Dreams to Goals

I’ve said in an earlier post that I make goals, not resolutions. The reason I gave was that resolutions are not actionable (I didn’t put it exactly this way, but that’s it in a nutshell.) A resolution is “I’m going to do this one vague thing”, and without a plan and the ability to revise it, it’s just a wish. A goal is the path to success.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

On the other hand, my idea of making plans instead of resolutions isn’t very aspirational. It focuses on the prosaic mind, the part of existence that Gets It Done. How does that prosaic mind know what to get done? Through manipulating dreams into goals. “I would love it if…” becomes “I will do this” and a goal is born. From “How do I make this happen?” the goal becomes the basis for a plan.

I might as well admit I have dreams. I’m superstitious about admitting them, because I’ve been ridiculed over them as a child. But without the dreams, my goals become repetitive, maintenance-based, and dull. So here are my dreams for the year:

  • I dream of being traditionally published.
  • I dream of having enough readership of my works that my name is recognized.
  • I dream of having enough readership to make it worthwhile to have a booth at Gatewaycon.
  • I dream of getting royalty payments from Amazon.

Lightning hasn’t struck me; I guess it’s okay to admit my dreams.

Taking the first dream as an example, let’s turn it into a goal:

I dream of getting traditionally published > I will submit a query to agents.

(Agents are gatekeepers to the traditional publishing process. Queries are the bundles of materials writers submit for their consideration. That bundle includes a cover letter, excerpts of the work in question, and a synopsis).

I will submit a query to agents > I develop a plan to do so; carry out the plan.

This is how the dream becomes a plan.

The one thing is that the execution of the plan doesn’t always mean success. This could be because of internal factors inside myself that need correction, problems with the plan that need fixing, or external factors that can be controlled for. And, sometimes, external factors beyond my control. The more outside factors beyond one’s control, the more likely the dream will stay at the dream stage. For example, if I dream of winning the lottery, there’s not much I can do to actually win it beyond buying one or more tickets.

New Year’s Day, I will set up goals based on these dreams and develop them into plans as I go through the year. It’s more fun dreaming them, but not as fruitful. Wish me luck.


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