Are You A Dreamer?
Sometimes we have a dream, without being aware of it – sometimes that Dream becomes a goal ….
Have you ever said, (wistfully, not in regret), “ I wish!”
You could be expressing a dream.
Do you ever find yourself imagining where you would like to be, geographically or circumstantially? Hey! That’s a dream!
Have you seen a situation in the world and thought, “If only I could do something to change that”? That is the beginning of a noble dream.
In the back of your mind do you ever feel, “ I deserve better than this”?
Could that be a suppressed dream?
Can you see where we are going with this?
So, what is the difference between a ‘dream’ and a ‘goal’? You’ll remember that we established the meaning of a dream in the previous post, what about the meaning of a goal (in the context of life rather than sports)? As always, there are many definitions, but the common thread is that it is a ‘specific situation that is achievable within a certain time frame‘.
This introduces a whole set of requirements for us if we are to change our dreams into real goals.
- The goal needs to be Specific
- Has to be Measurable
- It needs to be Attainable
- It should be Real
- It has to have a Timeframe
Let’s just enlarge those points;
The goal needs to be specific
For example, your dream may be to, “Have lots of money”.
What is ‘a lot’? When would you like to have it? What do you want it for? Why do you want it? These and other questions need to be addressed before your dream becomes a tangible, real, goal. In fact the more precise or specific you can be, the more likely you are to achieve your goal.
In fact unless it is specific – how will you know when you have achieved it?
You may have a dream to help children in need, or help the homeless, but noble as that is it is too vague. You need to specify perhaps a certain group of children, a geographic location, as with the homeless – maybe the needy in your own town to start with.
Your ‘dream’ might be to travel, but where, by what means of transport, when, for how long, who with etc..
Has to be Measurable.
This may sound similar to ‘Specific’, but it also has a third party involvement, and is therefore a powerful incentive to reaching your goals. Being specific about a goal helps you to focus and visualize and when a goal is also measurable you are able to share that goal, as a tangible result, with others. You have immediately introduced the aspect of ‘accountability’ and as scary as that sounds, it can have a huge effect on your progress. There is a lot of difference in thinking to yourself, “I would like to quit my job, having built up my own business, with enough income to support me”, and stating to friends or family, “This time next year my business will be generating $X,000 per month and I will be my own boss!”. Your goal is now public and ‘visible’ to others – that will help you focus, believe me!
It needs to be attainable
There is nothing wrong with setting high goals for yourself, in fact if you set them too low, it can reduce your motivation to strive for them. Equally if your goals are absolutely impractical, that also can be discouraging. If it is attainable that means that although it will take motivation, effort, action and persistance, it can be reached. Don’t be put off if your goal just appears to be unattainable, many dreams started that way, mans venture into the sky and subsequently space, appeared impossible at one time, as did the four minute mile, the conquest of Mt Everest and a whole list of achievements once seen as ‘unattainable’.
It should be Real.
If you have considered goal-getting before, you are probably aware that we are in fact discussing what have come to be known as S.M.A.R.T. goals and expecting to see ‘R’ as being ‘Realistic’, but I am going to use a little artistic licence and change that to what I feel is an important aspect of actually achieving goals, once set. Why ‘Real’? Because no matter how specific you are, unless your goal is ‘real’ to you, something that you are passionate, resolute, focused upon and committed to, you will fail. You need to have a strong desire or passion about that goal.
If our goal is expressed as, “Wouldn’t it be nice if ……..?”, or “I would like to ……..” “Maybe I could …..”, – you can be pretty sure that it will never materialise. It will remain in the ‘Dreams Box’!
It has to have a timeframe
It is also essential to set a deadline for the realisation of your goal. This is necessary in order for you to take progressive steps towards your goal, measure your progress, give yourself accountability and keep motivated.
Your goals should always be referred to in the positive, in fact if visualization and affirmations are part of your goal-getting habit, you will be using the present tense rather than future, as if you were already experiencing your life having reached those goals – powerful stuff – more on that in future posts.
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