Before you set goals, you need to have dreams. Without a compelling dream that inspires you with purpose and passion, your goals will fall flat. They will have nothing that helps them hang together into a bigger story for you. The goals are just the stepping stones to your dreams. To support your goals, you need a habits that work with you, or at least that don’t work against you.
You can think in terms of three types of actions: daily habits, goals, and inspired actions. If you just have a habits, you’ll never wake up one day on top of Mt. Everest. That’s the stuff dreams and goals are made of. Doing some of these amazing things in your life takes deliberate action and intentional goals. But if you don’t have habits that support t you, you’ll most likely miss your goals. And, if you don’t have big dream to keep pulling you through all the thick, and thin, you’ll also have a tough time with your habits, your goals, and any New Year’s Resolutions. And, at the same time, you need a way to act on inspiration, without relying all the time for lightening to strike.
So to recap, your big, bold dreams with passion and purpose pull you where you want to be, and what you want to look back on. Your goals help you chunk up your changes into meaningful milestones. Your daily habits help you invest in the right direction, while learning and improving. And when inspiration strikes, you want to have a simple way to turn it into results, or use it to leap frog your goals, or innovate in your habits.
Dream big so that you have a vision to hold on to and scenes in your mind that pull you forward.
Have a dream for the big areas in your life that you want to change, whether it’s your career, health, finances, etc., and make sure it reflects your passion and your purpose. Also, make sure that it’s consistent with living your values and living the life-style you want to lead.
Have goals that help you chunk up your dreams into achievable chunks of change. For example, if you know your dream for a year from now, then what might it look like at 6 months? What might it look like at 3 months? What would a simple start be to make progress this month?
If you want to skip goals, then by all means do so, but at the end of the year, you may very well be disappointed if you try to look back on meaningful milestones or meaningful results. Goals help you put a bow on things, and they help you appreciate and acknowledge your efforts.
Habits are a great way to move toward your ultimate goal, and to chip away at your dreams, by building your capabilities and confidence. They also help you turn behaviors into automatic things that you don’t have to think about (you don’t worry about brushing your teeth, taking a shower, etc.) They also are a powerful tool that support goals, and dreams.
As awesome as habits are, maybe the real thing to keep in mind is that you won’t learn the violin or become a doctor or find yourself on the top of Mt. Everest with habits alone. And, by the same token, you won’t learn the violin, become a doctor, or make it up Mt. Everest, if you don’t have the habits that support you on your journey.
So once again, dreams -> goals -> habits.
Culled from How Dreams, Goals, and Habits Fit Together