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Making Dreams a Reality

How do you make big dreams a reality?

This was one of the big questions in my life when I was in my twenties and stumbled on a book that showed me how. That book was "Simple Steps to Impossible Dreams" by Steven K. Scott. I found this book while browsing at a local bookstore over twenty years ago. I want to look at the process in this book to continue our discussion on ways to set goals. In my last post, we looked at the SMART goal process and how I liked the straightforward method. With the dream conversion process, we reverse this as the goals become in-depth.

The Dream Conversion Process™ by Steven K. Scott requires a three-ring binder and tabs for your significant dreams. You start with the binder and tabbed section for each of your dreams. When I did this in my twenties, I used the roles I had defined for my life as my divider sections and then defined the primary Dreams in each of those roles. Then, you write out all the significant goals under that dream – what would you need to do to achieve that dream? In my case, I had several goals that would end up under one dream… Then, you follow that with steps under each of the goals, and finally, you write tasks under each of the steps.

It would look something like this: **To save on space and reading time, I have abbreviated these:

Dream: Become a professional fine artist who invokes a sense of wonder in the viewer.


1.    Learn painting techniques.

2.    Create a selection of work.

3.    Get accepted into a gallery.

4.    ETC…

Choose a goal to break down into steps:

Goal: Learn painting techniques.


1.    Choose a medium to work with.

2.    Take classes.

3.    Daily practice time is 30 minutes at minimum.

4.    Etc…

Finally, you move into taking steps down to tasks.

Step: Daily practice time


1.    Set a time and place to practice.

2.    Gather supplies.

3.    Set a timer – and start painting.

What are the benefits of such elaborate goal-setting processes?

I used this process often in my twenties and thirties and found the major benefit was that it increased clarity. By the end of this process, I had a vivid and obvious idea of where I was headed and how to get there. Along with the improved clarity, I acquired a set of actionable steps that took the idea to a solid plan. The final benefit I found with this goal-setting process was that I could see both the potential of the goal and all of the obstacles that were also a part of this process.

What are the drawbacks to this goal-setting process, and why did I abandon it?

The number one reason I gave up on this goal-setting process was that it took a lot of work to set up and write. I had a lot of research that would have to be done while I set the goal.

These goals turned into small books, and some took months to set. When one of the benefits of goal setting is taking immediate action, this process stops short.

Finally, another giant killer of this process was that the writing process was not conducive to addressing the goals and processes as they changed. I found that the task items would constantly shift as I moved forward, and I would need to adjust my plan. This became so time-consuming that I would reach the point where I didn't want to set the goal.

There is one place I still use this process, and that is in the writing of my High Hard Goals. These are significant goals attached to my mission in life, and I only have a few of them. I have also dropped the task part of this process and worked it into my daily planning.

So, there you have it – another goal-setting process to try out. I highly recommend getting the book "Simple Steps to Impossible Dreams" if you want to try it. The goal-setting process is a tiny section of the book, and there are many other extraordinary processes throughout the book to help achieve impossible dreams.

That is all for this post; I will walk through my most used goal-setting processes next time. NLP's outcome specification process. Until then – keep moving forward.



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