7 unique habits of people who turn their dreams into reality, according to psychology

Everyone can dream, but not everyone goes after what they want.

More often than not, we convince ourselves that our dreams are too outlandish, too difficult to implement, or downright impossible.

We settle for less, lying to ourselves that less is good enough.

However, there are a select few who not only craft a vision for their ideal life but actually make it happen.

What’s their secret?

Here are 7 unique habits of people who turn their dreams into reality, according to psychology.

It’s never too late to follow in their footsteps.

1) They set SMART goals

People who achieve their dreams have a clear idea of what they want, as well as a blueprint for how to achieve it.

If your goals are vague, you’re more likely to lose motivation or get distracted along the way.

For instance, let’s say you want to boost your financial health.

Setting a goal like “earn more money” likely won’t get you far.

There’s no urgency, no deadline, no pressure to get started, let alone follow through.

Meanwhile, a goal like “increase my income by 20% in the next six months” instantly seems less daunting and more attainable.

According to psychology, goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Once you have your goal, sit down and create a detailed plan that outlines each step necessary to achieve it.

It should include short-term and long-term objectives, timelines, and milestones to track progress.

This plan will act as a roadmap, providing direction and helping you prioritize tasks effectively.

You’re already halfway there.

2) They cultivate a growth mindset

People who turn their dreams into reality possess a growth mindset.

Introduced by psychologist Carol Dweck, the concept of a growth mindset refers to the belief that you can develop your abilities and intelligence through hard work.

In other words, your skills and smarts aren’t limited and can’t plateau.

As long as you keep learning, you can unlock new abilities and improve existing ones.

Individuals with a growth mindset stand out from the crowd:

  • They see challenges as chances to collect new skills, a perspective that keeps them moving forward when the journey gets tough
  • They interpret constructive criticism as valuable feedback rather than a personal attack
  • They are perpetually looking for ways to learn and improve
  • They are genuinely interested in their pursuits and driven by a desire to grow

Many people believe you stop learning once you finish school and get a steady job.

Don’t be one of them.

3) They practice self-discipline

People who turn their dreams into reality rely on self-discipline rather than motivation.

While motivation is fleeting, self-discipline provides a reliable foundation for sustained progress.

I’m not a big fan of exercise, so I’m always looking for easy ways to incorporate it into my life.

I’ve tried going to the gym and sticking to workout programs, but I lose motivation after a month or two.

The only consistent form of exercise I can stick to, I found, is walking. And that’s because I’ve made it a habit.

I go on a daily long walk while listening to a podcast or audiobook, usually after breakfast.

I do it regardless of the weather or my mood.

If I’m sick or have other commitments, I can skip my daily walk, but never for two days in a row, or I lose momentum.

Self-discipline ensures that you take consistent action toward your goals and create structured routines and habits that enable you to do so.

It helps you maintain focus, avoid procrastination, and build resilience.

In short, it’s key to building the kind of life you want.

4) They maintain a positive outlook

Maintaining a positive outlook is crucial in achieving your dreams, according to psychology.

It’s no secret that your mindset influences your mental state and affects your behavior.

When you believe that your dreams are possible, you’re more likely to locate the drive to chase after what you want.

Additionally, optimistic folks bounce back quickly after setbacks, learn from mistakes, and continue pursuing their dreams with renewed vigor.

The last time I was laid off from a project I was passionate about, I felt bad for myself and sulked for a couple of weeks, catastrophizing my circumstances.

I looked for work but wasn’t particularly excited about anything. I didn’t manage to land any fruitful opportunities during what I now refer to as my mourning period.

Once I reframed losing the gig as a chance to expand my horizons and find something better, I regained my mojo.

I reached out to my network, expanded my search, and got a position I immediately fell in love with. All in a matter of days.

Whenever you’re in a bad place, remind yourself that you never know what’s waiting for you just around the corner.

Practice gratitude, invest in yourself, and believe that the universe is working to your advantage.

It’s what people who turn their dreams into reality do.

5) They adapt

pic2606 7 unique habits of people who turn their dreams into reality, according to psychology

People who achieve their dreams can adapt their plans in response to changing circumstances.

According to psychology, an essential strategy to achieving your dreams isn’t to “never give up.” It’s to recognize when it may be time to pivot.

I wanted to become a journalist growing up, and I got a job in the field right out of college.

A few years in I realized that the career I’ve chosen wasn’t for me. I loved the writing part. The chasing stories part, not so much.

For a long time, I didn’t know what to do. But I eventually decided that the only bad thing I could do was to stay in a position that wasn’t fulfilling anymore.

So, I found a job as a content creator with a marketing agency.

While working there, I started to freelance on the side. I quickly figured out that was something I wanted to continue with moving forward, in a full-time capacity.

Setting my own hours and working on challenging projects – for me, it was the stuff of dreams.

Fast-forward a few months and I made it happen.

If I had stubbornly clung to my goal of being a journalist, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Every now and then, take time to reflect on your goals and see if you need to make adjustments.

I’m grateful I stayed flexible.

Perhaps you will, too.

6) They build a support network

Another habit of people who turn their dreams into reality?

They ask for help.

According to psychology, having support improves your chances of seeing your goals come true.

Emotional support from loved ones reduces stress, which can be a major barrier to achieving what you want.

When you lose motivation, a word of encouragement from a friend can go a long way toward helping you get back on your feet.

Knowing there are people who have your back keeps you accountable on your journey to success and gives you a much-needed confidence boost.

Moreover, having a sturdy support system also ensures you can rely on practical support from those closest to you.

If you want to start a side hustle, for instance, it helps to have a partner who can pick up the slack around the house as you focus on developing your idea.

If you want to score a promotion at work, a mentor can advise you on how to put together the best strategy to dazzle your managers.

You get the idea.

7) They take care of themselves

Finally, people who turn their dreams into reality prioritize self-care every step of the way.

You can’t get where you want to go if you neglect your physical or mental health.

Sooner or later, you’ll be subjected to burnout and anxiety.

Self-care is non-negotiable for sustaining the energy, focus, and resilience needed to achieve long-term goals, according to psychology.

As tempting as it might be to dive head-first into your next endeavor and devote every free second to making it a success, you don’t have unlimited energy.

Get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet, and move your body on a regular basis.

More importantly, take the occasional break.

You won’t make it to the finish line unless you pace yourself.

Final thoughts

Chasing your dreams takes discipline, faith, and perseverance.

Start by figuring out how you want your life to look like, and implement the habits above to see your vision come true.

While obstacles and moments of self-doubt may be part of the journey, we all have the capacity to fulfill our wildest aspirations.

Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. 


Picture of Alexandra Plesa

Alexandra Plesa

Alexandra Pleșa is a freelance writer obsessed with television, self-development, and thriller books. Former journalist, current pop culture junkie. Follow her on Twitter: @alexandraplesa

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