Wishing won’t get you there:
How to set rewarding goals for your dreams.
So, be honest, how is that working out for you?
Wishing never made anything so. Neither does the style of dreaming that most people indulge in. It’s Fairyland. There is nothing that connects the dream with our reality.
If you’re going to be a dreamer, be a dangerous dreamer and dream with your eyes open.
Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that practicality and dreaming are mutually exclusive. The very opposite is true, in fact. Without practicality, our dreams are insubstantial, just hot air. Practicality provides the traction needed to reach our dreams alongside the development and discipline that will see them come to fruition.
Seeing success in 3D
We want our dreams to be 3D and in glorious technicolour, not flat and drab.
If any part of the sum is left out it won’t add up to the same results.
For example, I dream about being fitter so I do some development: think about what I like to do and even buy a workout DVD. I’m imagining all that extra energy I’m going to have, extra space in my jeans, I do the DVD a few times, talk about it with my friends…only now the disc is gathering dust. I won’t get 3D success if I miss out on one of the Ds, in this example the discipline was missing.
Discipline. It seems like a nasty word, one synonymous with punishment. If it triggers a reaction like this in you, I would like to challenge you to let go of that old mindset and replace it with one that will empower you. Discipline can be good:
Discipline is about taking positive, practical steps to achieve what you want.
Caught in the headlights.
One common obstacle to us fulfilling our dreams can be the dream itself.
Like someone caught in the headlights of a truck, we see the size of our dream and … freeze. It seems too big for us to manage.
This is a dangerous place to be. This feeling of being overwhelmed can cause us to make crazy decisions or to turn away from our dream altogether.
However, it is a matter of perspective. The truck doesn’t seem so scary when I’m sitting in it, and what would I feel like in the driving seat? Nervous? Thrilled? Empowered?
Procrastination or feeling overwhelmed, not knowing where to go, it can be crippling. I know, I’ve got the T-shirt. I also got wise and got some help.
Taking things down to make small steps is key.
In his book, ‘Ready, set..Procrastinate!’ Akash Karia shows us how. The tagline for the book is ‘23 Anti-Procrastination Tools Designed to Help You Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Things Done’. It sets out simple, encouraging steps to enable us to move forward.
One of my personal favourites to deal with feeling overwhelmed was the Lego Block technique: breaking a task down into the smallest possible components, then subcomponents, as small as you can go. Then, schedule time to work on each little ‘brick’ to complete the task. So simple, yet so encouraging and effective.
Tim Ferris, in his book ‘The Four Hour Work Week’ also challenged me. It challenged me to face my excuses, my fears even, and plan my way out of them. My dreams started to be within reach. One, to take my kids back to the UK to see family, I will see come to pass in the next few weeks. And I’m only on chapter 4! He really does dream with his eyes open.
Do you have a bolt or a loose screw
You think a star will comfort you
But don’t you wish upon a star
For what stars won’t do
(They can’t hear you)
The term ‘SMART goals’ has been banded around in management circles, and later in personal development, since it first appeared in 1981 in a paper by George T. Doran in the Management Review.
SMART is a mnemonic acronym that sets clear criteria for goal setting in both management and personal development.
We can expand of the typical criteria we see above. By changing the word slightly we can engage with the idea more deeply, making it more relevant to our personal situation.
- Specific: significant, stretching, strategic.
- Measurable: motivating, meaningful.
- Achievable: agreed upon, attainable, acceptable, action-oriented, ambitious, aligned.
- Relevant: realistic, reasonable, results-oriented, rewarding, responsible.
- Time-related: trackable, time-based, time/cost limited, timely, tangible.
Wishing certainly won’t get you there but following some simple steps will.
Think in 3D
Get in the driving seat and get a plan.
Get accountable. A road less travelled needs at least two sets of footprints.