While goals are actionable and measurable with specific time frames, aspirations are the things that you want – like financial security and losing weight.
When you think about your aspirations, it’s your time to daydream to be able to think about all the things you want and only admit in your wildest, craziest dreams. You’re not looking to produce any tangible results. You’re just daydreaming.
A goal is something that you plan to accomplish within a specific period of time. Goals are concrete.
Aspirations are a strong desire to achieve something. They are more abstract and less measurable. Your deepest desires. Even if we don’t quite make it, we’re still moving forward. Aiming for something so high that fills a mental and emotional necessity and gives us the purpose of why we do what we do or want what we want.
They keep us moving in our day-to-day daily experiences. Aspirations give us hope.
But without a plan followed by effort and commitment, aspirations are rarely achieved.
You might have aspirations you aren’t even aware of. For example, are you working hard to create a career in the hopes of giving your family a better life filled with opportunity? Do you feel driven to work too hard? Ask yourself why you’re working so hard.
Take some time to think about the kind of person you want to be.
It doesn’t have to be a “Reach for the Stars” aspiration. What you aspire to do may not seem like a big deal to others but it’s really important to you. Aspiration should, however, reflect what we want. When you have a compelling reason to do something, your level of commitment and attention is much greater than when they are just giving some unexplained goal to achieve.
I am a goal-oriented person. Meaning, I like to know exactly where I’m going and what I need to do in order to get there.
People who are determined don’t find success by accident.
Instead they have trained themselves to always think and troubleshoot before they undertake projects or pursue specific causes.
They’ve created resources, including many ways to cope with uncertainty and negativity, goal-setting strategies and alternative courses of action when they run into roadblocks and face challenges. They don’t quit, they just find a new approach to reaching their goals.
If you find your original goal is unattainable for you even, after breaking it down into smaller steps like we talked about here, then evaluate and set a new goal that is better for you. Or figure out how to get the extra help you need to reach your original goal.
Aspirations defy logic.
You may not see the specific task to achieve it. You just know it’s important to you and that you want to find a way to reach it. When you can envision what would make you happy, you can begin to see more clearly what you want to do and have. Then you can begin to turn these aspirations into a purpose or goals. Set specific steps that you can take to get what you want for less effort than if you were completely unaware of what your purpose was.
Behaviors consistent with your purpose will require less effort to pursue than if you were completely unaware of what your purpose is.
A good way to do this is to identify one to three things that you want to improve in your life. Then you set the goals to make it happen. When you begin to set these goals, you are taking the first step into aligning in your aspirations and turning your dreams into a reality.
Jodi Picoult in Handle With Care wrote,
“I wondered about the explorers who sailed their ships to the end of the world. How terrified they must have been when they risked falling over the edge. How amazed to discover instead places they had only seen in their dreams”.
Which of your aspirations do you need change into goals?
Goals with aspirational qualities are ones that get people excited about doing something to achieve a significant achievement.
● Is your aspiration beneficial to you?
● Is it sustainable?
● Is it feasible?
How do you turn aspirations into goals?
Begin with the end in mind. Create a picture in your mind by which you examine everything in your life. What it means to you. What really matters to you. By keeping the end in mind, you will ensure that whatever you do will align with your overall purpose.
Visualization is what allows us to prepare an idea. Even though it’s just an idea, It helps you to see different possibilities, and how different decisions can lead to different outcomes.
It uses the power of imagination to help you make changes in your life and drive you towards your purpose. It helps you to shape your character, circumstances, and habits, as well as to attract opportunities and the right people into your life.
Here’s how to align your aspirations:
Write down the things in your life that are important to you.
✨ What are you good at?
✨ What things do you enjoy?
✨ What things don’t you enjoy?
✨ Three to five years from now, what do you want to be doing?
✨ What would you have liked to achieve?
As Stephen Covey said in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,
“All things are created twice. First mentally, then physically. The key to creativity is to begin with the end in mind, with a vision and a blueprint of the desired results”.