You need a dream and a plan

There are two things that we all need to be successful in life: a dream and a plan. Martin Luther King is famous for his dream, but he also had a plan that brought it into being.

Our society tells people from a young age to think big and chase your dreams. There is nothing wrong with this of itself, but the problem is that people do not find it difficult to dream. They do, however, struggle to translate their dreams into reality without a plan.

You cannot become debt-free without a savings plan; you cannot lose weight without a plan that includes the correct diet and exercise. Wishful thinking simply isn’t enough. Too many people do not plan because they are too in love with the dream. The dream is attractive and motivating, the plan is dull and repetitive.

Don’t set goals; stack habits

The key to overcoming this difficulty is perhaps in reimagining what a plan looks like. Setting goals or targets just doesn’t work. How many times have you broken your New Year’s resolution before you’re even halfway through January? A far better solution is to stack simple, daily good habits on top of one another.

A habit is anything you repeatedly do. Habits can be good, like cleaning your teeth, and they can be bad, like picking your nose. But always, you start out by forming the habit, with a simple repeated action, and then the habit forms you. Eventually, the force of the habit will become unstoppable in your life. The Biblical example of Daniel is useful here: Even under the threat of death in Babylon, nothing could shake him from going to his room 3 times a day, throwing the shutters of his window open, facing Jerusalem, and praying.

At our St Christopher’s Youth Church, we want our young people to dream big, (Bishop Jill encouraged us in this at our anniversary service only last week); but we also want them to cultivate Godly habits that will become so powerful that, just like Daniel in the Bible, they will steamroll through any opposition to the realisation of that plan in their lives. Habits such as daily prayer and Bible reading, staying plugged in to a community of believers, and practically helping those around us, as we did last week at Burnley’s community grocery, are all actively encouraged. So may we all continue to dream Godly dreams, but may we also find the courage and strength and grow Godly habits that make those dreams a reality for the benefit of everyone.

“Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:25

Mr Pountain
Head of Religious Education/Director of Spirituality