From Dreams to Goals

April 20th, 2016

Dreams to Goals

Jaminie Hilton, RCC

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for? 

Robert Browning

You need dreams. If you don’t have dreams, how will you realize them?

Is it a challenge to remain open to realizing your dreams? Does it help to view them as goals?

You can morph your dreams into resolutions, and your resolutions into GOALS. Resolutions are plans you tell yourself and your friends you are going to accomplish. Then you might give up and forget about them when the first flush of adrenaline leaves your system. Goals are different from resolutions.

Goals are concrete and attainable, they are thought out and written down. Here are a few ways I’ve found help with both goal setting and goal achieving.

Dream to Goal

Let’s use art as an example; Painting, drawing, sculpture. You choose one for this section, or keep your own dream in mind.

The challenge is believing in yourself. While we move on to goals, keep your dream in view, in your mind’s eye.

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.


Start with a dream. You’ve always wanted to paint, but so many things get in the way. You may not feel that you have choices, but you do.

You may not have a concrete goal when you think of painting, but you can focus on the process. You're in front of the canvas. That’s enough. Allow yourself to visualize the painting, or the type of painting. Landscape? From a photo? Still life with an object on a table in front of you? Some goals are easier to measure, but all are measurable.

Someday to Organization

What do you need to get started? Supplies? If you know what they are, make a list, search your attic or basement or the studio you used to use. Take inventory. What do you have that you can still use? What do you need? Make a list, go shopping, borrow from friends.


First – get past the obstacles:

"But I don’t have the Courage."

Remember the cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz? Even the wizard didn’t have magic. The lion became courageous because, on some level, he chose to. You can choose to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Fears: what are you afraid of?

Predicting the outcome:

Look at your fears. Notice them. It’s important to know what they are so you can set them aside and keep drawing, NOT eat that snack, do dishes, play with the cat, watch a soap or go out for coffee. Again.

“My paintings won’t be any good. They’ll be terrible. Then I’ll really know I’m no artist.”

Really? You’ll know that after one try? And then what?

“I’ll give up.” And then you won’t be drawing, or painting or sculpting. How will that be different from now when you haven’t started? It won’t. Nothing will have changed.

“They’ll be okay but then I have to do something with them and I could never take them to a gallery.”

            Slow down. That’s really getting ahead of yourself. You could start by taking the pressure off and enjoying the process.

I don’t have time.

Does time slip away from you amid all the other business you have to take care of, chores and obligations you juggle?

If you’ve been thinking, “Someday I’ll set up a space, take a class or lesson, buy some supplies, find my old easel and brushes . . .”

Only you know how long you’ve been thinking this, how important it is to you, or you and anyone you’ve shared this with. Only you can make someday arrive.

To do that thing that nurtures your creative muse, or trail blaze by starting your own business – whatever it is you long to do but haven’t - you need to organize your time. When is the best time slot to focus on your goal? Morning, afternoon or evening? Weekdays when others are working and you don’t have social obligations or temptations? Or weekends when you have free time?

Choose one and put it in your calendar. Next Saturday afternoon. There. Done. Committed to your schedule. Now, look forward to it. Are you nervous? Afraid to admit how badly you want to paint, (or exercise, go for a hike, learn an instrument, go out and do something where you’ll meet new people?)

Just notice that anxiety. It’s there, that’s okay. You’re going to pursue your dream anyway.


Jaminie Hilton is a registered clinical counsellor in private practise in Vancouver working with adults, couples, and children aged nine and up. Her focus is on guiding clients to connect with their strengths, and to gain tools to help them live with fewer fears and more happiness.

Jaminie has worked in a variety of settings including crisis centres, drug and alcohol programs, and Family Services in Vancouver. She has taught personal development classes and facilitated hundreds of groups.


Jaminie Hilton
Burrard at Nelson , Vancouver, V6Z 2R4

Disclaimer: CounsellingBC does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any informational content contained within any of the individual blogs on this website. All counsellors, psychologists and other professionals are asked to ensure that their sources and their information are reliable. Ultimately any questions or concerns about the content contained in their blog can be addressed to them individually via the link to their listing.