What is a goal, and what is a dream? And what is the difference between the two?
To me, a goal is a target or a task that you can reach by yourself. You might benefit from outside assistance, and that’s all fine and good, but you can reach the target, or complete the task, by your own efforts alone. That’s a goal. Goals should be achievable in the first place, so why not make that the definition, right?
A dream, on the other hand, is something that you really can’t accomplish all on your own, but it might be possible to reach a dream if you have outside assistance. A dream might include winning the lottery. You certainly can’t PLAN on winning the lottery, after all! It requires luck more than anything!
I’m not against having dreams. I have dreams; many of my dreams involve someone who knows what they’re doing (in other words, NOT ME) inventing a way to clone kidneys from fat tissue, so I could get a pair of good kidneys from my belly fat! Wouldn’t that be awesome?! That’s a GREAT dream, and it would help so many people!
One of my goals, on the other hand, is to make my bed every morning, if I am at all able to do that much on that particular day. Some days, I just can’t. Some days, I could, but it would take hours. Some days, I can twitch those covers straight, fluff those pillows, and only then need to sit down so I don’t pass out.
Another dream of mine is to get on home oxygen, but I have to maneuver through all sorts of insurance hoops to get it, and then depend on other people at the insurance level to decide how sick I really am and flip a coin to see if I should be allowed to breathe. But I’m taking steps to start the process!
Basically speaking, a goal should be able to be reached by yourself. It usually helps, too, to break down a goal into smaller steps, or sub-goals. Sub-goals are like chapters in the book of your over-all goals. They can be broken down even more, into micro-goals, each one a step toward your greater sub-goals, which are themselves steps toward your larger, life-goals.
Sub-goals and micro-goals are great ways to start. Do you want to build a habit? Make a micro-goal to perform whatever it is you want to become a habit, and set yourself that micro-goal every day for a month. By the end of the month, that micro-goal should have become a habit, and you can move on to the next step toward improving your life!