Did you know that 92% of people who set New Year’s Resolutions never achieve their goals?
Why is that?
Is it because people lack discipline? Or is it because people pick goals they think they “should” do but don’t really “want” to do.
I suspect it has more to do with the latter. That’s because true dreams – those things you really want to do – come from your heart, not your head.
And when we start to “categorize” our dreams/goals into areas like: Physical, Spiritual, Financial, etc. we automatically engage our mind instead of our heart. We look at the “Physical” category and think, ‘Hmmm… yes, what should I improve on in my health? I should probably start exercising more. Ok, that will be one goal.’
It’s hard enough to discern know what we really want in life. But it’s almost impossible when we try to figure this our logically instead of engaging with our heart.
For example, several years ago, when I still categorized my dreams, I decided that “Climbing the 5 Tallest Peaks in the Cascade Mountain Range” would be one of my Physical goals.
It sounded cool, logical and attainable. With hard work, training and some planning I could do it.
And so far I’ve climbed three out of the five mountains: Rainer, Adams and Shasta. I plan to climb Hood and Baker in 2017.
But here’s the honest truth: I’m not excited about this. I haven’t been for a long time. Although climbing Rainer got me excited because it was actual mountaineering (as opposed to another really long hike up a trail).
The reason I’m not excited about it is because this was a logical goal that came from my mind. It was not birthed out of the heart.
What Happens When You Dream from Your Heart
About a year or so ago I stopped categorizing my goals and started paying attention to the dreams of my heart more.
And one of those dreams was to take an extended RV trip around the country with my family.
It wasn’t really logical and didn’t serve any practical purpose. I honestly just thought it sounded like a blast and I got excited whenever I thought about it!
It was a heart dream. And when I actually did it I loved it. We just got back a few weeks ago from our 2-month trip to Southern California and wee had a blast and I was so glad we did it.
So to me this is a great lesson on the difference between dreams that come from getting in touch with your true desires and goals that you think you should do.
An Easy Way to Know If You’re Dreaming from Your Heart Or Not
If you agree there’s a difference between heart dreams and logical goals – and that it’s more important to discover what your true dreams are – then the next question is: how do you do it?
For some people, their desires are so strong, and their dreams so clear, that they may wonder why someone would even write about this.
If that’s you, then please leave a comment below and give me and others some tips! Seriously. You probably know more about this then I do.
But if you’re like me and are recovering from the “logical approach” to dreaming where you categorize all your goals then you may have some baggage from that old way of thinking that can block your ability to dream freely.
For example, even though I’ve decided not to categorize my dreams anymore I still have to figure out what I really want, not just what I think I should do.
One thing I do to filter my dreams is to notice how I talk about it. More specifically, I keep an eye out for the word “should.”
If I use the word “should” when I’m talking about something I think is a dream it’s almost certainly not a true desire of mine.
One of my dreams was to build a $10 million marketing agency because I really should make the leap from being self-employed to being a real business owner so I stop trading time for money.
That sounds good, right? Except it’s a “logical” dream for me. My heart is not really attached to it. So most likely I’ll lose motivation for it after a few months and realize that I’m chasing something that’s not making me happy.
Compare that to this dream:
One of my dreams is to own a home that has a beautiful view where I could go out and enjoy my quiet times every morning. This house has more than enough room for our family and guests and also has a nice soaking tub so my wife and I can unwind in it after a hard day’s work. It also has a place where I can go walk and think.
Notice the difference? There was no “should” in there. If my dream was “to buy a home right now because interest rates are low,” then that’s another “should dream.” It’s logical but has no heart connection.
What About Planning?
You may be thinking, “That’s sounds all nice, warm and fuzzy Josh, but life isn’t all about desires of the heart and dreams that excite you. If you don’t have a plan and work hard you won’t accomplish anything.”
Hey, I’m not going to argue with you there.
I never said anything about not planning or working hard. I’m an advocate of both. But I will propose to you that it is important you dream first and then plan. When you try to approach it the other way (plan first and then dream) then again, you’re leading from the mind, not the heart.
But once you discover what you really want – what your true desires are – then by all means, make a plan, set some goals and work hard to see that desire met!
I just think it’s much easier to stay motivated when your dreams continue to excite you. What do you think?