Here’s how, in just 5 steps!

In business and beyond we are encouraged to have a goal.  For many years I set myself goals over 3 and 5 years.  I achieved many of them, so long as I was single-minded and prepared to work hard.  But one day in 1995 a Finance Director quantified my goal and turned it into a percentage growth target.  My love of goals evaporated immediately.  I couldn’t identify with a number.  It turned me off and left me cold.  This state continued until 5 years ago when I read an article by Olympic rower Ben Hunt-Davis.  He re-framed the concept of a goal, turning it into a dream.  A dream is about the fantasy in your head.  It’s a little crazy and way off in the distance.  And it really means something to you.  Goal Setting is dead.  Long live Dream Setting.


Now let’s go forward to November 2013.  I’m sitting in my hockey club enjoying a pint after the game, when I announce my dream to my team.  “I will play hockey for England before I die.”  Beer sprayed in my direction as people gasped and spluttered “You what?!”.  I do admit such a dream was a little far fetched for what Michael Green would call ‘a very coarse hockey player’.  I had just made it into the county hockey team for my age group and thought I’d stick my neck out quite a lot further.

I have always been a very loyal person and a man of my word.  So having made this bold statement, I wanted to be consistent with my commitment.  But how?  By Dream Setting, that’s how.  With the help of Ben’s insights, and some considerable invention on my part, I created my own Dream Setting model.  I took inspiration from ‘The Inner Game’ guru, Timothy Gallway.  My thinking was informed by Sir John Whitmore’s excellent ‘GROW’ model.  My model introduces a clarity and a focus that is very motivating.


By the end of November 2013 I had raced to Step Three of making my dream come true.  To clarify:

STEP ONE: Name it; make it desirable and within your world of experience.

STEP TWO: Mean it when you say it out loud to others; making such a commitment increases your chances of being consistent with your commitments.

STEP THREE: Work out what is needed to achieve it; the known facts about the dream you are aiming at.  Here I looked at other people who had achieved the same dream.  What did they have?  Tactical nous, technical skill, physical capability and a social network.

STEP FOUR: Hunt-Davis calls this the ‘control layer’; what I can do about it.  The fact that others had trod the path before me helped me plan what I needed to do.

STEP FIVE: What are the simple things I can do every day to achieve each of the things I need to do?  This is where you need to be disciplined.  You need to do them every day.


I have also adopted STEP SIX: Celebrate the small achievements along the way, analyse everything you do and learn from every success and set back.


It’s now November 2018.  On Sunday I received an invitation to play for England against France and Italy in Antibes in three months time.  I’m in disbelief but clearly Dream Setting works.




If you would like to achieve your dreams, The TeamWorks can help you to set the path with our Dream Setting workshop, for you and for your team.  People will thank you forever.


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