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What helps
and what hinders a dream?

There are some things that help make achieving a dream or goal more possible, and there are some things that make it more difficult. Knowing what you should avoid and knowing what will help is a big part of making things happen in your life.

Start by brainstorming "goal-busters" – things that get in the way of reaching a goal. Some possibilities:

  • No clear vision. If you don't know where you're going or why you're going there, you're guaranteed not to get very far or get to places you really don't want to go.
  • No plan. A goal is great, but without a realistic, step-by-step plan, it's not reasonable to think you'll achieve it. Even the process of writing down a step-by-step plan helps you assess how realistic a goal is. If you can't figure out the steps, maybe the first step is to break the goal into more manageable parts.
  • Procrastination. You can have the perfect plan, but if you don't take action, it doesn't matter. Can you motivate yourself, or do you need someone else to give you a boost – or a push – once in a while? Take a step each day – even if it's a tiny step.
  • Making excuses. Take personal responsibility for what you say and do. You can't control others, but you can control yourself.
  • Fear of failure. Don't even think of it as failure! Look at it as trying something that doesn't work out, learning from the experience, and trying again.
  • Fear of change. Really big and important dreams usually involve changes in your life, giving up certain things to gain other things.
  • Lack of determination. You will hit tough spots – that's life. The challenge is to see it as a problem you can solve rather than an insurmountable blockade on your path to success.
  • Negative language like no, never, can't, won't, if, and maybe. The words you say out loud and in your head affect how we approach a new challenge, an old fear, or something that seems overwhelming.
  • Negative thinking. When you have a bad day, it's easy to get down on yourself. There are two key questions you should ask yourself every day: 1) Did I give my best effort today? and 2) Did I move a little closer to achieving my goal?

Next, brainstorm goal-getters – things that help to make a goal more achievable. Some possibilities:

  • Education. Learning opens doors and makes more things possible. Some jobs, for example, are only open to people with a high school or college degree. And education doesn't end when you leave school. Become the kind of person who is always learning – reading, listening, asking questions.
  • Skills inventory. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. You should know yours. Use your strengths and work on improving or compensating for your weaknesses.
  • A plan. Write out a step-by-step plan that includes a date to complete each step and an overall target date to achieve the goal.
  • Inspiration. Whether it's through reading or a role model, put positive energy into what you're doing.
  • Good advice. Find a mentor or a trusted friend who has the knowledge and experience to guide you. In fact, surround yourself with people – a Dream Team – who can help you achieve your goal.
  • Managing time wisely. Be honest about how long things take, and know how to plan and manage your time.
  • Being realistic. Set goals that will stretch you, build on smaller successes, and reward yourself when you achieve a goal.
  • Looking for solutions. Criticism or finding fault without suggesting an alternative isn't helpful. There is always a solution – though it might not be easy or quick.
  • Determination. Be determined, dependable, and responsible for your words and actions. Be a "go to" person that people can count on.
  • Helping others. Successful people know you can't do it alone. We depend on each other in this world in more ways than we realize. Set an example by helping others when they need it.
  • Positive thinking. You can see the glass as half empty or half full. If you're thirsty, half a glass of water is better than no water.

Now that you have a list of goal-busters and goal-getters, choose the three goal-busters and the three goal-getters that are the biggest problem for you. For the goal-busters, write down a strategy for overcoming the obstacle. Goal-busters can actually become steppingstones to achieving your goal if you recognize them and have a strategy to overcome them. For the goal-getters, write down a strategy for making them happen in your life.

© SV Bosak, www.legacyproject.org




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