Auto Shop Coaching Blog

A Dream Will Stay a Dream Until You Make a Plan

We’ve all had those moments when we were daydreaming in the shower and fantasizing about a bigger house, a new boat, or a shiny new spouse. (Did you read that right? I think you did!) We long for some of these dreams so much that we end up daydreaming about them repeatedly. But, unfortunately, we don’t realize that it’s not too difficult to start taking steps to make those dreams come to fruition.

I’m talking about a plan. I read a great quote that applies to this:

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”

That quote is all we need to get the planning juices flowing, and it’s a topic that falls perfectly with this time of year: the new year is just around the corner. So if you think the first of the year is all the reason you need for a new and exciting goal, now is your time. I will say, however, that if any dream matters enough to you, a random Wednesday at 2:30 pm is a perfect time to put a plan into place. Dropping a bad habit, creating a new one, or putting a great business directive into place can be done anytime. The trick is making the plan.

Ideas to grow your businessNon-ATI Members: Discover more valuable tips and strategies to effectively reach goals, grow your business, and increase profits in ATI’s shop owner events. Register at

Put Things in Writing

Part of the plan-creating process must be writing items down. Without this critical step, great details get lost, and you will forget how to avoid the predicted roadblocks that hinder progress. Then the inevitable will happen — we’ll be stuck facing them. Writing items down also makes for easy accountability and acknowledging where we are in the plan. What you write down can consist of something as simple as a pros and cons list, a step-by-step process (the chronological order of items to accomplish), or a basic checklist. Put these items where they’re staring you in the face — on a dry-erase board, corkboard, or a sticky note on the inside of your car windshield.

Ask for Help

If any step doesn’t have clarity, or you recognize you need help — ask! We all have limitations; failing to acknowledge your shortcomings and attempting to plow through solo will frustrate you. That, in turn, will stunt your progress and take you longer to achieve your dreams. We can resource any publications, podcasts, youtube videos, or books on tape, among other mediums, to educate us more on what we don’t know about the unknown path we’re traveling. It is counter-productive to plow through hardships without support instead of sticking to our well-thought-out plan that provides clear and effective steps.


Prioritizing what to do is also essential. There are two ways to do this — easy steps first or hard steps first. Each method has reasons for being tackled early on. Flying through the easy items on our checklist first is a great way to build confidence. You experience the project going well and build momentum toward completing the goal. Hard tasks will most likely have several sub-steps which require reaching out to other people. You will resolve some items tomorrow and others 30 days from now. Again, proper prioritization will help you recognize items that will take the long haul to resolve and start working on them earlier vs. later.

Execute and Evaluate

Now that the plan is in writing, check off items you’ve completed and work toward achieving your dream, but don’t forget to reevaluate as you go. House-flippers often have an idea of what needs to be done starting on day one of a remodel, but a week later, they find a plumbing issue, a beam they can’t move, and other unpredictables. Whether your hurdles seem easy or impossible, step back every once in a while and assess the direction you’re going. Your end goal might shift as you go, which is fine. Make sure you stick to timelines, remind yourself of what you’re trying to accomplish, and make your dreams a reality!

Non-ATI Members: For more tips on how to define and reach goals, increase your profits, and grow your business, check out our shop owner events at

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Koole Bolina is a Performance Coach at ATI and has been in the automotive industry since 1998. Starting with a personal interest in automotive repairs, he continues to be part of car clubs, drag racing and keeping up with industry trends. Koole loves to positively influence those who want to do better, be better. If the industry we happen to do business in is the automotive field, that makes it all the better.