the difference between dreams and goals

Sometimes I get the opportunity to work with people starting new businesses and one of the first questions I ask is what their goals are.

The answers I get back often surprise me because I hear people say such things as “to have 100 clients by the end of this year,” or “to earn $1 million.”

While both sound like great goals the problem is they have dreams confused with goals.

Dreams are things we want, or in most cases, hope for.

Goals are things that we strive for by creating a systematic plan to bring it to fruition.

One of my first mentors in the business field taught me about Short Term Achievable Goals, otherwise known as STAGs.

STAGs allow us to break down our big goals into manageable parts that can be measured and adjusted depending on their results.

The worst thing is to work hard towards something and then not know just what you did.

If you fail, then you are likely to repeat the mistake.

If you succeed, you will have trouble repeating that success.All because the steps were not documented and reviewed.

I suppose that’s how most people live their lives; going through the day working hard, hoping and praying that things will get better.

In order to live a better life we must design it.

STAGs must be short in order to allow for correction along the way, there’s nothing worse than going the wrong way for far too long because just getting back to where you started can be draining.

Set yearly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals and yes, even daily goals.

You’ll be surprised how much you get done when doing this.

Achievable simply means that the task is doable.

Sometimes we might say, “my goal is to get 10 new clients” but that is something we have no control over per say.


So what can we do?

  • We can call 100 potential people
  • We can practice our presentation
  • We can do research on their companies in order to familiarize ourselves with their needs

People’s responses, the economy, and the weather are just some of things that could have a bearing on our achieving a goal.

And if we fail to reach our goal it can be most discouraging.

My mentor taught me to set a goal such as the following, “I will practice my sales presentation for one hour every day, I will spend another 2 hours calling potential clients.”

We all have the power to control how we spend our time and if we continually do the STAG above soon enough the results will speak for themselves.

Our vision of the future and our dreams, pull us toward them but only through the constant discipline of setting goals can we achieve them.

Start today and you’ll soon see just how powerful goal setting can be.

Adrian Shepherd

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