4 Step Goal Planning Process

Happy Tuesday!

Now that I have passed the Christmas season and am are approaching the New Year, it is time to end 2015 with a practical plan for attainment of those abandoned goals.  Hopefully you have completed your self evaluation, I certainly have, and you are now ready to  take advantage of those two hours of planning.

I chose two hours of planning time because I excel at short spurts of planning – this is an important lesson you learn while partaking in on the job mommy training.  Two hours undisturbed is a luxury that I try to embrace every chance I get.  I have learned that I can accomplish a lot of things in 2 hours when I put my mind to it.   However, my 2 hour rule was originally created as a way to ensure that my mind wouldn’t begin to wander away from the purpose of my activity.  I have asked friends how much time they spend planning various tasks and two hours seems to be an appropriate amount of time for a quick strategy session.

Now it’s time for me to introduce one of my favorite goal attainment strategies.  I do not consider myself an expert on the subject of goal setting as broad and varied with multiple books written about the topic. I think my strategy is pretty simple and hopefully at least one or more of the steps can assist you.

Five Steps to Outcome Planning 

1.  Outcome Mentality
You did the hard part and identified why the goal is important, now its time to stop referring to the goal and start thinking of it as an outcome.  This makes it more realistic in my mind and allows me to focus on the process I have put together instead of the goal.

2.  Identify Barriers 
I always identify those things which could be hindering my path to my final outcome.  These are my obstacles to success and the must be removed so I can make momentum.  I give myself a few minutes to jot down the barriers that could hinder that outcome.  Some examples include tendency to procrastinate, dislike of the gym, no one to hold me accountable, minimal financial resources.

3.  Strategy
From my barriers list, I begin to identify what my strategy will be to remove each of the barriers indicated.  Opportunities for the removal of my identified barriers is important because if I overlook them, I am leaving them myself open for these to continue to be potential roadblocks. By creating a strategy for each barrier, I acknowledge that this is an important step that must be addressed so that I don’t fall into a pattern of no progress.

For example:  

Dislike of the gym = Walk my dog twice a day, Walk four laps around the park while the kids plan, have 30 minute dance offs with the kids.

Minimal Financial Resources = $30 improvement fund, coffee at home, take my lunch

4.  Needs
I always identify external resources I may need to access in order to increase my ability achievement of the outcome within my target time frame.  I also look for things I will need to do in order to utilize those resources once obtained.  Needs are the most important feature of my planning session.  This tells me how I will spend the money I have invested into my improvement fund or whether I will need to alter my barriers or strategy.  The needs becomes the foundation of my overall plan of action and creates ladder steps along the way which allow me to see my growth.
Overall the four steps are not interdependent but I have found that when used together, they provide me with a means in which to determine if this is the outcome I am sincerely interested in.  If after these steps, I still have doubts about the possibility of success then it goes back into the abandoned pile never to be seen again.

This is my plan and it works for me.  Hopefully, it will help someone else who might be facing a few challenges in their attainment of goals. I would love to hear about your strategy, leave me a comment about how you ensure that you attain your goals.

Til next time,

“An average person with average talents and ambition and average education, can outstrip the most brilliant genius in our society, it that person has clear, focused goals” – Mary Kay Ask


3 Questions to Ask Before You Abandon A Goal

In looking at my life so far in 2015, I can see major changes I made since 2014.  As I prepare for 2016 I am filled with excitement as I ponder the additional adventures and new experiences awaiting me.  But I must admit that I most look forward to the developments and observations my children will make.  

Viewing life through the eyes of a child help you to remember that anything is possible.  If the method can’t be quickly identified,  you can count on a child to ask “why” over and over and over again until you either figure out a way to make it happen or figure out a way to distract their interest.

One benefit of listening to the endless stream of “but why” is that it always brings my mind back to my own interests and realizations that I either achieved a lot or abandoned a lot.  Hearing my boys ask why, gives me a jolt of motivation and determination.  I become more determined to do better and be better as examples to them.  Thus those goals that were abandoned are the ones I begin to think about and eventually re-evaluate with a different lens. 

It is at that time, I then ask myself three questions:

1.  Who would I be if I were to accomplish this goal?  If there would be no new experience or opportunity gained, then I would stop here.  I was probably right to abandon it.

2.  What was the inspiration behind creating the goal?   I had a reason for making this goal.  What was it and does that inspiration still exist?  If the answer is yes, maybe it’s time to revisit the goal.

3.  When did I make the goal?  Was it during the emotional atmosphere of holidays or because of seeing someone else do something I know I could and should have done?  If the goal was created during an emotional time that is now past without me retaining the same desire for the goal, then I accept this as validation that I was right to abandon the goal.

Since I am a fan of the concept that majority rules, if most of my answers to my three questions indicate that there remains a spark of interest – you know what I do.  I re-write the goals and give myself two hours to re-evaluate and plan my approach for the attainment of the goal.

This allows me to ensure I will have no regrets and it gives me a slight push to keep learning about myself as well as learning ways to outsmart my kids.  Because after all, I either have a kid logical answer for the “but why” or  I need a large arsenal of diversions.

Til next time,

The difference between a goal and a dream is a plan of action


No More Excuses

“I have no money”

“I can’t afford to do that”

“Maybe when I pay off ..”

“I’m not good at that”

At some point in my life I have used all of these excuses to prevent me from working on myself. They stopped me from growing professionally.  They stopped me from growing personally.

Each time I said one of them, it made me a little less confident and created doubt in my head as to what I was capable of.  I have heard my friends, family members & coworkers utter these words.  Shortly afterwards it was almost as if I could see a bit of their enthusiasm and confidence float away.  You know what I mean.  One minute you are having a conversation regarding a trip you may want to take or a conference you would like to attend or maybe a business to start.  Maybe it’s what you would do with a million dollars.

As you discuss the benefits of the action, you get excited and your smile grows bigger – you exude happiness.  Then a few seconds later, reality sets in and all you can see are the barriers. Your smile fades and shoulders slump. You have entered the excuse zone.  Now all you can think about are the reasons “why not” instead “how can I make this happen?

This holiday season is a great time to give yourself the gift of no more excuses. No more negativity.  Last year this time I started a new practice that has helped me to remove the obstacle of money.  I call it my  personal improvement savings plan.  

Each month I put aside $30 and this money is earmarked for nothing other than personal improvement.  I classify personal improvement expenditures as items such as:

1.  Personal Growth Books

2.  Magazines and Audiobooks

3. Continuing Education classes for CEUs

4.  Membership fees

While $30 is not a lot of money overall, when you consider that technology makes it easier than ever to access information; $30 can go a long way.  Each month when I look at the $30 transfer I am reminded that I am making an investment in myself and my future.  I am reminding myself that excuses are no longer allowed and growth is the expectation.

Til next time,

An investment in yourself is money well spent

Weekly Wisdom

Wednesday Wisdom: 10 Quotes To Promote Positively 

The news appears to project a multitude of negative and evil things which are surrounding us each day.  If I spent a lot of time listening to the news or reading about the never ending stories of crime and terror, I think I would begin to lose sight of the truly good things that occur in this world.   I would lose sight of the people who inspire me to be better and then I fear I would look over my shoulder for the people who inspire fear and distrust of myfellow man.

Today I wanted to share 10 Quotes that help me remember the relationship between my behavior and my perception of others. 

1.  “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama

2.   “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” – Desmond Tutu

3.   “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao Tzu

4.  “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you” – The Golden Rule

5. “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius

6. “We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” – Albert Einstein

7. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” – Plato

8.  “You don’t have to be famous. You just have to make your mother and father proud of you.” – Meryl Streep

9.  “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.” – Mom

10.  “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Til next time,

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you”- Joseph Campbell