Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Goals vs Dreams

New Year's Day is the time for resolutions to be made.  Monday is the time for diets to begin.  Today is when new goals are set.  And tomorrow is when those goals will be reached.  Every year the cycle of resolutions, diets, and goals continues.  But every year many of us fail.  Perhaps the problem is, we've been going about it all wrong.

A couple days ago, a friend posted something on Facebook that made me stop and think for a second.  She knew that she wanted to make some changes in her life, but she wanted to be realistic about it.  That's when it hit me.  So many of us create these goals for ourselves that may be a little farfetched.  We set expectations that are too high and when we don't see the expected results, we quit.  And by quitting, we ultimately fail.

That is when I realized there is a difference between goals and dreams.   A dream is usually just that.   Something that you wish for, but often it is a wish that goes unanswered.  A goal is a realistic finish line that with hard work and patience you can reach.  I can dream of having a body like a super model, but that obviously isn't going to happen regardless of the effort I put towards my workouts.  For starters, I am only five feet tall.  No matter how skinny I get, I will never look like Heidi Klum.  But I can set a goal that I lose five pounds and tone my abs and arms.  This is an achievable goal that will benefit my health.

I can also dream of running and completing a marathon, but again this is an out of reach dream.  For many of you, this is a very obtainable goal.  But for me, living with chronic pain, I need to be realistic and listen to my body.  I need to set smaller goals that keep me moving and out of bed.  Goals that won't get me discouraged to the point of throwing up my hands and giving up.  If working out is hard for you, start small and work your way up.  Reaching your goals shouldn't be a race, but instead a journey.  If you try to go too fast, you again set yourself up for failure.

I've always had the dream to be a published author.  I suppose this a possible dream, but one that comes with too much pressure.  Realistically, most aspiring authors never have their work read outside friends and family,   But they continue to write for the love of writing.  So instead, I have set a goal of editing my finished children's book and completing my YA fantasy novel.  Whether they ever get published or not, I will have reached my goal if I complete them.  This doesn't mean that I will stop dreaming big, but it does mean I will try to keep things in perspective.   (1 Chronicles 4:10. But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.)

Do you think setting smaller goals is smarter or do you think we should continue to dream big?

Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

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