Dare I Say the “G” Word?

Anytime I start something new, I like to think about what I want from that new beginning. If I enter a new season, for example, I make a list of all the things I want to do that I can only do that season . . . pumpkin carving, spice pumpkin lattes, pumpkin muffins.

When I move into a new home, I carefully organize each room and closet. It gives me a chance to reduce clutter and bring out favorite treasures while I decorate.

When I begin a new year, I decide what I am going to accomplish and what I will spend my time on that year. This year is the perfect opportunity to take control of your life and decide how you will spend the days to come. It is after all, the beginning of a new decade!

Now, brace yourself. I am about to say the “G” word -----> Goals! This year is the beginning of a new decade and the chance to make your one, three, five, and ten-year goals. But first, let’s look at that word “goals” because once you break it down, it isn’t such a scary word.

  • When a person thinks about what they want to do – that is a dream.
  • When a dream is broken into steps – it becomes a task or tasks.
  • When a deadline (or due date) is attached to a task – it becomes a goal.

So, in reality, a goal is just an intentional task with a deadline. Here is a great example of the difference between a dream and a goal. Let’s say you want to buy a house. The dream is to own your own home. As long as you keep saying to yourself and your friends that you want to buy a house, it remains a dream.

This dream becomes a task or series of tasks when you break that dream into steps. These steps may include things like: set up a savings account, meet with a financial person about getting a loan, looking at where you would like to live, cutting things out of your budget, etc. At this point you are moving in the direction of buying your house. Too many people stop here though. These tasks could stay on your to-do list for a very long time.

The most difficult step is assigning a deadline to these tasks which is what turns them into goals. Having a deadline may feel like a commitment or a ball and chain, but it is also what will push you to make your dream a reality. How badly do you want that dream? (You are not alone in your feelings of nervousness, extra perspiration, or jittery bugs. I confess that I am talking to myself right now as well!) Buying a house is an example of a long-term goal. It is something that we can’t accomplish within a month.

Our daily to-do lists are examples of short-term goals. It is important to have both long-term and short-term goals. (More on that later.) This year, the beginning of a new decade, is the perfect time to set goals for 2020, as well as make our one-year, three-year, five-year, and ten-year goals. Wow, that’s a lot of planning, thinking and dreaming! But I promise you, worth it!!

How do you do it? It is really very simple. All that is required is paper, pen, and some quiet time. Write at the top of four sheets: One-year, three-year, five-year, and ten-year. Answer these questions about yourself . . . “Where do I want to be in life in __(fill in with 1, 3, 5, or 10)__ years.” Imagine what you could be doing in five years. You could go to college. You could have that house. You could write a book. You could have a new career.

Only you can decide what you want from your life and only you can limit yourself. Right now, just dream a little. Give yourself a few moments. Explore the possibilities!

The “G” word really isn’t that scary when you realize they are just steps taken to make your dreams come true. In fact, isn’t it exciting to think that you can actually make that happen! Look for upcoming posts about what to do next, but for now, write down your thoughts about your life and where you want to be in ten years. 

Featured photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.