The Pineywoods Manifesto: Dream, Goals, and Plans

I’m a product of my culture, its history, and the wonderful folks who raised me in a place called Dry Creek. (Curt with his Mom, Mary Iles. Circa 2010. Painting in background: “Doten at the Old House” by Bill Iles.)

A word from Curt

We continue with chapters from our upcoming summer book, The Pineywoods Manifesto. It’s written for my grandson about the values and priorities of the unique culture of western Louisiana. Our plan is to release end at summer’s end as an e-book and Audible audiobook. If there is enough interest, we’ll then print it in paperwork.

You can read the previous eighteen chapters at our website,

Scroll down to read today’s chapter, “Dreams, Goals, and Plans.”

If you have ideas on chapters and values essential for young people, send your ideas and quotes to me.



Creekbank Book Sale through Independence Day!

All single books are on sale for $10 plus $5 shipping.

All book sets/collections will be signed and mailed with no shipping costs.

Click on our Book Table image below to view all of our book covers.


Book covers of our 13 books: As the Crow Flies/A Good Place/The Wayfaring Stranger/A Spent Bullet/Deep Roots/Christmas Jelly/Trampled Grass/Uncle Sam: A Horse's Tale/The Mockingbird's Song/Stories from the Creekbank/The Old House/Wind in the Pines/Hearts across the Water
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Dreams, Goals, and Plans”    From The Pineywoods Manifesto by Curt Iles   copyright 2018


Your dream can’t come true unless you dream it.

  Reba McEntire

I’m a believer in dreams.

Not necessarily that what we dream during sleep has any meaning, although I think that is possible. In my lifetime, I’d had several nighttime dreams that either comforted, directed me, or gave me peace for my journey

I’m referring to dreams of accomplishment.  The inner journey we all have of what we’d like to do, whom we’d like to become, where we’d like to go.

A person without dreams and aspirations for the future is nearly dead. That’s called existing, and it’s a hecka lot different from the dream-filled life.

However, many of the dreams we have for ourselves won’t come true. No one accomplishes everything we wish. I often think of the excellent quote:

“We can have anything we want, but we cannot have everything we want.”

To really accomplish our dreams, we must put feet on them.  Go to work on moving towards that dream. Break it down into measurable chunks.

When we do that, a dream can become a goal.

Emmitt Smith, one of the NFL’s greatest running backs wrote,

“When it’s in your head, it’s just a dream.

When you write it down, it becomes a goal.”


That’s why it is so powerful to put our dreams on paper.

That’s when our dream takes on flesh and starts moving toward fruition.

It’s a scary thing to write down our goals, even if we’re the only one to see it.

To put it to paper creates an accountability to yourself.

We know that we’ll probably see that hand-written or typed goal again and again.

In fact, that is the power of written goals.

I put them in my journal on the front page.

When I open my journal, I’m forced to look at the goals and priorities I’ve set for myself.

If you’re really committed to these goals, you’ll eventually share them with others.

It doesn’t have to be the entire world or on social media, but when you share your goals with others, it becomes difficult to ignore them or emotionally sweep them under the rug.

There are dreams.

Then, there are goals.

And finally, there is planning.

Planning is the process of breaking your goals down into measurable and attainable blocks. Most large dreams contain large goals and can seem overwhelming. When we break them down into small segments with an end date for completion, the wheels start rolling.

We’ve now got a plan and plans are how things get done.

Once again, putting your plans on paper is essential.

Because our goals and dreams may change, so will our plans.

There’s no shame in adjusting or even changing our goals.

So goals that seemed so important five years ago may no longer even be important.

That’s when you erase them, mark through them, and update your goals.

My goals at sixty-two are so different than they were at twenty-two.  I’m no longer the same person and my aspirations have changed.  The basic rock-solid values and driving priorities of my life remain as deeply rooted as ever, but the limbs and trunk of the tree have changed.

That’s good.

It’s called personal growth.

It’s part of the process we’ll discuss further in another chapter: that of being a life-long learner.

I’m now scribbling in Journal #92.  The previous ninety-one are shelved in my office closet. They are labeled and I can pull any one from over five decades of journaling. I’m amazed as I look back at those older journals.  My method of journaling since the computer age is much different. My goals were much different as a younger man. Even my handwriting seems strange to how I write today.

However, the person I am today is due to years of the discipline of writing goals.  Being a high tech redneck, I work hard to stay on top of every digital means of living and planning effectively. I use Wunderlist, Evernote, and Trello, among other apps to plan my life and goals.

But there is something magical and powerful in putting pen to paper and recording our goals and subsequent plans.

There are dreams. We all have them, and that is good.

Then there are written goals.  They operate at a high altitude and many folks aren’t willing to make the climb and effort.

Fewer still will do the mental homework of breaking those goals down into manageable plans.

Sadly, only high achievers will return to these goals and plans, constantly tweaking them and moving toward the summit where the view is best.

And I’ve observed those at the summit then write down a whole new set of goals and move on along the journey called personal growth.

Dream big.

Set and record high Goals.

Have daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly Goal and Plan Reviews on your calendar to review your goals and look in the mirror as to your direction toward the person you want to become.


Michael Hyatt, my favorite productivity guru, writes often about the value of handwritten note-taking and goal-setting. David Allen, who rose to fame with his Get Things Done books and methods, teaches a simple method of folders and calendars to set our goals and direct our lives.

I encourage you to study both of these men as well as other proactive thinkers they mention in their blogs and books.

If you enjoyed this blog post, you can read more at

Additionally, you can order any of our books at our Creekbank Book Table. 

Book covers of our 13 books: As the Crow Flies/A Good Place/The Wayfaring Stranger/A Spent Bullet/Deep Roots/Christmas Jelly/Trampled Grass/Uncle Sam: A Horse's Tale/The Mockingbird's Song/Stories from the Creekbank/The Old House/Wind in the Pines/Hearts across the Water
Visit our Book Table at

Reminder: Please share this blog post with your friends. Word of Mouth is our greatest friend at Creekbank Stories.

Also, take time now to order several books while they are at $10.  You can fill out your Creekbank collection, as well as buy personally signed copies as birthday and anniversary gifts.

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