How a dream differs from a goal and how to turn it into a goal

Every person dreams of something in life, and everyone sets goals for themselves, but few people think about how a dream differs from a goal, what meaning is brought into these concepts and whether there are similarities between them. After reading this article, you will find answers to your questions. We'll look at each of these concepts in more detail, highlight the distinguishing characteristics of goals and dreams, look at some famous examples from the literature, and even help you turn dreams into goals!

About dreams

Translated from English, “dream” is a dream, illusion and vision. Based on this, it is clear that a dream is closely connected with our inner emotional world. Our inner voice tells us about the secret thing we really want.

A dreamer is like an idealist. He completely shifts obligations from himself to numerous external factors in the future, expecting a miracle. Such a person is characterized by passivity and waiting - he makes no attempts to get closer to the fulfillment of his dreams and simply remains inactive, and his thoughts are characterized by formlessness and blurriness.

But wait to be disappointed in your fantasies. After all, dreams are one of the most effective ways to motivate yourself to achieve better achievements! Dreams inspire, don't they?

What is a goal

A goal, as opposed to a dream, is something concrete, for the sake of which plans are made and specific steps and deadlines for their implementation are developed. You must understand that the goal is always achievable. To do this, a person must constantly ask himself: “How can I achieve this,” and write down the steps to move towards what is planned.

Every person on earth has goals. They can be short-term and simple, for example, doing household chores, learning a poem, or long-term and ambitious: saving for a car, taking a management position, starting a family, etc.

There is also a purpose in life - something for which life takes on meaning, for which it is worth getting up in the morning. As in the case of small goals and large ones, success in achieving them depends on how correctly they were set.

Why fulfillment of desires does not bring joy

It's all dopamine's fault

This neurotransmitter makes us anticipate pleasure, even if only a vague promise of something good and pleasant looms before us.

On the one hand, it is because of dopamine that we are so dependent on social networks and generally prefer momentary joys. On the other hand, it greatly helps us move towards our goals and bring long-term projects to fruition. We imagine that we have already dealt with everything, we feel good, and thanks to this “carrot” we run further.

But when everything finally comes true and the work is finished, there is nothing to look forward to, and dopamine is no longer released. In the absence of this dope, we feel confused and disappointed.

We're just running out of energy

We take a long time to achieve results, invest a lot of time and energy into our work, remain extremely concentrated, not allowing ourselves to relax. And when the path is completed and the result is achieved, we finally “let go” of ourselves, and the accumulated fatigue falls on us.

The “achievement trap” is triggered

It's a kind of cognitive distortion that makes us think You Accomplished Something Great. So Now What? as if a dream come true necessarily brings happiness. We tend to greatly overestimate the emotions that we should experience after a joyful event. And then, when nothing like this happens, of course, we feel somewhat devastated and deceived.

In fact, it is possible that we are not at all obliged to experience some absolutely incredible surge of joy and happiness. A small study, Immune Neglect: A Source of Durability Bias in Affective Forecasting, conducted back in the 1990s, showed that the level of happiness of scientists who received lucrative contracts and those who were left without such offers was approximately the same.

We are temporarily left without a goal

It seems like one important stage has been completed, a tick has been placed next to the goal that has helped us move forward for a long time, and life temporarily loses its meaning. So now again you need to navigate where to go, make plans and begin the difficult work. This is somewhat discouraging.

How does a dream differ from goals?

Not everyone will be able to understand the difference between a “goal” and a “dream”. Simply put, we do not strive to materialize a dream, but the goal must certainly be something possible to fulfill and achievable.

But many people still get confused quite often and often call goals dreams, and dreams goals. In addition, despite the fact that we do not particularly strive to make our dreams come true, they sometimes come true! Does this mean anything? Do they turn into life goals or remain fantasies?

Dreams and goals also differ in how we bring our desires to life. Dreams are more to warm our souls and support our aspirations.

Goals force us to get out of our comfort zone, to be persistent, to start doing something new, to change the current situation, to take responsibility for our whole life into our own hands.

Determining the goal for the financial plan

Most likely, you will have more than one task. For each of them, be sure to evaluate:

  • Time – when it should be achieved (buy a car in 3 years).
  • Money - how much is needed for this. If the task is to purchase something specific, then analyze the price on the market taking into account rising prices and decide on the approximate cost.

Financial Goals
A large goal (total amount) needs to be broken down into small monthly amounts. For example, let’s take the same goal “to buy a car of a certain brand in 3 years.” Now its cost is 500,000 rubles, the forecast for price growth in the automobile market is 10%. Then after three years it will cost approximately 650,000. We divide this amount by 36 months (3 years) and get the monthly amount that needs to be saved - 18,000. All that remains is to assess your real capabilities and, if you do not have enough funds, you will need to find a source of additional income , reduce current expenses or change the timing of the goal.

Also, do not forget that buying a car, house, household appliances and other things are liabilities that do not generate income; moreover, over time they will become cheaper and will require expenses for their maintenance. Therefore, think: maybe it would be better to spend money on assets that will begin to generate profits over time? Purchase securities, open a deposit or invest money in your education or acquiring a new, more profitable profession.

Setting a goal is really easy

Instructions on how to turn a dream into a goal

As you already understand, a dream is the basis of every goal. Sometimes people don’t even think about how, without much effort, you can turn your dream into reality and start dreaming about something more. There is an easy way to turn a dream into a goal: give your dreams an outline, specify them, make them more real and concrete.

There is also a special goal setting method - SMART, which helps both ordinary people and multimillion-dollar companies develop goals. According to this methodology, when planning goals, the following characteristics must be taken into account:

  • S (specific) - specificity: you must be aware of the clear result of your goal. One goal, one result. If it turns out that when setting a goal, several results are obtained, the goal can be split into several smaller goals.
  • M (measurable) - measurable: you can use numbers (statistics) or your specially developed criteria with which you could understand that the goal has been achieved.
  • A (attainable) - achievability: if the goal is unattainable, then the probability of its achievement is reduced to zero. Don't set the bar too high. You may be limited in time, in resources, in investments, in experience - all of this will prevent you from successfully achieving your goals. Set goals based on your strengths, clearly understanding which ways will really help you get closer to what you want.
  • R (relevant) - relevance: look inside yourself and understand whether you need this goal at all, will achieving this goal bring any value to you when you achieve it?
  • T (timebound) - time limitation: set a deadline, exceeding which will indicate failure to achieve the goal. Limitations and clear deadlines stimulate us, keep us on our toes and do not allow us to relax, otherwise goals would forever remain our dreams.

Principles for formulating motivating goals

From a correctly set goal you can draw strength to achieve it. There are several principles based on psychology that will help you formulate specific goals:

Principles of goal formulation based on psychology

  1. The goal must be formulated in a positive way, that is, exclude the particle “not”. For the subconscious, it is an obstacle that must be avoided. For example, “I won’t go to bed late” is better replaced with “I go to bed at 10 p.m.”
  2. The goal statement should not contain restrictions. Deprived of something, the body will be indignant and protest. Therefore, “I will eliminate sweets” should be replaced with “I will eat fruits instead of sweets.”
  3. Along with the goal, it is necessary to formulate a way to achieve it. Then there will be a clear understanding of what needs to be done: “I want to increase my business income to 200,000 rubles. per month, expanding the range of goods.”
  4. The goal should be based on growth and self-development, acquiring new knowledge and skills. You need to decide what can be changed for the better: “To achieve the goal, I will read specialized literature, take training courses and begin to establish useful connections.”

An example of the difference between a dream and a goal

The first and probably most important difference between a dream and a goal is that a dream has no end. Your dreams are always abstract and endless. For example, everyone as a child would like to grow up and become doctors (or astronauts/policemen). But we hardly dreamed of any specific focus - surgeon, pediatrician, therapist. Or, for example, we fantasized about how nice it would be to have a horse or a raccoon, but due to certain circumstances we clearly understood why this could not happen.

Both a dream and a goal - both concepts are aimed at the future. However, the first is aimed at an unattainable future, and the other at the real one. How successful a person will be over time depends precisely on how correctly he has set his goal.


The work of all life is moving forward. Samuel Johnson[/td]

It's not enough to be busy...
The question is, what are we doing?Henry David ThoreauMan is not made by circumstances, circumstances are made by man.Benjamin DisraeliWhy do little children practice but adults do not?Steve SchallDistance means nothing—only the first step is the most difficult.Madame Du DeffantFinish every day and forget about it .
You did everything you could.

Interesting facts about dreams and goals

Have you noticed that as you get older, you daydream less? Unfortunately, this is really true: the older we become, the less we tend to dream, it’s as if we begin to be ashamed of it and become realists. But daydreaming also has a positive side: dreams develop our creative thinking and creative abilities, and also help with mental pain and disorders.

People who write down their goals on paper tend to work harder to achieve them compared to those who keep their goals in their heads.

Therefore, if you have not done this yet, right now write down the answers to the following questions on a piece of paper and place them in a visible place: “What goals do you set for yourself?”, “Do you have a plan to achieve your goals?” .

Smart quotes with meaning

Statuses about goals in life and dreams will definitely help successful and impetuous individuals. The main thing is not to despair and only move forward:

  1. To live today, you need to clearly know your aspirations and get closer to the top every day.
  2. The closer the goal becomes, the more effort a person puts into achieving it.
  3. You cannot allow a goal to become a dream, otherwise achieving it will become impossible.
  4. If you take small steps towards your goal, then gradually they will become larger and larger.
  5. The pursuit of a goal allows you to expand a person’s horizons and realize the main thing in life.
  6. If a person really wants to achieve what he wants, then help will definitely come, and from the most unexpected quarters.
  7. You can achieve your own goal only in a decent way; you cannot go over your head, otherwise the result will not bring satisfaction.
  8. If a person stops striving, it means he is retreating from his own goal.
  9. If there is nothing to strive for in life, you need to set even a small goal so that you can wake up in the morning with desire.
  10. A person’s aspirations and goals depend on his worldview; the wider it is, the more serious the goal.
  11. The desire for wealth can only bring with it loneliness, because this goal does not involve people.
  12. If a person has strong aspirations, then he has a soul.
  13. The desire for constant peace leads to poverty and loneliness.
  14. Only a goal set for yourself can bring positive emotions and a positive mood, and give the desire to live.
  15. A person chooses his own direction and path, but the main thing is to always remember the boomerang law so as not to find yourself in a difficult situation.
  16. If a person is told that he was just lucky, he should laugh at it. People around you don’t even suspect how much effort went into achieving your goal.

Every person wants to achieve a goal, so you need to make efforts and look for opportunities. In any situation, a status about a goal with meaning that can be posted on social networks can support and help.

Dreams and goals in works

Famous Russian writers often turned to the concepts of dreams and goals in their works. Let's look at a few examples to help you understand how these concepts differ.

I. Kuprin in the work “Garnet Bracelet” gives the main character Zheltkov dreams of a relationship with Vera Nikolaevna. Sweet dreams cloud a man’s mind, and he discards all the unpleasant “little things” of reality: while dreaming, the main character forgets about the heroine’s shortcomings and the fact that she is already married. His love does not give him confidence that they will ever be together, therefore, when destroyed, the illusions destroy the hero himself.

In the story “Gooseberry” by A.P. Chekhov, the main character dreams of his own country estate, creating in his dreams the image of an ideal house with its own garden and pond. But he understands that if he continues to do nothing, his dreams will never come true. The main character decides to take specific actions, turning his dream into a goal. He develops a plan that will bring him closer to the fulfillment of his greatest desire: work hard and marry a rich girl. Soon he manages to achieve his goal and feels happy, although the image of a country house that he painted in his head did not coincide with reality.

Charter for purpose in life

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Do you know what is the worst thing in life?

When you don't know what you are living for. You wake up this morning and think about getting out of bed for a long time.

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Do you have a goal in life?

At least something? ...

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