- Mental Health
Using Your Dreams to Set Goals Even if You Don't Know What You Want
Set Your Dreams
Carl Sandburg said, “Nothing happens unless first a dream.” We are not talking about winning the lottery, that huge inheritance from a long lost relative, or the money tree in the back yard. We are talking about you following your dreams.
Dreams are your goals, your motives, and your wishes. In order to have your dreams come true, you need to define the dreams. You need to set a target to aim and focus your energy. Spinning your wheels in an endless circle is not going to move you toward the dream.
Set your dreams, write them down; say them out loud, and then they become real. You have all the power and resources you need to make your dreams a reality. Setting a dream establishes a commitment. You see the future. You have your eyes set on the prize. You have direction.
Dreaming is easy, setting a goal is difficult. A goal must be something you want and something that is attainable. A goal needs a definite action and a time limit. In setting a goal you must know what you want. You must know the difference between dreams, fantasies and a goal. Remember goals can be changed. You might have set yourself an achievable goal and along the way one of the stepping stones led you in another direction. If the desire and commitment are strong—re-write the goal and go for it.
Setting goals is a motivational direction to set your dreams into reality. Your thoughts, statements and actions are directed at reaching your goals. You have determined the journey you want to take. You have set your dreams into motion. These sentences all begin with you. You can blame everyone and everything for your defeat, or you can lift yourself up and over all the obstacles and move on. You are confident and determined to reach your goals because you belief in yourself.
Time to Take a Chance
Now you need to continue moving toward your dreams. Get out of that comfort zone and move into a world of adventure, and success. Your actions, decisions and emotions are controlled by you and you alone. You chose the steps and roads taken to reach the top.
When you let other people offer their defeating thoughts, their rejections, their blame, and their complaints, you start to lose sight of your dreams. They are your nightmare. They don’t belong in your dreams. Being in control of your life is a dream and a gift you give to yourself.
What are your expectations? I want to own my own company. I want to be on Broadway, I want to travel. Every thought, statement and action you do leads to your success. Make sure it is a positive courageous statement.
Courage is a big emotion that is needed to dream BIG. Courage as defined in The American College Dictionary is, ‘the quality of mind that enables one to encounter difficulties and danger with firmness, or without fear’. Courage is your willingness to alter your course and accept changes. Notice I didn’t say change your dreams. Willingness to change moves you towards your rewards.
Courage is the emotion that is going to change your attitude, your feeling, and your behavior. You might have heard someone say, “You are your own worst enemy.” You can also be your own best friends, motivator and coach. You are in control of your emotions, decisions and behaviors.
Where are You?
You can still set a goal even if you don’t know what you want, where you are going or how you’re going to get there. Ever think of setting a goal to find your goal? If you set a goal, go after it and if you find something else that interests you more, change the goal. You have eliminated an action, dream or fantasy from your list. You are narrowing your search. Re-write the goal and keep moving, you’re not going backwards, you’re reaching higher.
Some people will not set goals because they don’t know what they want. Your goal setting depends on you and you alone. It depends on where you are in life. First we need to find out what areas in your life we are goal setting. What stage of life are you setting goals for: education, family, career, physical or pleasure? The education, career, and family might be past and your health and retirement might be your target areas. This is a personal matter and I can’t answer for you. So, you’re on your own, decide and set a goal for yourself.
The SMART system has been published in many magazines and self-help books; perhaps it will help you write a goal.
S specific or a significant goal
M measurable or meaningful goal
A attainable or action oriented
R relevant or rewarding
T time or tractable
When setting your goals it is important to be positive. Write I am going to save $50/month, instead of I will save… Always be positive. Your brain will start believing it is true.
Encouraging yourself will build your self confidence. Your mind is a very powerful tool. You can convince yourself you are right and you can convince yourself you are wrong. Use the power of your mind to build your self confidence. Use your mind to list your dreams and visualize you at the top.
Let's Find Out Your Goals
Let’s start to find out what your goals are and what your dreams can lead to. What are your dreams? List them. All of them or at least 25. Number your page 1 to 25 and start writing.
1. I want to publish a picture book.
2. I want to start a blog.
3. I want to run my own web page.
4. I want to do sing on Broadway...
24. I want a housekeeper
25. I want an indoor pool
Towards the end you may be stretching, but the purpose is to have expectations and to have direction. Not just to go in circles. Some of your expectations will be easily obtained. That is on purpose; to prove to you that you have the power to achieve. You belief and you can succeed!
Your goals must be clear. If your goals are unclear or vague, then unrealized action may take over. These actions may cause a delay in your achievements. If your goal is to finish your novel, an unrealized goal would be a short term satisfaction—say, I’ll do an article instead, or I’ll revise now. These actions derail your forward moment and take you off track.
You Have The Power
You have the power to move towards your goals. Courageous people use all powers to handle whatever is dealt to them. Each new challenge is just a stepping stone to the right road. Life hands us difficult and easy roadblocks every day. The way you handle them is the power within you to reach your goals. Adjust to the new ‘fork in the road’ but keep the goal in mind and get back on track.
Set your dreams on fire—so they can spread and lead to your goals. From your dreams you need to identify and set some goals. Commitment, YES, and you can do it. How are your dreams going to come true if you never dream? How are you going to achieve a goal if you never set one?
Whatever your motivation is: you must develop it with a routine. You must constantly work on developing your dreams. Every day you must plan to take steps to move forward. You make a commitment to yourself. Don’t do it for someone else. This only leads to failure.
Start with an obtainable goal—‘I will follow through on my dream.’