Monthly Archives: August 2014

How to turn your dreams into reality; Part Three

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So you have set your goals, now what? All too often we can create goals and fail to account for the unexpected in life. Major life events such as getting married or a new job can easily take over and distract us from the pursuit of our goals but we must avoid the tendency to feel like we have failed. True goals need to be flexible and open to adjustments. When we review our progress, or return to our goal after a major life event, it is the perfect opportunity to reshape our goals, reorganizing our time and resources. This may mean shifting the timescale to make it more realistic and achievable. In line with our new priorities we will feel more optimistic about achieving what we set out to and, as a result, will feel more empowered to do the daily tasks necessary for us to stay on course and reach our goal.

 

 

Although setting goals can take a lot of thought and planning the benefit of setting them is two-fold. Not only do we gain enjoyment from participating in an activity we are passionate about (which improves our quality of life) but we start to gain a sense of progression and advancement which is central to lasting happiness. The more we recognize our achievements, the more drive we have to advance further and a virtuous cycle of happiness is created. So the next time you feel like you are running up and down the field and not scoring – set goals, turning your dreams into reality – and hit a home run on the field that is life.

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How to turn your dreams into reality; Part Two

 

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So what are S.M.A.R.T. goals? Let’s explore the meaning of S.M.A.R.T. in this context further…

 

Specific goals identify what we want to achieve on a practical level and are often grounded in weekly participation of your chosen pursuit. For example, a vague goal would be to become a pop star. Although becoming a pop star is an admirable goal we need to think of how we are going to achieve that and add these interim steps to our main goal. A specific goal in order to achieve chart success might therefore be to take weekly singing lessons and practice singing exercises for thirty minutes a day. Once we have specific goals we immediately feel energized as we know on a practical level what needs to be done.

 

Goals also need to be measurable; ideally goals should be measured in the short-term and medium-term. For example, you can easily measure whether you have been attending weekly singing lessons and practicing each day. Every six months you can review whether you have made progress by seeing if you have attended any open mike nights or have started writing your own lyrics. The main objective is to outline how and when we will measure our progress. This helps us adjust our goals when necessary and keeps us motivated down the line.

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How to turn your dreams into reality; Part One

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Bill Copeland, a well respected author, once said “the trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” The truth is that in today’s society whereby instant communication is the norm with sites like Facebook, Hotmail and Twitter constantly vying for our attention, it can be challenging to sit down and assess what we want to achieve on a deeper level, let alone make time for those activities. In Tony Hsieh’s book, Delivering Happiness, he pin points ‘perceived progress’ as an essential component of our overall happiness and, as the field of positive psychology develops, this principle is becoming widely accepted.

 

So how do we discover what we want to achieve? A good place to start is with our dreams. Often our dreams are a reflection of our inner most desires as the very word dream implies it is an unobtainable fantasy, so we tend to feel safe to imagine what we may otherwise think of as impossible. If we question whether we are mostly interested in the activity or the fruits of that activity we can discern whether we have the motivation required to fulfill our dreams. For example, I may not love singing but still want to be a pop star, with all the fame and notoriety that involves, however, without the desire to sing it is unlikely I will succeed at becoming a chart-topping sensation. If the activity itself does not interest you but the results do, it may be best to stay loyal to your interests as your motivation will soon wane once you begin to engage in the activity. If, on the other hand, you are genuinely interested in the activity you have the necessary foundations to start setting your goals!

 

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