Setting the Right Goals for Yourself

There is a great deal of conflict when it comes to the dreams we have for our own lives. Part of this is because we come up with amazing visions for what our future could look like that simply don’t have much of a chance of being a reality. The other part is that we tend to understand that our dreams probably aren’t going to work out like we hope they will and we accept that we have settle for something less.

The problem is that most of us tend to settle for quite a bit less than we really have to. As we come up with many dreams over the course of our lives that seem completely impossible, we become used to accepting that we probably can’t do the things we wish that we could. It all seems so out of reach and it sometimes feels like the whole world is out to stop of from achieving the things we really want. When this becomes out mentality, we end up settling for far less than we should.

How do we resolve this problem and find the right balance between dreams and reality? The trick is setting the right goals for yourself. Notice I didn’t use the word “realistic”. When we focus on what is likely to happen rather than what we are passionate about, the chances of making that dream come true are next to nothing. It’s all about setting goals in your life that are right for you.

What this means on a practical level is that you have to do some of the self reflection that we discussed in our last post to figure out who you really are and what you really want. It is only then that you can find out what you’re passionate enough about to put the kind of time and energy into to turn that dream from a vague idea into reality. In the end, the only thing that turns our thoughts into an actual part of our lives is putting in the time and effort.

That’s really the crux of it all. It is only when we have a passion for something that the chances our dreams will come true rise to any measurable level. Rarely does what we want just fall conveniently from the sky into our laps. In almost every case a person had to put in some level of effort to make their own dream come true. Depending on your goals, the amount of that work can range the gamut from a mild strain to a life consuming, excruciating load that can break you of you’re not careful.

It is important to consider how much effort you’re willing to put into anything before you start choosing which dreams to focus on. If you want something that requires far more effort than you’re willing to put in, you will inevitably fall into that cycle of discouragement that forces you to settle for less than you could potentially achieve. Knowing where to draw your own line will help you pick the best dream to pursue, not only based on the chances it could happen, but also on the fact that it’s something you’re actually willing to do.

A personal example of this is that I wrote the first in a trilogy of fantasy novels, but never made it past that first book. The story is still there in my head, and I might actually get it written down one day, but the dream of being a fantasy author requires quite a bit more effort in tasks I don’t particularly care for than I really want to put in. I love to write; editing, publishing and marketing are on my list of things I don’t really want to do. Those tasks aren’t particularly difficult objectively, but my distaste for them makes it very difficult to do. My unwillingness to put effort into the secondary tasks of writing a book makes that dream unlikely to happen.

However, my desire to write is still there, hence why this blog exists. I have learned that I’m only willing to put in a certain level of effort into any task that I do, and short blog posts are much more in line with the way my mind works. It is much easier for me to take a topic and do a brief, but thorough run down on what the topic is along with some things to consider about it. It is something that is far more sustainable than trying to force myself to write a book that I know I’m not willing to put the work in on the back end to for.

That’s the trick, really. Like everything in life, we have to exist in moderation. Aim too high and you’ll never be happy, either because the level of work to maintain that dream leaves you with no time to enjoy it, or because your dream isn’t possible and you never end up achieving it. Aiming too low ends the same way because you spend your life wishing you could have done more. Each of us has a balanced goal that we can pursue that is both realistic and fantastic. It just requires a bit of thought.

What do you think about pursuing your dreams? Do you have a dream you tried for and failed? Or do you tend to doubt that any of your dreams are possible? Dreams can be a very good thing that propels us into a future that is better not only for us, but for the people around us. Learning to figure out which dreams are best for us can be the key to finding the kind of happiness in our lives that we all hope to attain.

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