Dreams and To-Do Lists

Having dreams and desires is wonderful. It is truly a great thing to be capable of envisioning a future where you are living your best life, living to your full potential, and having acquired everything you wanted. If you would describe a future scenario where you can see yourself living your most desired dream life, what would that look like? What do you need to do to be able to get to that point in your life? How much time would you need and what resources and skills do you need to acquire?

Manifesting our dreams into reality is easier said than done and requires a whole lot of desire, commitment, and perseverance. If we look at some very successful people we can see that they are probably living wonderful lives by acting out what they have envisioned for themselves. The wonderful part about it is, that if they are capable of achieving it, so are we. We just need to know how.

‘Proper visualization by the exercise of concentration and willpower enables us to materialize thoughts, not only as dreams or visions in the mental realm but also as experiences in the material realm’
                – Paramahanse Yogananda

Visualisation is an essential term that I will write more about in the future. For now I will give a short introduction on this subject. When we visualize our future, we are able to see possibilities and develop plans to attain them. We can picture ourselves reaching our goals and even surpassing them. Even the challenging times that we will face and how to overcome them. We are able to envision what it would feel like, what we would think about, and how we would behave. Research in Psychology shows that being able to visualize our future helps you manage your emotional states and the ability to plan and solve problems. It makes future events seem real.

If one has a purpose or goal which he or she strives to accomplish, it can be used as a guiding tool. Everything you do can be in alignment with your greater goal in life. Even the smallest things can get you closer to reaching that goal. Having such a big goal gives you purpose and direction, and it helps you to make choices. If you have determined for yourself what your dream is, and you can visualize it as something real, you can start to formulate it as a goal and eventually break it down into multiple sub-goals. 

‘We usually overestimate what we think we can accomplish in one year, but we grossly underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade’
                – Tony Robbins

The way we define our personal goals, are essential in this process. Apparently how we behave depends on how we define our situation with respect to personal interests and goals. If you are going to eat with your friends and they want to eat at a fast food restaurant, but your goal is to eat healthier, you are probably going to suggest another place. How we feel, our emotional state, can also influence how we act. People in a positive mood are more flexible and capable to adjust to changing situations. People in a negative mood tend to be more rigid in their thinking.

A very helpful technique in writing down goals is the SMART technique. The S stands for Specific: what is it that you want to accomplish? Why do you want to do this? Where do you need to do it? Who is needed for it to make it happen? Which resources are needed? Asking yourself these types of questions allow you to make your goal very specific. This provides clarity on what it is that you want.

The M stands for Measurable. If your goals are measurable, you can track the process. This helps you to see if you are on the right track, it helps you to set deadlines for yourself, and it can show you your progress. The A stands for Achievable. Your goals should be realistic. If you want to become a millionaire by tomorrow, it is not a very realistic goal. However, if you wish to do so in 10 years, it might be possible. Be honest with yourself and do not underestimate what you are capable of!

‘A goal properly set is halfway reached’
                – Zig Ziglar

The R stands for Relevant. This is the one that ties all your activities together if done correctly. Is this goal relevant to you? Is it relevant to other goals? The last thing you want is to be putting all your focus and energy into two completely different goals that guide you into opposite directions. This can be confusing and time consuming.

That brings us to the last letter. The letter T stands for Time-bound. When do you need to realize your goal? What are you able to do in a year? What are you able to do in a month? In a week? In a day? By breaking it down into these time frames you are able to create a daily plan or routine that contributes to your goal. By doing certain activities each day you can have a sense of fulfilment knowing that you are making progress towards your goals, hence, you are making progress towards your dream.

Let me know what you think of this post in the comments below or send me an e-mail! I encourage you to share your experience or thoughts!

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