Goals, Dreams, and Deadlines

What are your dreams for 2017?

What are your goals?

Do you have a plan to accomplish them?

A goal is a dream with a deadline
~ Napoleon Hill

I love that quote because there’s a lot of truth in those eight words.

Here are three tips that may help you on the path to making your dreams come true.

1. Give yourself a deadline.

Without a deadline, it can become easy to allow a dream to float out there in the sea of possibilities and become something that may happen one day. 

2. Make sure your deadlines are reasonable. 

If our goals are impossible to reach within a short amount of time, we need to take a serious look at what we CAN do to move closer to making our visions realities. Otherwise, it’s too easy to feel overwhelmed and then become paralyzed.

For instance . . . my husband, Sonny, and I have three house projects that we have committed to finishing by the end of 2017. We want to update two bathrooms and finish out the wood floors on the first floor. He and I enjoy working on renovations. But, we can both stress out and feel overwhelmed when we embrace the big picture and feel like we have to get everything done at once. We’ve learned this about ourselves, so we’re approaching these transformations differently than we have in the past.

We’ve broken the work into three jobs. The upstairs guest bathroom will get done before family visits from out-of-state in March, and we can do most of the needed work ourselves. The wood floors will come next, and the master bath—which will be gutted, then finished by professionals—will be completed before the end of the year.

3. Be willing to change your deadline.

That statement sounds a bit contrary to what I’ve been encouraging, doesn’t it? But when dealing with reality, we have to accept that sometimes life steps in.  We’re not totally in control of what happens every minute of every day. Unexpected events may stand in the way of reaching our goals.

Health concerns—ours or those of our family—may require time and attention. Financial struggles, family issues, and even just trying to do the impossible can make us feel discouraged, or that we’ve failed, if we don’t meet specific goals we’ve worked so hard to reach. It’s important to give ourselves the freedom to move a deadline.

One of my goals for 2016 was to have all three books in my historical romance series published by the end of the year. It became apparent that although the first two novels could be made available, there was no way that I could have the third ready to release in that time frame. 

Although a bit disappointing, I realized that pushing myself to work harder and longer hours than what I was already doing would be dangerous to my physical, mental, and emotional health. It would also be detrimental to my relationships. It wasn’t worth taking those risks in order to reach a self-imposed deadline. I revamped the schedule for the third book, set the manuscript aside, celebrated reaching my dream of being published in 2016, and enjoyed my family and the holidays.

So . . . let’s take a serious look at our goals for 2017, break the steps into doable pieces, set some deadlines … and if necessary, give ourselves a little grace.

What are your dreams for 2017?
What are your goals?
Do you have a plan to accomplish them?



  1. I have goals and dreams for 2017, but I don't want to share them. I like the points that you made as far as how to make a goal or dream come true. You do have to do it in small steps and in my case, a lot of prayer.

    1. Yes, Mrs. Boone! Prayer is definitely an important part for me too.


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