Dreams     Goals     Strategies     Objectives    

To some, these words all mean the same thing.  They are not.  They are all linked together though.

We see or hear of something that we would like or would like to do…and ‘shaZAM we dream about it.  We can visualize what we want or we can go online and search for ideas.  Sometimes they are things that we think about for a few days and then the original spark for them fizzles out.  Sometimes though we have dreams that are all consuming.  These dreams set our minds and hearts on fire with desire.

These dreams we want to see come true and we know approximately when we want to make it happen, these dreams just became goals!

Goals may be simple or complex.  Either way though, we start strategizing how to achieve them.  BAM, there it is – just that simple -strategies are how we will achieve our goals.  Our strategies lead to us to one or more accomplishments that we must make happen – our objectives.  Objectives are smaller parts of the big picture that help support a strategy for our goal.  Objectives are quick puzzle pieces that allow us to measure a part of the outcome.

Sound confusing?  Let’s try an example here.

So, for simplicity sake, let’s say we dream of owning our own home.  We are able to visualize what it will look like.  We may have photos from magazines.  We may have even recently started driving around looking at homes, thinking about what we like or don’t like.  We may even see one that is our dream home.  After much consideration, we decide it is time we make this dream come true in 3 years.  Now that this dream has a deadline, guess what…yeppers, it is our goal.  How though?  How can we even afford it?   Simple, we may have the following strategies to make sure it is reached.  Strategy one may be earn more money for our income.  Strategy two may be save more money.  So, to make more money for our first strategy, we may set objectives to get a second job, sell unused or unneeded stuff and to invest savings more wisely to earn a higher interest.  Strategy two may have objectives to reduce our wasteful spending, eat out less and cut our driving and travels to a fourth of what we usually do.

Sound simple enough?  It is!  Setting, planning and achieving goals just takes practice, consistency and determination.

As a couple, we sit down each year and write a list of goals.  We know what the other wants to achieve and we support these goals – they become our goals.  We strategize how to achieve them.  Sometimes our strategy is left a little loose.  It may seem like a little bit of a whimsical goal, but those just drive us harder to achieve them.  Every so often throughout the year, we sit down and review our goals.  This is where we review our milestones of achievement.  We may be making great process or we may be questioning if we are really going to be able to make certain ones happen.  None the less, we are reviewing our goals.  We are working on them.  Our goals are a priority to us.  It requires commitment and a lot of action to reach your goals sometimes.

So, at the end of the year, when we look back on our long laundry list of goals, we usually get excited about what we have truly accomplished.  We accomplish our goals because we planned to and we acted on them.  Those goals that we did not achieve or only got partially started on we ask ourselves, will we put this on next years list?  We don’t get bummed and stressed over what we did not achieve.  We just reevaluate it and move forward in a positive light.

So what are some of our goals?  This year we had our goals broke down in different categories, but here is an example of our big picture goals for recreation (blue ones are achieved at this point):

Hike 500 miles
Hike section of AT
Take photo class
Family Camp
Fish Gulf at least 3 times
Visit sister in OK
Create a shooting course
Canoe GA to Big Shoals

Sound silly to have a goal to visit family in another state?  No, not if your failure to plan it for the last 10 years has led to you to not getting there to see her.  Made it a goal and had a blast!  Even worked it to where it was a big surprise to her, especially the knock on the door at 10:00 p.m.

As for the photography class, we have taken more than one and enjoy it.  It has been fun and rewarding for us.  It may sound like a strange goal to some…but that is just it…these are our goals.  Goals are personal.  Own them!

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We have had joint goals for 4 years now and look forward to working through the process of achieving them each year.

We encourage everyone to set goals!

Do you set goals?  Have your broke your goals down with strategies and objectives?





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