Dave Miller Real Estate, by Shepherd Realty

Resolution Time – What’s the Difference Between a Goal and a Dream?

Posted on Friday, December 30th, 2011 at 8:00 am

by Dave Miller

It’s time for the age old tradition of making your New Year’s resolution. Do you really think it’s going to be different this year? Well it can be if you think about what you are doing.

What is a resolution?

It’s basically a decision, stating the solution. So if the resolution is merely the decision to state the solution then we need to look at the solution. We state what we want  to be. This brings us to the area of goals and dreams.

Goals vs. Dreams

Dreams are fantasy that we would love but realistically will never have unless God drops them into your lap. They tend to be unfocused and non-specific. To turn a dream into a goal you must on decide on a few things – how much, and by when, etc.

Goals are realistic and achievable. Goals are specific. Here is a list of values present in goals but absent in dreams:

  1. Goals are attainable
  2. They have a timeline
  3. You can break them into action steps
  4. They are specific

Turning Dreams into Goals.

A dream is a goal without legs. It is a wonderful thing to have, can be the guiding passion of your life, but unless you clarify it and give it the legs to move toward you, getting there is going to be very much a matter of luck.

To convert a dream into a goal you must make it tangible, provide the details, make it so clear that you can see it, feel it, know what you will feel like when you get there. Review the checklist.

Say it, Publicize it, Write it Down

Write down your goals to make you really concentrate rather than it being just a passing thought. Say it out loud. Say it to a friend. Get a mentor or accountability partner.

Post it on facebook.

I’m not joking. It works. After Matt Lapp posted on facebook that he is doing the Tough Mudder I brooded about it for a while. Then I signed up, and though I still could have hidden it from other people, instead I posted it on facebook. Now there is no backing out without public humiliation. Now that’s motivation. After talking to Matt he affirmed what I just stated saying he knew too that by posting it he would be held accountable.

Some people are not comfortable publicizing something. If that’s the case then skip facebook but make sure you have some other method of accountability. And remember, the more public it is the more motivation you have.


You can do all you want but action is the key. And not just doing as little as possible to meet the quota. It takes hustle. You really need to put your heart into it or it will be a faded thought before the second week of January.

Make action steps. Things to be done this year and break it done to things to be done this month. Break down the weeks. Finally make a daily list.


So, am I going to make a New Year’s resolution? You bet I am. I’m going to get fit enough to run that Though Mudder. Will I stop with that resolution? No, I have a list of goals (some are a work in progress) that I’m working towards. Right now I’m breaking those goals down to what I need to accomplish by Jan 13th and also Jan 31st.

Bring on the New Year!

Related Posts:
The Transition  – Master Plan, part one
Stupid Excuses to Avoid Action, Master Plan, part two