The Difference Between Dream-Setting and Goal-Setting

At a recent speaking engagement I attended in Toronto, Dr. Greg Wells, trainer to Olympians and famous author of the revolutionary book Superbodies (, shared the importance of something he called “Dream-Setting” with the attendees. Dr. Wells considered “Dream-Setting” more important than goal-setting, when it came to achievement. It resonated with me because I talk a lot about the difference between making a wish and setting a goal.

Dream-Setting is the act of clearly defining a dream. Only after you’ve defined your dream does the goal-setting process begin. You build goals around your dream, something I’ve written about at great length. This is such an important distinction and I was glad to find out that I was not the only personal development expert in the world who understood that dreams and goals were not the same thing.

Dreams represent a vision of some future, ideal state or reality. Dreams are the springboard for goals. You can’t achieve goals that are actually dreams in disguise. Most who set goals, mistake a dream for a goal, and that is why most fail to achieve their goals. For example, making an additional $100,000 a year is a dream, not a goal. Becoming an Olympic athlete is a dream, not a goal. Owning a house on the beach is a dream, not a goal (unless you have the money already).

Goals represent tasks which are action steps that are 100% achievable. You pursue goals only after you have clearly defined your dream. You must Dream-Set first before you Goal-Set. When personal development experts tell you to set big goals they are setting you up for failure because big goals are actually dreams. There is no such thing as a big goal. When the word “big” is attached to the word goal, it’s a dream. You can’t achieve a dream. You can only realize a dream after you have successfully achieved the goals that make dreams a reality.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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