All success gurus will tell you that you need to focus on finding ways to achieve your dreams. Each guru will teach a system that has worked for them and their followers.

This being the end of the year, everyone (me included) is pumping out information about success and goal achievement.

Unfortunately, this is enough to make you feel really bad about yourself if you haven’t managed to achieve your goals for this year.

It feels even worse when you’ve tried different goals setting systems without success.

Does goal setting work for everyone?

Today, I ask you to consider something different. What if you aren’t the type of person to focus on your goals daily, weekly and monthly? What if having this daily focus actually makes you lose steam and you give up on your dreams?

These questions have run through my mind over the last 2 years as I worked with some clients who were finding it really hard to set and work on their goals. They were more of ‘big picture’ people who are able to identify what they want, get very clear about it, and achieve it without written plans.

As I evaluated each year with these clients, we were amazed to find that some of their goals had actually come through without much effort. These were goals they previously thought were unattainable within 12 months.

The one thing that was common with these clients is the fact that we touched base with all their goals every quarter. So I was aware of their progress throughout the year.

This intrigued me so I decide to experiment in my own business and see how it would work. I divided my goals into 2 categories:

  • Those I felt I could achieve.
  • The one goal I felt would be great to achieve, but I didn’t know how possible it was to do so.

I did my usual monthly, weekly and daily target setting with the first group. For the second group, I only created 3 to-dos per quarter. These to-do’s were more of check-in’s to see how far along I was with this goal.

The results…

The quarterly check in had much better results! It was as if I was somehow working on the goal in the background and things would fall in place at the right time.

I tested this system with my clients, and they too got almost similar results.

Achieve your dreams with this process

Over the last 2 years, I’ve tested a quarterly goal achievement process that has worked for everyone who tried it. Here’s a step by step outline of the process my clients and I use.

1. Set your goals

Create a list of the goals you want to achieve. Prioritize this list. #1 on the list is the goal that will have the biggest impact on your life if you achieve it in 12 months. This should also be a goal that you don’t think you can achieve.

2. Make your goal SMART

This step is optional, but it’s good practice for SMART goal setting as you turn your goal #1 into a SMART goal.

SMART stands for:






Click here for tips on SMART goal setting.

3. Create your to-do list

Unlike my other goal-setting tips, this time you will not focus on the process of achieving your goal. Instead, you focus on reminding yourself about the goal.

So your to-do list only has 3 things that you will do each quarter in relation to this goal.

4. Daydream…

Spend as much of your time as possible daydreaming or thinking about having achieved this goal. This is the most critical step in the process. Here’s what you do:

  • Create a mental image of finally being able to achieve your dream. If you can, turn this image into a mental movie.
  • Remove anything that you don’t like from your image or movie.
  • Amplify your goal using your talents.
  • Create a vision board or dream board with pictures, words and images of the dream. Jack Canfield also has detailed instructions on vision book creation. If you’re stuck, check out these vision board samples on Pinterest. I created my vision board using a Word document and added photos I love plus pictures from the internet.

Do you love writing? Write out your dream with crystal clear clarity and read this dream as many times as you want. Are you an artist? Create a painting or drawing of the achieved dream. Can you compose music? Create a song that outlines your dream.

5. Keep track of ideas

When thinking of the goal or visualizing it, focus on feeling great and not on the fact that it hasn’t arrived yet.

Carry a small notebook with you at all times and note down any ideas that come to your mind related to this goal.

The ideas could also come as dreams. When this happens, wake up and write them down no matter the time of night.

Other things will happen such as:

  • Synchronicity.
  • You overhear a comment from someone that sparks your interest.
  • Something in the news.
  • In a novel you’re reading or movie you’re watching.

Ideas and information will come from everywhere. Make sure you capture it immediately. Also, memory is tricky and you will forget, so write it down.

6. Live your life

Go about your life as usual. Just remember to check in with your goal and vision board each quarter so that you don’t forget the goal.

7. Take action

Take action on the hunches or ideas you get, even the ones that don’t seem to make sense. With each action you take, new information will reveal itself.

The more action you take, the more resources you’ll identify that will move forward towards your dream.

What next?

This process is by no means a passive process. In fact it takes a lot of work to:

  1. Get clarity about the goal.
  2. Create an empowering mental picture,  movie or vision board that feels just right.
  3. Take consistent action on hunches and ideas.

Going back to my clients who have achieved goals in this way, they all get astonished at the way their dreams unfold.

I too never cease to be amazed about the power of this process. As I write this article, I’ve just had another of my business dreams come true. I used this process on a 5-year goal, and it has matured 2 years ahead of time…with seemingly little effort on my part.

What’s your experience with impossible dreams? Have you tried this or a similar process to achieve your dreams? Please share your experience below.

(Image credit: David Castillo Dominici at Free Digital Photos)

    2 replies to "How to Achieve Your Dreams Without a Lengthy To-Do List"

    • Jane

      As I was going through u realized the dreams I have will only take God to intervene because with man they are impossible.

      • Caroline Gikonyo

        History is full of impossible dreams that were achieved in miraculous ways. The Bible is also full of similar examples. And I’m sure that you too have some experiences in your own life. I believe that any dream you have is given to you for a reason. Don’t give up on your dreams Jane. Pick one, pray about it, and take action. One step at a time.

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