How to Turn Your Dreams into Goals and Make it Your Reality
How do you want your life to look in 5 years? In 10 years? What is your absolute dream career, dream house, dream relationship? If you have a dream you have a goal.
We often think a dream only exists in a faraway land. Our subconscious conjures it when we sleep or we fantasize about it when we are awake, often thinking it will never be more than that, a fantasy. But if you turn your dream into a goal it doesn't only have to exist when your eyes are closed.
When someone asks you what your life goals are it can be a little overwhelming. Many of us are so paralysed by the question we start to wonder if we actually have any goals. If someone instead asked you to describe your dream life I'm sure you’d have an answer. Everyone has a dream. It doesn't have to be colossal and all consuming.
You don’t have to dream of being an Olympic gold medalist or a famous rock star. Maybe you dream of owning a beautiful house in the countryside or maybe in dreamland you're driving around in a convertible, wind blowing through your hair. Or you’ve just completed a marathon, or become a CEO. If you could click your fingers right now and have your dream life what would that look like?
STEP 1- Break down the dream
Dreams don’t have to be unattainable. So how do you get the big house in the country, the convertible or the CEO position? What will it take to make that your reality? Probably a lot of money and a lot of hard work, neither of which are unachievable. Work back from the end goal and set yourself small, achievable goals. Setting goals is like mapping out a journey. The dream is the destination and without the goals you’ll end up driving around aimlessly, probably never getting to where you want to be. Draw out the map, plan the journey. It may seem like the final destination is a million miles away but if you have a map you will get there eventually, no matter how long it takes.
STEP 2- SHOW UP
‘80% of success is showing up’ - Woody Allen
Sometimes it feels like we aren’t really getting anywhere, however hard we are trying. We have this dream, this place we want to get to; a dream body, a dream house, a dream job, and it can often feel like we aren't getting any closer to it. The biggest key to success is showing up every single day. Show up, don’t give up. If you dream of running a marathon put on your trainers and show up to train, every single day. You might only run a mile and call it a day, you might walk half your run feeling like you’re never in a million years going to be able to cross that finish line. But whatever happens you showed up. You’re never going to get closer to the final destination if you step out of the car. Somedays the car might only move an inch or maybe not at all. But you are still on the road if you just SHOW UP.
STEP 3 - Make it a habit
‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.’ Aristotle
The small, simple things that you do every single day are either getting you closer or further away from your dream. That £3 Starbucks you buy every morning is moving you a tiny bit further away from buying your dream house. Accumulated over time, it's moving you a lot further away. Just like how every page you read of that business book is getting you that little bit closer to becoming a CEO. The small, seemingly insignificant, actions we do every day are creating success habits or failure habits. It may seem like the little things don’t really mean all that much but we are what we repeatedly do. And where we end up is the result of what we repeatedly do. Think about your daily habits. Are they moving you towards the dream or away from it? Remember, the little things create the big things.
STEP 4 - Don’t be afraid of failure
So many of us are too afraid to even speak our dreams out loud, fearing that if we voice it to the world and it doesn’t happen then we have failed. So we keep them as dreams, figuring if we never change them into goals we can never fail to reach them. But we need to fail! Failure is an essential and inevitable step on the road to success.
‘Giving up on your goal because of one setback in life is like slashing your other three tyres because you got a flat.’
Failure is not something we should fear. It is something we should embrace. We NEED to fail to reach the dream. We have all been conditioned to think that failure is the worst possible thing that can happen. The fear of being a ‘failure’ in life is what keeps so many of us small. The road to success is not straight and if it were it would be a very boring journey. Don’t let the failures kick you off the road for good. Embrace the bumps and the turns, maybe even the complete combustion of your engine. Things have to go wrong so we know how to make them right.
STEP 5 - Be consistent
Consistency WILL get you closer to the dream
Striving for greatness can seem terrifying. So instead of trying we often just make the dream smaller until we can reach it. And it keeps getting smaller until we settle for a life we never really wanted, the dream a distant memory. Shrinking your dream is shrinking your life and you deserve a big life.
Don’t give up on the dream because it seems too far away. We don’t reach dreams by taking massive leaps. We reach them with the small actions we do consistently and persistently every single day that accumulate over time and make us smarter, richer, fitter and more successful.
It sounds a lot less poetic to tell someone to inch towards their dream instead of telling them to reach for the stars, leap for the moon. DREAM BIG! Yes dream big, but move small. It may not feel like you’re going anywhere but every single action you take or decision you make is accumulating over time and eventually the inches add up to feet and the feet add up to miles.
‘Simple little disciplines that, done consistently over time, will add up to the very biggest accomplishments’ Jeff Olson
Most of us grew up being told to dream. But no one really explained what to do with that dream once we have it. So more often than not we grow up, and realise that dreams are for bedtime not the real world. But right now I am telling you that you are in control of your own reality. Every single thing you do shapes your life. If you dream of a big house with ten dogs or running your own business, running a marathon or running away to Hawaii, inch your way towards that dream, don’t run! Think big, but act small. Don’t let the distance stop you from even trying. However far away it may seem, you just have to keep moving forward, inch by inch, habit by habit and every single day you will unknowingly be getting closer to your dream reality.
‘The truth is what you do matters. What you do today matters and what you do everyday matters. The successful people just do the things that seem to make no difference in the act of doing them but they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.’
Written by Georgie Parkin