Posts Tagged ‘Goals’

Quarterly Goals

January 19, 2017

I had a meeting with my business coach last week to talk about my business in general and where I’d like to take it. Of course, I had a flip answer ‘To the Moon’ I replied. That drew the expected chuckle from her. She then said, ‘Really, what are your goals for this year – 2017’. I had no reply. I was deep in thought. I was thinking about all the areas that I want to improve regarding my business.. more speaking, sell more books, work with organizing clients, write my blog. I have an endless list. Being very smart, my coach then asked me to focus on just one topic and create a short term goal. Her question was what would I like to focus on this quarter?

I love this idea which is why I’m sharing it with you. Focusing on just a few things for just a few months makes the goal so much more achievable. Since the end is in sight I better create a plan and write down the steps I need to take, to make measurable progress by the end of March. I like this so much better than planning what I want to have accomplished by the end of December – 12 long months from now.

I encourage you to think about your goals in small chunks. Think about what you would like to accomplish between now and the end of March. Is there a house project? If there is, is it something would contract out or is it a project you want to tackle yourself?

Do you have a personal goal to exercise more? Now is the time to sign up for that gym membership! Or maybe you want to create your own exercise routine. Perhaps you’ll mix it up and create a schedule to walk so many times a week combined with an exercise class or two.

Do you want to cook at home more often? There are many different companies which offer pre-measured ingredients packaged meal by meal and are delivered to your home. You can check them out online.

A great short term goal might be to get control of your papers and filing system. Think about it. If you worked on that a little at a time between now and the end of February. You would accomplish two things. You’d have a paper filing system that is current and you would be able to tackle your taxes in March, enabling you to get them off your desk promptly.

Wow! Aren’t you just loving the thought of these short-term or quarterly goals?

My short-term goal is to focus on promoting the children’s books I wrote with my co-author Jonda Beattie. 

What will you choose to be your short-term goal? Write me back and let me know!

 

 

 

 

Changing Routines – Part Two

September 14, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I told you that I had moved to a new home and that I am working to create new routines. I have to do this because I’m in a new environment. My first challenge was how to safely walk my dogs in the morning.  I walk very early in the morning and the street I now live off of is busy and there are no sidewalks. I solved this dilemma by deciding to put the dogs in my car and drive a couple of miles down the road to a beautiful park that has nice wide sidewalks and street lights.

My next challenge is to workout. I used to live about 10 minutes from a fabulous gym. I worked with a personal trainer for half an hour twice a week. It was a great routine. All the different muscle groups were addressed and I even got some stretching in. I’m about 20 – 25 minutes away from this gym now. That would mean I’d need to allow about an hour of travel time for a half hour workout. That makes no sense to me. I’m working to establish a good workout routine here at home.

I have space in which to exercise. I also now have 3 levels in my home as it’s a townhouse. No need to spend time on a stair master! I’m walking my dogs twice a day instead of once a day but I don’t want you to think that’s real exercise as my dogs like to stop and sniff every few feet. We walk about 1.5 miles at a time but it’s stop and go walking.

Are you asking yourself what’s the problem here? Well, the problem is that I want to get back to a regular workout routine. Left to my own devices I can find lots to do (other than workout).  I work well when I have a schedule and a plan.

I thought back to the exercises that I did with my trainer and wrote down some of the ones that I can do without machinery. Then I made a plan to workout 3 days a week. I figure since I don’t have to travel anywhere I should be able to fit that in.  The three days don’t always have to be the same – my client schedule is not the same every week – as long as I keep to my plan of three days in a calendar week.

I know that there are some yoga studios not too far from where I live now. My next step is to investigate them to see if I can get to a yoga class once a week which will help me with balance and stretching.

I’m beginning this new routine this week. I’ll keep track in my daily calendar the days that I work out and I will check into the local yoga studios. That’s my plan and I’m going to do my best to stick to it! As I know (and I think you know too) creating a new routine is work. It takes consistent and conscious effort to make a change and then continued practice to create the new habit.

Wish me luck! I look forward to reading your comments.

 To Do List So Many Things

Moving Again?!

August 24, 2016

Yes, I took some time off writing this blog because I was preparing to move again. I did what I tell all my clients to do. I took a long hard look at my things. I emptied out cupboards and only packed that which I really wanted to take with me. I donated some things, sold some things and put some things out for the trash. And I scheduled 3 appointments with a professional organizer. Yes. Even professional organizers need some guidance and encouragement when tackling difficult tasks!

Then the move happened. I didn’t go far – only about 8 miles or so from where I had been living but it seems light years away. More about that in a moment.

It doesn’t matter how organized or prepared you are – moving is stressful. There is a chaotic feeling about the day of the move. I knew this would happen so I took my dogs, Miles and Josie, to be boarded for a week. I didn’t want them to get even more upset watching the process of dismantling their house. Also, with all the doors open there was a chance that they may get lost!

The truck made its way to my new home. Everything was unloaded. Furniture was placed. And then the boxes. OH, BOY were there ever boxes!

I gave myself a week to unpack, put things away, and hang pictures. That was a very tall order. I did get all the boxes unpacked and everything put away. I am pondering the placement of a few pictures but most of them are hung and look great!

Miles and Josie came home to a house that was full of familiar smells, familiar pieces of furniture in unfamiliar places. They have adjusted well and so have I.

I’m resuming a normal work schedule and feel really settled. I am attending to some volunteer tasks that I had let slide while I was preparing to move.

Yes. I still have things I want to do. I want to tweak the shelving in a few places. I want to paint the rooms. I have HUGE ideas for my garden. These things can wait. I will get to them one project at a time.

The most important thing I want to share with you is that while moving is undeniably stressful there are things you can do to speed up the transition from one home to another.

1.      Be mindful of your decisions of what to take with you when you move

2.      Only bring things you Love, Need, Use

3.      Unpack and put away as quickly as you can

4.      Unpack your bedroom first so you can get a good night’s sleep

5.      Pace yourself

6.      Recycle the packing paper quickly

7.      Cut down and flatten the boxes (my moving company reuses the boxes and came to collect them)

8.      Board your pets – moving is stressful for them too!

I’m so happy to be in my new home! I hope if you move some of these suggestions will help you in your transition to your new home!

Workers Putting Furniture And Boxes In Truck

 

 

Proud Navy Mom

February 4, 2015

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A little more than a year ago my son told me that he wanted to enlist in the Navy. I told him that would be terrific. He had just turned 28 years old and was looking at this opportunity with the Navy as a career choice. He also told me that he had some work to do before he would be considered.

Of course, I was curious.. what kind of work did he need to do? To be accepted he needed to meet the weight requirements for his height. I knew that would be tough. My son was in great shape and had been working out so had built lots of big bulky muscles. He had to do more than change his diet he had to change his workout strategy so that he would stay strong and fit but loose muscle mass. That’s a huge challenge. He enlisted the help of a trainer at a local gym. Together they made a detailed plan.

In addition to that he told me he wanted to study hard so that he would do well on the placement test. He figured out what he needed to study, looked at his calendar and plotted the different subjects into the months. He also scheduled review sessions so the material would be fresh in his mind. He also needed to move home – to do that he had to clean out his house and list it for sale. These were very big long-term projects but he was determined. He broke these projects down into small, manageable steps. He set achievable bench marks and rewarded himself along the way. He made lists and stuck to his plan.

He moved home in late September and started boot camp with the Navy in early December. All the while he studied for those tests, continued to follow his diet plan and worked out.

This past weekend I had the honor and privilege of attending his graduation. He is now a sailor! This just goes to show that hard work, dedication to a dream, determination, and planning pay off. I am a proud Navy mom!

Resolutions

December 30, 2014

Do you make a New Year’s Resolution? I used to. It generally involved promising myself to exercise more and eat healthier meals – snack less.

I just read a post on Facebook from a life coach about her top 10 New Year’s resolutions. I loved reading them because they were all about doing small things for yourself. They were something like: rest more, let myself off the hook, schedule fun everyday…. these are wonderful to remember and not to hard to keep.

The resolutions that I used to make – promises to myself – were never kept. Well, maybe they were for about a month and then I forgot all about them. This New Year’s Eve I suggest that we follow this life coach’s example and write down a few (not more than 10) things that are easy to complete almost daily or at least weekly. Then post these resolutions somewhere you’ll see them daily. This way they will stay in your mind and hopefully on your calendar. Remember if you don’t schedule the time for yourself it probably won’t happen.

Another activity to engage in over the next few days is to write down your accomplishments from 2014. What are the projects that you completed – write them down. Did you take any trips, go to any conferences, have any adventures? Write them down and celebrate these marvelous accomplishments. I think it’s awesome to plan your next goals but I also think it’s great to remember and celebrate that which has already been tackled and successfully completed!

Here’s to remembering what was in 2014 and looking forward to what will be in 2015!

Happy New Year!

The Holidays are Coming!

October 15, 2013

Have you noticed that advertising and talking about the holidays has started already? In the October issue of Better Homes and Gardens there was a short paragraph about grocery shopping for the holidays. It mentioned that you can save money by buying some non-perishable ingredients in bulk now before the holiday rush begins in earnest.

The cover of the November issue of Real Simple magazine talks about holiday entertaining made easy. Real Simple magazine is referring specifically to Thanksgiving but really you can apply the tips to other holiday gatherings.

I was shopping at a mall in Atlanta over the weekend and saw many holiday displays. One store had Christmas bears for sale another was selling Christmas tree ornaments and even had several decorated trees on display already! I was really flabbergasted! Christmas on display before Halloween.

Does all the advanced warning of the holidays’ arrival put you into panic mode or does it make you want to organize yourself early?

There is something to be said for making your list in preparation for the holidays. When you start preparing in advance you allow plenty of time to get things done without stress and you give yourself time to do things at a reasonable pace rather than rushing through. Another benefit to preparing in advance is that you save money. If you’re buying gifts for family and friends you can save money when you take advantage of seasonal sales. When you wait to the last minute you may indulge in impulse buying – just to get it done.

If we’re talking about Halloween make list of the candy you’ll buy, the costume you’ll rent (if you dress up), and the decorations for your front door (if you decorate). Make a note on your calendar to buy your pumpkin and set aside time to carve it. Thinking about these chores or tasks allows you to mentally prepare to actually follow through and accomplish them.

What about your list for Thanksgiving, Channukah or Christmas? Thanksgiving could be really easy if you’re not hosting a dinner! My recommendation is to think about your plan for each of these holidays

. What is your vision for each of the holidays?
* Will you be hosting an event?
* Do you like to attend certain plays or programs (like the holiday lights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens)?
* Do you like to decorate your house – inside and out?
* Do you like to give homemade baked goods as gifts?
* Do you want to send out holiday cards?

All these wonderful traditions take time. It’s possible to do them all but take a look at your calendar, factor in your daily routine and then schedule time to dedicate to the traditions that will bring your vision for the holidays to life. Only schedule those things that honestly fit your vision and your schedule. Be sure to allow time to simply relax and enjoy!

Take Time to Save Time

May 21, 2013

Quite often I hear things like this from my clients: I don’t know where to start; I have so much to do, I don’t know what to do first; I sit around and think of all the things I have to take care of and by the time I’ve decided what to do I don’t have time to do it.

Do any of these phrases sound familiar to you? Do you ever find yourself wondering what task to begin first or having so much to do that you spend all of your time trying to remember all those things and doing none of them. Then, perhaps, you feel a little guilty or unhappy with yourself because so much time has gone by and nothing has been accomplished.

I suggest that you take the time to make a list. Taking the time to write everything down (either on paper or electronically) will free your mind of having to remember all the tasks you want to complete. Then you can take a look at your calendar, review your schedule, and decide which tasks you have enough time to either complete or, at least, start.

When should you make this list? That’s up to you. What day and time makes the most sense to you? I make my master list on Sunday afternoons. I take a look at what I’ve accomplished during the preceding week and think about what I’d like to get done this week. Then I write everything down, recognizing that not everything will get done but if it’s on my list, I know I won’t forget! Every evening, after work, I make a short list for the next day. I first review my master list that I made Sunday afternoon, I look at my calendar see what time I have available to use and schedule my tasks accordingly.

I created the daily habit of doing this every evening because then I don’t worry during the night about what I have to do the next day. Taking the time in the evening saves me time in the morning – I know what I’m doing. I’ve already reviewed my tasks and prioritized them. This is not to say that I can always, everyday stick to my list and complete it – I can not. However, because I have this method and it works for me, when other unexpected things have to be taken care of first I am confident that I can juggle my schedule and manage the top priority tasks.

Goal Setting

February 27, 2013

Last week I talked about change and how to go about making a change in your habits.  Today I thought I’d continue that theme by talking about goal setting. I am a believer in having lots of goals. Most of my goals are short-term and very achievable. I love that because short-term goals are usually easily achieved. What do I do when I achieve my goal? Reward myself, of course!

When you are thinking about setting goals for yourself work backwards. Start with the end in mind. By what date do you want to have completed this goal. Be realistic and honest with yourself. If the goal is huge and daunting you might never achieve it – that is self-defeating. Instead why not break that goal down into small chunks and set completed by (or achieved by) dates for each chunk. After you have set the completed by date list all the steps you need to take to arrive at your goal – reminder you are still working backwards. Now set a start date. Before you actually start pick a reward. What will you get for achieving this goal? Is it a tangible reward or an intrinsic one? One of my favorite rewards is a movie afternoon or evening. I love going to the movies and I don’t get there often enough so that is a wonderful reward for me.

Now, you’ve picked your goal and made sure that it is realistic. You’ve set a finished by date and a start date. You’ve listed the steps to take to accomplish the goal. You have a reward in mind. Your final step in this process is to get out your calendar and plan when you are going to take all these step toward your stated goal. Once you have the steps scheduled into your calendar you may need to reassess your completed by date. Sometimes we have a tendancy to over-schedule ourselves or think we can actually fit one more thing into our day. Be kind to yourself. If you really want to make this happen, it has to work within the confines of your other responsibiities. Allow a little flex room, sometimes things just crop up.

Take another look at the start date, the scheduled steps, and your end date. Are you being realistic? Do you have a little wiggle room there? If so, pick your reward and then get started.

 

Living in Today

October 2, 2012

Do you find yourself living in the future? I mean, are you the type of person who says something like ‘I can’t wait for …? I know when my children were very little I would say to myself ‘I can’t wait for my baby to roll over’. When he was able to do that I went on to say ‘ I can’t wait for my baby to sit up’. This went on through the years and now both my babies are young men and living on their own. I did appreciate the moments as they happened but what I realize now is that I was always focused on something in the future. Focused on what would (or should) come next. I am learning to be better about living in today.

Now, having said that, you need to know that I still like to plan. I almost always plan my day the night before. That is to say, before I leave my desk at the end of my work day, I create a prioritized list of the things I want to do the next day. I factor in my appointments and any errands as well as household chores and the tasks I want to accomplish. This frees my mind and enables me to enjoy the evening. Planning the night before also allows me to get up in the morning knowing what I am doing today. I am intent on bringing my best self to the day instead of letting my mind create illusions about what the next month or several months may hold in store for me.

I don’t want to give you the impression that I don’t have (or that you shouldn’t have) long term goals. I do have a long term goal. I have broken this long term goal down into a series of shorter term projects. I have further broken these projects down into smaller segments. These segments, or baby steps, are planned into my day – as the day allows. The thought I am trying to convey is that I am not simply striving toward achieving my goal. I will, certainly, celebrate and be happy when that occurs. I am actively living in today – appreciating the small accomplishments of each day – and enjoying the here and now.

This is a shift in attitude and perspective for me. It’s one that has brought me peace of mind. I’m happier and I find I’m much more appreciative of what today is offering me. I’m interested to know if you live in today. Do you spend your time revisiting what has happened – living in the past? Or, do you look to the future? Write me back and let me know. I look forward to your comments.