What’s the difference between a goal and a dream?

Don’t confuse a goal and a dream. Dreams occupy your mind and heart. Goals take over your reality.

Too many confuse a dream and a goal. They seek to achieve a dream. However, dreams can’t be achieved. They can only be realized. You realize your dreams by creating goals around each one of your dreams, and then pursue each goal by taking action.

You need both dreams and goals—but there’s a big difference between the two.

A dream = some future outcome.      A goal = some future action.

Dreams provide you with the vision of where you want to go. They’re your blueprint for your future life. You can’t achieve a dream. You can only realize a dream.

On the other hand, goals are your construction team. They’re the workers that help transform your dreams into reality. You can achieve goals only through action. Dreams require a vision of some future objective. Goals require that you take actions that will transform your dreams into reality. However, there are big differences between goal-getting and dream-having.

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There are differences between goal-getting and dream-having:

Goals are something you’re acting on. Goals require action. Dreams are something you’re just thinking about. Dreams can happen without lifting a finger—even while you sleep.

Goals have deadlines. They have a time limit. Dreams can go on forever. In fact, many people maintain dreams their entire lives without ever reaching them.

Goals have a cost. Time, money, effort, and sweat—how much will you pay for your goals? Dreams are free.

Goals produce results. What to change your life, your job, your status? Goals can do that. Dreams don’t produce results.

Goals are based in reality. Goals are about what you can actually accomplish. They’re grounded in the reality of the real world. Dreams are imaginary.

Goals have a finish line. Goals have a specific outcome at a specific time. Dreams never have to end. Dreams don’t have to have an ending point.

Goals can change your life. Dreams can inspire you and bring you motivation.

Goals have focus. Goals must be laser focused. Dreams don’t. Dreams can be drifting, ever-changing.

Goals require hard work. Dreams require your imagination.

Goals are hard and require hard work. Dreaming is easy.

Goals stretch you. Goals increase your skills, your abilities, and change you forever. Dreams stretch your imagination. Dreaming leads to bigger dreams.

We look at our desires differently depending on whether we see them as a goal or a dream. If we consider our desire a goal, we make a plan to achieve it. We have our checklist and our timeline. We see an end in sight.

If we consider it a dream, we believe it’s more far-fetched or possibly even out of reach. We think about it often, but we may be less likely to actually do something about it. Dreams give you guidance and help you determine how you want your life to look. However, dreams alone won’t give you the life you want.