Dreams versus Goals: how to achieve what you want.

Have you ever heard that one-liner, “I don’t have dreams, I have goals”? Well, it’s a favourite of ours, because dreams are…. hazy. They just sort of float there, off in the distance.

When your feet are stuck firmly on the ground (in the reality of everyday life), how will you make that giant leap up into the clouds?

This is where goals come in. Goals may not sound as exciting as dreams, but they are the key to getting what you want. Here’s why:


Goals give you a sense of purpose

Goals remind you of why you’re doing what you’re doing, every day. They give you a reason to not only show up to school or work but to try your best while you’re there.

Setting a ‘learning’ or ‘qualification’ goal is especially handy when your body wants to stay in bed, or your mind wants to wander out the window.

We’re sure you’ve asked, ‘why do I have to do this?’ or ‘why do I have to know this stuff?’ We all have. A lot of learning, whether it’s at school or on the job, seems like a massive waste of time. Spoiler alert: it isn’t. Because knowledge is power. Having an education is empowering. It opens a lot of doors.

If you can remember what you’re striving for and you’ll look at even the dullest lesson in a different way. It may be frustrating, but it’s not meaningless. Each day is a small step towards a larger goal – which brings us to our next point.


Goals make the impossible possible

Unlike dreams, goals can be broken into realistic short-term and long-term objectives.

You can even have daily goals. Some people call these habits. By plotting the things you need to do to get you to a larger goal, you break a big ‘impossible’ dream down into bite-size pieces that are entirely possible. For example, getting to school every day and asking for help when you need it will get you to the end of Year 10. Keeping this up will get you through to the end of Year 12 and so on.

Quick tip: Keep this in mind: nothing comes from nothing. If you do nothing, of course, nothing’s going to happen. You have to work towards things bit by bit – or bite by bite.


Goals give you clarity and direction

Now, you might be reading this and thinking, ‘but I don’t even have a dream!’ If that’s you, welcome to the club. Few people know what they want to do or ‘be’ regardless of their age but setting a few short-term goals can help ease that feeling of being lost or overwhelmed by all the choices.

For example, someone who loves animals might not know what career they want to be in, but they imagine they’d love to work with animals somehow, because then work would be ‘work’, right?

So, the first mini-goal (or task) they would have to set for themselves might look like this: Find out what type of jobs involve working with animals. The next one could be: Find out what qualifications you need to become a zookeeper.

Do this and you’ve already ticked off two things, plus you have a clearer picture of the road ahead and the direction to go in. Nice one!


Where to go for help with goal setting?

Unlike dreams, which can be a bit overwhelming – sometimes scary – goals can be as big or small as you like. And there are plenty of people out there you can go to for help setting your goals.

If you’re still in school, Careers counsellors are the bomb at goal setting. If you’re out of school, TAFE counsellors are awesome too. And, of course, if you’re in our neighbourhood, drop in and talk to us.

For now, though, we hope we’ve convinced you that dreaming isn’t doing. It’s goals that will get you what you want.

So, how ‘bout it? Is there a goal or two forming in your mind?


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