You have dreams, right? Of course you do. We all do. And you’ve probably wondered how to achieve your dreams. I know that I’ve asked myself that same question over and over in the past. In fact, I’ve become obsessed with it.
Last year I decided it was time for me to stop dreaming and start doing. Am I living that dream today? Well, not completely. Not yet. But I’m sooo close. And I am getting closer by the day. I’m so close I can smell it. I’m so close that tomorrow could be the day I’m living my dream. Some days are tough. Most days I feel unstoppable. But all days are part of the journey, and I wouldn’t trade a single one. I will make my dreams come true. I have no doubt about that. It is already happening for me, and it can happen for you too.
If you can develop the one quality you absolutely need…
This post is part of my new series…FROM SURVIVE TO THRIVE where we are going to build up the mindset to CRUSH our goals and go after our WILDEST dreams by building a plan and getting started NOW.
How to Achieve your Dreams
What does it take to turn dreams into reality? What does it take to actually accomplish your goals? Some people think it is mostly about luck or wealth – maybe brains or powerful connections. None of that is true.
I recently came across a TED talk that summed up everything I’ve found so far in my journey and the women I have worked with. Angela Lee Duckworth taught seventh graders math in New York City. She found that IQ wasn’t the difference between her best and worst students. Her strongest performers weren’t always the smartest. In fact, sometimes the smartest didn’t do well at all. She was convinced that every one of her students could learn the material if they worked hard enough.
So what was it that made some students perform better than others? What is that makes some people succeed in life while others never do?
Angela left the classroom in pursuit of an answer to this question. She studied children and adults in challenging settings in order to find out who was successful and why. And after years of research, she found that one characteristic showed up as the most significant predictor of success. It wasn’t intelligence. It wasn’t good looks, physical health, or IQ.
So, what was it?
Angela defined grit as passion and perseverance for long term goals….sticking with your future, day in, day out…working really hard to make that future a reality.
I choose to use the word dedication, but it is the same thing.
We all have dreams, and we have all had dreams that haven’t come true. You may have one or more of those dreams right now.
But what would happen if we could develop the dedication and grit required to make those dreams come true? What if we could be so dedicated to our goals that we wouldn’t stop until they became a reality.
And I believe we can. I do not believe that successful people are born any different than those who have not yet succeeded. I believe that we all have it inside of us to build that dedication that is required to succeed. I believe that building this one quality is how to achieve your dreams.
How Dedicated are you to Becoming a Success?
Although many people dream about success, very few actually do what it takes to succeed.
- Perhaps you see your job as only work … and then you wonder why you didn’t get the promotion.
- Maybe you give in to bad habits … and then you wonder why you are stuck in a rut.
- Or maybe you dream of doing something you love…but you always come up with an excuse not to get started.
Whatever the reason, you have chosen to not be dedicated to your dream. Think about your life right now. Are your half-hearted attempts at reaching success paying off? If the answer is no, why not change that? Why not dedicate yourself to all that might be? Wouldn’t it be worth it?
Are you Interested or Dedicated?
When it comes to your dreams, are you interested or are you dedicated?
A lot of people passively go through life. They are interested in a bunch of possibilities. They have dreams. But they aren’t committed.
So what is the difference between interest and dedication?
- Interest reads an inspirational blog post. Dedication applies that post to their daily life.
- Interest procrastinates. Dedication focuses on what is important.
- Interest sets New Year’s Resolutions. Dedication already has strategic goals.
- Interest makes excuses. Dedication acquires new skills and finds solutions.
So if you are struggling with being dedicated, ask yourself this question:
Why are you holding yourself back? What is stopping you from living your dream?
If you want it bad enough, you’ll be dedicated. If you are dedicated, you will find a way to make it happen.
So How do You Get Dedicated?
If you are wondering how to achieve your dreams, listen up. Here are techniques that you can use to build up that one quality you need.
- Make the Decision
In order to go all in and make unprecedented progress, you have to make a decision deep down within your core to let nothing hold you back. You have to take a good look at yourself in the mirror and decide for yourself that NOTHING will stand in your way of success. Everything you have in life is the result of a decision you’ve made. If you don’t like what you have, you need to change your decisions. And once you make that decision, you’ll never have to wonder how to achieve your dreams. You’ll have that grit and that dedication.
Unfortunately, you can’t fake this decision. It has to come from your core belief system.
So in order to make that decision, you’ll need to do a couple of things:
– Find your Why –
Why does your dream matter to you? Are you connected with what is at stake? Dedication isn’t always going to be fun. There may be blood, sweat and tears. So what is going to pull you through? What will keep you from burning out and bailing on yet another dream? Finding your “why” is the first step in developing the dedication you’ll need to change your life and achieve your dreams.
– Believe you Can –
To accomplish anything in life, you have to believe that you are able to accomplish it. It may not always be easy, and you may not know exactly how you are going to accomplish it. But you have to believe that you an. You need to be confident in yourself. You need positive thinking. You need the right mindset. You need to overcome your fear of failure. And just like dedication, you can build those things.
2. Set Big Goals
So let’s say you’ve made the decision. You believe in yourself, and you know why your dream is so important to you. Now it is time to set a big, scary goal. I always recommend that everyone always has at least 1 to 3 big scary goals. Why? Well it is backed up by research that the more difficult a goal we set, the more enthusiastic we are and the better our performance. And big goals are the only ones that can compel us to change our life. Big goals are the only ones that will turn our lives around. Big goals are what will move you from survive to thrive.
In order to set that big goal, you’ll have to be ruthlessly honest with yourself. You need to get clear about what your ultimate outcome looks like. What is it that you want, how are you going to get there and what is your deadline?
Once you have your goal lined out, sculpt a vision in your head that is so over-the-top awesome that you are willing to do anything to achieve it. That is dedication. That is how to achieve your dreams.
3. Hold Yourself Accountable
Who is at fault if you don’t reach your goals? It is all you, my friend. No one else is responsible for your life.Unfortunately, that personal drive you feel right after setting that big goal isn’t going to be enough. You have to find a way to hold yourself accountable.
Here is how I do it (and how I recommend you get started as well).
– Use the Rule of Three –
You will need a system to keep track of your most important tasks. You will need a system to maintain the momentum. You will need a system to make sure that a day/week/month never goes by that you aren’t making progress. The rule of three will help you chunk down your goals into 3 monthly targets, 3 weekly targets, and 3 daily tasks.
Before you go to bed each night, identify three key tasks that you can accomplish the following day to move you towards your goals. Once you accomplish those tasks, you can go to sleep guilt free the following night. The trick is to not stop until you accomplish your daily tasks.
I have a free workbook that will guide you through the process.
– Tell Others –
Tell a few people about your goals. Tell your family and friends. Even if they aren’t completely supportive, getting your ambitions out in the open will help you stay dedicated.
4. Build your Team
We have a myth in today’s world that drives me nuts. It is the myth of the self-made man/woman. I completely disagree. I don’t think there is such a thing. If you want to know how to achieve your dreams, it starts with a supportive team.
Success requires help – typically a lot of it. Just take a look at the successful people of the world. They have ARMIES of people that help them achieve their dreams. So my final piece of advice in how to achieve your dreams is to build your team. Start today.
There are two types of relationships I suggest you start to cultivate right now. Both of these relationships will help us stay the course in the pursuit of our dreams. Both of these relationships will build that determination and grit that is required for us to succeed.
– Mentors –
We all need a guide. Many of us need several. Mentors are people with experience and maturity who can inspire us, challenge us, advise us and hold us accountable. In today’s world, mentors can be in person or virtual. They can be coaches, motivational speakers, people who have achieved the same goals we are after or even a collection of great books.
– Peers –
We also need an inner circle of peers to give us confidence. We don’t have to face the world alone. These peers aren’t the ones that hold us back or judge us. These are the peers that support us. They give us insight and solutions we wouldn’t have thought of on our own. These can be work colleagues, a mastermind group, or a small circle found elsewhere.
Word of caution – choose your circle wisely. This group of people should be high-achieving and success-oriented. Choose a circle of people who have the determination or are at least on the same journey to achieve it. There is a saying that goes “you can’t fly with the eagles if you keep scratching with the turkeys.”
So forget about all the talent, brains, and good looks. None of those things matter. Are you wondering how to achieve your dreams? The only question you need to ask yourself is…do you have grit? Are you determined to succeed no matter what? Determination is the answer to the question: “How do you achieve your dreams?”
“Because when the dust clears, only the persistent are still around to claim the prize,” – Michael Hyatt
Question to you: How much dedication would you say you have when it comes to your goals? Leave a comment below.
OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES
The From Survive to Thrive Series is all about changing your mindset and taking decisive action. We are going to start putting a plan in place to take your dreams out of your head and make them a reality. As you know, planning is a critical piece of the puzzle. Be sure to download your worksheet because we are going to talk about it each week throughout the series.
I’ll be updating this post with links to the other posts in the series as I write them, so you may want to save or pin this post if you plan to follow along. You can also subscribe to email updates so you don’t miss anything.
Post 1: The Fine Art of Failure
Post 2: Developing a Growth Mindset
Post 3: How to Achieve your Dreams
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