5 Tips to Start Making Your Goals a Reality
Have you been putting your life on hold until you get to a certain weight? Or perhaps until you’re in a relationship, or you have a job you like? Or maybe you’re waiting for something else to happen, something that always seems just out of reach, before you do what you truly want.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.
But the problem is, if you keep waiting in this holding pattern, your goals and dreams will never become reality because other things will keep coming up, giving you reasons not to move forward.
Instead, you can start making those goals a reality now. Here are some tips to get you started.
Start with what’s most important to you
If you’ve been putting some things on hold, go through your list and find what’s most important to you.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to travel, to go somewhere for an exotic or relaxing vacation. Perhaps you’ve dreamt of learning how to play an instrument or paint or do pottery. You might feel called to do more volunteer work.
If you come up with multiple things, decide which one is most significant to you.
That’s not always easy to tell, so you can use an element of chance to clarify your focus. For example, if you’re torn between traveling to Europe or taking a pottery class, try a coin toss, where heads up is the trip and tails up is the pottery class. If you’re debating between more than two things, you could roll dice or pick from a deck of playing cards.
This may sound silly, but if the “wrong” choice shows up, you’ll know – and it will help you realize which choice is most important to you.
Focus on why it matters
Then think about why this matters to you. This is important because making these dreams a reality isn’t always easy, so it should be something that you feel strongly about.
For example, if you want to travel, why is that? Are you looking for adventure? Do you want to learn more about people who live in different places? Do you just want to get away from the daily grind for a while?
It might also be something a little deeper. When I went to New Zealand, part of the reason was that I knew it was a place of great natural beauty. But I also wanted to go for my mom. She’d always dreamed of traveling to New Zealand, and she never got the chance, so in a way, I was seeing it for her.
Identify your starting point
Once you know what you want to do, then you need to think about how you want to get there.
For travel, COVID makes it a bit trickier right now, but you could start by looking at possible places and thinking about what would be involved. Maybe you need to save up some money first, so you could plan for that. Or perhaps you need to think about vacation time and how far in advance to request it.
If you want to learn a new hobby, you may need to start by carving out time for it or finding a good course to take. Depending on the hobby, you may also need to make space for it, such as setting up a crafting room.
Once you have the first step, the goal will start to feel more real, and you’ll be more motivated to keep moving.
Plan for some roadblocks
It’s also important to recognize that some things might not go smoothly. You may find that it takes longer to get started than you hoped, or that you have unexpected expenses that cut into the funds you wanted to put toward your goal.
When these things happen, go back to why this matters to you. Focus on that, and then think about what you can do to get back on track.
It’s also important not to let your old habits keep you from moving forward.
For example, maybe you’ve been waiting to travel until you lost weight because you felt self-conscious about trying to sit in airplane seats or go down small aisles. It would be very easy to focus on that and back off on your dream of travel, and I get it. It’s not as easy to travel as a heavy person, but it’s also not impossible, and you can still enjoy it if you make up your mind to focus on the positives.
Celebrate each step
Making changes and achieving big dreams can take some time, so it’s important to celebrate along the way.
If you’re learning a new hobby, make the most of your first project. It probably won’t be that great, but that’s okay. Everyone starts somewhere, and with practice, you’ll get better.
Or, if you’re planning a trip, you could make some milestones for yourself based on how much you need to save or how long until your trip arrives. You could watch videos and look at photos of your destination to feel that great sense of anticipation.
You don’t have to put your goals on hold
We all have to wait sometimes for the things we want. You might not have the time or money or space to work toward your goals at a given moment. Or you may think that you have to wait for something about you to be different.
But even if you can’t achieve that goal right away, you can start making steps toward it without waiting for the “perfect” moment (whatever that is). Once you take the first step, you’ll feel more motivated to keep going towards that goal, and before you know it, you’ll have done something that you thought might never happen.