Everyone has something they dream of achieving. Some people want to get out of a dead end job, some would like an overseas vacation, others dream of getting fit and healthy. Everyone’s dreams are different but some people get what they dream about and others don’t. Why is that? I guess there can be an element of good luck for some people but luck is more about when preparation meets opportunity than some magical force. What differentiates someone who has success from someone who does not?
One area is the way they act upon their dreams.
It is true that sitting around dreaming about something will not make it a reality. We must work out how to turn our dreams into goals so that we can then take action to achieve them.
Step 1- Identify what it is you want.
You will need to think carefully about this. Be sure that your goal is something you actually desire, not something you think you want because society, a partner or your parents have told you you should want it. Achieving a goal for someone else, while possible, is very difficult. Internal (intrinsic) motivation is far more powerful than external (extrinsic) motivation.
Step 2- Decide what you are willing to pay to achieve success.
Nothing comes from nothing. Make sure that your goal is important enough to you that you are willing to make sacrifices to achieve it. Getting a new job will require the sacrifice of time. Time will be needed to put together your resume, search for opportunities and go to interviews. Saving for an overseas vacation will require the sacrifice of going without in some other areas of your life such as dinners out and new clothes. Getting fit and healthy will require the sacrifice of not eating dessert while everyone else does and going out to exercise when it’s wet and cold and you feel like doing anything but.
Make sure that you are willing to pay the price associated with achieving your goal or you are doomed to failure before you have even begun.
Step 3- Identify the key steps involved in achieving your goal.
It is important to break goals down into small achievable steps so that you will know if you are on track. No-one can get fit, save money or write a book in a week, it simply isn’t possible. It is the process of making small actions daily that will achieve the long term outcome. Work out what those steps are and begin to do them today.
Step 4- Set a deadline for each step.
Make sure that you have a deadline for each action you are going to take and specify the date or length of time you will give yourself to achieve success in it.
eg. I will have applied for 2 jobs by the end of the week.
I will swim on Monday, ride on Wednesday and lift weights on Saturday.
I will write my budget by the end of the week and then each Thursday I will transfer $X into my vacation savings account.
You must be prepared to bypass short term gratification for the long term gain.
Step 5- Give yourself permission to make mistakes.
The chances of sailing smoothly through each step towards your final goal are slim. Be prepared that the path will sometimes be bumpy, expect to stumble over obstacles along the way and know that you will feel as if you want to quit more than once. Understand that this is a normal part of the process, simply pick yourself up and keep going.
Remember that you can set a goal at any time. It doesn’t have to be January 1st. In fact, it probably shouldn’t be then. You want to have time to think about your goals logically and work out a plan to achieve them to have the best chance of success.