All our life goals start with a dream. It is not possible to turn all our dreams into reality. Dreams are thoughts that may or may not be fulfilled. It can just be an idea; without any intention to pursue it. Dreams can become a reality with vision and willingness to do one’s best to fulfill it.
We can just keep the dream as it is or we can do something to make it real. Goals are real and can be accomplished with a great deal of effort. The difference between a goals and a dreams is very narrow and subtle.
What is a Goal?
Goals are the plan of action that we set to chase our dreams. They are the pathways that define intentions of what and why a particular action needs to be done. It simply means that goals have objectives that require focus and dedication to accomplish it. A goal is purposeful.
What is a Dream?
Dreams are wishes, fantasies, and imaginations which are intangible and lack focus. They are desires, thoughts and emotions that pass through our mind. It is spontaneous, non – directed and does not require hard work.
Dreams are imaginary and subjective and goals are ambitious, real and objective in nature.
Differences Between Goals and Dreams
Let’s analyze a few points to understand the differences in a better way
- Goals are future plans. It is organized and focused. Dreams are our wishes and desires of how we want our life to be.
- Goals are intentions and they need hard work and dedication to achieve it. Dreams are free and do not need commitment. It can turn into life goals if we work hard to fulfill it. Often our wishes and desires remain as it is and nothing is done to fulfill it. It is called daydreaming which is done for wish fulfillment.
- Goals are actions. Dreams are mere thoughts. It is easy to sit and think about what we would do or how we wish things should be in our lives. Goals are the costs that can make a dream a reality.
- Goals require clarity of thoughts about what to achieve and how to achieve. It is dependent on time. We always need to take planned action to achieve a goal. Dreams do not have deadlines and they do not require any planning. They are unconscious and based on latent wishes.
- Goals are concrete and tangible. Dreams are ambiguous, nebulous and not specific. Terms like “someday”, “try”,” would be” are used to describe dreams.
- Goals have a specific objective but dreams are subjective. It revolves around our passions and unconscious wishes.
- Goals are realistic, as there is a flowchart to follow. Dreams are fantasies and at times, unrealistic too.
- Goals have an end. The success of a goal is determined by a well defined finishing line. Dreams are never ending and do not have a boundary. It can go on forever.
Can We Turn Dreams Into a Reality?
Yes, dreams can become real with clarity of thought and setting clear and definite goals. Goals should be set with careful analysis of what one wants to achieve. It involves effort and performance is reviewed from time to time to determine success.
Dreams will remain mere wishes; if we do not set goals to transform them in a way we desired. If dreams are pursued with a definite plan of action and broken down into several small goals, it can be achieved and turn into a reality. Here comes in the concept of goal setting. Dreams can inspire and motivate us. A clear and vivid image of what one needs to do next to achieve a dream is where a goal lies.
Realistic dreams can turn into goals with dedication and perseverance. The initial process of creating goals starts with a thorough review of what one wants in life. The preliminary goals are weak as it needs a lot of revision to become concrete. We need to set definite goals which are specific and can be achieved with effort and dedication.
Why is Goal Setting Important?
An individual follows a step by step procedure to achieve a goal. This process is known as goal setting. It motivates the individual to pursue a goal. Through this process, an individual can identify and accomplish measurable goals within a specified time frame.
Principles of Goal Setting
The best way to set goals is by using SMART criteria.
- Specific life goals are definite and exact. It should not be ambiguous.
- Goals should be measurable on the basis of success and failure.
- They should be attainable. It is important for the goals to be practical enough to achieve easily.
- Goals need to be purposeful and relevant for the person.
- Finally, goals are time bound. A timeline helps to know the finish line. It makes our effort guided and focused.
Benefits of Goal Setting
- Goals help to set clear intentions of the things one wishes to achieve.
- It brings in focus and helps to maintain sustained attention.
- Goals provide direction. It sets right pathways to make things happen.
- It helps to make proper decision.
- They provide motivation to work hard towards success.
- Goals make life meaningful and challenging. It gives a sense of satisfaction and personal worth. An individual can realize his or her potentials in a better way.
Personality Traits Needed to Achieve a Goal Successfully
Our personality plays an important role in achieving goal. The ability to work hard and make things happen will increase the chance of success. Character traits, habits, interest, self confidence all play a role in setting and achieving goals.
Few relevant personality traits are as follows:
- Persistence – to never give up and stay focused
- Self confidence – trust in oneself is a powerful tool to accomplish goals
- Focus – sustained attention and ability to avoid distractions
- Responsibility – have the ability to accept setbacks and start afresh. Individual should be accountable for his or her actions and avoid blaming others or the situation for any failure.
6 Ways to Achieve Your Goals
- The first step is to have a firm faith in the goal. An individual should be clear about what to achieve and how to achieve it. This makes the goal specific.
- Make a guided action plan to achieve a goal. It needs hard work and dedication to achieve a goal. A worthy goal requires proper planning.
- Do not let others set goals for you. The person should set his or her goals on their own. It gives direction, boosts motivation and self confidence.
- Know your resources. Goals require time, effort and money to achieve it.
- It is better to have specific and measurable goals. Time and success measure goals.
- Goal setting is a continuous process. here performance should be reviewed from time to time in order to be successful. This ensures minimal mistakes and optimal success.
At times, our best efforts fall short in achieving a goal. At this juncture, losing heart is not an option and we should try hard and never give up. If you feel discouraged and unhappy or tired, review your plans again, try to analyze your mistakes and rectify it. With each small step, you will be closer to your goal.
“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently”— Henry Ford
‘Trial and Error’ is the rule to achieve a goal successfully.
It is evident that only tangible, concrete and realistic dreams can become a goal. Positive outlook, patience, persistence, and hard work can turn dreams into reality.
A teacher by profession, postgraduate in applied psychology and a former school psychologist, Chandrani loves to live life simply and happily. She is an avid reader and a keen observer. Writing has always been a passion for her, since her school days. It helps to de-stress and keeps her mentally agile. Pursuing a career in writing was a chance occurrence, when she started to pen down her thoughts and experiences for few childcare and parenting websites. Her lovable niche includes mental health, parenting, childcare and self improvement. She is here to share her thoughts and experiences and enrich lives of few, if not many.