Set goals, write them down and beware the dream-takers

This year I’ve been focusing on the importance of having systems in place and creating healthy (business) habits. I even went as far as thinking that these two things were more important than having goals.

Well today I’m telling you to have goals! And write them down.

Set goals, write them down and beware the dream-takers  //

Clear goals will help pull you out of a funk.

The past couple of weeks I’ve really been in a funk. My good habits and systems completely went out the window as I lacked motivation and enthusiasm for what I was doing. I was exhausted.

We’d only just got back from a whirlwind trip to Perth, where I caught up with all the lovely WA bloggers at the mini #PBEVENT, and we were back on another couple of planes to Adelaide.

Life was busy and my business was buzzing too.

We got back from Adelaide and I ran my first workshop here in Karratha that was a sell-out success. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have been able to connect and foster growth among such an inspiring and motivated group of women!

Then I hit the wall…

With no commitments on the go, I fell in a heap. I hadn’t realised, but I’d been running on autopilot for a little too long.

Two weeks later, after some serious reflection, guidance from my valued mentors and getting back in touch with the things that truly make me happy like reading, catching up with good friends, getting outdoors (early to beat the heat), walking and yoga, I’m starting to feel my usual energy and motivation recirculating through my body.

One particular resource I have to thank is the book ‘Tom O’Toole – Breadwinner’.

Set goals and write them down.

I’m only part way through the book, but already Tom has inspired me to get after my goals again and ‘beware the dream-takers’.

Tom says:

   I believe if your goals are not on paper, they’re not on this planet.

It’s easy to fire a bullet in any direction and claim that whatever it hit was your target.

It’s easy to change direction or make it up as you go along if it’s only in your head – but if it’s on paper, it’s captured.


Beware the dream-takers.

At the beginning of the year I was very disciplined at revising by strategic and business plans. I started to focus on putting in place rock solid (or so I thought) systems.

All was going well until… enter the dream-takers.

“Beware the dream-takers, they’re like bloody mosquitoes, they’re everywhere.”

I didn’t realise it until a few days after reading this particular stand-out message in Tom’s book, but I’d be bitten by the dream-takers.

Three main dream-takers.

I believe dream-takers fall into three main categories:

1. The naysayers

There are the obvious naysayers who outwardly pronounce, “Why on earth would you give up the security of your day job?” or “You’re crazy, why would you take a baby to South America?”.

But beware also the silent naysayers. The ones who don’t comment at all. Or wish you luck, but their body language is screaming out in disbelief.

Remember the passion and purpose for your decisions and believe in them!

2. Your own monkey mind

Tom says we are our own worst enemies, and he’s right.

   We don’t need any other enemies when we’ve got our bloody selves. We think it’s too hard, we think it takes too long!

For me, this was the biggest dream-taker at play over the past couple of weeks. With a potentially big contact coming up I just couldn’t see how I was going to manage my plans for launching a group-coaching program among other things as well.

Potentially the most dangerous of all the dream-takers, your own negativity, fears and insecurities can creep up on you when you least expect it.

Try to find ways to ‘check-in’ on your mental state and know what has helped you get out of a funk in the past if you’re feeling a little unmotivated.

3. Distractions

Valerie Khoo posted this great quote on facebook a couple of months ago and I’ll never forget it.

Set goals, write them down and beware the dream-takers - "We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a lesser goal." - Robert Brault

Stop wasting your time on all the little things than aren’t aligned to your big hairy audacious goals. If something doesn’t result in definite progress towards your key goals, then don’t do it.


Have you been suffering from a dream-taker lately, or in the past? How have you, or do you plan to, recover?


12 thoughts on “Set goals, write them down and beware the dream-takers

  1. Nice, I may have to buy that book! When it comes to dream takers, I don’t find them so much for my own projects, but for the causes I am passionate about. This can be especially difficult when it is a family member or close friend.

    I have a small group of people with whom I share these conversations with, and I do feel a little stilted or held back in general – but I believe some people need the softly softly approach – or maybe I am just a chicken haha!
    Serena Star Leonard recently posted…Get a signed copy of my new book!My Profile

    1. There is definitely a time and place for softly softly Serena 🙂 I’ve found the more I get into the habit of setting goals the better I have got about being realistic and managing expectations. Such a fine balance about aiming for the stars and taking many small steps in the right direction 🙂

    1. It can be a very rewarding and interesting process Emma. I’ve often looked back on my long term goals and thought how much I have grown, or changed, as a result of going after them 🙂

  2. I agree wholeheartedly. Not sure about having goals on paper – does a computer/tablet or phone app count? I find it really hard to keep so many different to do lists… And have been trying to move away from paper. What’s your recommendation?

    1. I think the idea was have them written somewhere. Tom (the author of the book) is not that literate, so I’m not even sure he’d use a computer! The message I took away was to have goals documented somewhere (and dated, whether that be electronic or on paper) so that you can measure progress 🙂

      Totally get you when it comes to managing multiple lists and so much paper!! I must admit though, I still prefer to write in my notebook rather than on the computer… old school perhaps.

  3. Uhhhh, yeah. I’ve totally been ambushed by ninja-like dream-takers. Sneaky little buggers…And I think they’ve come in all the above forms, too. Lol! Naysayer boyfriend (boo) and major distraction in the form of mystery health issues. Then my own monkey mind convincing me that my own upcoming group-coaching program/school is going to flop. Haha…the past couple of days (maybe thanks to the lunar nudge??) have seen a major turn-around for my energy, so I’m excited to dive in! My goal is to get my program site done for pre-launch by Monday!!
    Brianna Hall recently posted…I’m Sorry I Said YesMy Profile

    1. Sorry to hear about the dream-takers in your life at the moment, but it sounds like you are well aware of them and addressing them effectively.

      Not sure if you’ve launched your group coaching yet, but I LOVE your new website design. How long have you had that? It’s gorgeous, clean and so inviting 🙂

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