In my previous post, I went into depth about the bottom third of the pyramid: making more time. Harnessing your time is an important key factor in getting things done, but that time is not going to be of much value without goals.

Goals are essential to making the most of your time. But before we talk about making goals, let’s first explore what a goal is.

What’s in a Goal?

A goal comes from a dream. Not the dreams you have when you sleep — I’m talking about the things you love to do.

Or maybe it’s just one thing. Maybe it’s something that challenges you, either physically and/or mentally. Maybe it’s the only thing in your life that you don’t consider a challenge because of how good it makes you feel when you do it. It’s the thing you can’t stop thinking about; the thing you always want to be doing.

Here’s a list of some things that I see some of the people around me dreaming about:

  • A co-worker that loves working on cars.
  • Another co-worker that loves dessert culture and blogging about their experiences.
  • A pastry chef that loves making delicious treats.
  • A bartender that loves to perfect their own original cocktails.
  • A musician who loves creating albums and touring the country.
  • A painter obsessed with color who loves to illustrate vibrant landscapes.
  • A web developer that loves solving problems and coming up with new coding patterns.
  • A close friend that loves fantasy football.
  • A vintage collector that loves procuring trinkets and ephemera from the past.
  • A die-hard cyclist that loves biking long distances.

I could go on forever, but these are the first ten examples that came to mind. Some of these activities might seem like talents while others might seem like hobbies. But the thing that all of these people have in common is that they are passionate about something. They all dream of their respective interests.

Every single one of these passions could be something that they turn into a life-long venture that pays them very well.

So back to the question at hand. What’s in a goal? A goal is what a dream becomes once you start working towards it.

Turning a Dream into a Goal

If you ask people what their long-term goals are, a large percentage of them will have no idea. A slightly smaller percentage will be able to tell you what they would ideally love to do with their lives (they’re still dreaming!). The smallest percentage will be able to tell you definitively what their goals are and how they are working towards them.

We have one life to live… what are you going to do with yours?

Here’s where you need to dream big. If you could do anything you want with your life without the burden of money, what would it be?

Notice how we took money out of it?

Yes, money is important, but that will come later. It doesn’t matter what your dream is. I promise you that there is a way to monetize it. For example. I dream of hand-lettering. I’ve turned my dream into a goal. I can get really great at hand-lettering if I devote time and practice. And when does the money come into play? Well, for lettering, it would come once I have built an audience. From there, I could sell my own products. I could license custom work. I could teach. The possibilities are endless. But I won’t get there until I become a master and an authority in the hand-lettering niche.

Your dream is no different. There is an audience out there. You can be a thought-leader in that community if you put in the work. And from there, your monetization possibilities are endless.

So once again, if you could do anything you want with your life without the burden of money, what would it be?

Don’t Be Afraid

One of the hardest parts of turning a dream into a goal is the inevitable hesitance. Deciding what kind of mark you want to make with your short time here on earth isn’t an easy decision. You’ll be plagued by the obvious questions:

What if I fail?

Most people fail because they never start. Wouldn’t you rather try instead of die wishing you had? Failure is only failure when you’ve given up. If you never give up, you never fail.

What if I pick the wrong dream to chase?

It is only natural that your goal will change and evolve over time. You’ll make mistakes too. But you’ll learn from those mistakes. As long you continue pushing forward, your goals will properly align and you will be successful.

What will others think?

Most people will laugh at you. They’ll judge you. They’ll doubt you. And the worst part — they’ll discourage you. It’s the honest truth and it sucks. But If someone doesn’t believe in you, they’re not a good person to be around because the reality is that they probably don’t even believe in themselves. It’s important to ignore what others think. And you know what? You don’t have to tell the world about your goals. Your goals are no one else’s business but your own. Keep them to yourself until you’re established and confident. Never stop believing in yourself.

“I’m ready to turn my dream into a goal… now what?”

Good job — picking that dream is not an easy feat! You’ll encounter bumps in the road and you’ll have off days, but it’s downhill from here. Now every day for the rest of your life, you can rejoice in the fact that you’ve broken ground and are continuing to dig.

Next, let’s make an exhaustive list. I want you to write down every single thing that you can think of that would aid you in working towards this goal — big or small. Don’t stop until you get to at least two-dozen items. This list will probably grow faster than you can check things off, but that means you’re beginning to think even bigger.

Force yourself to create one of these and never stop iterating and revising. The first few items are going to come quick and easy, but after a dozen, it becomes harder than you might think!

Now you should certainly have your work cut out for you. Think of this list as your treasure map to achieving your goal. None of these items are going to come quickly, so you’ll need to work towards each one little by little. The takeaway here is that there is always something you could be doing to advance towards your goal. Never stop.

Next Steps

Now it’s time to get your hands dirty and make progress. Making progress is the third part of the Make More Pyramid and I’ll be discussing this topic in depth in the following post.

Read part 3: Making More Progress