What is the difference between having a dream and having a goal? A dream is a goal without legs. It is a wonderful thing to have and can be the guiding passion of your life, but unless you give it the legs to move, getting there is going to be very much a matter of luck.

To transform a dream into a reachable goal, clarify it, provide the details, and make it so clear that you can see it, feel it, and know what you will feel like when you get there. This works for you in many ways.

* It clarifies what you want to the point that you will always be attuned to anything that is relevant. Opportunities will not pass you by unnoticed.
* It shows you what you need to do to get there, step by action step.
* It makes false detours and dead ends less likely to distract you.
* Perhaps the images you carry in your mind and heart will echo out to the universe for manifestation.

The clearer and more vivid the image, the more likely are all of these things to happen. As an illustration, I will use a dream someone might have regarding a career, but the principle remains the same, whatever the nature of your dream.

Let’s suppose that you yearn to work outdoors and close to nature. Someone asks you to tell them more, but you can’t. You don’t know. All you know is that you want to work outdoors and close to nature. This is a dream. Why is it not a goal? Because it is not specific. That description could fit many occupations, including park ranger, beach bum, safari tour guide, farmer, landscape gardener, migrant worker, beekeeper, or many more. There is a saying, “Be careful what you pray for because you will surely get it, but not necessarily in the form and at the time that you expected.” This applies particularly when your thoughts are not specific. Imagine putting out a prayer and a wish to the universe that you find a job that involves being in the outdoors and close to nature and having your prayer answered by falling into a job as a beekeeper—when you are truly terrified of insects!

This is not bad luck, it is bad management—bad management of your own desires and intentions. Both your own unconscious and the universe need clear direction before they can begin to manifest a path, let alone get results. If you are to harness your own energy and that of the universe so as to bring your dream into reality, you need first to create it in imagination.

Okay, let’s start again. You want a job working in the outdoors and close to nature. Buy yourself one of the many books on the subject of career choice that will help you to clarify. Ask yourself those annoying questions that any career counselor would ask you. What sort of work do you want to be doing? Do you like people? Do you like animals? What kinds of animals? Do you enjoy structure or freedom?

For every image that comes to you, follow it, ask yourself how it fits, how you will work with it, and what comes next until your dream is as vivid and enthralling as a blockbuster movie. Know in your heart that this is what you want to be doing with your life, that it is a job you will enjoy so much that you’d love to do it even if you didn’t have to earn a living. Then, put that image out there for manifestation. This time, there will be no mistakes.

When I say to put it out there for manifestation, I am not saying that you then sit back and wait. One of my mother’s sayings is, “Pray as if it all depends on God, and then work as if it all depends on you.” This is good advice, but now, with your mental picture in place, you have the guidance of a vivid image toward which to work.

What you don’t need to put out to the universe is exactly how this manifestation has to happen. If you do, then you are limiting the way in which you and your goal can come together. In truth, there are more paths to your goal than you can imagine. Whatever it is that you seek, it may be manifested in ways beyond your wildest dreams.

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit http://www.selfgrowth.com/greatways.html

Author's Bio: 

Diana Robinson, PhD, is a life coach, a writer, and a college professor. Originally from England, she now lives in Rochester, New York, and has an international coaching practice. She may be reached at diana@ChoiceCoach.com or visited on the Web at http://ChoiceCoach.com.