Resolution Time – What’s the Difference Between a Goal and a Dream?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

by Dave Miller

It’s time for the age old tradition of making your New Year’s resolution. Do you really think it’s going to be different this year? Well it can be if you think about what you are doing.

What is a resolution?

It’s basically a decision, stating the solution. So if the resolution is merely the decision to state the solution then we need to look at the solution. We state what we want  to be. This brings us to the area of goals and dreams.

Goals vs. Dreams

Dreams are fantasy that we would love but realistically will never have unless God drops them into your lap. They tend to be unfocused and non-specific. To turn a dream into a goal you must on decide on a few things – how much, and by when, etc.

Goals are realistic and achievable. Goals are specific. Here is a list of values present in goals but absent in dreams:

  1. Goals are attainable
  2. They have a timeline
  3. You can break them into action steps
  4. They are specific

Turning Dreams into Goals.

A dream is a goal without legs. It is a wonderful thing to have, can be the guiding passion of your life, but unless you clarify it and give it the legs to move toward you, getting there is going to be very much a matter of luck.

To convert a dream into a goal you must make it tangible, provide the details, make it so clear that you can see it, feel it, know what you will feel like when you get there. Review the checklist.

Say it, Publicize it, Write it Down

Write down your goals to make you really concentrate rather than it being just a passing thought. Say it out loud. Say it to a friend. Get a mentor or accountability partner.

Post it on facebook.

I’m not joking. It works. After Matt Lapp posted on facebook that he is doing the Tough Mudder I brooded about it for a while. Then I signed up, and though I still could have hidden it from other people, instead I posted it on facebook. Now there is no backing out without public humiliation. Now that’s motivation. After talking to Matt he affirmed what I just stated saying he knew too that by posting it he would be held accountable.

Some people are not comfortable publicizing something. If that’s the case then skip facebook but make sure you have some other method of accountability. And remember, the more public it is the more motivation you have.


You can do all you want but action is the key. And not just doing as little as possible to meet the quota. It takes hustle. You really need to put your heart into it or it will be a faded thought before the second week of January.

Make action steps. Things to be done this year and break it done to things to be done this month. Break down the weeks. Finally make a daily list.


So, am I going to make a New Year’s resolution? You bet I am. I’m going to get fit enough to run that Though Mudder. Will I stop with that resolution? No, I have a list of goals (some are a work in progress) that I’m working towards. Right now I’m breaking those goals down to what I need to accomplish by Jan 13th and also Jan 31st.

Bring on the New Year!

Related Posts:
The Transition  – Master Plan, part one
Stupid Excuses to Avoid Action, Master Plan, part two


Scrooge or Lazy – What Will You Be Next Week?

by Dave Miller


Christmas is fast approaching. The New Year is right behind it. If you don’t perk up it will hit you upside the head and you won’t recover till Jan.

What will you do in the last 10 days of the year?

I’ve noted a few areas of concern in my life and hope they can help you combat any year-end stagnation:

Winding Down

It’s very easy to look at the next few weeks as a winding down period. Somehow we justify a half speed attitude because the year and its goals are about petered out. We look at it as a great time to relax and then hit it real hard next year.

At the very least some serious planning should be done yet this year. It’s like eating one more Christmas cookie while telling yourself you’ll get serious about losing it next year. Don’t wind down to the point of floating through the rest of the year unenthusiastically.


I have a few projects in the shop that I keep pushing into the New Year and not getting them done right now. I asked myself why. I discovered it was a way to have false security in the future. We are having a great year and so I start to question what next year will hold. Billing the job this year doesn’t seem like it will change much in the numbers for the year but would really give us a nice boost in the first 2 to 3 weeks of next year.

Maybe it’s a faith or confidence thing. Somehow I feel a sense of security knowing that I can do that work in January. What I’ve come to realize is that it’s okay having plenty of work in January but it’s pure foolishness pushing it into next year when it can be done this year.

Being Aggressive Enough

This really echoes the last two items but it is an area where I find myself slacking. In a sales approach I’ve discovered myself slowing down. Somehow I have all of next year for next year’s goals. I’m doing two things to combat this:

  1. Make very specific goals for the last week of the year.
  2. Have a plan formulated for the month of January

I know many people make goals at the beginning of the year. This is good. I recommend it. But I also highly recommend that the goal be broken into very specific action steps. Things to accomplish by today, this week, or by the end of the month. Or better yet, all of those time frames and more.


Am I advocating being a Scrooge and not enjoying the reason for the season? Nope. I’m checking to see if I’ve used the season as an excuse to be unenthusiastic about progress.

What will I do now that I have thought about it? I have a choice. Will I let the reasons to relax overtake the reasons to push for success? No, I will not sit by idle. As I wrote this article it prompted me to start a project I was unwisely sandbagging for January. I just called my father to come by and do some consultation on the building of this new mold. The project is now started and we are better off that for it.

You also have a choice. What will you do?

More posts on planning and taking action:





Pay Yourself First

by Dave Miller

Every month we chose who we will pay. The gas man. Rent. Groceries. Yet we forget about ourselves. There never seems to be any left for me. Why do we lower ourselves to such a degrading standard?

As a business owner if I were to decide to pay my employees last, only if there is money left, I would be jeopardizing my business. The employees would not be motivated. They would probably vacate. So in order to keep employees motivated, I pay them first. I would rather have a creditor calling than lose my employee’s loyalty.

So how can I avoid this lack of motivation in my life? I say set up a savings account and on every pay day put 10% in to the account. Before you pay the bills. This is your pay. I suggest you make this your investment account. A fund for your later use.

If you are saying you can’t afford to do this then change something. Cut spending. Increase your income. Whatever you do, do not say it’s not possible. Do you want to work for nothing all your life? I’m guessing your answer is no. Then stop the madness and get your act together. Adjust, adapt and move forward.

Your motivation will increase as you realize you are building something. It’s not about only surviving the day. There is a bigger picture out there. Pay yourself and you will find it.

To accumulate wealth you need to invest. Many times we look to outside methods to get rich quick. We are grasping for the big break. We heard of a product or method that promised big returns and we are intrigued. Be careful.

Invest in yourself. Every pay-check you get, look at it, decide who you are going to pay.
Hold yourself to a higher standard. Are you last?

Make yourself first by starting to invest yourself

Related Posts:

Published in: on June 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Kick in the Buttocks

by Dave Miller

 Every now and again my motivation wanes. Slowly the energy saps from my body. Booster cables are needed but I fail to assemble them. It happens ever so slowly, barely allowing the change to be noticed.

Sometimes you’re up
Sometimes you’re down
Sometimes fate can kick you around…..Life is a Corduroy Road
 – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

 This tends to happen in many areas. I go to work, possibly a few minutes late, and the motivation never rebounds. If I allow the writing urge to pass, it does. When I see my unfinished reading material lying there and I don’t pick it up, it soon ends on my pile with hundreds of other unread books. My blog fails to write itself. Being a father and husband requires time and energy. Real estate doesn’t fall into my lap until I am on the lookout for new deals.

Life continues. Whether I enjoy it or not, the elapsing moments do not cease.

The choice is mine; do I get motivated and enjoy life to the fullest? Or do I watch life pass with a blasé attitude?

Life without enjoyment isn’t really life, is it?

I choose life.

I will kick myself in the butt and change my attitude. The most important thing is whether this new motivation will stick. I have found one of the best ways to efficiently use my time and energy is to utilize lists. Another successful method is the verbalization of or making public the goal. I will start this morning by doing both.

Typically my Fridays are a catch-up and clean-up day. I’ll shuffle some paper work but never really finish it. I tell myself I’ll do a few important things that never seem to materialize. 

Today I will make a list. I will accomplish one important task and one semi-important one by lunch and then do the same in the afternoon. Also I will list two additional items of moderate significance. If time allows I will work on them.

The key will be to remember that the most important item stays the number one goal. Do not go down any bunny trails. Stay the course. 

List of forenoon tasks:

  1. Eat breakfast with my family.
  2. Write 300 words for my next blog.
  3. Finish and start a new mold.

After lunch list:

  1. Spend 1 hour with my speed reading course.
  2. Network with at least five real estate contacts

Additional tasks of moderate importance.

  • Compile a report for my banker; P&L, 2010 tax returns, etc.
  • Make a list of tasks for next week.

I have one task from each category on this list. By completing one task in each area my motivation will grow.

  • Family/Father/Husband
  • Work
  • Blog
  • Real Estate
  • Reading

 I truly believe the accomplishment of these five tasks will result in a bigger desire. By focusing on the important tasks I will not only complete them, I will feel good about the accomplishment.

Enthusiasm is mine. My spirit renewed.

Now this is life!

%d bloggers like this: