How to Turn Your Dreams Into Achievable Goals
Ready to rock your life? These tips for turning your wildest dreams into goals you can actually achieve are inspired by a fellow writer.
She has a lofty dream and isn’t sure how it’ll become reality…
“I’d love to run a women’s retreat center somewhere beautiful and warm for women who were victims of violence…long-term survivors. It would be someplace comfortable, safe, peaceful, and spiritual, where they could go to get encouragement and support through fellowship with other survivors and begin work on a plan to reframe their life experience so they can move on to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. There would be activities to soothe the body and soul, like yoga, art activities, and gardening as well.”
She asked for a few tips on making her dream reality, and my first is to soak up books like:
- Visioning: Ten Steps to Designing the Life of Your Dreams by Lucia Cappachione
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (it’s not just about financial wealth – it’s about making your dreams come true)
- The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki
One thing I know for sure: in order to achieve any goal, you need to surround yourself with books, people, and resources that keep you focused and in alignment. Iron sharpens iron!
You become an average of the five people you spend the most time with – so spend your lives wisely, my friends.
Tips for Turning Your Dreams Into Achievable Goals
A few more tips for turning your dreams into specific, achievable goals…
Ask for what you need
I attended a Women & Words Conference in Vancouver a couple weeks ago, and loved Charmaine Hammond’s keynote speech. She’s the author of On Toby’s Terms, and she encouraged us to ask, ask, ask.
Here’s how fellow writer and conference attendee Rachel Zant described Hammond’s speech in Top Ten Takeaways from Women & Words:
“Charmaine Hammond told a great story about how she asked Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame to write an endorsement for her book. He said “yes” even though he normally doesn’t do endorsements. Sometimes we assume something is out of our reach, but we don’t really know until we ask for it.”
But wait, there’s more! Hammond had to ask twice before Canfield said yes. First, she sent a profession business letter. When his peeps said no, she sent an email from her heart, telling him how meaningful an endorsement would mean to her. He said yes! Plus, her book is on the front page of his website – and she didn’t even have to ask for that.
“You have to ask for what you need,” says Rachel. “You may not get what you ask for, but you certainly won’t get it if you never ask in the first place.”
Start a blog or website – or Pinterest! – dedicated to your dream
Back to my writer friend who wants to start a women’s retreat:
“Since money is an issue, at least for now, I’ve been thinking about a website that would provide some of the same support,” she says. “Articles would be a combination of perspectives on violence, much of which can almost always be drawn from current headlines and also a series of a posts on issues facing long-term survivors, like PTSD, depression, fear, co-dependency, relationship issues, shame, guilt, low self-esteem, anger… the list goes on. I’d also like to feature inspirational stories of survivors who’ve been able to overcome their trauma and go on to have healthy, successful lives.”
Starting a blog or website includes at least two benefits:
- You’re making your dream real by putting it out into the universe, where other people can see it, feel it, and even support it. That takes it one step closer to being a specific and achievable goal – a SMART goal.
- You’re continuing the process of visualization, of attracting what you want to create in your life, of encouraging people to join you.
Your first step in the process of making your dreams come true is telling people, “this is what I want to do with my life.” Your second step is making your dreams more concrete by planting seeds and nurturing them.
To learn more about planting and nurturing your dreams in specific ways, read Examples of Smart Goals – How to Set Goals You Can Achieve.
Put your blog to work – it can help you turn your dreams into achievable goals
In Turning Hobbies Into Careers, I reveal how five businesswomen went from hobbyist to business owner. The beauty of dreams becoming specific goals is that it’s different for everyone – there isn’t a single formula. Of course, that’s also the frustration! There is no winning formula that works every time.
One way to start making your dream financially viable is to tap into the ease and profitability of the world wide web. For instance, my dream was to support myself as a writer (I’m doing it!), and my specific achievable goal was to write for my Quips and Tips blogs and earn commissions from the advertisements (I’m doing it!).
How do you put your blog or website (and your dreams) to work for you? By putting ads in strategic places, writing consistently, and helping people solve their problems. Or entertaining them.
The beauty of blogging is that there are practically no start up costs, it’s easier than ever to set up and promote your blog, and there are
Quick tips for creating a blog that makes money:
- Start now.
- Find a specific niche that represents your dream – or part of it. For instance, my friend could start a blog and invite survivors to contribute their stories.
- Schedule a specific amount of time to work on your website. How about three times a week, for an hour or two each time?
- Remember that it takes awhile (even a year or more) for your blog to build steam – but don’t give up on it! If it’s heartfelt and you’re passionate about it, your enthusiasm will attract readers.
- Read Google’s More Guidance on Building High Quality Websites.
- Read 75 Ways to Make Money Blogging.
The thing with making money from your site is that it takes a long time. You have to blog out of passion – a labor of love, as my friend mentioned.
But, there’s no risk! What do you have to lose?
“You can’t force a Wildly Improbable Goal to happen, but you can create conditions that will either prevent it or invite it,” says Martha Beck, author of Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live. “Pay attention to your real needs, treat yourself not just fairly but kindly, and stand up for yourself even if it displeases people around you. Befriend, nurture, and protect your own Spirit.”
What is your dream? How will you turn it into a specific, achievable goal?