Why Every Goal Needs a Dream Attached to It

girl playing acoustic guitar

girl playing acoustic guitar

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An earlier version of this OpEd featured in Charlotte Yates’ Song Doctor newsletter.

So here’s June and we’re now firmly into the second quarter for 2021. That felt quick.  While I’m not a particular fan of New Years resolutions, I think checking in with where you’re at in your own dreamscape is valuable.

Because while clearly articulated goals — especially smart and actionable goals — sure help getting stuff done, it’s your dreams that bring the magic!

Dreams let you run riot in your imagination, creating all sorts of fantastic possibilities. In your wildest dreams, you can be or do anything you want. You can ask for whatever you want. You can ask “what if.”

Dreams completely change your everyday pace and perspective. You can try things on for size, big or small, with no strings attached. They really are free. It costs you absolutely nothing to dream. And no one need know about them except you.

Dreams have an interesting relationship with goals, their more prosaic yet practical cousins! Goals without dreams can thus be a little dry and dusty, more raspberry cordial than sparkling burgundy. Dreams widen your horizons while goals have the potential to settle for “this’ll do.”

Because dreams are limitless, they help you create a better vision for your life or your way of life. They let you push boundaries and test your thermostat thinking. Dreams help you turn that mother up!

While goals can be the tactician allowing you to draft the most intricate day planners and morning rituals, it’s the dreams you want to chase that bring fuel to the fire.

And that fuel is a heady mix of excitement and hope, all bundled together. It’s presented in creativity as part of intrinsic motivation and as part of you feeling “right” about the direction you’re headed. You want it well-pumped!

So this summer, check in with your dreams — do they light you up? Do they wake you up? Are you running as fast as you can after them?

Or are you squashing them in a cupboard just because you have to get a bit too goal-ly, to make them come true? If so, cut it out! Choose to chase your dreams and let your goals figure out the details (that’s what they’re here for).

Charlotte Yates is a Soundfly Mentor. Click here to work with her to achieve your next musical goal in song and lyric writing.

Soundfly’s community of mentors can help you set the right goals, pave the right path toward success, and stick to schedules and routines that you develop together, so you improve every step of the way. Tell us what you’re working on, and we’ll find the right mentor for you! 

Ryan Lott: Designing Sample-Based Instruments


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