Today’s post is brought to you by Amanda Abella, who I met last week through Brazen Careerist’s Network Roulette. Amanda Abella is a freelance writer, language instructor, and Gen Y blogger based out of Miami, FL. She has written for several websites including Yahoo News, Thrive in Life, and Environmental Graffiti. Her blog, Grad Meets World focuses on Gen Y issues pertaining to career, health, entrepreneurship, productivity, finances, and more. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandaabella.
I hate the word “dreams.”
The word itself makes personal aspirations seem like an overwhelming fantasy with no tangible deadline.
As soon as you ask someone how they plan to achieve their dreams they look at you with a quizzical face, completely stumped. The fact of that matter is that no one knows how to make a fantasy come true.
Instead, I prefer the term “goals.”
Goals are real. They are tangible. They can be measured by accomplishments and time. And best of all, the can be broken up into smaller steps so that you can reach your ultimate goals in life.
5 Steps for Turning Dreams into Goals
1. Figure out your values.
What makes you tick? What are the most important aspects of your life? Family, Love, Happiness?
Everyone is different, but once you figure out your top values you can then create some goals to match them.
Start with 10 and then maybe narrow it down to 5 or even 3. Jenny Blake’s Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want has some great exercises to help you do this.
2. Write out one-sentence goals.
Goals should be straight and to the point. There’s no need to explain them to anyone, especially not to yourself.
Once you have your values figured out, create some one sentence goals that are in line with them.
You can use this template I made to help you figure this part out.
3. Break your goals into smaller steps.
If you want to write a book, break down x number of pages per month. If you want to go to grad school, pick a date to take the GRE. Whatever your goals, they can be broken down into smaller steps which will make them seem much less overwhelming.
4. Pick a deadline.
Pick a deadline for your one-sentence goals and then do the same with your steps. This not only keeps you accountable, it also helps you take your goals more seriously. For instance, I want to take the Florida Teacher Certification Exam in August. Instead of cramming for the exam, I have committed to going through one section of the prep book each weekend in my free time.
5. Start working toward one of your goals this week.
Goals only seem overwhelming or distant until you actually start working them. So what are you waiting for? You aren’t going to be young forever!