When you started your professional career, you sure had all kinds of crazy dreams . An amazing car, an amazing house and so on. Possibly you looked around and saw many people with those things and more and thought they were inevitable. They simply went to you. You just had to find a job and that’s it. You didn’t move in a direction where those dreams came true .
Actually there is a big difference between goals, dreams and values . And not understanding these differences means that you don’t achieve what you set out to do. In fact, one of the greatest advances in your personal finances is to accept that dreams are nothing more than that, dreams and which should be converted into goals to be achieved.
Tangible Objectives Vs Intangible Dreams
Let’s start with the basics of defining what a goal is and what a dream is.
- An objective is a financial goal that you want to achieve in a certain time and that you have total control over them.
- A dream is a specific desired outcome (buying a yacht, having a luxury home, etc.) but you have no total control over them.
What separates goals and dreams? Obviously, the control you have over them is an important factor . Do you have most of the variables in your hand and know what you have to do with them to achieve the desired result? So it is an objective, but it is like that is a dream.
Another important aspect is your values. Is this the result you really want in your life?
Let’s look at two examples, of a possible objective and a possible dream for a family and financially responsible person.
An amazing house : This can be a goal. Why? Because if you are a family person and this is important to you, a house is something you can share together. In addition, a house is a good investment which goes with your values as a financially responsible person. You know what the house costs, the entrance fee, when you want to buy it and how much you have to save a month to get it. Therefore all the variables are under your control.
An amazing car : This is a dream. Why? Because driving an expensive car does not match your values. They do not cover a need in your life since a cheaper car can do the same job. It is also a terrible investment and would be an element that only you would enjoy.
Well, maybe you are wondering why do this? Why do you have to select objectives within your dreams?
The best way to explain it is simply to say that by having a goal, you have something to work on. A place to direct your efforts. While a dream is something nice but it doesn’t require anything from you.
A dream is a way to fill leisure moments. A goal is something that forces you to get up from the couch and walk to fulfill something you have wanted all your life.
Separating Objectives and Dreams
It is a great exercise to separate your goals from your dreams. Make a list of everything you want in your life. A big house? A good car? A safe retirement? No need to work? Form a family?
Now that you have this list, visualize what your life will be like in 10 years and decide which of those dreams fit that image. Do you want to be a single person with all the latest technological gadgets and a life without responsibilities, or do you want to start a family?
The image you see is going to give you some clues about what your values are that tell you where you should go.
Once you have that image, you will know which are objectives and which are dreams. Now spend some time defining your goals in more detail . Dreams? Leave them for leisure time and move on with your life.