First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. ~ Epictetus

We all have dreams: visions of the possible, probable and seemingly impossible. Setting goals is the key to turning your dreams into reality. Goals help you recognize your progress and allow you to celebrate the process.

Setting goals is one of the master keys to a successful life. Goal-setting creates results, yet less than 3% of the population will actually adopt the process. Every person is gifted with the ability to dream and to plan, to envision and create the life you desire. If you will spend just a few minutes each day creating a focused action-plan, you can see your life transformed into your dreams.

Goal-setting is powerful. Goals make your dreams believable by creating actionable steps. Belief creates faith, and faith is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Believe that you can achieve, then develop a goal list to help you move toward your desired outcome. No matter how small your goals may seem, if they are a part of your ‘master plan’ AND you are performing them daily, you will eventually see the results you seek.

Goals can be simple or complex. Whatever task you choose, get it done. In addition to keeping the process on track, you’ll feel like you are making progress. With each completed goal, you are pushing closer and closer to the success you desire.

Goals provide focus for your dreams and shape your reality. Dreams are somewhat ephemeral. A valid goal is always specific (what action can I take now?), reasonable (can it be accomplished?), measurable (did I get it done?) and timely (what deadline should I set?)

To develop your own life-goals, try these steps:

• Dream first. What do you want to accomplish? What kind of life do you imagine for yourself? Whatever your mind conceives, write it down. Make your list long and detailed.

• Sort it out. Pick out 9 or 10 ideas that are do-able and specific. Create a time limit for each one.

• Pick three that you can focus on immediately. Set mini-goals for each one. What can you do TODAY to lead you toward the results you desire.

• Visualize. Your imagination is powerful. See yourself with the results you want as you work toward each larger goal. Savor in your mind the accomplishment you seek. Give it life through your imagination. How does it feel, look, sound, taste?

• Celebrate! Take time to savor your victories and accomplishments. Give yourself small rewards along the way.

• Repeat. Periodically review your lists, both the master dream list and your intermediate list. Have your goals and ideals changed? Then adjust your ‘do it now’ list accordingly. If you’re always working on something, you’ll eventually see your dreams come true!

Challenges will come. That’s life. When they do, re-focus your thoughts immediately on your desired outcome, not on the temporary set-backs. Go back to your vision, reinforce it with your imagination, step out in faith and re-set your goals.

Focused goals are the key to a lifetime of success. Life is too short to waste time just dreaming. Set yourself up to win with a plan. You’ll soon grow into your dream through the goals you accomplish. Just do it!

Author's Bio: 

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Ruth Seebeck is an online and offline business woman who has built a reputation over three decades as a life-skills coach, mentor, Christian counselor and friend.