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How to Change Dreams to Goals by Changing a Few Simple Words

How to Change Dreams to Goals by Changing a Few Simple Words

No matter how far we get in life, how many goal we achieve or how much success we enjoy, there’s always that one elusive dream which will remain impossible to realise, if not necessarily forever, then at least right now.

It is also usually the case that such distant dream is the one we yearn to bring to life the most.

If Only…

Occasionally through fear, though more often than not through practical, logical thinking, we convince ourselves that this dream must remain out of reach for the time being, coming up with a multitude of excuses why it just can’t possibly happen or wishing for some change in circumstances to present themselves.

Statements like these can all seem like perfectly natural and valid reasons why we can’t do whatever it is we want to do.

That said, we can often bring ourselves closer to achieving our heart’s desire simply by changing our way of thinking.

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“My dream is to become a best-selling novelist.”

That’s all very nice, but here’s the thing:

Dreams are the things that happen to us when we’re asleep. Dreams are the things which require nothing from us beyond lying down with our eyes closed. Dreams are the things which rarely, if ever, come to life.

Dreams to Goals

Try this way of thinking instead:

“My goal is to become a best-selling novelist.”

All we’ve done is replace one simple word with another, yet it’s a word which changes the entire meaning behind the statement and thus our way of thinking.

Goals are the things that we make happen when we’re awake. Goals are the things which require us to get up, keep our eyes open on the road ahead and work. Goals are the things which often, if not always, come to life providing we work at them.

By changing our dreams to goals we inevitably start to look at them in a different light and draw them closer towards us. We may never realise a dream, but countless people from all walks of life set themselves incredible goals every day and go on to achieve dreams consistently. If they can do it, so can we.

How we get there

So far so good, though that still leaves us with the excuses, with the practical, logical thinking which looks us straight in the eye and says ‘no.’

  • If only we had enough money.
  • If only we had enough time.

If only we could stop saying ‘if only’ and change our way of thinking.

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Can we really do that? Of course we can, and it’s easier than you think.

Again, all we’re doing is changing a few simple words when we talk to ourselves. This time, get rid of statements starting with ‘If only’ and replace with questions which begin ‘How can I…’

  • How can I get enough money?
  • How can I make enough time?
  • How can I gain enough knowledge, experience or talent?

This approach uses exactly the same practical, logical thinking we’d earlier used to convince ourselves we couldn’t realise that elusive dream, only now instead of preventing us from doing something, we’re using it to help us do exactly the same thing.

Ask yourself these questions and give some serious thought to the answers and that goal draws even closer.

  • If money is a barrier, can you get a second job? Sell things you don’t use? Get a loan?
  • If time is holding you back, can you get up earlier? Go to bed later? Get some help with household chores which suck away the hours?
  • If you don’t have enough knowledge can you take a course? Read a book? Speak to an expert?

Employing this kind of thinking helps you see beyond the obstacles you’d previously placed in the road to realising your biggest goals arms you with any number of solutions to overcoming them.

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Let’s go back to our aspiring writer, shall we?

“My dream is to become a best-selling novelist . If only I had the time to sit down and write.”

or…

“My goal is to become a best-selling novelist, so I will create time to write by waking up an hour earlier each morning.”

All we’ve done is replace a few words, but in doing so not only changed our thinking, but changed an impossible dream to an entirely possible goal.

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Featured photo credit:  woman paint a city with spray bottle via Shutterstock

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Chris Skoyles

Coach, and trainee counsellor specializing in mental health and addiction.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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