Dreams, resolutions, goals, wants, desires, call them whatever you would like, it doesn’t matter. What is important, is that you have a plan of action for how you are going to achieve the things that you want to achieve over the course of your life.
The majority of people in today’s society are setting goals such as:
- Losing weight and eating healthy.
- Finding more happiness in life.
- Challenging myself to try new things.
None of these are bad things to want, but do you see where the problem lies? They are incredibly vague. How much weight do you want to lose? What does eating healthier look like to you? What are you going to do in order to find more happiness? How do you plan on challenging yourself to try new things?
When you get down to the nitty grittiness of it and clearly define what your dreams look like to you, they almost become real even before you have started to act on them.
Bingo. That’s exactly what you are looking for. You know that your dreams are going to require work, and you know that you have what it takes to achieve your dreams. If you didn’t, you would have given up on your dreams long ago.
A dream without a plan is just a wish. So how do you take it to the next level and actually turn your dreams into your reality? Here is a 5 step plan to achieve your dreams – or at least help you to achieve your dreams.
1. List out your dreams.
Now, why would you take precious time out of your day to list out your dreams? Well, did you know just by that writing out your goals and dreams, you are 42 percent more likely to achieve them?
In a study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University of California, she concluded that participants were 42 percent more likely to achieve their dreams and goals if they wrote them down.
Her participants included men and women, ages twenty-three to seventy-two, who had a wide variety of professions such as lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, artists, educators, and bankers.
She divided the participants into two groups. One group wrote down their goals and dreams, and the other group didn’t. Well, the results were clear. The group that wrote down their goals and dreams were 42 percent more successful in achieving their dreams than those who didn’t.
Take some time out of your day today, sit down, and write out what your dreams are. Do a braindump and get them all out of your mind and onto a visual. The more you do this, the more inclined you become to create a plan of action to actually achieve these dreams.
Ask yourself some basic questions to start.
- What do I really want in life?
- If I could have anything and do anything, what would that look like?
- What does my dream job, reality, and future consist of?
- What are some of the things that make me mad that I wish I could change?
Start with this. You don’t need to share this list with anybody else if you don’t want to. The point is to just get your desires out on paper so that you can work towards turning your dreams into your reality.
2. Pick the top one that you wrote down.
It’s okay to be ambitious and to have many dreams. In fact, it’s better to have too many dreams than to have none at all. At the same time, though, the objective is to create a plan to achieve your dreams, not to become so overwhelmed that you can’t even get started.
As you go through the list, ask yourself which one is the most important to you. What dream of yours is the most meaningful? What one have you been thinking about the longest? What one is going to create the most amount of change in your life? What one is going to help to create the most amount of change in the lives of others as well?
It’s important to answer these questions and to find your why. Why do you want to achieve this dream? Your why is what’s going to give you the motivation to pursue your dreams when you face adversity. It’s what’s going to drive you forward just at the thought of it, and it’s what’s going to keep you engaged no matter how long it takes for you to achieve that dream.
If you are trying to achieve too many dreams all at once, odds are that you are going to stress yourself out to the point where it makes it impossible to start. Focus on one dream at a time, give it your full and undivided attention, and move onto the next dream of yours only once you have achieved the first.
3. Determine the importance of your dream.
How badly do you want to turn this dream into your reality? On a scale of one to five, one being not important and five being incredibly important, how important is it for you to achieve that dream? If you answered a five (which I hope you did because this is going to be your reality) then that’s perfect. Now it’s time to start overcoming your fears towards achieving that dream.
Personally speaking, I am one who never embraced failure. The thought of being a failure and a loser paralyzed me from ever taking chances on myself. I would come up with all of the possibilities for how I presumed things would go, that I was never even willing to get started.
One thing that would have helped me would have been to recognize the likelihood of my failures becoming true. 99 percent of the time, those fears that stop us from taking action will never actually come to fruition. But yet, we still allow them to stop us.
Try this out. When it comes to chasing your dreams, what are some of your greatest fears? Would you go broke in pursuing your dreams? Would you lose your job? Would you look like a failure in the eyes of others?
Next, realize how unlikely it is that any of these fears would ever come true. Then, ask yourself what you would do to resolve these fears? If you went broke, you could get another job and make that money back. If you lost your job, well, there are millions of jobs out there to replace it. And just to be brutally honest, others are probably going to think you’re a failure, but that’s just their opinion. It doesn’t make it true. Plus, if you aren’t willing to fail, then you aren’t willing to succeed either.
4. Make your dreams specific.
One of the reasons why many people fail when it comes to achieving their dreams is because they aren’t specific enough. Look, this is your life and these are your dreams. Envision what every little detail of your dream looks like and how achieving that dream is going to impact your life.
Don’t just dream and hope for the best. Dream and make sure your dreams are SMART. What does this mean?
Specific: What does that dream look like to you? Picture it in detail so that it becomes real in your mind even though it isn’t real… yet. The clearer you are about what it is that you want to achieve, the easier it is to focus and stay motivated towards achieving that dream.
Measurable: How are you going to track your progress? How are you going to measure your success? How are you going to determine if what you are doing is helping you to achieve your goals or not? Find a way to stay on track whether it’s by using metrics or planning in advance and being able to check steps off as you go.
Attainable: Make sure that your dreams are realistic and actually attainable. The point is to achieve your dreams, not to set dreams for yourself that you know you will never accomplish. You want to have dreams that are challenging to achieve, but not dreams that you don’t even stand a chance of achieving.
Relevant: Your dreams need to be relevant to one and only one person – you. If your dream is actually just somebody else’s dream for you, then you are going to have a much more difficult time obtaining it. Make sure that your dream is what you want. Make sure that it’s worth your time to obtain, and make sure that it’s relevant to the vision you have for yourself.
Time: How long is it going to take you to achieve your dreams? Don’t have a dream without an end date. Set a timeframe for when you want to have that dream achieved by and post that time everywhere you can. This is only going to help you to focus and to stay motivated when you otherwise might not be using your time efficiently.
I know your smart and that you can achieve your dreams, so make it easier on yourself and make sure that your dreams are SMART as well.
5. Come up with your next steps to get started.
Look ahead. What are some things that you can start implementing into your life now that will help you to achieve the success that you desire? Think about some small steps that you can slowly start to put into your day that will help you to start acting on your dreams.
The objective here is to start taking action towards achieving your dreams and turning your dreams into your reality. You can sit and think about how badly you want to achieve your dreams all you want, but without taking the action necessary to achieve them, they are never going to become your reality.
Taking action is the hardest step to achieving your dreams. Once you learn to start taking action, you are already halfway to turning your dreams into your reality. The rest will simply fall into place just as it should, so take action and there’s nothing that you can’t achieve.