To say you want to be successful is too “blue sky.” To say you want to be a millionaire…well, you’re getting warmer. This blog is all about how to structure a dream the S.M.A.R.T. way. Each letter in the acronym stands for a mandatory element needed to structure a dream for success. If you have not already ordered your copy of the book, The Art of More, stop and do that first. Take an uninterrupted hour to speed read the book, then return to this post. We want all of what we’re about to share with you to make perfect sense.
Structuring dreams the S.M.A.R.T. way
As mentioned in the book, one of the time-tested ways a dream can be managed and structured is by use of the S.M.A.R.T. model. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timed.
When charting a dream, specificity is the first objective. It hones our focus to address our desire. Ask yourself:
What is my dream? Is it to launch your business by March 2019?
How will I accomplish it and what are potential setbacks?
Who can help me to accomplish my dream?
Where do I need to go to acquire the know-how?
When do I plan to start working towards my dream?
This critical step provides a way to quantify or measure progress. For instance, if your goal is to learn guitar, you could say by the end of the week I want to know the names of the guitar strings. By week 2, I want to know how to play a portion of the pentatonic scale. Measuring goals provides a nice target to aim for, provides a degree of accountability, and allows us to monitor growth, from end to end.
Many people stumble here because the zeal of a huge goal has the power to capture emotions, but the work ethic needed is where the “rubber meets the road.” Therefore, any dream a person has should not only be in the realm of possibility, but it should also be within the scope of their self-discipline.
When structuring your dream, ask two questions:
1. Do I see myself achieving the dream?
2. Am I willing to work to achieve it?
When in pursuit of a dream, we have to take relevant steps to complement the dream. A writer who wants to write childrenʼs books, shouldn’t spend too much time learning to be an illustrator. Illustration does not foster a knowledge of becoming a better writer. Instead, knowledge of the childrenʼs book industry, character and plot development, and reading popular books in that genre would be better places to spend time and energy.
I want to earn my first million dollars by the age of 30 comes with a time stamp. I will publish my first children’s book by January 29, 2019 is time-bound. I want to play the guitar proficiently by December 31, 2019 is bound by a time. Every dream you have should come with a written deadline. Timelines help foster a sense of urgency. Adding time to a dream tells us we are serious and expect results.
It is also helpful to share your deadline with others for accountability and encouragement.
We gave ourselves a solid month to write and publish our book, The Art of More. We put a deadline out for the world to see. It was uncomfortable, yet motivating. It’s one thing when you know a deadline that you may or may not keep. It’s a whole different ballgame when you put it out there for other people to track as well. If you’re committed to see your dream through, try it.
Structuring any dream the S.M.A.R.T. way is a simple process and does not need be stressful at all. It starts with knowing what it is we want and building it up from there. Most importantly, a structured dream that gets the lion share of our time and effort will be achieved.
What goals do you have in your heart? Write them out using the S.M.A.R.T. method and commit. Happy dreaming! Happy achieving!