In my final year of high school, I had a dream to join The Australian Defence Force, it didn’t happen. The next year, I had a dream to run a successful magazine, it failed. In 2016, I had a dream to quit drinking, I didn’t.
Dreams get you nowhere.
There’s a huge difference between a dream and a goal but it’s very easy to identify the difference between the two. One you sort of want and one you need. One has the ability to become reality and one will stay in your head until you decide to act upon it.
A dream is something you only ever wish for. You only ever think about it. You want it but you’re not willing to act, you just hope that the world will eventually hand it to you.
A goal is something you want so badly that you will do anything to achieve it. A goal never seems too big or too hard. A goal is a burning desire.
I used to be a serial dreamer.
I constantly wished for things but never acted on them, expecting things to just happen. For years, I dreamt about being successful, having a big house, cars, money, but it stopped there. I never wanted to take the leap to turn it into reality. I was always too scared, it was too hard or I would ‘do it later’, there was always an excuse, until now. My dreams are now my goals and although only at the beginning of my journey, I’m already seeing positive changes.
It’s time to stop waiting. It’s time to stop expecting the world to hand everything over. You have to wake up, stop dreaming and run after your goals.
The more time you spend wishing for something the longer it will take to become reality. When you see a car you really want, for example. Instead of saying ‘I wish I had that car’ say ‘I’m going to get that car’. That’s the first step. Then, once you’ve decided you’re going to get that car, it’s critical you put a plan in place to get the car and start now. You don’t start tomorrow, you don’t start in a week, a month, a year, you start today.
Ask yourself ‘What am I going to do to achieve my goal?’
You can’t just decide you’re going to turn your dream into a goal and then do the exact same thing you did yesterday. You need to make a change and make a plan.
If you spent the past year partying every weekend, throwing your money at hangovers, it’s time to stop and put that money towards your new goal. If you spend all your spare time watching TV shows, it’s time to stop. If you spend all your money on clothes, it’s time to stop. You made the decision, you made a goal, now it’s time to take action.
Using the same example, if you’ve made the decision that you want that car, set the exact date you want the car and then develop a plan around that date. It may be that you’re going to save 10% of your weekly income for the next 5 years. If you’re going to have a goal, you need a plan.
Once you make a plan, it’s not enough to say you’ll do it, then loosely follow it and expect to reach your goal. You have to stick to it every week, every day, every hour, no matter what. There’s no room for excuses. Once you start using excuses you will become further and further away from your goal.
I’ve developed a system that will help keep you on track.
I created a 3 paged table which you put in a location that you will constantly see, so you’re always reminded of your goal.
The table has 3 columns, which are:
- The date or week.
- Weekly financial commitments including; bills, how much spending money I will allow myself and how much I will save that week.
- Exactly how much I will have in savings if I follow my plan, how much I have in my ‘bills’ account and how much I have invested.
You cross the weeks off as you go through them. The benefit of this is you can literally see how much money you will have saved in 3 months, 6 months and 1 year if you just follow the plan. It will help you visualize your goal already being achieved and motivate you to push as you keep track of your money.
This strategy can be used to work for any goal you choose. The important thing is this technique will help you see that no matter how big a goal is, it can always be broken down and achieved. You just have to be willing to move from wishing for something to running after something.
Make sure you let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or commenting.