Turn your dreams into a reality!

Dreaming has no limits, everyone can dream of anything they want but few have the courage and resilience to follow that dream and do everything in their physical and intellectual capacity to convert it into a goal.

When we dream big, we achieve big. The first and the foremost thing is to dream, then you have to go through the consequences and growing pains to reach a certain point where you feel to accomplish what you have strived for.

 The most acknowledged and successful people like Nelson Mandela, Michael Jordan, Jeff Bezos, and Oprah Winfrey had once a dream about what they achieved in living their life was not like a crystal stair but they never looked back after deciding to achieve the dream. They faced hardships, overcame hurdles, and showed resilience and patience during the ups and downs of life but never accepted to stand down.

Sometimes to convert the dreams into reality, you might have to set multiple goals. The goals will make a chain as a path of success towards the road of converting your dream into reality. So, it’s necessary to have one or more appropriate goals if you want to convert your dream into a reality.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It’s ideal to have dreams that could be converted into goals and aspirations that are achievable in the human capacity. The evaluation of the goal is necessary before trying to achieve it. There are some factors on which the goal should be evaluated so that it could ensure that the efforts are applied in the appropriate direction to ensure effectiveness and efficiency.

Characteristics of a goal:

Specific and well defined with a dream:

The dream can be converted into a reality only if the goal is specific and well defined. The term specific means in this context that the goal should have an end zone. For example, a sales manager sets a goal that he will make the company successful is not a specific goal as it’s not specifically mentioned about the end zone or the limit. The specific and well-defined goals provide you the extent of effort that you need to make in order to achieve the goal. For example, this year our company will have a growth of 10% over the last year is a specific goal. The goals should be specific and well defined as it will lead you to move forward in converting your dreams into reality.

Measurable:

The goal should be measurable to make sure you can evaluate yourself constantly while achieving it. The measurable goals are more likely to achieve that subjective goal as you have a clearer picture of when the goal is achieved. For example, a salesman sets a goal of doing good sales is not a measurable goal as it is quite hard to evaluate that whether he made a good sale or not at the end of the day. The measurable goals also give a sense of accomplishment and motivation when you achieve a goal. For example, the same salesman sets a goal of selling 100 units in one day is a measurable goal and at the end of the day, he can evaluate himself whether he achieved it or not.

Achievable and realistic:

The goal should be achievable and realistic in a way that it should be matching your physical and intellectual capacity and capability. A goal that is not achievable and realistic will drain your efforts and confidence level when you don’t achieve it. For example, if a man of 50 years has a dream to be the fastest runner of all time, and he sets a goal to participate in the Olympics is neither achievable nor realistic, if he still works on that will full solidarity and devotion, he will be disappointed by the consequences when he will fail.

Relevant to your dream:

The goal should be relevant to your dream so it can contribute effectively to the conversion of your dream into reality. The term relevance refers to the direction of the goal which should benefit your cause to strive for turning your dream into reality. For example, a sales manager dreams to achieve 10% growth over the last year, he should set goals of engaging and aligning his team to improve their performance. This goal is relevant to the dream and would contribute significantly if the goal is achieved to the conversion of the dream into reality.

The time limit for success:

Time limit is as important a feature of a goal as other features. A goal is just a dream with a deadline. Time limit refers to a deadline or a point where you can evaluate whether you have achieved your goal or not. It does not mean that you should stop seeking a goal after the deadline but you should be clear about your progress towards the goal and set a deadline to evaluate your performance. The time limit also accelerates your performance and progress towards accomplishment and you tend to strive harder towards success.

“Well life for none of us has been a crystal stair, but we must keep moving, we must keep going. If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl, but by all means, keep moving.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

Steps of turning dreams into reality:

When we talk about turning dreams into reality, the main aspects which come into mind are resilience, courage, commitment to your passion, and last but not least a strong and realistic plan. The plan is the primary source of converting your dreams into reality while the other aspects are secondary. The plan is further divided into steps that slowly steers you towards achieving something. There are some steps which ensure that with constant effort and commitment you would be able to conclude on achieving what you have dreamed.

1. Convert your dreams into goals:

Turning your dreams into reality require a series of action phases. The first phase is to convert your dreams into goals. Goals are the steps you mark in achieving your dreams. A dream may be divided into several goals and then you should achieve each goal step by step to reach the point which will make you convert your dreams into reality.

Dreams are your thoughts or ideas about what you want to achieve in life or what you want to become. The first step is to visualize your dream into your goals. The reason for formulating goals is to conceptualize the aspects required to convert your dream into reality.

Everyone dreams about something, but not everyone follows them with resilience and courage. Converting dreams into a reality requires constant commitment and passion. The passion drives you towards your dream until you achieve them but you have to never look back once you made a decision. There are some steps to follow when you convert your dreams into goals:

  • Visualize your dreams:

The visualizing process of a dream refers to specifying something you want to achieve. For example, Usain Bolt dreamed about being the fastest person on the planet, he then visualized this dream by taking part in 21 world championships and Olympics in which he won 19 gold medals. The visualizing of your dreams makes it easier for you to convert them into goals.

  • Set a goal:

Based on your visualization, you have something to achieve which is your goal. A goal is a short-term outcome of your efforts which combine with a synergy to convert your dream into a reality. The goals should be realistic and relevant to the ultimate outcome which you want to achieve. Goal setting is the core of moving forward towards converting your dreams into reality.

  • Commit to the goal:

Once you have decided the goal, strive for excellence and achievement with full solidarity and devotion. Your commitment towards the goal is significant for success. The goal achievements are small steps you take towards success in converting your dreams into reality.

  • Evaluate your performance:

While striving for goal achievement you should constantly evaluate that you are doing it right or not. This will enhance your focus and will guide you about any errors. The performance evaluation is a great tool to identify and current mistakes so that your direction remain firm and straight towards the goal.

2. Analyze and investigate your goal-attaining strategy:

The goal-attaining strategy refers to the entire planning of how you would achieve the goals. These goals are associated with converting dreams into reality in the long-term. The goal attaining strategy is a product of your ideas and planning.

The first phase is the formulating of a sound strategy relevant to your goals. The strategy will help you achieve the goals and the dreams in the long-term. So, the strategy formulation should have some important aspects mentioned below:

  • Determine your strategic position:

The formulate a strategy that will help you achieve your goal, you must be aware of your strategic position. Strategic position refers to the contemporary scenario of your capability and capacity with respect to other factors of the surrounding. One should be well known to the strategic position and should make a strategy that compliments and enhance the probability of achieving the goal.

  • SWOT analysis:

SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis is the basic and most reliable source of formulating and analyzing your strategy. It refers to the deep analysis of internal strengths and weaknesses as compared to the external opportunity and threat.

The strength and weakness are the internal physical and intellectual competencies or drawbacks which should be analyzed before formulating the strategy. The strategy should be shaped in a way that it should maximize the usage of strengths and minimize the exposure to weak areas. For example, a football player has more expertise playing attacking game, so he should play forward to gain the best outcomes for the team instead of playing as a defender, where he may not be effective.

Opportunities and threats are based on external factors, most of which are not under your control. The strategy should be formulated in a way that the opportunities are targeted while staying away from potential threats.

  • Prioritize your goals:

The goals are the chains that combine to convert a dream into reality. The goals should be prioritized in a way that the most urgent goals should be given priority and more concentration. Although, every goal has some connection with the dream some goals are significant and vital for the dream achievement.

  • Develop a strategic plan:

The strategic plan is different from the action plan in a way that a strategic plan refers to aligning the goals and strategies in the best way while the action plan is the execution phase of the strategy.

The strategic plan is significant in a way that it gives the guidelines about aligning your activities and goals to maximize the output of your efforts.

  • Analysis of the goal-attaining strategy:

The goal attaining strategy should be critically analyzed to review all the aspects that can be vital for achieving the goal. The goal achievement is the most important part of converting your dreams into reality, hence all the focus should be on the strategy which is driving these goals.

3. Create an action plan:

An action plan is the checklist of all the tasks and activities you need to complete in order to achieve a goal. It is the most vital part of the strategic planning process and helps improve the performance in accordance with the set goals.

This action plan has is some steps that require deep analysis of the goal attaining requirements:

  • Well-defined description and analysis of the goal which is to be achieved.
  • Take steps that are required to be carried out in order to achieve the goal.
  • Take the responsibility for the important tasks of the goal.
  • Ensure that you meet the deadlines to achieve the milestones in time.
  • Allocate the resources needed to complete the task.
  • Measure the performance and evaluate the progress.

Why You Need an Action Plan?

Sometimes people don’t spend much time and resources on developing an action plan before an initiative, considering it not significant and mandatory which, in most cases, leads to failure. If you haven’t heard, “failing to plan is planning to fail” said Benjamin Franklin supposedly once.

Planning enables you to prepare for the hurdles ahead and keep you on track while you are striving for success. And with an effective action plan, you can boost your productivity and keep yourself focused. 

Here are some benefits of an action plan you should know:

  • It gives you a clear vision and direction. As an action plan highlights exactly what steps to be taken at what times and when they should be completed, you will know exactly what you are required to do.
  • Having your goals written down and planned out in steps will give you a reason to stay motivated and committed throughout the project. 
  • With an action plan, you can track your progress toward your goal.
  • Since you are listing down all the steps you need to complete in your action plan, it will help you prioritize your tasks based on effort and impact.
4. Execute your plan, one step at a time:

The most significant and critical part of achieving any goal is the execution of the plans. No matter how strong and feasible your strategy is you have to always focus on the execution because execution matters the most.

Many plans fail besides strong and sound strategies because you lose focus on the execution which can cause problems. The execution is also the toughest part of the whole process of achieving your dreams. You can go through failure, rejection, growth pains, a hectic work schedule, and fatigue.

“A vision and strategy aren’t enough. The long-term key to success is execution. Each day. Every day.”

-Richard M Kovacevich

Now there is an important fact about the execution which involves the execution of plans one step at a time. Sometimes, we indulge in many tasks at a time and spoil the execution. There is another benefit of one step at a time that you would have full focus over the plan. The goal has many small steps and each step carries its weight and urgency. So, you have to align yourself with the plans with respect to their potential weightage and the extent of urgency.

“It’s not a secret that most of the strategies and plans fail to provide the expected results. Sometimes, the problem isn’t the strategy, but how the strategy is brought to action or implemented.  Many leaders erroneously say that the answer is simply to drive the organization harder and ‘put their feet to the fire.’  But there are many risks of burning out the very people you need to make the strategy happen and keep it moving.  We’ve all either been in organizations where this is the case or have heard about them, and the toll on people is high.  Here are three keys to successfully implementing strategy and achieving your goals without causing burnout”.

-Dorie Clark

There are some hallmarks of effective execution of the strategic plans to ensure the goals are achieved and contribute to the conversion of dreams into reality.

  • Strengthen accountability for results:

You should be accountable to yourself for what you want to achieve to convert your dreams into reality. The constant focus will enable you to focus on activities that can bring results. You should only focus on the most important aspects of achieving the goals rather than being too much exposed to unimportant aspects. It will pave your way and you will be clear about the destination. The fact of accountability is also effective in doing things right for the best possible results.

  • Strengthen accountability for behaviors:

To achieve big, you have to think big. Your attitude portrays your behavior as you do what you think. You should be accountable for your behavior in terms of doing all the favorable actions that are aligned with the achievement of the goal. For example, if you have the goal to be the best football player, then you should sacrifice your lavish routine and focus on practicing and diet management. You would have to give away all the activities and aspects of behaviors that can potentially stop you achieve your goal.

  • Be your own boss:

The essence of every execution lies in the fact that it should be done with passion and resilience. When you follow a dream, you should act like your own boss and ensure compliance with every single action plan besides any difficulty or hurdle. The owner mindset drives your passion towards your goal with commitment and resilience. The more courage you show, the more favorable outcomes you are likely to achieve your goal. These goals are milestones and will lead to converting your dreams into reality.

5. Evaluate your approach:

Sometimes you get results better than your expectation or vice versa. The most significant benefit of evaluating your approach is that you get constant feedback about your direction and effectiveness of your work. The process of evaluation ensures that you critically analyze the outcomes of your efforts to achieve your goals constantly to minimize the waste of efforts and resources.

If you analyze at the initial stages that you are not getting the desired outcomes you can alter your approach of carrying out the execution rather you come to know when it is too late.

The evaluation phase is also directed to identify the segments where your focus is not effective enough or the weak aspects of the execution which need to be the focus for better results. Effective identification requires the deep and critical analysis of the activities you perform to achieve the goal. Hence, evaluation can contribute significantly to enhancing your chances for effective execution of plans to achieve your goals and pave your way forward in converting your dreams into reality.

The evaluation of the approach helps in the process of continuous improvement. It gives us the opportunity to improve our way of doing things. The achievement of any goal is quite dependent that we evaluate our approach and side by side make necessary improvements.

Hallmarks of success for turning dreams into reality:

The above-mentioned steps are the primary sources of turning your dreams into reality. In addition to those primary sources, some secondary aspects contribute significantly to converting your dreams into reality. These aspects should be constantly focused on throughout the process of converting your dreams into reality. These hallmarks are the virtues that guide you towards achieving your dreams.

· Believe in yourself:

Self-belief is a virtue. Your biggest strength lies in the fact that you should have to believe in your physical and intellectual abilities to follow your dreams. Those who think big, achieve big. You should have to follow the dreams whatever the consequences are. There will be rejections, failures, and hurdles but nothing can stop you if you have a firm self-belief.

“Always be yourself and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and try to duplicate it.”

-Bruce Lee

· Courage and resilience:

Courage and resilience are the core elements to achieve your dream. When you have a dream, firstly you should have the courage to follow with solidarity and devotion.

“Where there is a will, there is a way”

-George Herbert

Resilience is also vital as it provokes you to keep trying. The achievement of any goal or dream requires resilience and passion to move on besides many hurdles, rejections, difficulties, and even failure. It gives us hope that one day we will achieve the reality which we dreamed about. This hope acts as a catalyst and drives us slowly closer to our dream every day.

· Dream big:

Those who dream big, achieve big. The dream shows us the destination or position where we want to see ourselves. If we dream big, we have more chances to achieve better things in our life or even if we fail to achieve the big dream, we would find ourselves still in a better position because the dream which we will be following was big enough. For example, a sales manager dreams of 100% growth over the last year which means double sales from last year and its quite difficult and rare but still he puts all physical and intellectual efforts to achieve it, even he may not succeed but he will surely achieve something beyond 70% which is still very handsome growth keeping in view the business trends.

· Ignore the Naysayers:

Whenever in life you dream to achieve something, there will always be criticism. There will be people who will criticize that what you want to achieve is impossible or insignificant. They may even laugh at you but all you have to do is to concentrate and face them with courage and tolerance. You must keep doing what you are doing no matter how hard the circumstances are. Every person in the world who has achieved his dream has faced the same criticism and hardships but they never looked back. If you will carry on with full devotion, solidarity, courage, and passion one day you will achieve what you have dreamed.

· Keep the momentum going:

To convert your dreams into reality, you must have to keep the momentum going. You have to make progress every time and every day. The gradual growth will mark your success in the future. Sometimes, we lose hope after failure but these failures endure our ability to achieve our dreams.

Moeez Hatanian

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