by Jill MacGregor
I’ve been thinking a lot about goals lately, what they mean, how we reach them and how they change us.
I have to tell you this post started out differently from what you are reading. It originally was all “Do you love that goal? You better love it! Because it’s going to be really hard to accomplish and just when you think you’ve caught the golden ring, you’ll realize you’ve only just begun the long, hard voyage to reaching your goals.” Drop and give me ten.
I realized the problem. I started to understand that I was seeing goal achievement as this fully manufactured trail of tears we put ourselves on to get to a place we feel we should be. Wow, fun. And another thing , whooshpttttt—that was the crack of my whip.
Oh my. Goals. Dreams. Dreams. Goals. They are different.
Should they be? Is there a need to differentiate?
Here’s my take on it. Goals have measurements attached. There’s a logical progression to their achievement.
STRIVING TO REACH HER GOAL. There’s really only one use for the word *striving*—and it’s in relation to accomplishing a hard fought and hard won achievement. Struggle implied. The path to reaching a goal can be a long one because there’s usually a process, a series of steep steps you have to take to finally reach that goal. As you encounter obstacles and find a clever way to outsmart them, you think about that goal. You’re almost there. You can smell it, like cookies in the oven, and every step puts you closer to the kitchen.
But, dreams, well, dreams live in a tender box next to our hearts. We often feel shy about our dreams as if we are undeserving— even though we would happily work 10x harder to realize our dreams than to accomplish our goals. We recognize them as fragile and translucent winged and we feel fortunate when they light on our shoulders. Dreams are fueled by want and must and I don’t know why, I just have to.
LIVING HER DREAM. It doesn’t reflect struggle—more of a choice. But I do sense an adjustment, things being left behind and others taking their place. Shedding of skin, a metamorphosis.
How many times have you reached your dream only to realize it’s not quite what you thought it would be. You spend years honing a craft, carefully bringing it into the light for public consumption and sometimes you find that the business of your dream can pinch the magic out of it.
Let’s bring our dreams out into the open and talk about them as practically as if they were goals. Achievable. Reachable. Nothing to be shy about.
We all have something that we’re striving for, big or small. Whatever it is, I bet you think about it a lot. You think about the steps required to reach it, the length of time needed, obstacles that may impede you —and if you will succeed.
So ask yourself this—do you love that thing that you think you want so badly? Whether you’re focusing on dreams, goals or a mélange of the two—you better love it. It better be the thing that makes your bomb tick because you are spending a huge amount of time, effort and energy to ensnare it. Only to see where it takes you next…
The finish line is never the end of the race.
It’s just the beginning of a new one.