Achieve your Goals!

Planning your success!

We have known for some time that success isn’t easy.  It requires hard work and discipline.  We are even willing to do that, but for some reason, we aren’t moving toward our goals as we would like to be.  It gets discouraging.  Maybe, it was the wrong goal, or maybe the plan wasn’t well thought out or executable.  Or sometimes, it is just a timing thing.  Whatever the case, I believe the time is now, and you need to believe it, too!

Believing that you can control your actions, your behavior, your choices is the first step toward success.  You have to want it and be willing to put yourself out there, regardless of the goal you have set.

One of my current goals is to completely declutter and deep clean my house by the end of the year.  It sounds simple, right?  Just clean and purge!  And yet, I am doing this while working seven days a week, during a busy holiday season, while trying to close the year on two businesses, dealing with my health issues,  along with starting a YouTube channel.  (I’ll keep you posted on that!).  It sounds impossible and crazy.  Don’t I have enough going on?  But if now isn’t the time to do it, when is the time?  The answer is, there is no time like now.  Yesterday is gone and tomorrow hasn’t happened yet, so all we have is today.

In order to do this, I had to break down my goal into manageable steps.  I created a 30 day decluttering plan.  I also looked at the problems I’ve faced in the past when I’ve tried to do this and didn’t succeed.  I looked at my strengths, my weaknesses, the threats to my success, my opportunities, and lastly my fears.  And I problem-solved.

My strengths: I’m good at organizing, excellent at purging.  Less is more and I truly believe that!  Plus, I love it!

My weaknesses: I am easily distracted by my boyfriend, daughter, grandson.  My energy level varies depending on the day.

My opportunities: There are days that I have more time than others to devote to this goal.  I marked those on my calendar and planned the most time-intensive areas for then.

Threats to my goal: Time-wasters (I’m addicted to Seeker’s Notes), motivation, lack of “me-time”, procrastination.

My fears: What if I finish decluttering and deep cleaning my home and I don’t feel less stress?  Don’t feel happier?

And then I planned some more.  I addressed each and every issue.  I created My Daily Routine for maintenance cleaning and wrote out a plan to address one new area each day.  I also plan my day out every morning, making certain to put at least one thing on my list for each goal I’m working on.  Those are my priorities, everything else is secondary, well…except for appointments!  I don’t always finish everything on my to-do list, but my priorities, I do my absolute best to finish.  I encourage you to see each day as a new day and create your to-do list daily.  We don’t always know what each day will bring so be flexible when you need to be, but never forget that you are a priority, too!  I made this easy to use Daily To Do List.  I laminated mine so that I could simply reuse it daily.  I don’t need to remember what I did yesterday, I simply need to focus on today.

If you filled out the No Limits Worksheet, you should know which of your goals are best suited for you right this minute.  The SWOTF worksheet, helped you narrow down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and fears.  I like to plan by addressing my threats, weaknesses and fears first, then looking at my strengths and opportunities.  So how will you overcome the things that have kept you from achieving your goals in the past?  Once you know this, the planning becomes much easier.  Use the Goal Worksheet to make the plan for each goal.  List the major steps and then break them down with daily tasks in your daily to-do list.

I prefer to plan backwards.  But a true goal has a “final” date.  I will declutter and deep clean my house by the end of the year (i.e. December 31, 2017).  That is a final date.  Whatever goal you give yourself, make sure to have an actual date.  Sometimes we say, we’ll do it in the next three months.  I’ve found this doesn’t usually work.  We need a calendar date.  Something to circle and keep ourselves accountable.  So instead of three months from today, we’ll say March 18, 2018.  It makes it seem much more attainable and decisive.  So working backwards from your date, mark down all the tasks that need to happen in order for you to achieve your goal.  Short-term goals should have daily tasks when you want to achieve them as quickly as possible.  You have three months.  Try to get it done in two.  I bet if you actually do something for your goal every single day, you’ll get it done faster than you think.

When you have extra time in your day, add in another task to help you take one step closer.  If you’re visual, try creating a graphic in your notebook or put it on your refrigerator.  Something you can look at daily like a thermometer tracking your goal.thermometer template

Make each line representative of the number of tasks required to achieve your goal and fill it up as fast as possible!

I would like to caution you about making goals that may not be fully in your control.  Weight-loss is one of those goals.  For years I tried to “lose weight” and I failed miserably.  I was unaware until a couple of years ago that I had a medical condition that made this very difficult.  I was always discouraged and depressed because I could achieve any goal but that!  I felt like a failure, despite the fact that I had accomplished so many other things in my life.  While I would still like to lose the weight, I have changed the goal to something within my control, “Lead a Healthy and Active Lifestyle.”  This is completely in my control.  There are things I can actively do to make this a reality, and I’m doing it.  Now, after a year and a half of working out, most of that with a personal trainer, I am finally losing weight…slowly.  But not because I am trying, and not because of my awesome trainers.  It is actually a result of finally getting my medical condition under control.

My doctor told me in April, that I could work out and diet all I wanted, but I wasn’t going to lose the weight until I found the right management for my condition.  So I began looking for something new.  That was when things began to change, when I stopped looking at the scale and started looking at my lifestyle.  I found a new doctor who helped me find those areas that needed my focus more than my weight did.  Stress-reduction was a huge part of it.  Supplements and sleep also played a huge part.  Now, my focus is simply on living that healthy and active lifestyle that I want to live.  What do I really care what the scale says so long as I feel good in my body, have more energy, less pain?  These changes are so much more than I ever thought possible that I don’t think about the extra weight the way I used to.  It is truly liberating.  I encourage you to ditch those goals that make you feel depressed and discouraged.  They are the WRONG goals.

The last thing we need for true success, is to evaluate our progress on a regular basis.  Look at your progress weekly.  If you are on track, great, how can you speed it up?  If you aren’t on track, why is that and how do you address it now before it gets out of hand?  Every day is a new day to get back on track.  Just because yesterday was difficult and you didn’t get anything done, doesn’t mean that today has to be more of the same.  Get up, make your bed, and get on with your list!

Wishing you all the best!


Achieve your Goals!

Why resolutions don’t work

Setting goals seems easy, just decide what you want to do and then do it.  If New Year’s resolutions have taught us anything, however, this just isn’t the case.  So why do we have so much difficulty sticking to those resolutions and achieving our goals?

It’s the wrong goal.

Maybe this is a silly thing to suggest, but how realistic is your goal?  How long is it going to take you?  How much will it cost, both financially and personally?  Do you know the smaller action steps you need to take?  Are you willing to put in the time, effort, persistence it takes to make it happen?

Sometimes, the answer to these questions is simply…No.  If that’s the case, it’s the wrong goal for you.  A good example is weight loss.  Many of us want to lose weight.  We know what to do.  Exercise and eat healthy foods, in smaller portions.  Despite knowing this, many of us have been trying to lose the same 20 or 30 or 50 pounds for years.  Every year we tell ourselves that this is the year.  We get a gym membership or maybe order that new exercise program, so we can do it at home.  And we do really well…for a week.  Then something happens, and we take a day off, or we’re busy and the kids want pizza and we don’t have time to cook.

You know what I’m talking about.  The one day off, the one night of pizza turns into a second day.  Maybe we try the exercise program the next day and find that it’s really hard and we’re tired.  Maybe just another day or two off and we’ll get back to it.  And then our goal that we were so pumped about just a week or so ago, is nowhere in our heads and those pounds are just going to have to wait.

We tell ourselves that we just don’t have the time, or the energy.  We complain that our kids or significant other want pizza and junk food, and how can we possibly maintain a healthy diet with all this temptation?  We tell ourselves that this exercise program is just too much for us to begin with, so we’ll scale back and do some stretching and walk the dog before we try again.  Substitute weight loss with any other goal/resolution you’ve ever made that you didn’t achieve.

Maybe you didn’t achieve the goal because it was the wrong goal for you.  I’m not saying weight loss shouldn’t be a goal, but it probably wasn’t realistic in your mind.  Did you write it down?  Did you plan your action steps?  Did you hope you would lose five pounds a week when 1-2 is more realistic?  Did you set yourself up for failure?  Were you holding yourself accountable?  Did you tell yourself that you’d start “tomorrow”?

Real goal setting isn’t easy, neither is achieving those goals, but there is a way to help you be more successful when you decide that it’s time to kick ass and get it done!

First, make a list of everything you want to accomplish.  Remove all doubts and limits.  Don’t think about the likelihood of it happening, or how much it costs, just write it all down.  Don’t be realistic.  Be the kid making his Christmas list for Santa…put it ALL in because Santa is magic and doesn’t have a budget!

Once you’re done with your list, THEN we’ll talk about the rest.  You can use a scrap piece of paper, or use the No Limits Worksheet.  Just concentrate of filling out the first column.  We’ll get to the others next.  Here is a snippet of my list.  It’s pages long, but this will hopefully give you some idea of what types of things you can put on your list.

My list:

Magical Powers

Live a healthy and active lifestyle

Be debt free by the time I’m 45

Retire by the time I’m 50

Write a Best-seller

Appear on Ellen

Have a successful Youtube Channel

Help people realize their potential

Run a successful business

Have a healthy relationship

Travel to Scotland

Remodel the master bathroom

Put in a pool and spa

Get a Roomba

Have a clean, clutter-free and organized home

Be motivating and inspirational

Do small acts of kindness daily


Think of everything you might possibly want for your life.  Do not limit yourself!  The first step in goal setting is to have a clear picture in your mind (and on paper) of what you want.  In addition to making a list, you may want to create a visual representation for yourself in the form of a dream/goal board.  Something that you will see every single day to remind you of your goals.  When you read my list, you’ll notice that there are some very practical things on there, and then some that seem highly unlikely.  I will never give up wanting magical powers, but I have to admit that it probably will not happen.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s staying on my list because I still want it.

Are your goals attainable?

Now that you have a list, go through it again and ask yourself if your goal is realistic.  Put a Y in the Realistic? column if it is, and an N if it isn’t.  If it’s possible, just not highly likely, then put the Y.  Dream Big here!  If someone else has done it, then you can do it too!

The next question to ask yourself is: Can this goal be broken down into smaller, actionable steps?  If so, do I know what they are?  Put a Y into the Steps? column if you know how to break it down and what the steps are, a Y? if there are steps but you don’t know them, and an N if there are not actionable steps you can take to achieve the goal.

Time is always a factor.  Think about the time it will take you to achieve your goal.  Is it a reasonable amount of time?  Only you know if something is reasonable.  The better question might be: are you willing to work hard for that amount of time to achieve your goal?  If yes, then put a Y in the column.  If no, put an N.

Finally, what is the cost?  Is the cost reasonable to you?  The “cost” may be monetary (as in school tuition) or it may be emotional (leaving your family for months to travel abroad).  Cost could also be anything else you’d have to give up.  If one of your goals is to run a marathon, the cost may be your free time, lunch with friends, etc.  If the cost is reasonable, put a Y in the column.

Where do we begin?

Now that we have our information, find the goals that have all Y’s in the columns.  These are the goals that have the highest chance of success.  Are there any that jump out at you, any that you’re really moved to attack right now.  Not tomorrow…right this minute.  Are you excited about this?  Are you ready to get going NOW?

If these are goals that you have been working on for years and not achieving, there may be other factors.

What are your fears regarding these goals?  What is holding you back?  What is standing in your way?  Now is the time to be honest about it and get out of your own way.

What are your strengths?  What parts of these goals can you totally rock?

What are your weaknesses?  What skills or changes do you need to make in order to achieve these goals?

What threats are out there, keeping you from achieving these goals?  How can you overcome them?  Having a plan now will help you when they arise.

What opportunities do you have for success?  Are you giving yourself the opportunity for success or are you denying yourself?  Has someone else given you the opportunity…why aren’t you taking it?

Try using this worksheet to help you think through these questions.  You can fill one out for every goal if you like, but if you’re like me, most of them are the same regardless of the goal.

Monday’s post will pull this all together and we’ll get started on finding that motivation and making a plan to achieve our goals NOW, as quickly as possible.  Take the next couple of days to really think through what you want and how quickly you want it.  Achieving your goals is possible!  Let me help you 🙂

I wish you an amazing weekend and I look forward to hearing from you!