Anyone can dream. We all do. The difference between those who dream and those who live their dream is putting in the time, energy, and hard work to make those dreams come true.  It’s been said that the richest place on earth is graveyards. There lie people with poems that were never written, songs that were left unsung, books that were never published – a field of dreams that never came true. The good news is you’re still on the right side of time and you can still achieve your dreams and be everything you want to be.

The problem

We know how it generally goes. The end of the year approaches and with it, goals, and resolutions for the coming year. We get excited about them. Write them and share them with everyone. The other side of this coin is the tendency we have to start strong in January but abandon the dream by February. This is because there isn’t often a plan or strategy on how you will achieve your dreams. 

Understanding your goals and achieving your dreams

  • Have a “why”. It becomes easier to achieve your goals if they hold significant meaning and are connected to a purpose. “why” do you want this? The answer to your why will help you push past distractions and other things that don’t help you get where you want to go.
  • Start small. “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. This age-old saying stands true today. The fact of the matter is anything you do will start with a first step. Whether you want to start coding, be fluent in another language, or get that diploma, there is a natural process and progression you will get through to get to the other side. Don’t despise small beginnings. Learn lessons along the way to help you succeed.
  • Break down your goals. When we envision the dream, we tend to see it as one major goal. Which is what can be overwhelming when it’s time to start on them. The dream seems too big and impossible to achieve. But, if you break down the goal into smaller, bite-sized pieces and tasks, you will soon find that you are taking steps that bring you one step closer to the goal. Breaking them down into smaller goals is more manageable and will lower the risk of you stopping before you’ve made any headway.
  • Demolish the obstacles. Truth time? You need to be honest with yourself and recognise the things that could get in the way of you achieving your dream. Is it self-doubt, procrastination, fears, lack of support, or something else? And once you’ve identified these, you can find a way to navigate them when they try and get in the way of you achieving your dreams.

The biggest obstacle we must overcome in pursuit of our dreams is our minds, and how we think about things and ourselves. It’s been said that “Whether you believe you can do it, or you can’t, you’re probably right.”

Learning about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes is a good way to start the journey to understanding your goals. Take our Workplace Personality Assessment and receive insights into who you are.

 Tips to achieving your dreams

  • Be confident and have a positive attitude
  • Keep your eyes on the prize
  • Have fun along the way
  • Be consistent
  • Don’t be afraid to take on challenges and necessary risks in pursuit of your goals
  • Drown out the voices of the naysayers
  • Set up a good support system to push you
  • Upskill yourself. 
  • Set a clear path and stick to it
  • If you fail, fail forward

And remember, be flexible. Not in your goals, but in how you achieve your goals. You may not learn a language by living in that country just yet. But by taking courses online, joining groups, reading, and practising the language every day, by the end of the year, you’ll be in a better position to assimilate into the country when you finally make that move.

Alison has 50+ hubs that you can explore. Here, you can easily find all the related courses about a specific subject or topic and learn everything you need to know.

SMART tricks to help you achieve your dreams

There are a lot of reasons why you’ve struggled to make headway towards your dreams. Perhaps self-doubt, lack of guidance, motivation, lack of finances, or a host of other reasons.  The ultimate tip and trick to not just achieving your goals but succeeding in them are in setting SMART goals.

What are SMART goals?

          Specific. Be specific about your goals. Don’t leave it at “I want to study further”.

Example: I want to study coding to help me get that promotion at work.

          Measurable. How will you measure the success of your goal? Is it one that can be measured and what metric will you use?

Example: I will complete all assessments and check in with my course instructor on how I am doing and progressing.

          Attainable. Be honest with yourself. Is the goal you are setting realistic? Nobody wants to be a dream killer but setting a goal to be a Grammy-winning artist when you can’t hold a note isn’t realistic and very unlikely unattainable.

Example: on weekends I will take singing classes and hire a vocal coach to help improve my singing skills

          Relevant. Is the goal or dream you have set aligned with who you are and your values?

Example: I enjoy helping people and find fulfilment in it; therefore, taking courses in understanding mental help and being a caregiver will help me serve people better.

          Time-bound. What time frame have you set to achieve your dream and goal? If you aim at nothing, you will hit it. So, you need to set down a timeline of when you hope to achieve the dream by being flexible to other elements you may not be able to control.

Example: Within two years, I want to move to a team lead or supervisory role. 

These SMART goals give your dream direction and something you can revert to if you want to check how you are doing.

Celebrate your wins, regardless of how small they seem. Things won’t always go as planned and that’s natural. But when you celebrate your wins, you release the happy hormone (dopamine) into your brain. This “feel good hormone” will push you to do more towards your goals and reinforce the behaviour that gets you there.

If you can persevere through the challenges and overcome them, there’s nothing to stop you from achieving it.

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