Achieve Goals

Person playing chess

Five Goal-Setting Tips You May Not Have Thought Of

The vision must be followed by the venture.  It is not enough to stare up the steps – we must step up the stairs.  ~ Vance Havner

goal-setting tips

When it comes to getting what you want out of life, one of the best places to start is by setting goals and writing them down. Telling you to create SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound – is a common starting point for many coaching programs. While I’m not going to argue that SMART goals work, I am going to tell you that there are a few other things to take into consideration when setting goals.

Here are a few goal-setting tips to think about that may not have crossed your mind:

Is this the best goal for me at this point in my life?

Just because you can set a goal, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Consider all your possibilities before you select the topic of your goal.

One way to do this is to write out a list of 5 to 10 goals you are thinking of working on. Then go down the list asking yourself, “Which one of these goals resonates with me the most at this time?”

Pay attention to how you feel as you are answering the question. Your heart and intuition will provide the answer for you, if you let them.

What is the deadline for this goal?

The “T” in SMART goals stands for time-based, and it only makes sense that any goal you set must have a deadline of some sort. If you leave the completion date open-ended, you will not have much motivation to really achieve it.

Think about the time frame for your goal, and be clear in adding an end date to it. Using the phrase “On or before…” to start your goal statement gives you an opening to achieve it earlier than your self-imposed deadline.

Another thing to consider is how much time you want to give yourself. It is generally considered most effective to limit your goals to things you can accomplish in three months or less. If you are looking at a long-term goal, break it down into smaller steps that you can accomplish within the three-month time frame.

Could this goal have an open-ended result?

Just as you want to allow for achieving your goal in a shorter time frame, you might want to also consider achieving more than you think you can. Two examples of where it’s possible to leave an open-ended result are weight-loss goals and financial goals.

For example, when setting a weight loss goal you might include “I will lose at least…” in your statement. That way you allow for the possibility that you could lose more than the minimum. The same goes for financial goals. If your goal is to create an income of, say, $500 a week, adding “create income of at least $500” opens the door for you to receive more than what you are asking for.

What will I do to achieve this goal?

It always amazes me that people expect a goal to achieve itself, as if the act of writing it down is enough. You must take action and be willing to do what needs to be done in order to achieve the results you want.

When you are writing out your goal, be sure to include a list of specific actions you will take. Not only does this show that you are claiming responsibility for achieving your goals, it also gives you a checklist that you can use to keep track of your progress along the way.

Is achieving this goal a priority for me?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of setting a goal because you think you should, not because it is a priority for you. To achieve a goal, you must find a way to let your brain know that this goal is the number one thing that has to get done.

One way to get the message to your brain is to practice visualization. Visualize what you will feel like once you have achieved your goal. See it happening in the most ideal way you can imagine. What do you see, hear, smell, think, and feel? The more emotions and senses you can add to your vision, the more real it becomes to your brain.

A second way to let your brain know this goal is important is through repetition. Here is an exercise you can do:

Once you have set your goal, write it out 25 times. Pay attention to how you feel about it as you are writing. If you feel anything less than motivated and excited, there is some question in your mind about it. Take the time to figure out what’s holding back your enthusiasm so you break through the block and move forward with confidence.

Whether you use them by themselves, or in conjunction with other methods, you will find that taking the time to ask yourself these questions, and paying attention to the answers may just give you an edge in achieving your next goal.

Two arrows in road, one that says habits and the other says changes

Do Your Habits Leave You Stressed Out?

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Habits. We’ve all got them. Some help you on your way to achieving your goals yet other habits eventually hold you back from getting what you want. Bad habits, over time can lead you astray and create more stress in your life.

The good news is that habits are learned. We weren’t born with them. It all boils down to the choices you make each day. With a little perseverance and focus, you can be free from those bad habits. Your everyday choices are the key to success.

Are you on automatic pilot?

Many of our daily decisions are things we do without thinking. You go on autopilot each morning from taking a shower to brushing your teeth. Sometimes choices we make without thinking about them can develop habits that stray from your goals. It might be as innocent as grabbing that bag of chips without thinking about your health goal. Or maybe you ignore your spending habits when you are in financial trouble.

Denial can truly contribute to stress and create bigger problems in your life. The key is being consciously aware of daily choices that block what you really want. It’s time to get clear about your  choices and to stop walking through life in a fog.

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun

So, you are clear that you’ve got some habits to shift. Here are three tips to create habits that will help, not hurt you:

1.    Pick one habit to change. One of the ways to have an epic fail is try to kick several habits at once. This is a surefire recipe to resort back to those old habits that just weren’t working in the first place. Start by committing to one small change. Maybe it’s as simple as choosing to have a healthy breakfast every day this week.

2.    Get clear about why. Journal and write down why you want to change a habit. Keep your reasons in your purse and wallet. The moment you want to return to your old habits, pull out your why list. Your reasons for wanting to change keep you on track for success.

3.    Don’t keep this a secret. If you’ve made the decision to break a habit, tell others. This is the time when you need the support of your family and friends to help you be successful. It’s so important to share what you hope to accomplish with family and friends. Those who love you will be there to encourage you, offer support, and help you wherever they can.

Breaking a bad habit can be a challenge, but it isn’t impossible. It will significantly help to reduce your stress level. Use these techniques to make your journey easier and celebrate your accomplishment when you’ve succeeded – you deserve it!

What new habit would you like to create in your life? Tell me all about it in the comment section below.

Various clocks flying in air

How to Be Productive Without Losing Sleep

“You cannot manage time, you can only manage yourself.” – Peter Drucker

Being productive is something most people want during any given day. Long lists from what seems like endless projects can become overwhelming and suck the life from you. Before you know it, you are staying up long hours and losing sleep to get everything done. It seems like so many distractions detour you from the end result: completing your project.

Juggling Time

Various clocks flying in airA common time-management tool is to control the activities outside of you. It’s common to try to juggle everything you have to do. Does it seem that the personal calendar company didn’t put enough lines for your to-do list? A result of stress is attempting to manage things outside of you. Maybe it’s not so much about managing your activities but how you manage yourself first.

“Time flies. It’s up to you to be the navigator. “ – Robert Orben

Managing how you spend your time is an essential key in being productive. Where you choose to spend your time will determine the richness and quality of your life.

Dealing with distractions

The number-one time thief is distraction. Focus is one area that will greatly improve how much time you allocate to different areas of your life. A new time tool to try is Time Doctor. It allows you to focus on a one task while getting a true read of how long it takes to get the task done. Time Doctor lets you start and stop tasks and sends you a productivity report daily. When the timer is running, this program really helps you stay on task.

Shift how you look at time

Time really cannot be saved. Once it is wasted you can’t get it back. Look at what you value the most in life. Examine if you are contributing your efforts to those areas the most. For example, spending time with your loved ones is a value you hold, then you choose to do activities with them.

Prioritize and do what’s most important

Now that you have determined where you want to spend your time, you can now decide what actions will be most effective. Focus your efforts on the tasks that will give you the biggest bang for your effort. Your activities will truly tell you what you value.

Remember, you are in charge of how best to accomplish your goals. Life will throw roadblocks up from time to time. Step back and see if you need to change how you are approaching your goal or that you need to take a deep breath and move forward.

Delegate and ask for help

People lose trust in someone quickly if they say they can do something and fail to follow up. Before accepting another task to do, ask yourself these two questions:

”Does this activity truly fit into where I want to spend my time and what I value most?”

“Can someone else help me with this task?”

Answering these two questions can truly help you keep focused.

Study how you can use the 24 hours in the day to create happiness and a deeper quality of life. You may find that you are more productive without losing sleep.

I want to give you the form that helps me prioritize my day. Click here to download my Life Management Daily Checklist as my gift to you.

How Procrastination Blocks Your Happiness

"Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday." – Napoleon Hill


Procrastination can be a block that interferes with your productivity, time and dreams. Many procrastinators say they work better under pressure. It’s that rush of adrenaline to finish a project and getting something done under the wire. There are an infinite number of things that could occupy your time other than getting that dreaded project done. But when it comes right down to it, putting off priorities is nothing but a habit.


Procrastination shows up in many forms at work. Distractions, intentional or not block you from getting things done. Email, Facebook, phone calls, texts can be only some of the distractions that get in your way of productivity. A problem with saying no and guarding your time can be another factor. Lastly, there are those added responsibilities when caring for others that leave you feeling there’s no time in the day for you. You feel nothing but drained, used up and just plain unhappy.

Putting off finishing a job has a price

Focusing on things other than work can hit your pocket book. Procrastination can hit your income, when you choose to do anything else but creating your next product or making important calls. When you stall working on an assignment, it seems like it’s taking forever to get it done. And, if fact it is. Never crossing a project off the list begins to create unnecessary stress on you. When you delay finishing a plan, it can be a total wet blanket on your passion and enthusiasm to get jobs finished. A big price procrastinators pay is having a block of time just for you. When you tell yourself that there isn’t enough time in the day for me, procrastination and distraction can be the culprits.

What it takes to get the job done

The bottom line is disciplined use of time is the secret to many people’s success- and stress reduction. Remember, the only thing you have control over in a sea of demands and work chaos are your thoughts. When you’re stressed, it is impossible to see your ability to feel in control of your mind due to chemical reactions in your body. It takes practice. But disarming the habit of procrastination can be the first step.

Break it down. Start by taking that one overwhelming project and divide it into smaller projects. Bite-size tasks can be a little easier to take on than that monstrous goal you’ve been putting off. The smaller steps can be put into those time slots that seem too short to start anything. Just chip away at that goal a little bit at a time. The key is action, not stagnation.

Practice the skill of focus.  Practice focusing on 15 minutes of pure drive toward our goal. Nothing is allowed to distract you, of course unless there is an emergency. Guard your time toward your project. Increase the amount of time to focus without interruption. Remember, the subconscious mind has a way of undermining you when focusing on a task

Keep positive. Visualize the outcome of the goal. If you can’t see the end result then focus on one step you can take towards the activity. If you fill your mind with doubt, then that same reservation will show up during your work.

Ditch the habit of procrastination. Practice these skills and learn to be the director of your own destiny and happiness.

Prioritize: How to Achieve Your Goals Quicker

“Good things happen when you get your priorities straight.”—Scott Caan

Prioritizing what you want at work can be confusing when you are stressed. There is nothing worse than sitting at the computer with nothing but a blank page and stare to match.  Figuring out how to organize tasks, projects or responsibilities can become overwhelming when everything seems like a crisis. Organizing what to do first can seem impossible if everything looks important.

The biggest problem when prioritizing can be deciding exactly what you want to do. Sounds crazy, right? But it’s true. Knowing exactly what you want, creating a plan and taking action can be much harder than it seems. The key to clarity is learning how to prioritize with razor sharp precision.

Prioritization is necessary to sort through lists and get things done. If you choose tasks of less importance to complete first, it is easy to misjudge time needed for a specific project. Here is a fail-proof plan to achieve your goals quicker:

Decide exactly what you want. Be as specific as possible. Write it out in your journal first. See it, feel it and live your goal with all of your senses. Be clear about your time frame and realistic about your deadline. List all the reasons you can for wanting to achieve your goal. These are necessary to hold onto when you just want to give up.

Create a Plan. Make and outline and break your goal or project down into steps. These are bite-size short term goals that you can do to get the job done. Remember, if your plan gets detoured course correct as quickly as possible and get back on track. The longer you stay in thinking that you have failed, the harder it is to move forward again.

There are several ways to sort through prioritizing projects or tasks. There are a variety of worksheets to help you figure out what tasks are urgent or not to pressing to finish. A great way to organize tasks is using sticky notes. Write the project on a big sticky note. Then use smaller sticky notes to organize the project. You can then move the notes around to clearly see your next step.

Just Do It. Take action on your plan as soon as it’s in place. Thinking about it too much can quickly lead to procrastination. Your subconscious mind has sneaky ways to block you from getting a job done.

Evaluate what parts of your plan can be done by others. Ask if tasks can be outsourced to other people, such as virtual assistants or other free-lance help. Can other office mates, friends or family members pitch in to get the job finished? Remember, you don’t have to do the project by yourself.

Keep as positive as possible when working on your goal or project. Don’t forget to add a mental support system to achieve your goal. Struggling on a project can take a toll on your mindset. Practice meditation, listen to a motivational speaker, write your thoughts in a journal and schedule regular meetings with business friends of like mind can make a huge difference in how quickly a goal can be finished.

Why New Year’s Resolutions Rarely Work

new year's resolutionsMany years ago I resolved never to bother with New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.  ~Dave Beard

New Year’s resolutions are list of tasks you would love to accomplish in the coming year. You might have been thinking about making changes for a while. However, you might have tacked one or two promises on the list at the last minute. What makes a resolution successful?  According to the University Of Scranton Journal Of Clinical Psychology, the success rates for New Year’s resolutions are as follows:

•    Resolution maintained after the first week- 75%
•    Resolution maintained after two weeks- 71%
•    Resolution maintained after one month-64%
•    Resolution maintained after six months-46%

Less than half of the folks who set out to achieve resolutions maintain their goals after 6 months. It’s not clear whether the numbers would be the same at other times of the year. Regardless, what happens to your goals and dreams? You might have lost interest, the motivation, or the end result wasn’t important anymore. Keeping on track can fall by the wayside when the goal isn’t clear. Being unfocused can set you up for an epic fail

Why New Year’s Resolutions Rarely Work

The last six weeks have been spent burning the candle at both ends during the holiday season. You might have not been getting your basic needs met, such as sleep or relaxation. Your diet probably wasn’t the best with all of the parties and sweets everywhere. Holiday stresses takes a toll on your body and people rarely stop and recover from the holiday marathon. The bottom line is that your energy is low and so are your resources to be successful at change. Beginning major life changes such as weight loss or quitting smoking may not be the best idea without holiday recovery time.

A client, I’ll call Jackie told me how she was putting the pieces back together after the holidays. “Everyone wanted a piece of me and I had no time for myself. I planned on joining a gym to lose some weight but I can’t even think straight.”  Jackie was clearly exhausted and was missing some vital pieces needed to be successful at her goal.

If Not New Years Day, Then When?

“Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you ready or not, to put this plan into action.”—Napoleon Hill

Resolutions have a greater chance to succeed when there are the following pieces:

•    Solid goals with a plan in place
•    Secure reasons why you want to change
•    Know you can re-evaluate you plan at any time if something doesn’t work
•    Support system for success

You want to create a solid plan for change so you can be as successful as possible. Once your plan is in place, just get started. Procrastination is just a way that your subconscious mind blocks you from success. Move forward and keep your aim on your goals. If something doesn’t work, look at your goals and start again as soon as possible. Beating yourself up for not staying on track only allows you to lose you momentum. Don’t take failure personally. It’s there to show you what doesn’t work. Get up, dust yourself off and keep going.

Get all of your resources in place and choose a target date that’s best for you. There are 364 other days in the year that you will have all of the factors you need for reaching your goals.

Scroll to Top