Goals and Dreams Are Two Very Different Things


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There’s a misconception about goals that you’ve no doubt accepted as true. This misconception is that goals represent some future outcome.

Future outcomes are affected by time, changing facts, changing circumstances and unexpected variables that pop up. Future outcomes are actually dreams in disguise, not goals. And this is precisely why so many fail to achieve their goals. They have been defining their goals all wrong.

In my research (Rich Habits Study) I learned that a goal is only a goal if it has two things:

  1. 100% Certainty and
  2. Physical Activity

This is the formula I discovered in five-year study of self-made millionaires. In fact, 99% of these millionaires stated that dreams and goals were not the same thing.

Future outcomes do not meet the definition because future outcomes are not 100% certain. You can’t control a future outcome. Too many things could go wrong. Only actions, or behaviors, that you can control are goals.

When you define your goals properly, they act like an elevator, pulling you closer towards the realization of each individual dream.

As an example, let’s say that want to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). That’s a dream, not a goal, because it represents some future outcome.

To determine the actual goal, you need to ask yourself two questions:

  1. Do I have the abilities needed to study for the CPA exam? There are certain skills and knowledge that you must obtain in order to even sit for the CPA exam, such as 150 hours of specific college credits and a degree in accounting. Do you meet those requirements? If the answer is yes, then you can move on to question #2.
  2. Can I perform the action required? Do I have the time to study for the exam? You learn from others who have taken the CPA exam that there is a huge time commitment. It requires, on average, two hours of study every day for six months and a very long exam – 14 hours of exams, broken down into four parts that you must complete over an 18 month period. Do you have 2 hours to study every day for the next six months and can you get it done in 18 months? If the answer is yes, then you have your goal:

Study 2 hours every day for the next six months and take the exam

The key to achieving goals, and thus realizing each one of your dreams, is to get clear on exactly what your goals are. Goals are not some future outcome. Goals are actions that require specific skills and knowledge. You must first determine if you have the prerequisite specific skills and knowledge before you define your goal. If you don’t, then you must redefine your CPA goal:

Obtain the skills and knowledge that I need in order to sit for the CPA exam

Once you understand the true definition of a goal, all goals then become 100% achievable. Each dream, such as becoming a CPA, requires that you achieve specific goals. Some dreams require that you achieve multiple goals. Once you achieve those goals, your dream is realized. Then you define your next dream and create goals around that dream.

You dream life is the realization of multiple dreams. It’s like a ladder. Each time you realize a dream, you climb another rung on the ladder. When you realize all of your dreams, you reach the top of that ladder. Your dream life awaits you at the top of that ladder. Achieving goals allows you to climb that ladder. Goals are your transportation system to your dream life.





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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit, Money.com, India TV, News.com Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money, SUCCESS.com, Inc.com, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider, Credit.com, Bankrate.com and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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