Dreams vs. goals


Recently, I talked about the preeminence of activity-based goals over results-oriented goals. I said I now focus on the activities I plan to do more than the results I hope to achieve. 

We can’t control our outcomes—how much, how soon, for example—and it can be frustrating and de-motivating setting those goals and continually missing them.  

But that doesn’t mean setting outcome-based goals is worthless. 

In fact, I think it’s a good idea to always have one or two “big” goals, to inspire us, help us focus our energy and prioritize our time. 

And that’s plenty.

These life-changing or next-level goals are more like our dream or vision. They may take years of work and dedication, and need to be big enough to excite us and keep us going when we feel like quitting or wonder why we’re doing what we’re doing. 

So, in the strictest sense of the word, they aren’t really goals at all. Not the kind we set each year or each quarter. 

Notably, this type of goal don’t have a deadline, or at least a firm one, or a lot of details about how you’ll achieve it. Which is good because we’re often too optimistic about the when and how. Which is why we often miss them.

Your dream goal should include what you want, and why, not when or how. 

Let your dreams be dreams. Their job is to get you out of bed in the morning, make you feel better when you’re having doubts, and give you an exciting picture of the future you desire. 

You can also create a goal for the next quarter, and a plan for achieving it, but your dream might be what drives you to do the work to get there.