Dreamer, Wisher or Goal-Setter: Which One Are You (And Why It Matters)?

Dreamer, wisher or goal-setter: which one are you (and why it matters?)

By Golden Guest, Rebecca Anhalt

We all know them. They’re at our family functions, our friendly group hangouts, and our workplace. They’re in our homes, they could even be looking us in the mirror each day. They’re the dreamers, the wishers, and the goal-setters.


They’re the people in our lives that always have an iron in the fire, the people with grand plans and pie-in-sky dreams, the people who always seem to be chasing something down.


Now, you may be wondering, “aren’t dreamers, wishers, and goal-setters the same thing”? The answer to this question is a great, big, resounding NO! Dreamers, wishers, and goal-setters see and think about the world and themselves very different. Let’s break down these differences together. 



Dreamers tend to spend more time in their head than in the real world. Their thoughts and views of reality can become distorted leading to unreasonable expectations for their life. They believe they will achieve greatness, as soon as their ship comes in! Their life will be perfect, they’ll land their dream partner, dream job, dream house, dream car, dream (fill in the blank). It’ll happen! You’ll see!



Wishers are rooted much more in reality. They are very aware of what’s going on around them. They see the nice new house their friends bought, they see the amazing promotion their co-worker just received, they see the pictures on social media of their neighbors’ tropical vacation. Must be nice. Some people get all the luck. Wishers think to themselves, “I wish there was some truth to all the fairy tales, then I could wave a magic wand and get what I want too”!



Goal-setters think very differently. They look to the future and decide how they want that future to look. They look at their current situation and determine what steps need to be taken to get to their desired future. They believe they are responsible for where they are now and where they could be. They don’t wait for ships or wands. They make plans and take action.


Dreamers Wishers Goal-Setters


Why Does It Matter?

“The only real difference between dreamers, wishers, and goal-setters is their mindset.”
Click to tweet the above quote


How they see themselves and the world around them plays a critical role in the satisfaction they have in life. Dreamers constantly put themselves at risk for disappointment when the real world comes crashing down on the dream world they have created. Wishers have a tendency to lead resentful and angry lives because they think the universe forgot them when it started doling out luck and fortune.


Goal-setters, on the other hand, are empowered. They believe they are the masters of their own destiny and that’s why they are the people who live extraordinary lives.


What Does It Take To Become A Goal-Setter?

Do you want to start attacking goals and overcoming obstacles? That’s great! Before you head out to conquer the world, keep the next 6 things in mind:


1. Prepare for discomfort

Setting goals will take you out of your comfort zone. That’s a good thing! No one ever achieved great things by sticking to what they know. Embrace the discomfort of goal setting. Understand that discomfort equals progress.


2. Set a goal using the S.M.A.R.T. guidelines

Ensure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Using this guideline will not only help you to create clear, concise goals, but they will also help you to know when you have reached your goal!


3. Outline several small steps that you need to take to reach your end goal

Set several short-term goals that will bring you closer to your long-term goal. This will make achieving your goal less overwhelming.


4. Get accountable

Communicate your goals to the positive influences in your life. They can keep you accountable and provide a great cheering section.


5. Reward yourself

Set up some rewards along the way. Rewards can keep the goal-setting process fun.


6. Figure out what motivates you

The best goal-setters are also great self-motivators. If you know how to keep yourself going, you won’t have to rely on anything or anyone else to provide you with fuel for your fire.


Find more tips for goal-setting in these previous posts:

Actually achieve goals with these 5 tips

9 BS facts about goals everyone believes


Which are you – a dreamer, wisher or goal-setter? What action could you take to become a better goal-setter? Let us know in the comments below. 

Rebecca Anhalt is the creator of ‘HealthyMind.BetterLife and has a decade of experience from working in mental health in both research and applied settings. She shares her life with her husband and their very busy son in Manitoba, Canada. Check out her FREE online course on stress reduction: STRESS LESS NOW!


Dreamer, wisher or goal-setter

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