Imagine that your protagonist is a child. He is given an assignment to write down at least three things that he wishes would come true. What would he write?
Next think of her as a teenager who still holds on to some of those dreams. Which ones have not come true? Which have? Which ones have changed? Why?
Now have her create a new list of at least three things that she really hopes will someday come true. Remember that teenagers sometimes think beyond themselves. What are those things?
As an adult we often push aside our dreams so that we can face the realities of our lives. Keeping your protagonist in mind, what things still linger? Which has he dropped? What are the new ones? How do these dreams influence his life? His thinking?
Your task is obviously complex as you have to create a series of lists, one for each age. As you do this, put on the mantle of the child, the teen, the adult. If you are able, interview someone in each age group in order to see what’s on their minds.
Once you have these lists, apply one set to a scene in which your character either accomplishes a life-long dream or is forced to let one go.
Have fun with this one.