Part Two: Dream SMARTly
So, as odd as it may sound, dreams are really goals and ambitions. And, dreams are just as important in giving meaning to your daily tasks as they are when looking ahead to what you hope to accomplish in the future. Read that again. This is important stuff here. It bears taking seriously, which to me at least, means it’s time to listen to the experts.
According to the Big Wigs of Sciencey Motivational Stuff, the acronym SMART is the best place to start when planning your dreams.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Seriously. I knew in the third grade that I was going to be an English teacher and a writer. I sat around for years and years dreaming of becoming a writer. I created several little story books about my grand adventures in The Trails (a wooded area behind my childhood neighborhood) in which I sounded suspiciously like Nancy Drew. But the stories were for my eyes, and a few of my stuffed animals’ eyes only. I wasn’t really a writer. That took being published. I also played “School” every chance I had, teaching all of the stuffed animals on my bed the rules of grammar. But, I wasn’t really a teacher. I was a dreamer.
So, I went to college and earned a degree in Literature and Language. I had several short stories and poems featured in academic publications. I was finally a published writer. After graduation, I began teaching high school English. I had real students. I was a real teacher! It wasn’t until I actually took the necessary steps, the appropriate actions, to succeed that I actually became the writer and teacher that I’d always wanted to be.
DREAM > DO > SUCCEED
SPECIFIC: This is the what, why and how of your DREAM. What do you want or need to accomplish? How will you achieve it? How will you know when you’ve succeeded in attaining your dream?
MEASURABLE: For a DREAM to be measurable it must answer how much or how many. This is important to be able to track your progress.
ATTAINABLE: For a DREAM to be attainable, you must take serious stock of your own special gifts and talents. In other words, know your strengths and how you can best utilize them. Also, know your limitations, how/if you may overcome them.
REALISTIC: It logically follows that it is important that your DREAM is something you can and want to actually attain. It should be challenging enough that you feel pride when you achieve it, but not too difficult or, worse, impossible — this will only set you up for failure.
TIMELY: Have a specific, realistic time frame within which you want to achieve your DREAM. This keeps you motivated and on track.
Once you’ve SMARTly outlined your dream, you can dig in and DO IT!
[to be continued…]
Further Reading at The Sage Alliance