A goal should scare you a little, and excite you A LOT. Joe Vitale
I have always thought of myself as goal-oriented and the things I wanted to accomplish have always been in the form of a mental checklist. This started at a young age for me and has continued … make the varsity volleyball team, graduate with honors, maintain a 4.0 GPA, graduate from college, go to graduate school, become a kick ass mom. Seriously an annoying over-achiever, I know! It wasn’t until a couple of years ago I realized the power of my goals and the relationship they have with my dreams.
Two days ago, I closed on a lake cabin that was a dream for a long, long time. I longed for the shore, the quiet mornings, the sunny afternoons, the call of loons late at night. I dreamt about an idyllic place for my kids to have memories they would take with them into their adulthood to share with their own children. It was dreamy for a long time, lying in between “what if” and “someday,” and not even on the goal spectrum. Because dreams and goals can and should intertwine, but there is a big difference between them. Action. Movement is required to turn dreams into goals into reality. Dreams are indulgent, they are inspiring, they get you through your mundane work week. We need them. But we also need goals, action-oriented, effort-driven movement toward a result, to turn dreams into things.
With my business growing, at some point my cabin became more than a dream. It was a goal and I wanted it. I wrote it down. I started doing that, putting goals in a place where I could see them, the year prior when my business started to take off. I needed to have more accountability and writing goals down made them feel more real. So the cabin became a goal. One I thought I would need a great deal of time to achieve, but one nonetheless. I put it in my 10 year plan.
I was focused heavily on so many other goals at the time, so it sat. Sure there were random realty searches and conversations about what it would be like. But it felt far away, so I focused more on the day to day goals, the things right at hand that I wrote each day in a checklist. These smaller goals added up to larger ones I could then mark off and move on from. Or they grew into new goals, grander goals. I was riding high on goals accomplished and working hard towards the ones just out of reach.
Then about seven months ago the cabin needed more space in my life. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was demanding and the cold of January was not helping with my longing. I needed a vision for this place. I needed to announce more loudly to the universe (yes, I said that), this IS happening. In my bedroom, I have a quiet corner with a small desk, my favorite quotes, books I love. Over my desk hangs a bulletin board and with my pretty tacks I pinned up a picture of my vision. It was a picture of my cabin view really, two lonely Adirondack chairs I would fill with my people overlooking a lake sunset.
I continued life, jobs, kids. I saw patients, worked my tail off in my business, ran kids to basketball games. But each day my goal stared me down as I dressed, and though I did not make a specific plan for my cabin just yet, apparently, the universe was listening to my intentions. On Memorial Day weekend my family meets at my grandparent’s own vision come to life, a humble cabin built in 1979. Driving a road I have been on a hundred times, I checked my favorite real estate app on a whim and my significant other’s comment of, “this would be a fun lake to have a place on.” The second listing stopped me in my tracks and something in me said, THE ONE.
Four days later I sat at the bank waiting for pre-approval to turn my dream, my goal, my vision into something very real. I still was unsure, a little afraid even to get my hopes up, yet here I sit, with a view of the most amazing sunset on my little piece of heaven. My goal accomplished, that photo clearly not chosen by chance but serendipity. By me, because I dared to make my dream a goal and a destination.
I hope you see in this story friends, that “someday” can be now, that your life can be MORE, that you don’t need to compare, you can find your own way. Make goals, believe in them so strongly they have no choice but to come to life. Let them scare you, excite you, become you!