The difference between a dream and a goal

I believe in huge dreams. I think we should all dream big. Dreams are endless and nobody can tell us what we are allowed to dream about and what not.

I also believe very strongly in goal setting. If you actually want to achieve your dreams or anything, one of the best tools is to set just one specific but attainable goal at a time and work towards it consistently.

However what is actually the difference between a dream and a goal?

difference-goal-and-dream |MNFL Design

With this blog post I want to clarify what the difference – for me - between a goal and a dream actually is.

Why we should all dream?

  • In our dreams anything is possible.

  • Nothing is impossible.

  • A dream can be big and irrational.

  • Everyone can dream.

  • We also don't need to share them with anyone.

  • Nobody can tell us what to dream about.

  • Dreams are ours and belong to nobody else.

  • Dreams can be endless.

  • Dreams don't need to make sense.

  • Dreams don't need to be tangible.

  • Use your imagination to dream. It keeps our creativity alive.

Our dreams are about the journey.

It can take a lifetime to achieve your dream, but it does not matter as long as you tried.

However we can't just dream. By just dreaming we won't get anywhere. If we want to achieve something – our dreams – we need to put the work in. And in order to make that work easier, we need to create a plan and we need to set ourselves goals.

What is a goal?

  • A goal is something tangible.

  • A goal is specific.

  • A goal is something you actually want to reach and can reach.

  • It is attainable.

  • A goal is something you talk about, you communicate it to your peers.

  • A goal usually has a set deadline.

  • And a goal is measurable.

We set goals with the intention to reach them.

So goals require work.

For a goal we need to make a plan, create a process and we need to set a timeline in order to create a path how to reach that goal.


Download your FREE worksheet here to dream big and define your goals!

This is what I do and use for my life and business to define my big dreams and set myself goals in order to achieve those dreams! I hope it will help you do the same!

Dream Goal Worksheet | MNFL Design | Emilia Ohrtmann
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    The difference between a goal and a dream

    Before we can set a goal we need to have a dream. We need to have a vision of where we want to go.

    Then our dreams will create our goals for us.

    We can take our big dreams and set our goals in order to work towards that dream. And then our dreams are the driver to make us work towards our goals. Our dreams will motivate us to keep going even if something doesn’t work out.

    The difference between a dream and a goal | MNFL Design

    Dreams don't need anything, they just need to exist and be kept alive so they can push us to keep moving and working towards reaching our goals.

    Goals on the other hand need a plan, a process and a lot of work until they are achieved.

    Once we have achieved one goal we can set the next one and the next one and each achieved goal will bring us closer to achieve our dream.

    You can be working your whole life towards your dream. It has no timeframe, it has no end. To reach a goal you should on the other hand have a set deadline until you want to reach it.

    For example my dream could be to become an actress and win the Oscars. I don't know if this will become true. But I can do everything to make this dream a possibility. I can set myself the goal to go to acting school, move to a city with more actors and better surroundings, set a goal to get my first movie assignment and to work only with specific people and so on. All my set goals and reaching them will bring me closer to winning the Oscars. However if I never go to acting school, if I never try, I would never create the environment in order to reach my dream. My dream would stay a dream and never become reality.

    The same would be if I dream of becoming a world class chef, open my own restaurant and receive a michelin star. If I don't learn how to cook, set myself the goal to work in a restaurant and then to open my own restaurant I would not create the environment to work towards reaching my dream of becoming a star cook.

    It is up to you if you want to put the work in towards making your dreams come true.

    Because they can!

    How I decide on my goals

    I have a dream, a grand vision, I write them down. All of it. Nothing is too big.

    I will then decide what achievable goals I can set in order to come closer to reaching my dream. As I can’t work on everything at once I will tackle one goal at a time.

    I decide what I want to work on this year. I basically decide on ONE big goal for the year. The theme for this year. The overarching goal. Then I break it down into subcategories and set myself ONE goal for each quarter.

    I write them all down. And I also write down the tasks I need to do per quarter in order to reach my quarterly goal.

    Each year will take me closer to my big dream and my vision. And being consistent will pay off over time.

    The difference between a dream and a goal | MNFL Design

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