I recently reconnected with an old friend.
We exchanged updates on life & family and eventually made our way to careers.
She asked about mine, I shared my current projects and added:
I’m essentially walking around Austin, arms wide open, shouting: I’m ready for all the world has to offer.
My friend was surprised by this description.
I’d pegged you as someone with a vision board! She immediately said.
In that moment my response was simple: Oh yes! I have one. And a gratitude board. The Child, in fact, has created a vision board and a partner board, too.
Our conversation veered off in a different direction and I didn’t think much that piece until later.
lunged walked past where my vision board hung and it struck me:
Crap, that thing has become filled with dreams.
#1. Goals are dreams with timelines.
I can’t recall who originally said this as I’ve quoted it to my own damn self for so long. I believe in dreaming big. I encourage daydreaming. After all that is done? It’s time to slap a deadline on those things! Only when there’s a sense of urgency do our longings lessen and does our achieving begin.
#2. Goals have an ending–dreams do not.
Even though goals have a hard and fast outcome I still believe in enjoying the process. If you’ve invested time identifying your goals and carefully mapped them out the achievement process is enjoyable. That doesn’t mean, however, you wont realize when you’re done. Goals have specific outcomes. Dreams are often circuitous.
#3. Goals are life changing—dreams are not.
Dreams motivate us. Dreams allow us to safely explore our wildest fantasies. Dream also only inspire us while goals are entirely life altering. Dreaming about becoming a famous author with book tours and television interviews? Inspiring and smile provoking. Writing the damn book and marketing the hell out of it? Your life will never be the same.
#4. Goals are depleting. Dreams are not.
This last one still makes me think: Wait what?! yet it’s true. Dreams are easy. Dreams are big and wide and vast and long and unfocused and not tethered by constraints of reality. Goals demand work. Goals necessitate your being organized, focused and, most often, sacrificing in order to achieve them.
I guess, in the end, it can all be summed up by a fave Jesse Owens quote:
We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.
Dreams and goals.
One requires the other.
Id have absolutely no focused, defined B.R.A.Z.E.N. goals if I didn’t first dream wildly.
The important piece, however, is not to get stuck on step #1 and never transform anything into reality.
- Have you considered the difference between your goals and dreams?
- Which, if either, do you have posted on your vision board?
Bea saysJuly 20, 2016 at 5:09 am
I need to look at my board because I wonder if mine is all dreams.
Mine is not depleting! Interesting thought.
Melisa saysJuly 20, 2016 at 5:10 am
This is so great, Carla! Food for thought. Thank you!
Susie @ SuzLyfe saysJuly 20, 2016 at 5:19 am
I’ve definitely considered the difference, as well as the way to get there. I realized last year that I was just checking things off of a to do list in my day to day life, not actually setting myself up for success. I feel like I am back there again, now. Time to get working!
Tia saysJuly 20, 2016 at 5:54 am
I hadn’t considered the fact that I might be feeling a little bit tired because I’m working toward my goals not because I’ve chosen the wrong ones.
Divina saysJuly 20, 2016 at 7:24 am
Carla what a great post. I am thinking about a career change and this makes me wonder. Love how your daughter also has a vision board.
Melissa saysJuly 20, 2016 at 7:32 am
I can’t love this enough. My favorite part of this post is this: “dreams and goals, one requires the other”. Yes to all of this.??
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home saysJuly 20, 2016 at 7:34 am
I wrote about this in January for my “resolutions” post. I don’t make resolutions because they are loose and hard to define. As a pragmatic kind of gal (today’s Wednesday Word, ironically), I need goals–I like having well-defined targets. Measurable. Dreams are good–they’re the first step to setting goals. But you can’t achieve your dreams without a goal.
Great food for thought.
Leanne saysJuly 20, 2016 at 8:19 am
I don’t really have either at the moment – I am more concerned with being present and enjoying where I am. I am appreciating the fact that I feel like I’ve finally arrived at a place of relative contentment and I am happy here (for now). The dreams and goals will kick in again sooner or later, but I’m happy to wait and enjoy the peace 🙂
Carla saysJuly 21, 2016 at 5:16 am
YES! Which I think may have been what had me fill that board with dreams initially in a GOOD way? Being present, feeling this moment, knowing it will never come back again…And I think at least for me there are seasons of that and seasons of OK IT IS TIME TO BUCKLE DOWN AND GRAB SOME OF THOSE GOALS!!
Sarah saysJuly 20, 2016 at 8:55 am
Wow! Well that went deep and I am not done with my coffee yet but…Goals are depleting. Dreams are not!!! WOW, that is so true, powerful, thought-provoking. Attain your goals and cross them off. Never stop dreaming so you always have more. So much here!! Love this post
AdjustedReality saysJuly 20, 2016 at 9:53 am
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I NEED TO SEE TODAY. (yes, all the caps. for emphasis.)
This year is about progressing some dreams to goals that have been back burner-ed for a while. On a somewhat related note, when I’m further along, a warning that I might attempt to bend your ear about all things book writing since you’re a 2x published author. 🙂
Carla saysJuly 21, 2016 at 5:15 am
OH ID LOVE FOR YOU TO BEND AWAY!! (yes all the caps as well :-))
Laura Ehlers saysJuly 20, 2016 at 10:45 am
Thank you! You posted this at just the right time for me to read it. I have so many ‘dreams’ which I want to turn into goals. Time to re-evaluate!
Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC saysJuly 20, 2016 at 10:47 am
As always, your posts are fantastic. Off to look at my vision board…
Teresa Kindred saysJuly 20, 2016 at 11:33 am
Hadn’t really thought about that! Thanks for discussing. Saw your link on Women of Midlife. Have a great week. Teresa from NanaHood
bryce saysJuly 20, 2016 at 1:25 pm
that TER quote is EVERYTHING.
Donna saysJuly 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm
I absolutely loved this post…..we would not go on a trip without a destination…..so dreams are the destination for our goals I suppose. It is so easy to stay safe and not try an adventure. Many times I think most people will go to what makes them feel comfortable afraid of trying a new journey. That is my dream….not to be afraid….just do it….We are moving from Queens to Atlanta in three weeks….this was a dream we were putting on and off for a number of years….but we are finally doing it….I hope to keep my dream of writing going, and meeting new people on this incredible new journey. Deams come true if we believe and also take the steps necessary too. I so loved this blog very much. It seems like many of your dreams have come true as your blog is wonderful.
Carla saysJuly 21, 2016 at 5:14 am
Yes, that’s it for me as well and what I saw on my board! NO DESTINATION just a jumble of passions (which is great!) without any plan or map.
Beth Havey saysJuly 20, 2016 at 2:34 pm
My goal is my dream, but in order to get there–I have to take steps. Some are big, some are small. They determine a series of goals. Love your quotes. Thanks!
Heather Montgomery saysJuly 20, 2016 at 2:38 pm
I think about this often. I feel like I clump goals into more obtainable things and dreams are the really far out things.
Lois Alter Mark saysJuly 20, 2016 at 4:42 pm
I love this and needed to read this today. I’ve always wanted to make a vision board and haven’t gotten around to it but you have totally inspired me to make it a priority. Thank you!
messymimi saysJuly 20, 2016 at 5:21 pm
Lots of dreams, only a couple of goals, maybe that needs to change.
Michelle @ Running with Attitude saysJuly 20, 2016 at 8:35 pm
Love.this.so.much! You’ve got me thinking – time to take another look at my vision board!
Coco saysJuly 20, 2016 at 8:53 pm
No vision board. No big dreams. No huge goals. I’m pretty happy where I am and have gotten by taking life — and opportunities — as they come.
Natalie @ A Fit Philosophy saysJuly 21, 2016 at 10:11 pm
Carla, I love this post and it couldn’t have come at any better time! I reallllllly needed this right now! I am going to make a new vision board this weekend and I’m going to have both goals and dreams on there. I LOVE dreaming wildly, but I also think that goals should be set up to help you achieve your wildest dreams!
Cheryl saysJuly 22, 2016 at 8:35 pm
I’ve pretty much met all my goals- next one is to fully retire and plan some big races in exotic places- dreaming of Alaska and Fiji and swimming the Roughwater in Hawaii. Yes- I will do this if time and $$$ allow.
P.S. Dreams usually don’t require a lot of time and money whereas the bigger the dream the more time and money one needs. At least the ones I am striving for…
Cheryl Palen saysJuly 23, 2016 at 6:16 am
The bigger the GOAL requires more time and $$$$….
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table saysJuly 22, 2016 at 11:07 pm
I’ve never really thought about the difference, but it totally makes sense! My dream of winning of the lottery isn’t really a goal… 😉
And now I want a vision board.
Laurie @ Musings, Rants & Scribbles saysJuly 26, 2016 at 10:32 am
I love this and you’re right. Dreams are in the clouds, lovely things to think about. Goals are here on the ground, requiring work and sweat. Toil seems to be the bridge that brings those dreams down from the sky to reality. Thanks for this important reminder!