Dreaming and Wishing
You and I can dream all day long. We can wish for something for as long as we have breath in our bodies. But all the dreaming and all the wishing in the world won’t ever get us the thing(s) we dream about or wish for.
Dreaming and wishing isn’t at all unimportant. Actually, that is where all goals have their beginning. Yet we must realize that they are not enough.
Let’s say that you wish to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). Desire it with all of your might. That’s nice, even admirable. But your desire is not going to cause you to become a CPA. If you remain in the dream/desire realm, all you will get is a frustrated hope. Another disappointment in life. To the point where you might say to yourself, “it will never work. I will never amount to anything.” But in reality, you never took any step toward becoming a CPA; you just dreamed about it.
Dreaming is the first step toward having goals, but you can never just stay there.

What is a Goal?
The dictionary defines a goal as “the result or achievement toward which effort is directed.”
I like to say that a goal is a dream with a date on it. At some point, your desire left the dream realm, traveled and entered into the reality realm. It took on flesh and you defined it. You moved from the wishful thinking area into the place where you wanted it bad enough to make plans for it. And now you have specific plans with a date. It’s a dream with a date on it.
Let me illustrate with a story from my own life:
I was never a runner--could not run if my life depended on it, even though I am a personal trainer. One day, one of my clients asked me if I would train her to run a marathon. I agreed and began to do my research. How would I train her? What would be most beneficial to her? How would I encourage her? I decided that the best thing for me to do was to start training with her. I certainly would not train all the way till the end since I wasn’t a runner, but I could start with her and experience the same frustrations she did—which would give me real life knowledge necessary to help her on her quest. So we began.
The training went well. And the more I ran, the more I liked it. After a few weeks, I could run for 30 minutes straight—quite a feat for me, let me tell you! And I began to dream. What if I were to run a marathon? A whole marathon? The thought was so ridiculous that I did not dare voice it to anyone. But it remained in the little corner of my heart where I wish and dream. And I let it grow there. I entertained the dream. I fed it with every run that I took… By now, my client and I were running 5 and 8 miles at a time. And then an old injury resurfaced in her knee and she had to give up the training.
So here I was, still ready to train and full of dreams, but no partner and no reason to go on; unless… my dream became a goal, unless I dared to give it a date and go for it. To make a long story short, I signed up for the Harrisburg Marathon that was to occur three months later and I went for it. I made it, and cried like a baby when I crossed the finish line after 4 hours and 44 minutes.

A dream turned into a goal by giving it a date.


In your own words, what is the difference between a dream and a goal?

What two factors are necessary for a dream to turn into a goal?

Put a timer on for 3 minutes. Close your eyes and dream a little. What can you picture yourself doing? What do you really want out of life? Where does your mind take you when you allow yourself to wish?
After the three minutes are up, grab a piece of paper and start listing the things you were thinking about. Look your list over and star the two that you want most. Could those be turned into goals?

This is the introduction to a free ecourse on goal setting. If you desire to have it emailed to you, visit www.mylifeasanadventure.com

Author's Bio: 

Barbara Isaac Croce is a Holistic Health Practitioner, a personal trainer and a weight management specialist. She specializes on helping people define their goals and live up to their full potential, working with them in group settings or one-on-one, face to face or via email. She dares people to face themselves in the mirror and win.