Dream. Mission. Goals. Action.

These are the destinations I arrive at every time I actually achieve something. It often happens subconsciously, nonlinearly, but I am certain that we always stop by these four waypoints:

  1. Dream – we have a fuzzy picture in our head of something we hope will happen or some great place we want our lives to go. You know you’re here when you can’t stop talking about an idea. When someone asks what it is, it takes you “paragraphs” to answer.
  2. Mission – the picture is clearer now. We can state the “thing” in a sentence or two. You’re no less excited, but you know clearly what it looks like to move toward (or away) from it.
  3. Goals – these are the incremental checkpoints along the way. You set goals that support the mission, usually without much thought. Because you’re clear, the goals become clear as well.
  4. Action – the specific tasks to complete to accomplish the goals. These are verbs. Do this one thing and you have moved a step closer to your dream.

An example: I love rock climbing, and I aspire to climb in amazing places.

  1. Dream (abbreviated, I could write pages here) – I want to climb big scary walls that most people would never consider. I want to stand places few have stood. I want to scale the famous cliffs of the world…
  2. Mission – I’m going to climb Half Dome.
  3. Goals – Learn to lead using traditional rock climbing gear and techniques, be capable of climbing 16 pitches in one day, be able to carry an 80-pound pack on a four-hour hike with 5,000 feet elevation gain…
  4. Actions – go to the gym today and do an hour of cardio, visit the climbing gym for sport specific training, eat a healthy breakfast today…

The point here is that you should learn to recognize where you are and take the right steps to move down the list.

Whether this is a homework assignment, finding a job, or a major project, if you’re having trouble making progress you first need to realize where you are. The next step to take will become clearer.

Want to join a community of people who are supporting each other at each of these steps? Then you should sign up for the Intentional Academy. It’s free. Become a member today by filling out the form on this page.

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