Now that you’ve spent time reflecting on where you were and dreaming about where you want to go, it’s time to set goals. Remember: the difference between a dream and a goal is a deadline.
When we set goals, we find the actionable, doable steps that we need to take in order to turn our dreams into reality. Let’s start with your five big dreams that you want to happen no matter what.
To help break this down, we’re going to do a case study together on a fictitious big dream of yours.
Goal Setting Case Study:
Let’s say you’ve always dreamed of getting your pilots license. You say: I have no money, no time, and I don’t have the skills to achieve this goal. I do, however, have plenty of excuses. But it’s always been a dream of mine to fly a plane.
What would happen if I told you that you had all the time in the world, unlimited resources, and no more excuses? What would stop you then?
I know what you’re thinking: “That sounds great, Curtis, but I don’t have the time, money, or knowledge.” But that’s what Goal Setting is all about. Rather than just dreaming about yourself flying a plane, let’s break down all the steps it will take to make your goal a reality.
How hard will it be for you to call your local airport’s flight school or community college to see if they offer classes and what the cost would be? Let me tell you: that information will cost you exactly nothing to obtain.
Many people earn their pilots license at age 17. There are five-year-olds that learn to fly planes — they just have to have long enough legs to reach the pedals. So it’s not a question of capability — you have the capacity to get your license. You don’t have to be a genius or have unbelievable dexterity.
So if you have the ability and the information, what’s stopping you? Time and money? It costs $6,000-9,000 and approximately 50 hours of instruction and flight time to get your license. If you think that is crazy expensive, go outside and look at the next car that drives by. Most of them cost between $6,000 and $30,000. In fact, the car sitting in your driveway probably costs as much as flight school or more, and yet somehow you managed to afford it.
What if you took three years and worked towards your goal over time? Maybe $6,000 is a lot of money to spend in one year, but spreading the expense out over a couple of years may make it more affordable. The same goes for the 50 hours of instruction and flight time. Take a Saturday here and there, and the hours will add up quickly.
Suppose you told all your friends and family about your big goal, and for every anniversary, birthday, and Christmas over the next three years, rather than receiving Starbucks gift cards, ugly ties, and trinkets you don’t need and will never use, you asked for help to pay for your flight hours instead?
So what did we just do? We looked at a seemingly overwhelming and unachievable dream and broke it down into facts. By breaking it down into facts, you can turn dreams into goals. Most of your dreams, no matter how extreme, are achievable if you’re willing to take the facts and turn them into bite-sized goals.
Start today. Give yourself a deadline for the first step. Maybe it’s just making a call to get more information, maybe it’s something bigger. Whatever it is, set a deadline and hold yourself accountable. Your dreams aren’t going to magically appear before you — you have to take action on your dreams to make your goals achievable.
Orville Wright said, “If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance.” Are you ready to set your assumptions aside and advance your dreams?
Get your FREE download of my Goal Setting Workbook here.
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As a speaker and author, Curtis Zimmerman has impacted over one million people with his life-changing messages and award-winning programs. Curtis is an expert at transforming organizations by inspiring individuals to live their lives at performance level.
Want to be inspired? Check out his podcast The Next 24 Hours.