“Dreams don’t come true, plans do.”
I am not sure who first said this, however, it’s a quote I resonate with. It’s great to have a vision and intention, however, if there is no action or follow through to back it up then it is only a vision or an intention. I find myself saying it to clients more and more as well and it seems to spur them into action.
A recent example of this is a client who is in social services but wants to be a teacher in five years. She is currently taking weekend courses to develop her teaching skills and experience, however, she wants to be an Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT) and had not taken steps to get that ball rolling.
We broke up her goal during one session and we came to the conclusion that if she was going to be an OCT in five years she would have to start now. To become an OCT you need a teaching degree from a qualified university, then there is the process of getting all the requirements and applying to see if you are accepted. Before this, there is the research on which program and university she wants to attend and then complete the degree if accepted.
So why is this important? Because she works full time she would like to do her studies part-time and so, as you see, planning and starting now will get her closer to her five-year timeline. To do this, we broke up her week to incorporate at least an hour of research and planning for it. We created a non-negotiable block in her week to do this and she has been consistent with it. She is now steps closer to becoming the OCT she desires.
If you want your plans to come true too, here are some tips to help:
· add it to your calendar (block the time and honour it like you would any other appointment)
· prioritize your plan, make it a non-negotiable
· get loved ones on the same page so you are supported and not distracted
· eliminate all possible distractions (i.e. keep your phone and notifications off)
· protect your time and plan like a wolf protecting her cubs
· break up your goal into yearly and quarterly steps if it’s a longer-term plan
· make it a consistent habit (like daily or once a week, etc.)
· mentally prepare yourself for the work ahead and be on alert for any self-sabotaging behaviours (change is often scary and not easy so there can be resistance, I encourage you to soldier on and do it anyway)
I know some of you are still trying to hold onto your new year’s resolutions so, hopefully, these tips help to keep you going in that area too.
Another way of looking at planning is something James Clear said in Atomic Habits, “You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.” Let’s have great systems in place to support the goals and dreams we do have. Let’s plan for them to come true.
Ps. if you need assistance and accountability with planning, please apply for a Get Acquainted Call to see if I can help.