Dreams, Hopes and Goals…
My daughter Emma-Inemesit represents a person that has dreams, hopes and goals. Her hope is to be accepted into an awesome International Relations Program. Her goal is to study hard, get good grades and do well on her SATs so her dreams will can true. Her ideal dream is to eventually work as a human rights attorney. Right now her focus is on achieving her goals of maintaining good grades; improving her skill set and competency. This is a person who understands the differences between DREAMS, HOPES and GOALS.
Many of us have dreams, but we do not have goals and hope of accomplishing those goals. Dreams are ideals of what we love and wish could happen to us or for us. Dreams are desires that we have, that we are not necessarily accountable for. They can often be defined as ‘wishful thinking.’ Moreover, dreams are things we externally look outside of ourselves for. Whereas, “Hopes” are our feelings and desires for an optimistic outcome of a plan we have put together. Goals are attainable skills that are defined by timelines, priorities and future achievements. Goals are steps or plans that we put in place as an anchor to achieve our hopes. Goals require changes in our thinking and actions. To accomplish goals, we need to change our mind set and manage our expectations very carefully.
Setting up clear goals will mean defining what we want to happen either in the present time or in the near future. It means we are committing ourselves to a timeline and most importantly we are creating an action plan for our timeline. My daily morning goals are usually to go to the gym by 5:00 am, wake my kids up by 6:00 am, send important email by 6:30 and get to the office by 8:30 am to plan my lessons in a quiet environment before all other staff arrive. These simple steps help me stay organize and balance my daily goals of having a relaxed morning.
A simple outline I use to define my goals are: Priority, Compelling evidence (rationale) and Results (PCR). The first step is to create a priority list of what skills sets or tools are necessary to make the dreams we have attainable. Next create compelling evidence for why we must follow the steps we have put together. From the priority list, choose the top 3 or 4 must follow steps/ tools and compare them with our compelling evidence. The Priority list and Compelling evidence must match in order to create a clear picture for our goals. If our PC matches, we will see the importance of our goal(s) and the importance of having attainable time-line.
As a therapist working with children with varying disabilities, I have to adjust my values and beliefs according to individual clients and families. Families walking into our clinic have expectations. They expect we are going to have a solution to their loved one’s communication problems. Like the families, I often dream of making the child’s communication problems vanish immediately, but that is just a dream. The reality is that I cannot control the process, but I can create a sense of hope and balance by creating a PCR. By this I mean, setting up appropriate goals and implementing steps to improve the child’s communication needs. I often share with my clients’ family that we must strive to help the child in the most realistic and compassionate way. We must create realistic goals and hope that through these goals our dream for the child may one day be fulfilled. Having goals will make our hopes become our reality, potentially making our dreams much more attainable. I believe that some dreams can become a reality if we setup clear goals to reach them.