A goal without a plan is a dream. We all have dreams… But how many of them turn into reality? That’s right, unless it’s planned, it’s unlikely to happen. You could argue they could come true on their own, but I wouldn’t rely on luck too much these days. I’m a big dreamer myself, I regularly daydream about many things: a future promotion, a future celebration, a future success of any sort… I think the main thing is actually to be aware you need to turn these dreams into goals in order to make them happen. One of my dreams was to get healthier and feel great in my own skin. It took me some time to put a solid plan in motion. But once I started, I became unstoppable because I was focused. I lost 25 kg in less than 8 months and achieved my goal.
The difference between dreams and goals
A dream is something that inspires you. It’s something created from your imagination, most of the time related to the future. A dream is like a wish, or a hope something will happen someday. You can be or achieve anything in your dreams, nothing is impossible in your mind.
A goal brings you down to reality. It’s something tangible and concrete, with a plan to make it happen. Its costs you time and energy, your imagination won’t be enough. The difference seems super clear! But then why are they often confused with one another?
This is key to understand why so many people never accomplish their dreams. They just forget to set clear goals for themselves. How to make the distinction between dreams and goals:
- Dreams allow you to create whatever your mind wants, regardless of what’s actually possible
- Dreams give you an easy escape from the real world, instantly
- Because dreams are imaginary, they don’t produce tangible results
- Goals require you to take action, in a specific and consistent way
- Goals have deadlines and they require hard work
- Because goals are based on reality, they produce results
So how do you make sure a dream can be turned into a goal, and then into a reality? Reaching a goal is a matter of effort and focus, it’s a conscious decision. Below the well-known S.M.A.R.T. technique in order to set the right goals:
- Specific – Set up a nice, firm and objective goal that is unambiguous in nature.
- Measurable – If you can measure it, you can easily see if you’re on track or if you need to adjust your plan.
- Attainable – Take into account your current situation and set realistic expectations for yourself. If it helps, break down your goal into smaller ones!
- Relevant – Don’t ignore the social conditions and current events in your life which may go against your goal. It will save you a lot of frustration.
- Time-based – This is when you want to achieve your goal by, like your own time limit.
Are you more of a dreamer or a go-getter?
You’re a dreamer if you:
- Use the word “someday” rather than more specific terms
- Allow yourself to go on exciting adventures when you close your eyes
- Prefer getting lost in your imagination rather than face reality
You’re a go-getter if you:
- Have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish
- Break things down easily into practical steps
- Know what you want and are determined to be successful
One might come more naturally, while the other requires more conscious cultivation. We can all be either, depending on the situation. The idea is to ask yourself if you’re more of a dreamer or a go-getter for a specific thing you want, not in general. For example, I’m a go-getter when it comes to my own health but I’m also a dreamer when it comes to moving to Singapore. One day… Maybe!
Why dreams are as important as goals
Goals can change your life. But before they do, dreams are what inspire you. They are the starting point, this very first step which is absolutely crucial. If you make sure you don’t stay stuck at that stage, dreams are actually very important too! Don’t be scared to dream big… As long as it’s something you can turn into reality. Visualise your objectives by closing your eyes and imagine how you would feel once you’ve achieved your goal. Having a dream also contributes to your wellbeing. Plan it out as if it’s going to happen. Personally, I think taking the time to dream is what makes the difference when it comes to overall happiness. Take the chance to just sit and dream, let your mind wander, breathe and let yourself relax. And then simply remember this: if dreams don’t usually come true… goals do!
“Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.”Suzy Kassem
So which of your dreams do you need to change into a goal?
Big Girl x
Great question to ask. I think for me I need to improve on being more of a go getter. Thank-you for opening up my mind to this.
Unless you want to keep dreaming! It’s also fine in some cases 🙂
Great! I’m a dream! I’m also a dream chaser which is virtually the same thing as being a go-getter. I’m the most ambitious kinda fellow you never met yet. Lol!
I’d say I’m both a dreamer and a go-getter. At least to some extent. There’s improvement possible in both areas, but I’m always thinking of the big picture and playing out scenarios in my head that I know will likely not happen the way I’m imagining. On the other side I set goals and work every day to get closer to my dreams. Probably not the best combo how I’m doing it, but as I said, improvement is possible and I’m going after just that. Great post!
It looks like we have similar profiles. I think it’s healthy to dream about unlikely situations too, as long as you know your “real” dreams will need a solid plan to become reality. Thanks for your feedback!
Great post! I feel like I’m a mixture of the two as I do often dream about lots of things that I would love to do someday, but I also try and be realistic with my dreams. If there is something I would love to accomplish, if I’m feeling motivated, then I will write down goals of how I would go about achieving the dream. I can definitely see why they would both be important! x
Just make sure you’re not underestimating yourself when you say you “try and be realistic with your dreams” 🙂 You never know, sometimes you can achieve way more than you thought initially! x
I love the way you differentiate between the two. I agree though that no goal can be achieved without first starting out as a dream. Thanks, I really enjoyed the post!
At the end of the day, it always starts with a dream! 🙂
I used to be a dreamer but now i make plans and make it happen! Great post ,thanks for sharing!