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Published on December 9, 2020

6 Actionable Ways To Manifest Your Dream in 2021

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 July 25, 2021

A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success

A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success

If there was a rule book of life, there would be one particular page that was highlighted, underlined, and titled as most important. It would be the one which told you that you need to master effective goal setting and have an aim in mind before you get on with the process. While there may not be an actual rule book of life, we do have this helpful goal setting guide to offer.

Yes, goal setting is important. In fact, it’s more important than achieving the goal itself. This is because it is the sense of direction that is needed for you to fulfill any task in life.

You don’t have to feel overwhelmed if this sounds new to you, as all the following information has you covered.

Today, you’ll find out all about the importance of goal setting, types of goals, and tips to define realistic goals for yourself!

What Are Goals?

To kick off our goal setting guide, you need to first recognize what goals are and how they are different from objectives, dreams, and expectations.

A goal is essentially your aim for the long-term future. It is the bigger umbrella, the main focus.

Objectives, on the other hand, fall under the umbrella of goals. They are the stepping stones that help you achieve your goals[1].

Objects vs goals for goal setting tips

    For example, you may decide you want to learn a new language. Your goal is to be fluent in the new language. Everything you do to achieve this goal, such as the daily tasks and monthly learning aims, are the objectives.

    Similarly, your expectations, visions, and dreams are not your goals. If you wish to learn a new language someday, that is your dream. If you see yourself fluently speaking multiple foreign languages, that is your vision. If you think you’re capable of learning a new language, that is your expectation.

    However, if you aim to fulfill these visions, dreams, and expectations practically, that is your goal.

    Why Is Goal Setting Important?

    Why should you bother with goal setting at all? Wouldn’t it be more convenient to just get on with your daily objectives, follow a dream or vision, and let life take you wherever?

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    While that road can feel exciting and spontaneous, if you actually want to tick off things from your list of goals to achieve, learning how to set goals is necessary.

    Being committed to a goal puts your brain to work in one specific direction. Believe it or not, by having a defined goal, your brain does its magic unconsciously, 24/7, with full efficiency, to achieve the desired results[2].

    Goal setting is important to shift your focus, boost your motivation, and give you a sense of direction. Without formally defining a particular aim that you want to reach, you won’t be able to keep your objectives in line.

    Hence, this one tiny step can end up saving you a lot of hassle and time while also encouraging your productivity.

    Types of Goals

    Before we move onto the technique of setting effective goals, we need to first take a look at all types of goals in this goal setting tips.

    These categories will not just help you brainstorm new one for yourself, but it will also guide you to list them down in the right way.

    Time-Based

    One of the two broad categories of goals is based on time. These goals define how far in the future you want to achieve them.

    Daily

    There are certain smaller goals that you can easily achieve in a day or two. In fact, some of these daily goals can be recurring, too. For example, you may want to run for an hour every morning.

    Now, these daily goals can also serve as objectives for a long-term goal. You may be running every day because, in the long-term, you want to increase your stamina.

    Daily goals are highly effective for people who want to improve their mental wellbeing, time management skills, and stress management.

    Short-Term

    Next in line are short-term goals. As you would have already guessed, goal setting in this area is aimed at the near future.

    The great thing about these is that they are generally easier to achieve. This is because short-term goals are set for the foreseeable future. You are aware of the circumstances and have a general idea of how much the situation can change.

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    Just like daily goals, short-term goals may also serve as objectives for a long-term goal. Your short-term goal may be to lose 5 pounds in one month. That could be a goal in itself, or maybe it is just one objective to fulfill your goal to adopt a healthy lifestyle in the next two years.

    Another example of a short-term goal is to fulfill the checklist for promotion within the next 6 months. Or, you may want to reduce your screen time within the coming week.

    Long-Term

    Lastly, we have long-term goals that are meant to be completed over a stretched period.

    Whatever you want to achieve in a later stage of life is a long-term goal. An insurance plan, for example, is a long-term goal.

    Some long-term goals don’t have any time frame at all. They are goals that you want to accomplish at some point in your life. So, something like traveling the whole world is a lifelong goal with no specific time constraint at all.

    There’s one thing about long-term goals that isn’t great.

    They are the hardest to keep up with since you’re not seeing any huge achievements regularly. This may take a toll on your motivation. To tackle this problem, it is best to divide a long-term goal into various, short-term and daily objectives so that you’re always tracking the progress you’re making.

    Life-Based

    Moving forward, you can also start goal setting based on the results you want to achieve instead of the time period.

    Career

    Like most people, you will likely want to succeed and excel in your career. Anything that has to do with this intention, regardless of the time frame, is a career goal. These are usually measurable goals, such as receiving a promotion within two years, finding a job at a certain company within the next six months, etc.

    You can learn more about how to set successful career goals here.

    Personal

    The past few years have all been about emphasizing your personal health. So, when it comes to goals, how can we forget the ones that have to do with our personal gains?

    From health to finances to relationships, everything that brings you happiness and composure as a person is a personal goal. It’s important that these are realistic and attainable goals for your life.

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    Whether you want to get rid of your debt, quit smoking, start a side hustle, have children, or travel the world, all of these goals are personal and very important to have on your list.

    How to Set Goals

    The best way to guarantee the fulfillment of goals is to set them the right way.

    1. Use SMART Goals

    Every goal you define has to be SMART[3].

    SMART stands for:

    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time-Bound

    In summary, your specific goals should be very well defined. They shouldn’t be generic or broad, and every detail should be clarified as you’re goal setting. 

    If you want to start running, how often do you want to do it? How long will each session be? For how long will you continue this habit?

    There has to be a connection between your goals and beliefs or you’ll never be able to achieve the results you want. Most importantly, do not be unrealistic. You cannot learn to fly, and forcing yourself to try is only going to demotivate and stress you out.

    2. Prioritize Your Goals

    As you’re looking into how to write goals for the next month or year, it’s likely you’ll come up with more than one. In this case, it’s important to prioritize which are the most important or the ones that have the tightest deadline. This is going to be subjective, as only you know which goals will have the most impact on your life.

    3. Think of Those Around You

    As you’re working on goal setting, keep your loved ones in mind. You may have a partner, children, or employees that depend on you, and you should take them into consideration with your goals. For example, if you set a goal to travel to 10 different countries in the next two years, how will this affect your children?

    If you want to lose 30 pounds this year, is there something your partner can do to support you? S/he will need to be made aware of this before you set off on your weight loss journey.

    4. Take Action

    Setting goals is the first step, but in order to be successful, you have to follow this with action. If you set goals but never act on them, they become dreams. Create an action plan laying out the steps you need to take each day or week in order to achieve your big and small goals.

    You can also check out Lifehack’s free guide: The Dreamers’ Guide for Taking Action and Making Goals Happen. This helpful guide will push you to take action on your goals, so check it out today!

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    5. Don’t Forget the Bigger Picture

    Most people refer to the big picture as their vision. Whether it is the long-term result or the connection of the goal with your desire, keep it in mind to keep yourself from getting distracted.

    You can learn more about creating a vision for your life here.

    I also recommend you to watch this video to learn 7 strategies to set goals effectively:

    How to Reach Your Goals

    You can ensure your progress by following some foolproof tactics. The use of relevant helpful tools can also keep you on the right track.

    Tactics

    One rookie mistake that most people make is that they work on too many goals simultaneously. Create an action plan and focus on one thing at a time.

    Divide your goal into smaller, easily achievable tasks. Taking it one step at a time makes it much easier. However, do not break them down too much. For example, for long-term goals, you should go for weekly checkpoints instead of daily ones.

    Also, keep track of your progress. This will keep you motivated to work harder.

    Tools

    With so many categories of goals and so many aims, it is almost impossible to remember, let alone work, on all of them.

    Luckily, numerous goal tracker apps will help you keep track of your goals, as well as your plan to achieve every single one. Have at least one installed in your smartphone so that your plan is always within reach.

    The Bottom Line

    In conclusion, using a goal setting tips guide is not rocket science. All that it takes is strong will power along with all the knowledge that you’ve learned so far.

    Try out the tactics and goals setting tips mentioned above to be able to set successful goals so that you can achieve the life that you want!

    More Tips on Achieving Success

    Featured photo credit: Danielle MacInnes via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    [1] Smart Insights: The difference between marketing objectives and marketing goals?
    [2] Confluence: Goal Setting Theory
    [3] University of California: SMART Goals: A How-To Guide

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