the difference between a dream and a goal
There's a quote by Stephen Covey and oh boy does it bug me. It is: "Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them."
You, good sir, are wrong. Or at least, you don't understand what goals are.
For those who don't know, Stephen Covey is the guy who wrote the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. So you would think he'd understand goals just a little bit better than this. But, either way, here's my lesson for Stephen Covey. I hope it will also help you gain clarity on your own goals and path.
There is one key difference between a goal and a dream. A dream is a wish, a desire, a passionate idea. It is dreams which are fantasy. They are things that bring us joy to think about and imagine one day happening. They are the ideas we would be happy to see come to life but don't create action on. I often finding myself dreaming of winning the lottery. Of course, in order to win the lottery I'd actually have to play yet I haven't bought a ticket in four years. Still, I imagine what I would do if fifty million dollars suddenly dropped into my lap. It's a pleasant fantasy to ponder.
But dreams are often the start to our goals.
A dream becomes a goal when you create an action plan. In a sense, the action plan is your goal. The proper structure of a powerhouse goal requires a by-when and a sense of how. Your goals ladder into each other throughout the years. With every client, I help them create a one page goal sheet for the next ten years. Their vision is what they see their life being like, and their goals are the "how to" of getting there. That sheet is the action plan. The how is why goals are achieved.
So please, do not stop setting goals. And don't stop dreaming either. Just, don't listen to Stephen Covey's misguided quote. Dream because it's pleasurable to do. And if you find a dream you want to make a reality, turn it into a goal. See it come to life. And chat with a coach if you need a hand finding the how.