Setting goals for a successful future

We all dream of where we would like to be in the future. So, how can you turn your dreams into reality? What goals do you need to set to help you realise your dreams? Dreams and goals often get confused, and they actually mean different things. Therefore, in this article, we take a closer look at these meanings, to help you plan for your ideal future.

What’s the difference between a dream and a goal?

The best-selling book, The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters, sums up the difference between dreams and goals brilliantly below:

  • dream is something that you want to happen, but it is not fully under your control. The dream has outside influences and therefore you cannot guarantee that it will happen; it is just a wish.
  • Goals are something that you can set and achieve because you have full control of them. Goals increase the chances of dreams happening.

We are all unique and our dreams can range from the superficial to the deeply meaningful: enjoying ourselves, having the latest things, giving our family the best chances, or helping others less fortunate. You might dream of sending your children to the best school, retiring on a Mediterranean island, buying a classic sports car or having a yacht! Or perhaps you dream about writing a book, creating a beautiful, peaceful garden or doing something that really makes a difference to others like building a school. If you want to fulfil your dream, you need to set a goal – or most likely a series of goals – to help you achieve this. It’s amazing just how much people can achieve when they start planning their future!

So, how can you set goals for your own life? First, you need to consider what it is that you want to achieve in life, and then work out the best way to get there.

Most of us already have goals that relate to ourselves, our family and our children – we all want to enjoy a happy, healthy life. You may have set a goal to buy a better car, a bigger home or a place in the sun. Therefore, in this respect, your ultimate dream could be to enjoy a secure, comfortable future, where you and your family can relax without any financial worries. Obviously, before you can make any large purchases, you need to make sure you have enough money saved! And, unfortunately, this is where many people lose heart because they cannot see a way of raising enough money to secure their view of the future, or they don’t know how much they really need to turn that dream into a reality.

With a little sensible financial planning and goal setting, you can achieve your dreams, but only if you start working towards them sooner rather than later. By this, we mean taking a long, hard look at your finances and working out how you can create your perfect future. Most of the time, it’s just a case of reorganising your finances, so you can make your money work for you, perhaps cutting back here and there. You might decide to move your savings into a higher interest account or an ISA. Or, you might decide to seek a better return on your savings by investing some of your money into stocks and shares. A few little changes can make a big difference. Always seek professional advice before you move large sums of money.

Once you have decided how you would like your future to look, you can start setting achievable goals to help you reach your destination. Unless you plan for the future, you are unlikely to achieve your dreams. It all starts with a vision and a solid plan.

For more information on goal setting, please read our previous blog, Goal setting – achieving what you want from life or visit our Big Life Events page.

If you need a strategy to help you achieve your goals, then please get in touch and speak to one of our financial planners. We help our clients to fulfil their dreams!