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How to Turn Wishes into Plans

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

It is natural to want things and to engage in the dreamy exercise of wishing for them. Yet, wishes seldom would wind up turning into results.

To achieve wishes or dreams requires a somewhat firm goal and actionable plans that make success possible. There are two key elements here: the somewhat firm goal and actionable plans. Understanding each is crucial to turning wishes into plans.

What is a somewhat firm goal?

A goal is something that you strive for, something you deem desirable and worth working to achieve. It can be a material goal, as in saving up enough money to live comfortably, or buying a house, or having children. It can be an emotional goal, as in feeling a sense of self-fulfillment and living a life of purpose.

The reason the words “somewhat firm” are placed before goal is that goals are fluid, need to evolve and change and should never be regarded as rigid or fixed.

If there is no room for movement, if you cannot alter your goal to accommodate additional information or areas of interest and opportunity that come your way, you’ll never know if making any adjustments would have resulted in greater happiness or fulfillment.

On the other hand, remaining flexible and open to change will allow greater freedom to express yourself, follow the roads you want to take and achieve the most out of your goals.

Actionable plans: What are they and how do you create them?

As to actionable plans, these are the second most important part of turning wishes into plans. A wish is just that: a wish.

When you wish, whether it’s to yourself, upon a star, or telling someone else about it, you’re expressing a desire for something, quite possibly something you believe you haven’t got a chance of ever attaining.

You could wish to win the Lotto and play occasionally or regularly, knowing the odds are against you but wishing nonetheless to be the recipient of that jackpot. You could say that buying Lotto tickets is an actionable plan, but it doesn’t decrease the odds. Your action is still just a wish.

Going back to the wish to own your own house and turning that wish into a plan, there are several actions you can take to flesh out that plan.

These include:

  • Taking stock of your credit rating and making the necessary changes to improve it so that you can qualify for a mortgage at a good interest rate
  • Saving money for a down payment, closing costs, and any improvements you might want to make in the home after you buy it
  • Constructing a schedule and timetable
  • Looking for properties in your price range
  • Finding a realtor
  • Going to see homes for sale
  • Making an offer
  • Arranging for movers to move you in once you close the sale

Actionable plans involve a step-by-step process that you carefully navigate. This doesn’t mean that all plans go smoothly. Most seldom do, even those strategically mapped out well ahead of time.

Be prepared for twists and turns, unexpected delays and obstacles, as well as opportunities that may crop up.

Using the example of buying a house, perhaps the owners of the home you want reject your bid. You can make a counter offer and go back and forth this way until the owners either accept your final bid or not.

Then, your choice is to give up or look for another home in your price range that satisfies your needs.

It may take longer to achieve your goal, but you have your actionable plans and all you need to follow through is the determination to achieve your goal.

How to Turn Wishes into Plans

Suzanne Kane

Suzanne Kane is a Los Angeles-based writer, blogger and editor. Passionate about helping others live a vibrant and purposeful life, she writes daily for her website, She is a regular contributor to Psych Central. You can reach her at

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APA Reference
Kane, S. (2018). How to Turn Wishes into Plans. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 27, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 19 Jun 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.