by Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN
You gotta have a dream. If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna make a dream come true? — Happy Talk from South Pacific
People who regularly write down their goals earn nine times as much over their lifetimes as the people who don’t, according to Dave Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech. 80% of Americans say they don’t have goals. Sixteen percent do, but they don’t write them down. Less than four percent write down their goals and fewer than one percent actually review them on an ongoing basis. The one percent are the most likely to be successful in goal attainment.
What’s a goal? A dream! Choice theory psychology explains that our dreams and our goals are the quality world pictures we have of how we want to meet our needs. These dreams, or pictures are based on our experiences of what is actually need fulfilling. But they don’t have to only e based on reality and experience. Our quality world pictures are also what we hope and expect will be need fulfilling for us in the future. In other words, dreams. We don’t need to limit our dreams to what is possible or realistic.
Glasser, in his many books and articles explaining choice theory psychology stated that our motivation comes from inside of each of us. Our behavior is our constant attempt to satisfy one or more of the five basic needs, for safety, love, power, fun, and freedom. Everything we do is initiated by our urge to satisfy our pictures, dreams, goals.
One of the challenges we each face, however, is that we often want more than one thing at the same time. As you sit reading this blog you may also be aware of your goal to get to work on time, or keep an important appointment, or some other goal you have for yourself today.
Not only does each of us have more than one dream, goal or picture we are aiming for, there may be other people in our lives who make demands and requests, distracting us toward our own goal. Because we probably have an equally important picture in our quality world of maintaining these connections and relationships we allow ourselves to be distracted from the constant and singular attempts toward only one dream.
What’s the solution?
Write down your dream or goal as specifically as possible. Dream bigger than is reasonable as “unrealistic expectations”led to our most profound discoveries and changes. (Think Steve Job’s impossible dream that every person would depend on a hand-held computer that could also be used as a phone, camera and video recorder.)
Aim for a balanced life where you are aiming for dreams in all areas of your life that are important: family, health, career, intimate relationship, education, hobby, spiritual life, finances, adventures or vacation, what else is important to you?
Create a 1 year, then 5 year, then 10 year plan so you know what dreams you are aiming for today, and what part of other dreams you are aiming for today.
Review, evaluate and adjust your dreams/goals as well as your progress regularly, if not monthly then at least with every change of season.
Celebrate regularly! Celebrate your dream coming true, Celebrate your hard work as you continue to aim for a goal. Celebrate to inspire you to keep working, dreaming, learning, and living! Celebrate because you can!
Start today by writing down just one dream. If you don’t talk happy and you never dream,then you’ll never have a dream come true, Bloody Mary tells us in South Pacific.
Dreaming a dream, setting a goal, and working towards and for it ensures Mental Health & Happiness.