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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 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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