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The Difference Between A Dream And A Goal

In life there are goals and there are dreams.  Do you have dreams?  Do you have goals?  What is the difference between a dream and a goal?  This post will explain the difference between a dream and a goal.

The Difference Between A Dream And A Goal

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
T. E. Lawrence 

The quote above is very powerful.  Have you ever sat back and thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if some day I could _______!”  Or have you thought, “I hope that some day I can _________.”  You can fill in the blank on whatever comes to your mind.  Whenever you have these thoughts, you are probably dreaming about a future that is better that your current situation.

So what is the difference between a dream and a goal?  To understand the difference between a dream and a goal, it is very important to understand what a goal is and what it means to have a dream.

What is a dream?

A dream as defined by dictionary.com is, “the most desirable; ideal.”  When people dream they imagine things the way they want them to be in the future.  When I think of my dreams I think of a reaching all my goals and aspirations and being able to provide for my family.

What is a goal? 

A goal is, “the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.”  A goal is something that you want to achieve that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.  There definite constraints on a goal.  A goal is something that you work towards on a daily or weekly basis.

The difference between a dream and a goal

From the two explanations, there is a noticeable difference between a dream and a goal.  The difference between a dream and a goal is that a dream is a desired result in the future whereas a goal is specific result within a specific timeframe.  Goals and dreams tie together because goals are the steps that lead you to reach your dreams.

What do you think the differences are between goals and dreams?  How do you set goals to reach your dreams? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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  • Janice Knight

    I guess for me a dream is something that I would love to happen for me. It encapsulates things that I wish for in my life. A goal however is something more tangible. It is more specific, it has a greater sense of commitment. “My goal is to……………..” rather than “My dream job would be …..” A goal has a sense of purpose, it feels achievable, it seems more real than a dream.

    I do set goals but I don’t always achieve them. However I am more likely to achieve a goal rather than just imagining what the dream would be like. Sometimes my goal turns out to be something rather different to what is was when I started the journey but the point is I do end up somewhere with something definite – a new job, more physically fit, achieving an ambition, and sometimes the goal means that a dream has come true.