiration for the idea?

The very original idea was my son putting together a hand-drawn version of the book. It was called ‘Clanky’s Terrible Life’ and went like this:

In 1991 Clanky thought war was fun

In 1992 Clanky did a poo

In 1993 Clanky hugged a tree

In 1994 Clanky went to war

In 1995 Clanky’s eyes weren’t alive

In 1996 Clanky’s legs turned into sticks

In 1997 Clanky’s arms went up to heaven

In 1998 Clanky hasn’t met his fate

In 1999 Clanky was fine

In 2010 Clanky’s name is now Sven

And that’s the story of Clanky

You could tell an 8-year-old boy wrote it! It was so catchy, I heard my daughter saying some of the lines from the book in a sing-song voice to herself the next morning and I thought ‘Huh, I’ve always wanted to do a picture book … maybe we can turn this book into a picture book!’

2. How long did it take from idea to reality?

Roughly four months. The process was considerably sped up by the fact that I knew where to go to find the illustrator, knew how to direct him and could do a lot of the crucial aspects (editing and design) myself.

3. What are 3 tips you would share to help others turn their ideas into reality?

  1. Don’t overthink things, or try to over-plan. Just start with the intent of figuring things out along the way (because you’ll be doing that whether you plan or not because things seldom go to plan!).
  2. Be clear about what you’re hoping to get out of the experience. Things that are process-driven rather than outcome-driven are more fun because the journey is the reward and you are learning things all the way through the process. If the joy of the experience is completely dependent on a certain outcome, there’s a good chance you’re setting yourself up for disappointment because so much is out of our control.
  3. Getting expert advice helps immensely when you might be losing momentum from lack of knowledge or feeling stuck. I got stuck because I knew the beginning and ending of the book were wrong, but I didn’t know how to fix it. Getting an expert’s eye on the book got me moving again.

4. Where can they find your executed idea?

You can read more about and buy The Very Weird, Hilariously Awful Life of Clanky at http://clanky.com.au/.


Amanda was one of the first members of my e-course Planned + Present, so it is super exciting to be able to share with you an idea she turned into reality after doing the course!

1. What was your original idea or inspiration for the idea?

I was inspired to teach people how to meal plan a month at a time after doing Nicole’s Planned + Present course in 2016 and learning how to do it myself. I had tried meal planning a week at a time for 17 years, without success. Nicole’s tips and tricks worked for me.

2. How long did it take from idea to reality?

Once I had the idea, after seeing a huge amount of interest from just one social media post it took about a month to get the graphics done and book my first workshop locally. I’ve now delivered them to over 100 people, 99 women and 1 man! I’ve also helped busy Mum’s get meal planning through 1 on 1 sessions online. So much fun!

3. What are 3 tips you would share to help others turn their ideas into reality?

  1. Taking action is way better than not taking action – you can think about your idea and try to get it perfect before you share it with the world but it’s not until you share it that you know what works. Imperfect action is the winner.
  2. Choose one thing and go with it, in the simplest way possible.
  3. Ask for help if you don’t know how to do something, rather than not doing it at all – you could help people change their lives in amazing ways.

4. Where can they find your executed idea?

You can find my menu planning e-book with templates here http://thelilaclounge.com/mealplanningebook.


I have been lucky enough to meet Lauren as she is a lovely mum at the primary school our youngest children attend. Lauren has degrees in Arts and Law and has practiced corporate law for over 10 years in a large city law firm. Her idea that she turned into reality is very distant to corporate law!

1. What was your original idea or inspiration for the idea?

I originally wrote a book called “When 4 became 5” (which turned out to be the first version of baby + me) – to help my older kids prepare for our new baby. I found this a worrying aspect of my pregnancy and while we found the existing big sibling books useful, I was really looking for a book that was personal to my children and our family and also addressed some of the things that are particularly challenging for big siblings in those early days of a new baby.

2. How long did it take from idea to reality?

I wrote the first version of baby + me a month or so before our youngest child was born. It took about 16 months from that point to publication.

3. What are 3 tips you would share to help others turn their ideas into reality?

  1. Accept that there will be ups and downs and that it is natural to question what you are doing from time to time. On my journey to publication, I have frequently questioned whether the baby + me project has been at a cost to my family – but pep talks with my family and my girlfriends have helped to remind me that having a creative outlet and my own personal goals are healthy for me, which has a flow on benefit to my family.
  2. Be organised and use to-do lists. I acknowledge to-do lists don’t work for everyone, but for me they are essential because I only have small windows of time to work on the baby + me project – mostly one child free day a week and my youngest child’s sleep times on other weekdays – so being able to identify as quickly as possible the tasks I need to attend to helps me maximise my efficiency. And boy do I love crossing items of my list – what a reward!
  3. So there’s a risk that your idea might not become a reality? Sure, but success or failure aside, take comfort that if you are embarking on something new and different, you’ll be learning and growing as a person. And because of that, your efforts will never be wasted.

4. Where can they find your executed idea?

The baby + me book for soon to be big brothers and sisters is available online at memobooks.com.au and at selected stockists (see memobooks.com.au for stockists).

What idea do you want to turn into reality?

 

Main image photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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