Everyone has dreams they would like to see come true. How long would it take you to list three of your favorites? In fact, why not do that before we continue. Just write down three really important things that you would like to see become a reality in your life. Go ahead, I’ll wait!
All set? OK, let’s see if we can’t get you a little closer to making those dreams happen. The first thing that needs to happen is, we need to change your perception about the things on your list. It’s good to have dreams, but by nature, dreams are not very tangible. So let’s begin by changing the label. What should we call them instead of dreams?
How about calling them goals?
Are you thinking: What’s the big deal, what difference does it make whether we call them dreams or goals? I’m glad you asked. Here’s one of the dictionary’s definitions for dream.
Dream – An idea or hope that is impractical
or unlikely ever to be realized; idle hope.
Now let’s look at the way the word goal is defined and see which one is the most appropriate label for the three things you wrote down.
Goal – Something that somebody wants to
achieve or accomplish; something to aim for.
Clearly, if the three things on your list are to have any chance of becoming part of your reality, it would be better to refer to them as goals.
Goals involve intention
Unlike dreams, goals are something we aim for. That implies several things. The most important is, we intend to reach them. We have set our sights on them and they are now part of our focus. As a result, we become “goal-oriented.”
Let’s go to the dictionary again and see what it has to say about being goal-oriented:
Goal-oriented – Organized to achieve particular
goals: strongly motivated and highly organized
in achieving tasks that are specified in advance.
At this point we have left the realm of “dreams” far behind. Having goals is a lot closer to reality than simply dreaming about something. Of course, there’s still a big difference between aiming at a goal, and actually achieving it.
What else do we need?
Our definition for goal-oriented includes being organized and motivated. These are vital elements of any successful attempt at achieving our goals. It also mentioned something that is specified in advance. Let’s elaborate on that aspect a little.
The more refined and defined our goals are, the greater our chance of achieving them. It’s impossible to align your focus on something that is just a vague generality. Having a crystal clear vision of what we intend to accomplish gives us something to really focus on. Success requires that we take the time to clearly define our goals.
It doesn’t stop there!
There are several other necessary elements to setting and achieving goals. Here’s a sampling of things that will greatly increase your ability to turn dreams into reality.
1) Determination. This is especially important with respect to big goals that will require considerable time and energy. One way to increase your determination is to…
2) Break big goals into manageable stages. Smaller, “stepping stone goals” keep you from feeling overwhelmed. They also provide positive reinforcement and a sense of accomplishment along the way.
3) Eliminate distractions. If your efforts are too diluted, it really won’t matter what else you do. When you are serious about achieving an important goal you need to push less important things out of the picture.
4) Constantly evaluate your progress. To reach your target you must stay on course. That means checking you progress to make sure you are still moving in the right direction. Your path will always be somewhat fluid, so keep your eye on the ball.
5) Believe in yourself. Doubt is a waste of time and energy. Deal with doubts before you start working toward your goal, not after. Doubt is the opposite of determination and engaging in it will bring your progress to a standstill.
6) Make a commitment. Every important goal will present you with challenges along the way. If you are not totally committed to success, those challenges could seem insurmountable. Making a total commitment to success will shrink those challenges down so you can climb over them.
7) Make yourself accountable. Tell others what you intend to do so you will feel accountable. This can be very motivating for several reasons. The more accountability you feel, the more motivated you will become.
You must take ACTION or nothing will happen!
You will accomplish amazing things once you get focused. Remember, we are talking about accomplishing your dreams here, that’s important. I am constantly challenging myself and having fun in the process. Why don’t we do it together? So, grab your goals, leave a comment, and let’s blow all the obstacles out of our way.
It’s time for action, go ahead, challenge yourself so you can amaze yourself and accomplish your dreams.