Goals vs Wishes

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Many think they have goals when they only have wishes. A wish, loosely defined, is a strong desire or want for something that will probably never happen. People wish they were wealthy, so they dream about what they will do when they win the lottery. These wishes are usually vague, broad, or otherwise unspecified. Ultimately, wishes are illusions—perhaps even delusions—as no ambition has ever been wished into fruition.

Conversely, a goal can be defined as an object of a person’s ambition or effort: An aim or desired result. Aiming requires a clearly defined target and to hit that target, there needs to be a plan and an action. Since goals require action to achieve, they are real and tangible and with the appropriate amount of effort, most often achievable.

To become successful, one must develop a plan of action towards a goal and then take the necessary steps in fulfillment of that plan. Turn that wish into a goal; develop a plan; and take action.

“A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement.”—Bo Bennett