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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 January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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