Dreams, Goals, and Achievement

Posted on October 27, 2010 by CJ Article Team

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goalPretty much everything you read about goals in human achievement tells you about the importance of goals, how to make them, and how to use them to succeed. Unless this is the first article you’ve read about goals or you’re a confirmed doubter, you know that goals are important.

Simply, most of our achievements in life start with an idea of something that we would like to do, to have, or to achieve. Many people call this the dream. It’s an idea, a concept of something we want.

Some people think a dream is the same thing as a goal, but it’s really not. Think of a goal as a dream with a date on it. That’s over-simplifying, but it’s easy enough to understand. Dreams can be a bit vague but goals have to be specific. To make this easier, I’ll discuss it in relation to a recent diet of mine.

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My dream, if you will, was not to weigh a certain amount. That’s really too vague. What is a “weight”? It’s an arbitrary number that an instrument gives us to show what? If you don’t understand scales, pounds, and the relationship between height and build, it’s just a number. My dream was not something like that; my dream was an image I had in my mind. That image was my person in a slimmer body. I knew what I wanted to look like. That picture in my mind was my dream.

During my life I have moved through weights from around 5-1/2 pounds to 220 pounds. I say I’ve moved through them. Actually, sometimes I’ve moved through ranges of those weights more than once! But, I remember what I looked like when I was at some of those weights. In fact, I still have pictures of my wife and me at our wedding when I weighed between 135 and 140. That’s not my dream, but I have the image. If your weight is higher than what you want it to be, I’ll bet that you have an image of you with your preferred body shape in your mind too. So I had a dream, a vision.

Next, I had to refine the dream into a specific goal. I had to do some analysis to find a goal that would produce an acceptable vision. So, I chose the weight that would meet the vision, and then I put a time frame on it. In my case, that was easy because I was going on my first-ever cruise in nine months…now I had a date and motivation!

Dreams and goals are important, but you won’t achieve them without a plan. You need a plan that you believe you can follow, one that you are confident will produce the desired results, and one that you can use to measure your progress. Also, you need to be able to adjust your plan if it doesn’t produce as you want it to.

I was fortunate that I had dieted before and had a pretty good idea of what worked for me. So, I put a plan in place that reduced my daily calorie intake to a set amount and continued the exercise routine I had already developed. I created a goal chart to track my progress on a monthly basis. And, I set an end date for achieving the goal. I’d never started a diet this way before. I’d had the dream before, and I’d had goals before. I had just never laid them out in a reasonable, long-term, measurable manner before. This time I decided to follow things I’d learned about goal setting, and I was going to succeed.

So I started my diet, followed my plan, and tracked my progress. As time went on, I could look at my progress and decide whether the plan was working and whether I was really executing the plan. How did it work? Well, I lost over half of what my goal was. What happened?

Remember that thing about visualizing what you want? As it turns out my vision of myself wearing some clothes that I already owned became reality before the final goal. I reached that point and lost another five pounds but fell off my plan at that point. I still need to get the vision of myself at the final goal weight, and it needs to be a vision of something I really want, something that will provide the motivation to take me the rest of the way.

Summary

What can we learn from this real-life example?

The dream must be something you can visualize so you really see yourself fulfilling it.
The goal is established by defining the dream with numbers that are measurable.
The plan has to be something you believe will work and that you can track yourself on.
Progress must be checked along the way.
Did I fail? No. I haven’t reached the final goal yet, but I now weigh 25 pounds less than when I started, and I’ve maintained that for almost nine months! That’s not failure, that’s progress toward my goal.

Want to learn more? Visit http://www.launchyourgoals.com/cbprods/c7stepsb.htm to learn how to stop missing your goals and start living your dreams.

Stop by Launch Your Goals Blog at http://www.launchyourgoals.com/blog to sign up for a free special report and to learn more about setting and achieving your goals.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dale_Stuemke

By Dale Stuemke

Posted by CJ Article Team
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