Goals, Visions, Dreams: How to Reach That Next Step

Sometimes it’s tough to keep going on a goal that seems so far away it doesn’t even feel possible at times. I felt that way many times as I was training to run a half-marathon before I turned 30.

Also, I dream a lot. Believe me. My Pinterest vision board is filled with all of the things I desire for my life. And why not put it out into the universe?

But what is the difference between a goal and a dream? Or a vision and a dream? I’ve been thinking about what it takes to achieve something, small or big. James Clear will tell you it is atomic habits that make or break whether we get to reach our goal.

I like this quote from John Baldoni:

Dreams are drifts of the imagination, as if one imaginary clouds in the sky. Visions are scripted efforts to effect change. They occur personally and organizationally. Dreams are nice; visions are work.

-John Baldoni

As I think through his statement that visions are scripted and designed to effect change, it reminds me of why companies and organizations have vision statements. Truly, these are their efforts to implement change toward something bigger. And it brings everyone on board to focus their individual goals toward the mission.

So now I ask:

What is your vision statement for life? What is it that you ultimately aim to achieve overall?

While I would love to enjoy the freedom to travel, it comes down to being a good friend and a kind person for me.

However, I do want to achieve these greater dreams of financial freedom to support my family. Therefore, I need to set goals and create a plan to get there.

Whenever I teach goal-setting in my courses, I have students use the SMARTER goal method. The two most important components of that to me are being specific and setting a timeline for completion. If there is no deadline, it can stretch on and on.

The method also helps with getting the ideas out onto paper or computer. Either way, writing it down means you are 42% more likely to actually achieve that goal.

So here’s what you need to do (myself included since I’m a perpetual learner):

  1. Dream and keep dreaming – You can’t achieve something you’re not thinking about. Dream big – there is a whole world out there filled with information you probably don’t even know yet.
  2. Create a vision statement for your life – What’s your purpose? What do you want to be known for? Think of your dreams and start to narrow down a statement or mantra that will keep you going.
  3. Set SMARTER goals – Be intentional about writing down exactly what you want to achieve, when you want to achieve it by, and how you will measure your progress along the way.
  4. Create an action plan – Work backward from your end goal and create mini-goals that get you closer and closer to the big goal. Small to-do lists that can be completed that move you just that one step closer to reaching that goal.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and chase those dreams and reach those goals!

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