Realistic daily steps for goal setting

I want to share my realistic daily steps for setting & accomplishing goals, it also works for starting a new positive habit, because it’s time to focus on your goals!

Anyone can use this method…

  • If you have a goal you are currently working toward & want to stay focused
  • If you want to start a new goal or positive habit, but unsure how to start
  • Or if you are searching for something meaningful to dedicate time to

The steps I’m sharing with you are ones that you can put into place each day and each week whether just starting a new goal or habit or wanting to stay focused on a current one. Each day allows an opportunity to take a step toward the future you want, the goal you want to accomplish or the new positive habit you want to start. These easy to follow steps make it easy to add to your daily routine and you can use this over and over with any goal or habit!

You can start on any day, but I like utilizing Wednesday as a start day…why? It’s a good mid-week point, but I don’t really have a scientific reason why! There is no right or wrong day to start working toward accomplishing your goals! You can adjust this as needed.

Let’s get started!

  1. Why not Wednesday – Define what you want to focus on, something you are passionate about or confirm what you keep thinking about, but have not quite committed to yet. Define it in one or two sentences and include at least one ‘why’. Example – I want to focus on my health and feel better. Why? – So, I can be more active with my family or participate in more outdoor activities, run a marathon or travel more. Once committed you can move forward with steps and actions toward it. Even if it’s a year or five year goal, defining your goal or habit is the most important step. You can set aside time in the morning, over lunch or in the evening to focus, but don’t overthink this definition, most likely you have a main goal in mind. If you find yourself unable to focus on just one, write down a few and then be honest with which one you are most excited about and focus on that one this week. If you need help focusing please contact me and I can help with some tips!
  2. Tackle it & Transform Thursday – How will this goal or new habit transform me or my future? What is my expected outcome? Envision your goal or habit in motion (tackling it), how do you want it to transform you personally? Example – When I’m healthier I can train for that marathon my sister and I always wanted to run together. When I’m healthier I can spend more active time with my spouse, children, grandchildren, friends…When I’m healthier I can travel more and go hiking. When I’m healthier I can feel better and start another new goal or habit.
  3. Focus on it Friday – Research tools and resources needed to accomplish your goal or start your new habit. Do you need to study or complete certification to accomplish it or using the health example above – I plan on exchanging my fast food breakfast each morning with a smoothie so I’m going to buy a blender or get mine out of storage. I plan on incorporating more steps into my day and want new shoes or a step tracker. Maybe you want to join a gym or find a walking partner. Discover what you need to start your goal, again don’t overthink it, just what you need to get started then adjust as needed as you grow and succeed. Keep the list short for now.
  4. Celebrate successes on Saturday and Sunday – I encourage you to spend some weekend time celebrating successes on Saturday and Sunday! Review what you have already accomplished; confirm your mindset toward your goal, envision how your future will look with the goal or new habit in place, seek out at least one resource and get ready for Make it Monday!
  5. Make it Monday – Create a list of a few steps that will get you started. I suggest a to-do list with about three steps, but no more than five to start. Example – Purchase groceries to take for lunch instead of eating out. Walk each morning or evening for 30 minutes. Make a smoothie for breakfast each morning and be more conscious of meals and snacks. Cook at home at least 3 nights a week. The steps you choose are ones that are simple to incorporate into your personal unique lifestyle. Make these steps realistic for you and don’t make all the changes at once. Add in other steps once you are comfortable with these; once the to do list becomes a comfortable part of your routine.
  6. Try it Tuesday – Try the to-do list you created. Put action behind your goal defining and research! Start turning your goal or new habit into reality. Celebrate the week of work you have already put in and keep going! Add your to-do list to your daily routine! Don’t get upset if you miss a day or something comes up, just pick up where you left off, just don’t quit!

You can use this same method to track your success, stay focused and motivated by adjusting as follows –

  • Why not – confirm your goal instead of defining it, confirm why you are focused on this particular goal/habit
  • Tackle it – How is this goal or new habit transforming me? What outcome am I experiencing?
  • Focus on it –  Are the tools and resources I’m using working for me? Do I need other tools or resources, what would make this more productive?
  • Successful Saturday and Sunday – Continue celebrating accomplishments, fitting in additional time for your goal or habit as time allows. Share successes with friends or track online or in a journal. Confirm your mindset toward your goal and accomplishments.
  • Make it – Keep creating a weekly list of what you need to accomplish your goals. Once that list is a comfortable routine, add to it. I suggest each weekend creating your weekly list to stay focused.
  • Try it – Stay focused on your to-do steps and incorporate new ones as you feel comfortable. Stay active toward your goal or habit! Remember, celebrate those successes!!!

I suggest keeping a weekly calendar or journal to record your steps and celebrate your accomplishments! Join me in the daily journey with doable steps, tips & encouragement! Share your progress below or email me at successencourager@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading! For more details about services, tips and professional experience check out my ABOUT ME page!

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Why not?

It is, Why not Wednesday.
Why not start a new habit or goal today?
What will you start working toward today?

Maybe….
A goal you’ve put off long enough?
A book you’ve started, but not finished?
Finish an application you started?
Cook a new recipe you keep saying you’ll try?
Research steps needed for that side business?
Begin a new nightly and/or morning routine?
Organize that cluttered desk, drawer or closet?
Create a daily activity routine?
Take care of yourself…ways to reduce stress?

Share below 🙂

 

Read more about me on my ABOUT ME page!

Personal Mission Statement

A personal mission statement not only helps you create and accomplish goals, but also focus on the future you want in a brief summary. Your personal mission statement describes what success means to you. It summarizes where you want to be in the future and should reflect your goals, values and life’s purpose. Everyone’s should be unique to them.

You can create such a statement through a few questions and a journey through personal self-discovery. This process helps you focus on the most important goals and encourages you to create a list of steps to accomplish them! Once you have a personal mission statement you can expand that into a more detailed mission and goal list.

You can create a personal mission statement by asking yourself:

  • What is important to me?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • What does my future look like?
  • What skills and experience do I have?
  • What skills do I need to learn?
  • What makes me unique?
  • Do my goals include others?
  • How will my goals benefit others?
  • What values are most important to me?

Once you have answers to the questions above, you can start to piece together a statement by combining the words that mean the most to you and create your own personal mission statement.

After a lot of drafts, I came up with my own personal mission statement:

To encourage others to set goals & succeed, share my professional and personal knowledge and create through my passion for writing.

Other samples include:

  • “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” – Oprah Winfrey’s personal statement
  • “To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.” – Sir Richard Branson’s personal statement
  • “Making the best possible ice cream, in the nicest possible way.” Ben & Jerry’s mission statement

What is your personal mission statement? What goal do you want to focus on and accomplish?

Thank you for reading!!

Read more about me and my professional services at ABOUT ME!

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Photo by Matt Ragland on Unsplash

Journal Club – You’re invited!

I’m excited to announce the launch of the Success Encourager’s Journal Club!! I want to invite you to join me. Whether you are an experienced and active journaler / letter writer or simply looking for tips and want to get started I invite you to join the club! It’s easy, simply connect with me on Instagram (successencourager), follow this WordPress blog or read updates and posts on my website (www.danabuchanan.com). Feel free to email me with questions! successencourager@gmail.com

Why a club? I have shared my love and enthusiasm for journaling and letter writing in past posts and typically find a creative way to bring it up in most conversations…some would say I get overly giddy or even obsessive about them. OK, I may see their point, but isn’t holding your favorite journal or stationary and handwriting a recap of your day or jotting down your dreams for the future you foresee yourself living or writing warm wishes to a dear friend and mailing them off almost magical? I know I am not the only one that feels this way!

I journal professionally and personally. I have shared my journaling methods and my love for letter writing with others. I greatly appreciate every opportunity to share this ‘obsession’ with! More details about this are on my website.

So what does this club do or offer? I’m so glad you asked! The club is a creative outlet, not stressful, no deadlines or membership fees, it’s simply a fun way for me and other members to connect with others that share our love of journaling and letter writing or connect with those wanting to learn more! I will post prompts and ideas, I welcome shared journal and letter photos on Instagram (#sejournalclub) and encourage comments to blogposts.

I’m even working on a monthly letter giveaway…more details soon, but here is a hint – it’ll include a personalized hand-written encouraging letter from me and a blank card or stationary to be ‘paid forward’ to someone you want to encourage and may even include a journal and/or book giveaway (if you have published a book with a journaling or letter writing theme or journal and want to donate a copy for a future giveaway, email me!!!!). 

I’m so excited (giddy even) about this and looking forward to seeing how it will evolve!! Comment below if you’re interested in joining or email me and look for future updates and announcements coming soon!!!

A couple of tips and ideas to get us started

  • Create a list journal; travel, goals, ideas, books, recipes, events, concerts, etc. that you want to participate in, attend, read, cook, etc. Focus on one list and create a few steps toward making it a reality. For example if you want to cook more or experiment with new recipes, choose three or four to start, make an ingredient list, set aside time to create this culinary masterpiece and record what you liked about it, who you enjoyed it with, what you would change, etc. Recording your accomplishments encourages confidence and future goals…anything is possible with the right steps, action and accomplishment tracking!
  • Create a journal for the next generation. Whether it’s your child, grandchild, friend’s children, nephew, niece, sister or brother…start a journal that records details of family gatherings, milestones, quotes from family and friends, and those days that would otherwise seem routine yet are so special. Include a pocket for ticket stubs, notes, photos, etc. and give it all to the child on a special birthday.

What are you journaling right now? Who was the last recipient of a letter or card you sent via ‘snail mail’?

Check out my ABOUT ME page for additional information!

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Categorize your goal

Goals are easier to focus on when you can categorize them and have a ‘why’. The ‘why’ is what you envision your future being once the goal is accomplished. I have listed some categories below.

For example learning to decorate cakes could fit into the Spirit category as a hobby or creative outlet. The ‘why’ could be to personalize a celebration cake for a birthday, shower, special anniversary or as a positive outlet since you already enjoy baking and want to expand that skill. This goal could even turn into a new full-time or part-time career.

Once you have a category and a ‘why’ it is easier to prioritize and focus on the steps. Using the example above, decorating cakes, the first step might be to research cake decorating classes, estimating cost, timeframe and what supplies might be needed. Another step could be saving for the training, purchasing supplies and organizing your home so you can hone your skills after the training. A future step might be researching the requirements for starting a small business or working for a baker.

Prioritizing and accomplishing a goal can encourage you to explore more and offer endless possibilities.

Well-beingMental and physical health; stretching, walking, meditation, conscious eating, plenty of water. Ask yourself – What are my health goals, what are my limits?

SpiritSelf-care, gratitude journaling, positive affirmations, create, hobbies. Ask yourself – What brings joy and peace? What nourishes me?

Circle – Mutual relationships that allow you to give and receive support; family, friends, work friendships, recovery groups, clubs or hobby groups. Ask yourself – Who balances with me? Who supports me and invites my support?

ProductivityDaily routine; work, volunteering, care giver, budgeting, learning. Ask yourself – What is my current daily schedule (define it). What do I want my future schedule or routine to look like and consist of?

The May giveaway announcementI’m offering a FREE goal categorizing session to the first five people to contact me that are interested in creating a beginner’s goal priority. We will work through a few questions via email focusing on a goal you’d like to make a priority with suggested first steps. Email me if interested! successencourager@gmail.com 

Thank you so much for reading! What goal category is your focus right now?

 

The Goal Pitch

A goal pitch summarizes a goal you want to achieve. Typically, pitches are used for novels, movies or ideas and are just one to two sentences. A goal pitch allows you to narrow down your focus to help you commit to it and develop an action plan to make your goal a reality. Once you have a focus and commitment you can create daily or weekly or even monthly steps in your action plan.

The goal pitch puts words to the future you envision. For example, if your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle, narrow it down by asking WHY ? Maybe it’s to travel more, be active with family & friends, feel better and have more energy. Once you have those whys you have more motivation and can justify your action plan and remind yourself why your goal is so important.

Keep your action plan simple, to the point and realistic. Don’t start out saying you want to run the marathon that is next weekend. It’s not impossible, but if someone told me I had to run a marathon in a few days, I’d want more time to mentally and physically prepare! It’s a great goal, but would most likely require a few more steps to be completed first. A good first goal would be to eat healthier, maybe swap out a veggie lunch for a fast food one, or be more active by incorporating more steps into your day, morning yoga and meditation, or a beginner’s exercise routine at home or at a gym.

Incorporate your first step into your routine and keep your why motivators in mind. Once your first step feels more routine, add an additional one or two and celebrate accomplishments along the way. Set weekly or monthly status reports with yourself to acknowledge how much progress you have made and realize the healthier lifestyle you want is possible. Remind yourself that setbacks aren’t dead ends, simply breaks that can be overcome.

Whether your focus is health, career, relationships, starting a business, or anything in between, a focus and action plan can help you achieve it. Categorizing your daily routines with the nourishment categories I posted previously can help you focus even more.

In April, I’m offering a FREE goal pitch session to the first five people to contact me that are interested in creating a goal pitch and a beginner’s action plan. We will work through several questions via email and once a short goal pitch is created we will work on a basic starter action plan. Email me if interested! successencourager@gmail.com

Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from at least five of you that are ready to focus on at least one of your goals!

For more information about me and the professional services I offer please read my ABOUT ME page!

 

 

Turning resolutions into lifestyle

Even if you work full-time and average 8 hours of sleep each night you have about 6 hours each day to dedicate to your goals and passions. I’m going to share a schedule that I personally use to create a lifestyle I choose, I feel excited about and can help me achieve any goal! I have a lot to share so I will break it down over the next few article posts.

There are several popular articles with great tips on keeping resolutions and setting personal and professional goals. A simple google search will provide several!

First, I want to share my categories that help me stay focused when planning my day. I ‘assign’ a category to each part of my daily schedule to keep me focused. If I can’t find a category to fit it in, then most likely it isn’t necessary. For example, excuses and complaining do not have a category in my life (something I’m working on!). And all four categories are intertwined, so they can and should overlap, but separating them out helps me focus (which is what I personally need!)

My nourishment categories:

  • Well-being – Mental and physical health; stretching, walking, meditation, conscious eating, plenty of water. Ask yourself – What are my health goals, what are my limits?
  • Spirit – Self-care, gratitude journaling, positive affirmations, create, hobbies. Ask yourself – What brings joy and peace? What nourishes me?
  • Circle – Mutual relationships that allow you to give and receive support; family, friends, work friendships, recovery groups, clubs or hobby groups. Ask yourself – Who balances with me? Who supports me and invites my support?
  • Productivity – Daily routine; work, volunteering, care giver, budgeting, learning. Ask yourself – What is my current daily schedule (define it). What do I want my future schedule or routine to look like and consist of?

Once your categories are defined you can create a ‘schedule’ and fit it into a category. Seeing your schedule written out helps not only see how time is spent, but also provide accountability opportunities. You are the only one you need to be accountable to. This is your life, your future and remember your passion is worth your time!

Here is my schedule/routine and how my hours are spent. As you can see I have no excuses that should start with ‘but I don’t have time’. It’s right here in writing. Yes, I have time for me and my passions and goals. Excuses have no category!

Typical Monday through Friday:

  • 6:00 am – Wake up and shower
  • 6:30 am – Coffee in hand, reflection time begins, meditation (just 5 minutes), positive reading and quiet time with hubby
  • 7:00 am – Get ready for work (Makeup, hair, dressed, gather work meals to go)
  • 7:30 am – Start commute
  • 8:00 am – Clock in and begin morning work routine
  • 11:30 am – Lunch (eat, reflect, 1 minute breathing exercise via Headspace app)
  • 12:00 to 4:30 pm – Afternoon work routine
  • 4:30 pm – Start commute back home
  • 5:00 to 10:00 pm – Five evening hours. These hours include various activities such as appointments, errands and time with my mom, errands for my aunt, one on one with my husband, dinner/cooking, reading, writing, research, library events, creating lists, reviewing research and outlines, article writing and research, learning and anything unexpected that can pop up
    • between my hour or so in the morning before getting ready for work, my 30 minute lunch break and my five hours before bed, I have 6.5 hours a day I can plan just about any way I want
  • 10:00 pm (sometimes 10:30) – Bedtime

Typical Saturday (16 hour day, after 8 hours of sleep) :

  • 7:30 am – Coffee, reflection, couple time, positive reading
  • 8:30 to 10:30 am – Cook breakfast with hubby, conversations, reading
  • 10:30 am – Shower, dressed, prepare for day
  • 11:30 am – Review and/or create weekend lists, write out outlines for articles
  • 12:30 pm – Errands and drive time
  • 1:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Family time with my sister and nephew (and 45 minutes driving each way)
  • 7:30 to 11:30 pm – Couple dinner/cooking, conversation, reading, writing, research
  • 11:30 (ish) pm – Bedtime

Typical Sunday (about 15 hours after 8 hours of sleep):

  • 7:30 am – Coffee, reflection, couple time, positive reading
  • 8:30 am to 1:30 pm – Cook breakfast together, write outlines, writing research, read
  • 1:30 pm – Shower, dressed, etc.
  • 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm – Errands, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.
  • 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm – Cook dinner together, cleanup, conversations, lists for upcoming week
  • 8:00 to 10:30 pm – prepare work lunches/snacks, read, write, outlines, research, learn

I can easily fit each item into a category. For example reading and writing are spirit and productivity for me since my writing is a main focus and will continue to be (I like owning my future and goals..writing it  out helps me a lot!)

Obviously, some hours are not as flexible as others. If you work and have set hours to work or care for someone those hours are typically always the same, but several hours a day are flexible for me once I’m done at work and on the weekends. Seeing this written out helps me focus on accomplishments, not just goal setting!

I have a lot more to share, but this post is long enough! I appreciate your time reading it and I hope this encourages you to write out your current schedule/routine, so we can travel this journey together.

I encourage you to document how your spend your hours and think about how you want to spend them…If you have any questions please ask! Any additional tips? Please share!

Thanks again for reading!