Making Dreams Real

Believe it’s possible and don’t be afraid to fail. Trying is all the success you need. Reach for the stars and experience the adventure of bravery. Why not? You only live once!

Making Dreams Real: How to make your goals actually happen

With all there is to manage in a day, it’s a challenge to prioritize big goals that require some planning. Our life slips past us, day by day until years quickly go by without having taken any action towards the dreams we long to fulfill. Making our dreams reality gives us meaning and purpose, but how can we work on our dreams while having so much other work to do? The answer is less complicated than you may think. Baby-steps are the way to great achievements, nothing more is required.

1st Step: Write your Dreams Down

Imagine you had all the time in the world to do anything you wish without any constraints. What would you do? How would you contribute to the world, your community, your family? Whatever interests keep coming up again and again, year after year may be what is your “calling.” Ignoring it will only lead to regret, so be brave and brainstorm a list of what you wish you could do in this lifetime. Pick one, whichever one you prefer, but only one to act on. One goal at a time, any more will only lead to overwhelm.

2nd Step: Be Realistic & Incremental

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so turn down that inner-perfectionistic voice that demands you embark on any pursuit with seamless, mistake-free expectations. Bumps in the road will surface and patience will be your biggest ally on the road to making your dreams real.

Taking a one-step-at-a-time mentality to your plans is vital to progress.

Gradual, steady forward movement is stable and builds confidence. For example, dropping thirty pounds in thirty days is too drastic, not to mention increases the risk of gaining it all back and then some shortly after. Losing thirty pounds in three to six months and keeping it off is a more viable and realistic ambition.   

3rd Step: Be S.M.A.R.T. in making progress towards your dream objectives:

  • Specific– What exactly do you want to achieve? The more specific your description, the bigger the chance you’ll get exactly that. S.M.A.R.T. goal setting clarifies the difference between “I want to lose weight” to “I want to lose thirty pounds in 120 days and keep it off.”

    Ask yourself these questions to gain clarity: What exactly do I want to achieve? Where? How? When? With whom? What are the conditions and limitations? Why exactly do I want to reach this goal? What are possible alternative ways of achieving the same?

  • Measurable– Identify exactly what it is you will see, hear and feel when you reach your goal. Break your goal down into measurable elements. You’ll need concrete evidence. Being “happier” is not measurable; not smoking anymore because you want to have less respiratory infections, lower your risk for cancer, and stop coughing, is. Measurable goals can go a long way in refining what exactly it is that you want, too. Defining the physical manifestations of your goal or objective makes it clearer, and easier to reach.
  • Attainable– Weigh the effort, time and other costs your goal will take. Managing your time wisely is important to attainability, as time-drainers like social media can syphon your resolve to accomplish steps needed to make progress. Plan to invest a little time on a regular basis will move your plan forward. There’s nothing wrong with shooting for the stars; if you aim to make your department twice as efficient this year as it was last year with no extra labor involved, how bad is it when you only reach 1.8 times? Not too bad!
  • Relevant– If you’re lacking certain skills to achieve your goal, you can train to acquire them. If you lack certain resources, you can find ways of getting them. Ask yourself, why do you want to reach this goal? What is the objective behind the goal, and will this goal really achieve that?
  • Time-bound– Create benchmarks and deadlines for the unfolding of your plan. Everybody knows that deadlines are what makes most people swing into action. Keep the timeline realistic and flexible, that way you keep momentum going. Don’t be too strict with deadlines, as it can create too much stress in accomplishing your benchmarks and goals- which is most likely not how you want to achieve anything.

Success is in every step!

Remember, progress not perfection. Perfectionism often leads to procrastination, action is the focus, not perfect outcomes. Any forward motion is better than none, being consistent is the most important part of actualization.

Finally, re-evaluate and assess your progress at every benchmark. Allow the process to unfold and be ready for unexpected challenges and even shifts in direction as you move towards your mission. Goal setting is purpose driven, never give up on them if they are important to you. Keep going and move onto your next goal as soon as you are ready and able. Life is short, live your dreams!

The logistics: Here are some helpful resources to help you reach your goals:

  • No one wins alone. Goals are virtually impossible to do without support. Get some.
  •  Look online for coaching and communities that are doing the things that you desire to do.
  • Allow goal setting to be a process that has twists, turns, detours, and dead-ends. Keep going, adapt, and watch what unfolds! 

“Shoot for the moon. If you fall short, you’ll land among the stars.” 

-Les Brown

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