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Published on December 9, 2020

6 Actionable Ways To Manifest Your Dream in 2021

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6 Actionable Ways To Manifest Your Dream in 2021

Thirteen years ago, I was defeated. Less than a year after moving out of my mom’s house, she was my landlord once again. Alone on her couch (my bed), I spent Friday nights watching bad TV and brushing crumbs off my lap. Before I could spark another cigarette, an infomercial stole my attention. An ash-haired woman spoke of untold laws and secrets with the power to manifest my wildest dreams. “This was no BS!” I choked.

I began reading books and listening to tapes on how to attract my desires. I visualized my fantasies, recanted affirmations, and purified my mind. And then something amazing happened…

Nothing changed. Not one single thing.

Sure, it felt like things were improving. Every time I told myself I was a millionaire, it felt wonderful. But my life wasn’t getting any better. My goals remained out of reach.

So, I tried something different. I sought advice from successful friends. They weren’t always wealthy, but they lived happy lives, on their own terms. One was a venture capitalist helping entrepreneurs in developing countries. He loved to build businesses that lifted communities. Another was a teacher that felt a rush when her students learned something new. I interviewed athletes, engineers, and small business owners to dissect the actionable steps to manifest your dreams.

I put their advice to work in my own life, becoming my own guinea pig. My results changed—fast. I went from almost dropping out of high-school to graduating from one of the top MBA programs in the world. I quit smoking and ran a marathon and then a triathlon. I traveled the world and went from dead broke to six-figures in the bank in less than a year.

Those results may pale in comparison to yours—if so, mazel tov my friend! Keep crushing it, and use these steps to reach new heights.

Let’s manifest our dreams, minus the squishy platitudes:

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1. Know Where Mindset Matters

For all the hype, there’s one big problem with the Law of Attraction: belief alone can’t change anything—not in the physical world. It takes consistent, deliberate action to bend reality in your favor.

But that’s not to say that a positive mindset is unimportant. Ever met a woman who dates the same toxic men over and over again? Or the man who decries his every employer yet suffers the worst of them? How strange is it that whether we view life as good or bad, kind or evil, circumstances tend to prove our point?

What you are is what you have been. Who you will be is what you do now. —Buddha

Thoughts don’t manifest our dreams, but they dictate our actions, which do. Before writing your goals, first, check in with yourself: are you in a positive mindset right now?

Always begin with optimism. If you’re feeling stressed, pause for ten minutes of meditation. Feeling unconfident? Recite a few uplifting affirmations and relieve your past achievements for a while. When you’re ready, return to your goals.

2. Ask the Most Important Question

In Simon Sinek’s bestselling book, “Start with Why,” he explains how people don’t buy into a product until they understand the “why” behind it. Companies refer to this as their mission statement.

Likewise, you won’t commit to your personal mission until you believe in your soul why it matters. Think about the type of life you could be living if you accomplished your goals. How happy would that make you feel? Would it empower your peers?

We’ll sometimes do things for others that we won’t do for ourselves. So, think about how your success could better the lives of those around you

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Then, imagine the consequences of not setting any goals. Can you accept the regrets that might follow? Would you risk the missed opportunities? Imagine your own funeral. Friends and family surround your casket—what would you want them to say about you?

Stoke a fire within yourself to live up to your aspirations. We only have one life to make it happen. Use this all as fuel.

3. Practice the Power of Patience

You’ve heard of the Pareto principle, often called the “80/20” rule. I estimate that 20% of success is smart goal-setting and 80% is execution. Nothing beats relentless action directed at the right target. But there’s one other crucial, yet overlooked trait: patience.

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” —Bill Gates

Great things take time. But most people are overly patient in the short term and impatient in the long term. They work at a relaxed pace each day, yet complain and deflect blame when they’re not an overnight success.

Take common personal goals: pivoting careers, getting out of debt, or losing a lot of weight. It will take most people a year or two to reach these goals if they remain disciplined.

Let’s look at the three scenarios:

  • Failure #1 — She absorbs a lot of knowledge but never acts on it (super common).
  • Failure #2 — She starts a new venture with massive enthusiasm, only to fizzle out when adversity or boredom strikes.
  • Success — She decides which goals to pursue, plans (but doesn’t overthink), then works on the plan every day.

The successful person is more like the tortoise than the hare in the classic fable. They’re like the woodpecker that whacks the same tree thousands of times until dinner is ready.

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4. Use Habits to Trump Motivation

Legendary investor Ray Dalio wrote in “Principles: Life and Work” that successful people flourish and manifest their dreams by doing two critical things well:

A. Identify the Most Important Activities Related to the Goals

When approaching a problem, spend some time upfront framing it. Ask yourself: what would it look like if this were easy? Which 20% of activities generate 80% of the results?

If I were researching how to lose weight, I’d find that 3500 calories equal one pound. So, I could lose a pound per week by working out ~10 hours a week or by cutting out soda and sugary drinks. Clearly, diet is the key factor.

In sales prospecting or job searches, the root cause of failure is an insufficient pipeline. They aren’t reaching out to enough prospective customers or employers to get results. Better objection handling or follow-up may move the needle a bit, but it’s not the primary factor.

B. Repeat These Activities Every Day

Once you’ve identified the critical activities for your goals, you need to convert them into habits. This is key if you want to manifest your dreams.

For example, if I were to write a novel by the end of the year, I could write 300 words per day. That takes an average writer around twenty minutes each day. In that case, I would create a schedule for the day, with a time block dedicated to that activity. I would schedule this time first thing in the morning.

Don’t wait until you’re distracted or tired. Treat this time as sacred—nothing short of an emergency should get in the way.

5. Sustain It in the Long Run

People often ask: how do I sustain motivation for months and years? Habits are powerful because they reduce the need for constant motivation. Your goal becomes a lifestyle—a permanent fixture of your days.

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Imagine placing your goals on autopilot. The critical takeaway: convert your critical success activities into repeatable habits. It’s easier when you sustain a high level of motivation. Do this with rewards to reinforce the habit. Savor a gourmet coffee after finishing a chapter, or enjoy a cheat meal after moving the scales. These treats help associate progress with pleasure in your mind.

Another great tip is to keep your goals “in front of you”. Put a picture of your dream home in your bathroom, or place a replica of your dream car on your nightstand. These will remind you of what you’re chasing after.

6. You Win More as a Team

The biggest mistake I made on my journey from mess to success is trying to go it alone. Don’t hesitate to recruit others on your path to achievement.

An accountability partner can be a great way to motivate you not to quit. Join clubs with people that share similar goals. Talk to those that have already accomplished what you want. Experts in a domain often have insider tips that speed up your progress.

Seeing someone who’s achieved your goal will increase your confidence that you can do the same. Scientists have researched the “mirror neurons” in our brains that reflect the behavior of someone who is being observed.[1] If we see someone do something, our brains mirror the action, as though we can see ourselves doing it.

Have you ever joined a workout class or a hobby club and found that you could do something you never considered? We tend to step up our game to the level of our peers.

Most important of all, remember that your journey to success doesn’t have to be a lonely one. It’s more fun and fulfilling when you experience it with others. Best of luck in everything you do.

Final Thoughts

To manifest your dreams, you have to put in the work and start taking action. Your dreams will stay as dreams if you don’t act on them. Start with these 6 actionable ways to manifest your dream to turn your life around for the better.

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More Tips to Manifest Your Dream

Featured photo credit: Andreea-Maria Juganaru via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Association for Psychological Science: Mirror Neurons: How We Reflect on Behavior

More by this author

Chris Tubbs

Biz Dev Leader, MBA, Marathoner, Triathlete, and Writer for Knowyourbest.com

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Last Updated on September 27, 2021

8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

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8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

Thus, this article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question — why is goal setting important?

1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

“Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

7. Goals Make You Feel Good

Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

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Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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