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Dave Ramsey: Put Your Dreams to Work to Build Wealth

How to Move from a Dream to Real Success

I’ve been setting goals since I was a kid—it wasn’t an
option at our house. My parents would make me
sit down and write out what I wanted to achieve
in different areas of my life. Throughout the
years, I’ve discovered that the people who win in
life always have goals. I’ve met many millionaires, even
billionaires, and I’ve seldom spoken with any who got to
where they are without setting goals. Without goals, it’s
hard to know what you’re aiming at.

All goals begin with a dream. Now it’s good to have a dream,
but I meet a lot of people who have been praying about their
dream for 20 years and have done nothing about it. Everybody
has a great idea. But people who put their great ideas to work
are the ones who end up being millionaires.

The next step for your dream is to take it from the dream
stage, which is a generalized overall concept, down to a vision.
Next, to determine where the finish line is, break your vision
down into specific goals.

For your vision and goals to have long-term positive impact,
they must include several areas of your life. You must have
career goals, financial goals, spiritual goals, physical goals,
intellectual goals, family goals and social goals. If you leave one
of these areas out, you have what’s known as a fl at tire. Your life
will be out of balance and the ride won’t be as smooth.

In order for your goals to work, they must:

Be Specific. If you are going to win, your goals have to
be specific. Do not have general concepts. Break everything
down and get defined. It’s not specific enough if
you can’t tell it occurred.

Be Measurable. It’s easy to set measurable and quantifiable
goals in areas like sales. Things that are more cultural
in your life, where you’re shifting philosophy in your
career or family, are a little harder to measure, but there
are ways. Create a baseline and develop a process to measure
where you are now and where you are going from there.

Be Yours. We are forever, in our culture, letting someone
else set our goals. You cannot let someone else set
your goals for you. The goals have to be your goals—
not your boss’s, not your spouse’s and not the
person who came before you. They’re yours and you
have to have ownership in them or you won’t execute
them. There is no energy in other people’s goals. There is only
energy in what is inside of you.

Have a Time Limit. How much time do you have to
make it happen? If you don’t set a time limit, you will
not push yourself. When you have a time limit you
stay focused and on track.

Be in Writing. When you write these things down,
they’re dangerous. A written goal is much more
powerful than a goal you simply set in your head
and don’t write down to hold yourself accountable.
So, be careful what you write down because there
is a good chance it will happen.

Don’t get discouraged if your goals aren’t accomplished in the
exact way and down to the second according to your original
plan. Be sure to talk with those around you who have achieved
great goals they set for themselves. Find out what they did to
overcome their intimidating obstacles and what they learned
throughout the process. Some flexibility is definitely needed,
but as long as you are focused on the end goal and are taking
proactive steps toward accomplishing it, you are an achiever
and on your way to great things.

Dave Ramsey is a syndicated radio talk show host, best-selling author
and the creator of EntreLeadership Master Series and EntreLeadership
One Day. For more information, visit

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