How does wishful thinking differ from goal manifestation?


I was recently asked this question by a mentor of mine who continuously challenges everyone around him to be their best and never stop learning. He wanted us to consider how someone can turn their dreams into a reality. 


What do the people who reach their goals do differently than those who don’t?


As I thought about this, I was reminded of a goal setting technique I learned a few years ago. It’s often referred to as setting SMART goals. These goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and grounded in time. This allows you to dream big and reach for the stars, but helps you focus on how you’re going to get there. 

Eating a healthful diet is a personal strength, but my Achilles heel has been maintaining regular movement in my life. So, I decided to stop engaging in wishful thinking and go big by setting a new goal. I want to run a half marathon. No, I’m not a runner. No, I’ve never ran past the 10km mark. No, I haven’t hit the pavement in years. I am starting from scratch, but I’m going to reach my goal by setting SMART steps:

Specific I am going to run my first half marathon. 

MeasurableI will run 3 times a week, increasing the distance over time.  

AttainableI have scheduled runs into my agenda to ensure I will have time to do so. Plus, I’ve donated my old sneakers and purchased a new pair of runners for training. 

Realistic - The distances start small (3km) and slowly increase over time (21km). 

Timely - I set the date! I will be running my first half marathon on Sunday, May 10th, 2015 in Disneyland. Conveniently, the place where dreams come true

In order to stay on track, part of my training includes powerful recovery foods. This is a seasonal smoothie bowl that provides complex carbohydrates, good quality protein, and healthy fats to refuel my body after a long run. 

Cranberry Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl Ingredients:

1 cup almond milk

1 cup frozen cranberries

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup pecans

1 frozen banana

2 medjool dates, pitted & soaked

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of cloves


Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Top with bee pollen, shaved cranberries, crushed pecans, or shredded coconut before serving. 


This goal is exciting, it’s a challenge, and I’m nervously announcing to everyone that I am now accountable for making this run happen and I want YOU to dream big too.

What do you want to do in the next week, 6 months, or year? How are you going to get there, how will you make it happen? What will you do to turn wishful thinking into tangible next steps?