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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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