Everybody knows what a To-Do list is. It’s that list of things that reminds you what it is you need to get done today.  This is handy for keeping you moving forward and taking action towards your dreams and goals on a daily basis.  If you’re already using this powerful tool, then congratulations.

But you probably never heard of a To-Don’t list.  That’s right, that wasn’t a typo.  A To-Don’t list includes all those things that you absolutely must AVOID DOING each day because they hold you back from doing all the things on your To-Do list.

To-Don’ts are things that waste time, distract you from doing what’s important or that take away from your happiness.  They can be bad habits, people or non-productive tasks.  Successful people have discovered the power of the To-Don’t list.  They understand that knowing what NOT to do is just as important, if not more so, than knowing what to do.

If you want to master the art of focus and stay on task toward accomplishing your dreams and goals then you simply must incorporate the To-Don’t list into your daily activity.  And the great thing about this list is once you write it down one time, it usually is the same every day, so you don’t have to write a new one for each new day.  Here are some examples of what should go on your To-Don’t list:

Excessive TV watching–  One trait go-getters share in common is the understanding that wasting hours in front of the television every day takes away critical time they could otherwise be spending in the pursuit of their dreams.  So, they either drastically cut it down or avoid it altogether.

Procrastination–  No one stumbled into success by putting off the effort until tomorrow.  Successful people know that procrastination is a no-no in their daily pursuits.  If it needs to get done, they do it!

Vices like smoking, excessive drinking and gambling–  Smoking harms your health and a common trait of rich people is that they take care of their health.  Drinking to excess damages not only your health but harms your family and business relationships, not to mention your productivity.  And gambling diverts critical funds away from your family and the pursuit of your goals.

Associating with negative people–  You already know who they are.  They’re always complaining.  They’re always criticizing your efforts to better yourself and your situation.  They are the do-nothings, the stone throwers, the naysayers.  All they do is suck the joy and energy out of your life.  You need to kick them to the curb.

Negative thinking–  Successful people have mastered their thinking.  They do not give negative thoughts safe harbor within their minds because they understand that if they do, it will grow like a cancer and kill their willpower and focus.  Doubts and negative thoughts will always creep into your mind from time to time.  But that doesn’t mean they have to stay there.  Exterminate them like you would a filthy cockroach in your home!

Ridicule and hate–  Only small people ridicule others who are trying to better themselves.  And hatred strips away your joy.  Don’t give anyone else that kind of power over you.  If you avoid ridicule and hate, happiness will be much more likely to set up shop in your mind and people will actually enjoy being around you.

Always being right–  There is a time and a place to stand your ground.  But if you stand your ground for every little thing, you will have precious little time left over to pursue your dreams.  So, learn to bend.  Let the other person have their way if it’s not a matter of principle.  Successful people have mastered the art of picking their battles.

Waiting for the perfect time–   There will never be a perfect time.  There will always be a financial, health, familial or work concern that can be used to justify delaying the start of pursuing your dreams.  Ecclesiastes tells us “The one who watches the wind will not sow seed, and the one who looks at the clouds will not reap.”  In other words, the fearful are always waiting for that moment when they can control everything.  Newsflash!  Doers have figured out that that day will never come.  So, they just jump in and do it.

Regret–  There’s no use crying over spilled milk.  Mistakes will happen as sure as the sun rises each day.  Take your licks and learn your lessons.  But excessive dwelling on past mistakes will keep you stuck in the past and prevent you from moving forward.

Be like everyone else–  Movers and shakers are movers and shakers because they don’t follow the crowd.  They start that business when everyone else is fearful.  They go to the gym when their friends are sitting on the couch.  They invest in themselves while everyone else is wasting their money on the next i-something or other.  So, if you find yourself blending in with the rest of this broke, just-keeping their-heads-above-water world, it’s time for a change. Be different.  It is only by being different that you will gain a different life than everyone else.

This is only a sampling of all the possible things that can go on your To-Don’t list.  Just keep in mind that success or failure is all about habits.  Successful people cultivate good habits.  Unsuccessful people cultivate bad habits.  So, take a good, hard look at your daily activity.  If you find any counter-productive habits in there, put them on your To-Don’t list.  If you want success, you will have to eliminate as many bad habits as you can and replace them with as many good habits as you can find.

If you found this article helpful, please know that you can find more like it by following my blog at www.Org4LifeSolutions.com.  There you will find all kinds of hints, tips and tricks you can use to cultivate the good habits that will lead to better focus and success in life.  Until next time, remember:  Own it.  Be it.  Achieve it!


What is it that causes one person to be wealthy and successful, while another wallows in poverty and failure?  Is it their background?  Upbringing?  Genes?  Or is it what some folks call good old luck?

The evidence shows us that it is none of these.  Tyler Perry went from being homeless and living out of his car to forging one of the largest and most successful production companies in existence today. Tyler Perry Studios had revenues of $900 million in 2016.   Steve Harvey, another mega entertainment success story, also lived out of his car, survived on peanut butter and crackers and overcame obstacle after obstacle before he achieved what he has today. Now there is hardly an hour of any given day where you can’t turn on a television and find Steve Harvey on some program or other.  You probably never heard of Do Won Chang.  He immigrated from South Korea in 1981, worked 3 jobs simultaneously as a gas station clerk, janitor and coffee shop employee.  He founded a little clothing store in 1984.  Now Forever 21 is multi-national with 480 locations around the globe and generates over $3 billion per year!

None of these examples came from “privileged” backgrounds.  None were born with inherent cultural advantages.  None were academic standouts, as it were.  But what they all shared in common was something that all successful people share:  An unswerving hunger and focus on the thing they wanted.  They would not be denied.  The world could not shake their faith.  Obstacles would block their path and they would find another way.  Naysayers would criticize yet they would not give heed to their words.  Poverty would reach out to embrace them and they would shake free.

So, if you want success, if you want to live the life of your dreams, you must master this one trait of the rich and successful:  Focus.  There can be no success without it.  And that is why so many want success but so few obtain it.  They will not put in the work it takes to master focus and the unlimited potential that comes along with it.

With that in mind I want to share with you what I call “The 5 Focus Essentials” that you must master in order to have success in life.  If you want to get that dream job, start that dream business, have that dream family or live that dream life then you must devote yourself to mastery over the following 5 things.

Focus on your dreams, not your fears.  Rich people consistently keep their dreams in front of them.  They write them on slips of paper and carry them in their wallets.  They write huge checks and pin them to boards in their homes in the belief that one day they will be able to cash it.  Jim Carey wrote himself a check for $10 million when he first got started in the business.  He was broke at the time.  Years later he demanded $10 million to play a starring role in a film and got it.  Guess what?  He could finally cash that check!  Getting that sum was not “luck” or chance.  It was the result of his unbending focus on his goal:  A $10 million payday.  Poor people give in to fear.  They live a constant life of “I can’t,” “What if I fail,” and “I’m just not lucky.”  If you are ruled by fear you are destined for the ash heap of poverty.  If you focus on your dreams despite your fears, success will be yours!

Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t have.  This is the age-old story of whether you see the glass half full or half empty.  Rich people live in a place of gratitude.  They know what they have and they focus on this.  They share freely and receive in abundance.  They leverage what they have to achieve what they want, and they do this consistently and with purpose until the goal is realized. The poor can only focus on what they don’t have.  They are stingy and as a result, receive very little.  They spend so much time complaining about what they don’t have that they give themselves no time to appreciate what lies just beyond if they extend their grasp just a little further.  So be grateful, focus on what you have and you will gain so much more!

Focus on what you can change, not on what you can’t.  There are some things in life that are within your control, and some things that are not.  Other people’s actions, the weather and taxes, to name a few, are beyond our control.  Your actions, your attitude and your future are things you can control.  Rich people don’t get bogged down in the things beyond their control.  It’s a waste of time and energy for them.  Rather, they focus on the things within their control, those actions they can take, those positive thoughts they can cultivate that will propel them ultimately toward their final goal.  Always remember, while you cannot necessarily control the words and actions of those around you, you most certainly can control how you choose to react to them.  So, keep your mind focused on those actions you can perform everyday that will get you to where you want to be.

Focus on past successes, not past failures.  When referring to his path to the creation of a commercially viable light bulb, Thomas Edison famously said “I have not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  What an incredible attitude!  That attitude led to his becoming one of the most prolific inventors of our time.  Imagine what you could achieve if you did not look on your past failures as failures, but rather as learning moments?  Successful people see life this way.  Unsuccessful people give up as soon as they meet with failure.  Do not be that person.  Rather, keep in mind that no breakthrough came without breaking a lot of eggs along the way.  One way to keep this focus is by journaling.  Journal your way to success and you’ll be able to look back on not where you failed, but where you succeeded.

Focus on opportunities, not obstacles.  You may be familiar with the story of the man who found a butterfly struggling to free itself from it’s cocoon.  He cut it open so it could get out, but the butterfly only then fell to the ground and died.  That was because when a butterfly pushes and pushes against it’s prison to break free, it is strengthening it’s wings so that it can later take flight.  Rich people view life’s challenges that way, as things that will not break them but, rather, will make them stronger.  They lose jobs then start businesses.  They break up with “the love of their life” then find their true life partner.  They have heart attacks then end up running marathons!  Poor people give up at the slightest resistance.  They are content to stay in their pitiful state because it just gets too hard for them.  Life is what you make it.  So, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

Life is full of distractions.  Those come in the form of fires that have to be put out, people who make constant demands on your time, economic and health setbacks and the like.  Those who allow themselves to be distracted will never succeed because they will drift along from one crisis to the next, completely out of control of their own lives.  But those who achieve focus brush aside life’s distractions.  Oh, they deal with them.  But they develop systems and ways of moving and acting that get them right back on track afterwards or even keep those emergencies from popping up in the first place.

Org4Life Solutions provides lots of helpful articles that can help you achieve focus in life and ultimate success at getting whatever it is that you want.  So, visit us often at www.Org4LifeSolutions.com.  Join our mailing list so you don’t miss out.  I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.  And remember, always own it, be it, achieve it!


Here’s the situation.  Whatever your view of Trump and the government, one thing is certain:  With the stroke of a pen, overnight your world can be turned upside down.  The new tax code will result in MAJOR changes to the bottom line of every American.  And guess what?  It’s here to stay for the foreseeable future.  So take note of the many ways it might affect you.  Here are just 3 areas where the new tax code might affect the average American in the near term:

Health Insurance.  The new tax code does away with the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  That means no more penalties for Americans not carrying health insurance.  According to a report dated November 8, 2017 by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a non-partisan group, this will have the affect of 13 million more people becoming uninsured over the next decade.  That’s because healthier people will not get insurance leaving a smaller pool of decidedly unhealthier people left to be insured and pay the premiums.  Unhealthy people are more expensive to insurance companies so they will have to charge more to the people left insured to cover the cost.  As the cost goes up, more and more will be able to afford the premiums.  The end result, in other words, is it’s going to get way more expensive for you and I to have health insurance!

Tax Deductions.  The new tax code caps the combined deduction for both property taxes AND state & local taxes at $10,000.  That’s combined, not each.  That’s going to hurt folks like me in higher tax states like New York and California.  According to Newsday, the average property tax bill for Nassau County residents (where I live) was $11,232 in 2016.  That’s average.  I sold real estate here and I can tell you taxes top $12,000  regularly for a modest home.   And in an article in USA Today, Westchester County taxes were cited as being $15,000 on average!  So add those now-gone deductions to state & local income tax deductions and you blow past the new $10k cap like a Dodge Hemi at full throttle.

The Housing Market.  If you live in a low tax state, good for you.  But if you live again in a high tax state, the new tax code is not good news for the housing market.  It’s not cataclysmic, but here’s the situation.  When folks decide to buy a home, a large part of the affordability calculation is being able to deduct the property taxes.  If that family can no longer deduct that, they may conclude that renting is more affordable than buying.  And if less people are buying, property values decline.  It’s simple supply and demand.  Moody’s Analytics predicts that nationally housing prices will be 4% lower than they would have otherwise been by mid 2019.  Again, not cataclysmic, but still real money.

So, all that having been said, what does it really mean for you and I?  This:  You can’t rely on the government to look out for your best interests.  That’s YOUR job.  You can no longer afford to be complacent about your life choices and your finances.  You have to choose.  Will you be a spectator or participant in your future?  Will you be a victim or a victor?  See, you can sit here and rail against Trump and the Republicans.  You can vilify the rich and demand equal distribution of wealth.  You can complain and wring your hands and generally make yourself miserable.  Good luck with that.  You can choose to do all that and where do you think it will get you and your family?  Nowhere.

Conversely, you can choose a different course.  One where you become an active participant in your current and future situation.  You can take what some consider to be lemons and turn them into lemonade.  What do I mean?  I’ll tell you.  The new tax laws favor the financially savvy.  So rather than envy the financially savvy, jump on board.  You can’t beat them so you might as well join them!   Learn how to benefit from the new reality, because it’s here to stay.  Make a conscious decision to join the ranks of the financially literate.  Decide to live your life with intentionality and focus.  There are two ways you can do that.

First, get control of your finances.  Educate yourself.  Learn how to handle your money.  You can be like the average American and carry debt, live paycheck to paycheck and complain about your job and your lot in life.  Or you can say enough!  You can decide to own your financial present and future.  So, buy books on financial literacy.  Learn about investing, budgeting and paying down debt.  Get a good CPA and learn how to play the game to your advantage.  Resolve to be first financially stable with a view to eventually becoming financially independent.  If you don’t get aboard this financial train you will get run over by it.  Your choice.

Second, live with intense focus and intentionality.  The time for going with the flow is over.  You need to put your oars in the water and paddle for all you’re worth!  Make an Action Plan.  Map out where you want to be.  Do you want to start that business?  Do you want to leave your job for a better one?  Do you want to eat healthier and get in shape?  Do you want better relationships in your life?  Then figure out what needs to change in your life in order to make it happen.  Discover your why and let it drive you.  Write it all down.  Commit to it.  Own it.  Carry that with you every day.  Then work every day, grind, push and shout at the world until you realize your goals!

The mission of this blog at Org4Life Solutions is to help folks find that focus and that why.  Discover what it is they really want.  Figure out what’s standing in the way and overcome it.  Create a plan and work it.  If I can help just one person make that seismic shift, it will have all been worth it.  So, I encourage you to join my mailing list so you don’t miss out on all the incredible information I will be posting up here every week.  I promise you will not be disappointed.  And if you don’t choose to find your answers here, go somewhere else.  The internet is awash with free sites to help you make your life successful.  Just do something, pick one and follow through.

This is your life.  It’s not Trump’s. It’s not the Republicans’ or Democrats’.  It’s not your boss’.  It’s not your mom’s.  It’s all about YOU and YOU ALONE.  Make 2018 your year of action.  Don’t miss this opportunity to become the person you have never been, so you can have the things you have never had.  Onward and upward and never look back.  Own it.  Be it.  Achieve it!



Well what do you know?  We all survived 2017!  So, was 2017 everything you thought it would be?  Are you sad to see it go or are you ecstatic to see it in your rearview mirror?  Whatever the case, 2018 is a new year and this is the traditional time where people reflect on where they are and where they want to be.

This article is about setting goals in 2018 and making sure you stick to them and actually achieve them.  Unfortunately, 2/3 of people give up on their New Year’s Resolutions by the end of January every year!  You don’t want to be in that group.  Here we will lay out some simple steps to help you formulate, set, keep and accomplish the right goals.  The Method we are going to use is the SMART system.  More on that later.  But first, in order to move forward, sometimes it’s a good idea to take a quick look back.

Whatever your view of 2017, there were good things and bad things that happened, high points and low points that you went through.  There are things to be learned from each so let’s see what we can learn with a quick review of the past year.  The first thing you should do right now is get a pen and paper to write on.  At the top left you will write GOOD.  On the top right you will write BAD.

Next, I want you to think of just a few of the high points, good things, that happened to you in 2017.  Maybe the birth of a child, a new job, a financial windfall, starting a new business.  Whatever it is, write it down under the “GOOD” heading.   Limit it to 3-5 events.  And for each I want you to think of how that event improved your life and write how under each event.

Now move to the “BAD” heading and think of 3-5 negative events that impacted you in 2017.  Maybe you had a health reversal, lost a job or ended a relationship.  Whatever it is write it down.  But for each of these, I want you to give some thought to how that event taught you a lesson.  What did it show you that you could have done better or differently?  Write that lesson learned under each negative event.

Look at those two columns.  There are lessons to be learned in each.  Cherish the good things and think about how you can get more of that in 2018.  Appreciate the lessons you can learn from the bad things and think about how you can avoid those things going forward.

The second step is to identify and prioritize your CORE VALUES.  These are the main areas of your life, listed in order of importance.  List the following:  Family, Worship, Work, Play and Me.  These are the 5 areas that we can break your life down into.  There are other subsets of these main categories, but for now let’s just focus on these 5 main areas.  Family is your loved ones.  Worship is your spiritual pursuits.  Work is your career.  Play is your recreation.  Me is everything related to you and taking care of yourself.  Now put a 1 next to the area that is of utmost importance.  Then for the remaining four, put a 2 next to the next most important thing to you.  Continue in this manner until every item is prioritized from 1-5.

Look at that list.  It is a reflection of where you place your focus.  It is a statement of who you are as a person and what you allow to happen in your life.  For instance, if Family is number one, then you won’t allow Work or Play to take time away from your Family.  If Worship is number one, you won’t allow Work or Play to interfere with it.  And so on and so on, I think you get the point.  It’s important to do this because the next step relies on knowing your Core Values.

The third step is laying out your actual goals for 2018.  Think of 5-10 things that you most want to accomplish in 2018.  They can range from financial goals to family goals to health and nutrition goals or career goals.  Or maybe they could be personal improvement or spiritual goals.  We don’t want too many, neither do we want too few.  So keep it in the range of 5-10 things.  But, use the SMART system to formulate your goals.  What exactly is the SMART system?

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound.

Specific means clearly defining what you want and why.  You can’t simply say you want to make more money.  You have to say exactly how much, like $100k, $200k, etc.  Then you have to know exactly WHY you want it.  What will it do for you?  How will having it benefit you and your loved ones?  It’s important to know your why because it is what will keep you motivated when the going gets tough.  And writing these things down will brand it into your subconscious and make it real to you.

Measurable means you can define exactly when you accomplish that goal.  So, if the goal is to lose 20 pounds, you can measure that because the scale will tell you when you get there.  Simply saying I want to slim down is not measurable.

Attainable means it is humanly within your ability to do it.  Simply put, your goal should not be to leap 500 feet in the air, or become an Olympic level skater in 1 year.  These things are simply not realistic.  Realistic goals are things you can reasonably expect to accomplish within a given time frame with the resources you have at your disposal now or those you can realistically hope to obtain within the given time frame.

Relevant means it fits in harmony with your core values and the other goals you want to attain.  For instance, maybe you want a new job.  Maybe you need to educate yourself in some other field of endeavor, or complete a course.  That goal supports the other so it’s relevant.

Time Bound means putting a deadline on the goal.  There is a principle that goes “The time it takes to accomplish any task will expand to fit the time allotted for it.”  That simply means if you never set a deadline to accomplish something, you will never accomplish that something.  So if you want to save $1,000 for your emergency fund for instance, set deadlines and milestones.  Like saving $100 per month for 10 months.  That’s a deadline you can track and chart your results with.

So list your goals with the SMART system in mind.  Once you have your list of goals, think of the things, people, systems or knowledge that you will need to assemble in your life to support getting them done.  If you want to grow your wealth or get a new job, think about what people or groups would be supportive in getting you there.  Also, think about what negative people you need to remove from your life that will only hold you back from that goal.  If you want to start a business, what knowledge do you need to obtain to do it?  List that and make a point to get after it.

Finally, I will leave you with 5 tips:

  1. Get an accountability partner.  Let someone in your circle whom you trust know what you want and when you’re supposed to get it, then enlist them to check up on you at regular intervals to ensure you are on the right track.
  2. Live in daily state of gratitude. Begin each day by listing a few of the things you are grateful for having in your life.  This will keep you positive and on track.
  3. Remember your “WHY” every day. Keep it close to you.  Write it down, carry it with you.  Read it daily because this will motivate you to keep going when the going gets tough and the crabs are nipping at your heels.
  4. Document your journey. Make a point to keep a journal and write in it at the end of every day.  Jot down your successes, your “failures” and how you intend to learn from each.  When you can look back over a solid, written record of progress it reinforces in your mind that you have come a long way and you can get to your ultimate goal.
  5. Remember to celebrate your milestones. If you reach a critical milestone on the way to accomplishing a major goal, or especially if you actually accomplish that major goal, celebrate!  Go out for dinner, take in a movie, buy a little something.  You don’t need to go overboard, but do something to reward yourself for a job well done.  This will refresh and recharge you for the journey ahead.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of everything you will need to do to accomplish your goals in 2018.  There are a lot of things that go into a successful year.  But these principles I have shared with you have helped me and the clients I work with to reach the goals that they dream of in life.  I hope you find them equally as useful.  For more tips, head on over to my blog at www.org4lifesolutions.com and join my email list to stay up on the latest on setting your life up for success and wealth.  Just remember, it won’t do you any good unless you actually put the work in!  So onward to success in 2018.  I wish you every good success.  Own it, be it, achieve it.  Now go out there and let the world know you are coming for it and it better get out of your way!



In the last 30 days or so we’ve seen Texas get walloped by a historic monster hurricane Harvey, The Caribbean and Florida get smacked down by Irma and Mexico get rocked by a devastating earthquake.  And prior to that, who can forget Katrina or Sandy?  We can all learn something from these events:  Wherever you live, it’s not a question of whether or not you will experience a disaster, but rather when you will experience a disaster.

The Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, South and West have seen wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, super storms, terror attacks, school and workplace shootings, blizzards…  I think you get the point, right?  It seems like no one is immune anymore.  So now that you know it can and will happen to you at some point, what can you do to prepare?  What can you do when the power and water stop flowing?  Let’s talk about the 5 things you need to do to get organized before a disaster hits so you can be a functional survivor and not just a victim.

1.  Know What To Do. In any emergency or disaster, knowing what to do in the first few seconds can mean the difference between life and death. So arm yourself beforehand with the knowledge you need to keep yourself and your loved ones alive.  Here are a few potentially life-saving tips:

  • Earthquakes– It’s a long-held myth that you should stand in a doorway.  The U.S. Geological Survey debunks that on their website.  They say doorways are no safer now than other parts of the home and you could get injured by swinging doors or flying debris.  They recommend the “Drop, Cover And Hold On” method.  That is, drop to the floor, make yourself as small as possible and get under a sturdy piece of furniture like a desk or table.  As soon as you can thereafter get out of, and away from, buildings.  They can collapse on you in any aftershocks that may follow.
  • Hurricanes– Get out of the storm zone as soon as you can when warnings come from government officials or if unable to evacuate, go to a designated storm shelter.
  • Tornadoes– Get to a storm shelter or basement as soon as possible. When those are not available, get into a bath tub or closet.  Make sure to stay away from windows where flying glass and debris can seriously hurt you.  If trapped outside, get into a low-lying area like a drainage ditch.
  • Fires– Get to the nearest exit as soon as possible! Leave personal items behind.  They can be replaced.  Your life cannot.  Fires move quickly and seconds matter.  Stay as close to floors as possible.  In smoke situations, wet a cloth or piece of clothing and cover your nose and mouth.  Most who die in fires don’t die from the actual flames, but rather from smoke inhalation.
  • Active shooters– The Department of Homeland Security advises that you first try to get out of the building or area. Failing that, hide!  Lock or block doors with heavy furniture.  Use belts to tie around door return arms to keep them from opening.  Dial 911 and let authorities know where you are.  If the shooter is nearby, stay as quiet as possible.  Text others instead of calling if need be.  Silence phones and other devices.  Remain calm.  As a last resort, when escape is not possible, take action.  Act as aggressively as possible.  Yell, throw items, use anything you can get your hands on as an improvised weapon.  Once you make the decision to act, stay committed to the course and don’t hesitate.  Remember, this is a life or death situation!

2.  Know What You Need. Food and water are your first priorities.  FEMA recommends one gallon of water per person, per day.  And you should count on having at least 3 days’ worth stockpiled.  That means for a family of four, you should have 12 gallons on hand.  Have a supply of non-perishable foods like freeze- dried and canned goods.  And make sure each family member has a “Go Bag” stocked with items ahead of time such as a flashlight, batteries, radio, first aid kit, personal toiletries, dust mask, whistle and other essentials.

3.  Know Where To Go. Have a designated spot where the family will meet in emergencies.  That should consist of a nearby spot and a far spot.  The nearby spot would be, say, a tree at the corner in the event of a fire in the home or some other neighborhood spot.  A far spot would be a library, place of worship or other easily identified and reachable building outside your neighborhood.

4.  Know Who To Call. As part of your go bag you should have a list of emergency contacts written on paper and kept in a zip lock bag to protect against moisture.  Cell phones can die from lack of power, water or other outside influences.  But paper lasts and can help you once you reach a working cell phone or landline.

5.  Practice, Practice, Practice! Rehearse your evacuation, action and escape plans.  Know the nearest exits in buildings you frequent such as work and school.  Familiarize yourself with your child’s school emergency plans.  Coordinate with neighbors and discuss how each can help out in an emergency.  Do practice walk-throughs with your family at least once a year for how to evacuate the home or get to your meet-up points.

The bottom line is, prepare!  Forewarned is forearmed.  Heed warnings and don’t think you’re special.  It’s just not worth your life or that of your loved ones.  If you do these simple things you can help protect yourself against an ongoing emergency or disaster and the effects afterward.  For more help on getting organized for disasters visit our website at www.Org4LifeSolutions.com and sign up for our free newsletter.  Follow our blog for regular helpful advice in all areas of life organization.  The better organized you are in all respects, the better prepared you will be to meet any and all unexpected events.  Good health to you and yours!


Yeah, it gets hectic sometimes.  You work.  Your spouse works.  Meals have to be cooked.  Errands have to be run.  The kids need help with homework, have extra-curricular activities to be taken to and they still want you to take them to the water park.  As if that’s not enough, you still want to get to the gym, get that continuing education in and have some me time.  Oh, and you still need to get a decent night’s sleep in, right?

Sound familiar at all?  Chances are, you’ve seen yourself in there at least once if not multiple times.  Modern life is anything but slow and steady.  About the only thing you can predict is that it will be unpredictable.  It’s no wonder that so many of us are throwing up our hands in surrender and saying they just can’t get everything done that needs to be done in the course of a week, let alone get the entire family working together on the same page.  But take heart, it can be done.  I’m not going to blow smoke and use mirrors.  It takes some effort.  But once you have a few simple systems in place and the habits to go along with them, you’ll be amazed at how much clutter and chaos you can cut out of your family life in exchange for manageable order.  So, let me share with you a few tools and tips you can use to bring more sanity to your household.

First, set aside time for a family meeting.  This is an important first step.  In order for this process to work everyone must be on the same page and all members of the family need to feel that their opinion matters and that they are not being left out of the decision process.  A great time to do this would be after dinner while everyone is at the table or you could even schedule another time that centers around food or some other fun activity.  The idea is to make it a positive setting and not a drudgery.  At that meeting you will decide everything else that follows in this article.

Set family goals.  There has to be a buy-in for every family member.  In other words, what am I going to get out of this?  Once you identify the benefits to each person then they have a greater reason for joining in.  For instance, will you be able to entertain more because the house is neat and therefore not an embarrassment to potential guests?  Will meals be more satisfying and easier to prepare when everyone pitches in and gets what they want to eat?  Will confusion be cut down and the aggravation that comes along with it?  Will there be more peace in the home and thus more happy times?  These are powerful incentives to getting family members onboard with the program!

Schedule time to declutter.  Schedule a date for everyone to pitch in and help declutter.  I suggest you pick one room for each day, then another and another until you work your way through the home.  Here are a few tips for decluttering on the days that you schedule it to be done:

  1. Set up sort bins with the following labels: Keep, Toss, Donate and Sell.  If you’ve used it in the last year and will use it again in the next year, keep it.  If you no longer have a use for it but someone else could, either donate or sell it.  If you haven’t used it in the last year and it’s of no use to anyone else, that’s a definite toss.
  2. Work in a clockwise fashion. Pick a point anywhere in the room to be 12 O’clock and, starting from there, work your way around the room until you end up where you began, at 12 O’clock.  When you do it this way you can see your progress and be spurred on.  It also makes sure you cover every area and you don’t feel like you’re working in an unproductive, willy-nilly fashion.
  3. Act like you’re moving. If you had to suddenly move across country tomorrow and you had to fit all your belongings into a single mini van, what would you absolutely take and what would get left behind?  This question can help you when you’re teetering on the edge of should it stay or should it go.

Set up your family calendar.  This will be the center piece of your family organization.  When everyone knows what’s going on then there are no excuses, no missed signals and no “I didn’t know I had to do that’s!”  If you’re into technology, use a tool like Google calendar or Cozi.com, which imports Google calendar entries, has a To-Do list and grocery list and even a journal to catch and share those great family memories.

But if low tech is more your thing, set up a black or white board in the kitchen.  Attach a calendar that everyone can write down appointments on.  Include a grocery list section too for folks to jot down items as they run out or are needed. You should also set aside a section that is divided by days of the week with To-Do’s for each member of the family.  An easy trick for handling this and not turning it into an unreadable mess is to color code for each family member.  Let everyone pick their favorite color and buy sticky notes in that color.  Post notes for each member of the family in their assigned color.  That way, each person can see what applies to them at a glance.  Pick a color that represents the whole family too so they can see what events are due for the whole family to share in.

Schedule chores.  Chores are not meant to get everyone jumping up and down with excitement, but they are the grease that keeps the family wheels moving.  Laundry, dishes, trash, cooking and cleaning up are all things that everyone needs to pitch in and help out with.  Find out which days work best for each person and write it into the weekly calendar.  Try to get volunteers to do specific chores on specific days.  But if you need to, draft someone.  Volunteer first yourself.  Setting the example goes a long way.  When everyone agrees with the program then no one can say it doesn’t work for them.  Again, cooperation is key to success.

Plan meals for the week ahead of time.  Unless you are Mary Poppins, then getting meals together for today’s busy family is challenging at best and near impossible at worst.  But again, when everyone has input and chips in, it can be much easier.  Let everyone decide what their favorite meals are.  Scatter in one or two days of serious cooking.  The other days can be left-over days, fend for yourself days or simple theme nights like Mexican (i.e. tacos) or Western (i.e. franks and beans).  Those are simple meals that even the least skilled members of the family can be assigned to prepare.  And they can be fun occasions to break up the monotony!  Lastly, keep in mind that you are not a bad parent if you are not cooking elaborate, food-pyramid-approved meals every night.  The days of June Cleaver and Carol Brady are dead and gone!

Schedule fun.  This is the one thing that so many families fail to do.  All work and no play makes the family home a dull place to be.  Recreation provides great times to build family bonds and generate warm memories.  Once a week or once every other week, schedule something like game night, movie night or some other activity that the family will enjoy.  Fun doesn’t have to cost anything either.  There are plenty of online community calendar resources that post all the free events in your area.  Check them out and use them!  For more ambitious or expensive events, schedule them to happen every other month or every quarter, or maybe each month in summers only.  You decide what works best for you.  Then you can save up for those ahead of time in the family budget so that they don’t hurt your pocket so much.  Family fun is also a great time to reward yourselves when you accomplish a family goal, like decluttering the basement or garage.

Set up a household budget.  This may be something you want to do as parents alone or you may want to include the kids.  Each family is different and you must decide what’s best for your individual situation.  But make a budget!  A budget is a tool that safeguards your family and makes sure the family has a roof over its head, electricity to light the home, gas to warm it and food to feed it.  It also makes sure you are saving for all the important things.  The most important thing a budget does though is keep you from going into debt.  When you tell your money where to go each month instead of wondering where it went, you don’t end up going into debt and you sleep a little easier each night.  You will get excellent budgeting tips when you join our email list.

When you put these simple tips into practice you won’t find that it’s a magic wand that instantly organizes your family.  The goal is not perfection.  It will take work and there will be ups and downs.  Expect whining, forgetfulness and push back (not necessarily from the kids either).  Don’t give up though.  Persistence pays off and if you stick to it, in a few short months your family will find its own rhythm and its own order out of the chaos that used to be the norm.  Keep checking back here at Org4Life Solutions.com for plenty of free and useful tips for keeping yourself, your home and your business organized.  Sign up to join our mailing list also so you don’t miss out on any goodies that can make your life simpler and easier to manage.  Or contact us directly if you would like to have a free evaluation to see if you can benefit from our assistance in getting your life better organized. In the meantime, here’s wishing you and your family all the peace, order and happiness it deserves!


How many times have you wanted to lose weight, get in shape, start a business, get rich or do something else big in life only to give up in frustration when you fail to achieve that one big thing?  You are not alone.  I’m certainly guilty of it.  Everyone sets goals.  They are the big shiny things that make us smile, get us excited and give us hope for a better future.  We get all pumped up, make a great start and then somewhere along the way we run into obstacles, we get discouraged and… we give up.  In other words, life happens.  And when life happens and you don’t have a plan, that’s a sure recipe for failure.

There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “If you don’t have a plan, then plan to fail.”  Goals are no different.  We have to give careful thought to our plan for success.  If you do that you’re already ahead of the vast majority of people who just wish and dream, but don’t really know how to get what they want.  With that in mind I’m going to share with you 6 keys to setting and crushing your goals.  Armed with this information, along the will to take massive action, you will see your life take a definite turn for the better.  Let’s get started!

Understand your why.  The why is the most basic thing.  It’s what keeps you going when the going gets tough.  How many times have you found yourself attempting to achieve something and as soon as things get too difficult you find yourself asking “What am I even doing this for?  It’s not worth it.”  On the other hand, when you are convinced of your why then when challenges arise, as they most certainly will, you will keep pressing forward knowing in your heart that you have a real reason for seeing this thing through to the end.  For instance, you might want to lose weight but it may be different reasons for different people.  Maybe you want to do it so you can stick around to see your kids grow up, fit into that dress you want or stop getting out of breath just from climbing a flight of stairs.  Whatever the reason, find your own burning reason why.  It will be the thing that lights a fire inside you rather than underneath you.

Make sure your goals are specific and measurable.  Saying you want to be rich sounds good, but being rich means different things to different people.  Not defining it in specific terms is like setting off on a cross-country road trip without a destination in mind.  When you put it in terms of achieving one million dollars, now you have something tangible and definite to shoot for that you can actually measure.  The finish line is specific and you know how far you have to go to get there.  You can also gauge how much you’ve accomplished along the way to achieving your goal.  On the other hand, plugging away at an uncertain goal means tiring out before you ever even know what you really want.

Make sure your goals are realistic.  Setting big goals is great.  In fact I encourage my clients to set stretch goals, things that move them way outside of their comfort zone.  But if you’ve never run around the block in your life and you want to run the NYC Marathon next month, that’s most likely not a realistic goal!  So set things within the realm of human capability, given time.  Everyone can train for a marathon, amass wealth or get in shape.  These things just take time.  But no matter how much time you have, you will never jump to the moon, outrun a cheetah or overpower a rhino.  It’s just not within the realm of possibility.  So keep it realistic and achievable.  Then you won’t be setting yourself up for disappointment and failure.

Make sure your goals are written along with a plan.  According to a study conducted by Gail Matthews at Dominican University of California, those who wrote down their goals achieved significantly more than those who did not.  She started with 267 participants.  The groups were divided into those that simply thought about their goals over the next four weeks and those who actually wrote them down along with various written action steps.  The end findings showed that those who wrote down their goals were 50% more likely to achieve them!  That’s a huge difference.  What’s the takeaway?  If you want to achieve things in life, write them down along with a plan of action to get them!

Set a deadline.  I spent many years of my life in sales.  Along the way you hear recurring formulas for success.  One of the most frequently stated formulas for success is to have a reason and a deadline.  The reason part we discussed earlier when we talked about your why.  The deadline part is what motivates you to act by specific times.  Saying you want to get married and have children is nice.  But do you want that whenever, or do you want it within a specific timeframe?  Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”  In other words, if you give yourself an hour to do something, it will take an hour.  If you give yourself a day to do something, it will take a day.  The only difference is the deadline you set.  It only follows that if your deadline is never set, it will never get done.  So get smart and set a deadline.  Otherwise you will be further sabotaging your success.

Get an accountability partner.  What’s easier?  Being accountable to yourself or being accountable to another person?  Being accountable to yourself is easy because you will never embarrass you for not doing something.  But when you face the fear of embarrassment or criticism from an outside source, your motivation for getting the thing done changes exponentially.  No one wants to let others down or be seen as a “loser” or lazy.  When you get an accountability partner, be that a friend or coach, you greatly increase your chances of actually doing something, anything in fact, that will contribute to your success.  And action is the difference between daydreamers and winners.  So, recruit a friend to share your goals with and let them know your deadlines.  Make them hold you accountable and see how much more productive you actually become!

These 6 keys, when put into practice consistently, will supercharge your goal setting success.  If you feel you could benefit from further professional help to get more focused and get more things done to create that better life you crave, Org4Life Solutions has many programs that fit each individual need from one-on-one coaching to seminars and workshops for businesses, groups or individuals.  Contact us to set up a free discovery session to see where we might be able to help.  Or if you haven’t already, click on over and join our mailing list to receive more good info like this on a regular basis.  In the meantime, go out there and crush those goals.  Much continued success to you!


Procrastination.  We’ve all been there.  We get hit with a bolt of inspiration that feels like an electric shock.  Eureka!  You’ve discovered the cure for the common cold, the better mousetrap or the magic formula for riches.  Your brain is spinning with all the things you have to do.  You madly scribble down your ideas and clearly see the bright future ahead of you.  As you sleep that night, you smile, secure in the knowledge that life is about to take a turn for the better and you will be hailed a hero.

When you awaken the next day, you leap out of bed eager to pursue your brilliant flash.  You start thinking of the exciting day ahead.  You shower, eat breakfast and then… do absolutely nothing.  Well, that’s not exactly right.  You somehow find a lot of stuff to do.  Just anything but what you said you would do.  You remember that errand you have to run and it has to get done now so your idea will have to wait.  After that, you’re hungry so you simply must eat now.  Work can wait.  “Ooh, what’s that on TV?  That looks good.  Think I’ll watch it.”  Hmmm, you always wanted to sort your closet so why not now?  After that, more time goes by and nothing gets done on your idea.  What’s that there?  Those pesky dishes won’t wash themselves so I better get on it.  As the sun fades, it’s dinner time.  Your stomach calls out for a food run so you jump in the car and make a trip to your favorite take out joint.  After you get home you feel the need to relax with another movie.  Yawn, it’s late.  Time for bed.  No worries.  The world can wait for your brilliant idea.  There’s always tomorrow, right?

Wrong.  Tomorrow indeed comes but then it’s only filled with more “busy stuff” that distracts and keeps you from doing the real work of pursuing your idea.  The siren song of success calls out but as time goes on the volume gets lower and lower until you can’t hear it anymore.  What happened?  Why did such a promising start end in such a disappointing fizzle?

In many cases, it’s a little thing called “Imposter Syndrome.”  It also goes by the name of self- doubt or fear of success.  It’s a nagging fear that sits deep within us that tells us we don’t have what it takes to make it.  That even if we do, once we climb the ladder high enough everyone will realize we’re a phony, a fake, a fraud who only “got lucky” and failure is destined for our future.  This horrible beast that lies within will do everything in its power to fight you so you are not “exposed” to the world for what you are, a loser.  And you are not alone.  Everyone is plagued by self-doubt at one time or another.  The difference between winners and losers is that winners act in the face of self-doubt while losers find every excuse in the book to give in to the fear and do nothing.

The truth is, you are no different from anyone else.  You put your pants on, use the bathroom and tie your shoes just like those winners so they don’t have any innate advantage over you.  The trick is, you have to convince yourself that this is true.  But how do you do that?  How can you cultivate the mind and habits of a winner?  How do you overcome years of ingrained fears and bust through to come out a winner despite the odds?  Here are four things you can do right away to get the ball rolling in your favor.

1)     Screw Perfection.  One of the biggest enemies of progress is perfection.  Somehow, we convince ourselves that unless every ‘T’ is crossed and every ‘I’ dotted and it’s polished to a high shine, it’s not ready for prime time.  Forget all that nonsense.  Just do it.  Perfection is an impossible goal.  There will always be errors, glitches and other assorted imperfections to deal with.  So, if you’ve got 80% right, go with it.  You can always work out the kinks on the fly.  Publish the book.  Launch the website.  Start the business.  Push the button.  Just do it!

2)     Break it Down.  There’s that old question that asks, “How do you eat an elephant?”  We all know the answer.  One bite at a time.  And it’s so true.  Sometimes we get so afraid of the enormity of the task ahead of us that we retreat into our safe place thinking it’s just impossible to get it done.  Not true.  Just break it down into manageable tasks.  I use a little process I call reverse-engineering.  Start with the end goal.  Then work backwards figuring out what can be done in smaller and smaller tasks to get to the desired goal.  For instance, if you wanted to self-publish a book in a year, that’s the end goal.  But there are many smaller steps in between.  Your 6-month goal could be to have a rough manuscript.  Your 3-month goal could be to start on that manuscript.  Your 1-month goal might be researching the subject matter.  In one week you might figure out everything it takes to self-publish.  Today, you could google “self-publishing.”  When you break it down, write it down and put dates on each step, what once seemed insurmountable becomes very doable!

3)     Journal it.  Experience shows that nothing succeeds like success.  Success is like a powerful snowball that feeds on itself.  When you accomplish one thing, it fuels you up to move on to the next task and the next and the next.  Before you know it you’re an unstoppable productivity machine!  Documenting your successes along the way gives you something to look at, to celebrate and to feed on to prove to yourself that you can do this thing.  Journaling is a powerful tool for accomplishing that.  Just keep a daily record of what you did TODAY to move one step closer to your goal.  Try it.  You will be surprised at how it empowers your mind to keep moving forward until you realize your ultimate goal.

4)     Be the Superhero.  When we were kids we had no problem tying a bedsheet around our neck, striking a pose and running around the house convinced in our mind that we can fly.  Lately there is growing evidence that this childhood act might have some real substance to it.  Social psychologist Amy Cuddy, in a TED Talk from 2012, demonstrated that assuming power poses- standing in a posture of confidence even when we don’t feel so confident- can actually affect testosterone and cortisol levels in our brain, thus boosting our confidence and chances of success.  So, the next time you feel procrastination creeping up on you, or you feel unsure about what to do, stand with your hands on your hips and your chest out for 2 minutes.  Go ahead and try it.  It’s 2 minutes out of your whole day, yet it can make your whole day!  Isn’t that worth the effort?

In conclusion, insert these habits into your daily routine and you will most likely see a noticeable boost in your productivity, confidence and attitude.  Pretty soon you’ll be getting so much stuff done your mom might ask, “Who are you and what have you done with my child?”


I remember a very hectic and dark time in my life when I was facing bankruptcy, paying child support up the wazoo and getting by with actual financial help from my parents each month.  Back then I needed every dollar I could lay my hands on.  I was so deep in debt and stressed out though, that I would take mail that came in, assume it was a bill and then just toss it in a drawer or on yet another pile of paper.  In this particular case, the mail that I thought was a bill was actually a check for $300!  Had I opened it then and there, I would’ve known.  And boy, could I have used that $300 then.  I didn’t find out until about 8 months later when I was going through my papers and decluttering.  When I opened it up, my heart sank.  I had a limited time to cash it or I forfeited my claim in this particular case.  Needless to say, I was pissed and vowed never again to let clutter cost me a dime!

We’ve all paid the price for clutter at one time or another.  A junk drawer, a cluttered room, a disorganized desk at work.  Whatever your particular brand of poison, you know what it is.  But what you may not know is that it’s costing you in ways you might not suspect.  Clutter is the enemy of clear thought, productivity and financial freedom.  Having clawed my way out of the clutter hole and experienced its terrible costs, I am sharing with you just a few ways I’ve known clutter to cost me or others I have coached in various ways.  Listen up, it might save you some cash and some grief.

Misplaced Funds.  In addition to the personal example I related above, I can’t tell you how many times I have decluttered a home with a client and found at least a hundred dollars in the form of change, cash dollars and uncashed checks.  One way to fix this is to have a landing pad for your mail.  Always put it in that designated spot and sort through it as soon as it comes in or as soon thereafter as you can schedule the time.  Have a trash can and shredder nearby to dispose of any excess and unneeded paper.  That way you can stay on top of your mail and it doesn’t get sucked into a black hole that costs you.

Wasted Time.  How many times have you wasted time looking for something?  Each and every day, people lose time looking for things.  And sometimes those things are right on their heads, on their feet or in their pockets.  I recently had a friend who posted that she spent something like 20 minutes looking for her socks only to find they were, you guessed it, on her feet!  My clients constantly tell me they waste 20 minutes or an hour looking for stuff every day.  You can easily waste 15 minutes or more each day looking for things.  This can make you late for important events or take away time from other more pressing things you should be doing.  Eliminate this time waste by setting up zones for items and always putting them back there when you’re done.  One thing I do is I have a tray on my dresser and every night I empty my pockets and put my change, wallet, gum, business cards and keys in that tray.  The next time I need to leave the house, I know where to go to get that stuff.  I’m never wasting time looking for those basic things.  Try it, you will like it.

Peace of Mind.  Why do we go away on vacation?  Isn’t it to get away from it all?  And isn’t some of the things we’re getting away from is a messy environment?  When you put that key card in your hotel room door and open it, you expect to be greeted by a nicely made bed, a well-arranged room and a neatly arranged bathroom.  Even the toilet paper is finished with a nice design!  There is a reason for this.  An orderly environment relaxes the mind.  In the absence of clutter there is peace and rejuvenation.  When you come home and open your door, are you greeted with peace or disorder?  If it’s the latter, you are robbing yourself of peace of mind.  Don’t you get irritated when you have to step over junk on the floor or see dirty dishes in the sink?  Do yourself a favor and get started decluttering your home.  Turning it into an oasis of peace will make a huge impact on your peace of mind.

One tip to get started is to pick a spot in your target room and start decluttering, working in a clockwise fashion, 15 minutes at a time, or more if you can spare.  Keep working in a clockwise direction until you come back to where you started.  That way you can see the progress you make and use those little victories to spur you on.  Get bins to sort things into Keep, Sell, Donate, Trash and Shred.  When you are done move on to the next room and repeat the process.  By dedicating just a few minutes each day to decluttering you will be surprised at how much you can accomplish in a relatively short time.

Lost Opportunity.  There are people who say successful people are just “lucky.”  They are lucky, in a sense, but they make their own “luck.”  You see, luck is simply when preparation meets opportunity.  If you are disorganized, disheveled and lacking clear focus, you cannot possibly be prepared when opportunity comes knocking.  In fact, opportunity might be staring you in the face right now, but you can’t even see it for all the clutter you have accumulated in your life in one form or another.  Can you think of any opportunities you may have missed to improve your life because you simply were not organized enough and ready to take advantage of them?  If so, shake off the clutter and get your life in order.

Relationships.  I have seen actual relationships strained to the breaking point because one spouse or the other refused to let go of tons of unnecessary junk.  I’m talking magazines, books, collectibles, rusty old tools that no longer serve a purpose and all manner of other things.  And when you ask them when was the last time they used it, they couldn’t tell you.  Or when you ask them if it’s such a valuable keepsake, why is it buried at the bottom of all this junk, they look at you like a deer in headlights.  And all the while the other mate is threatening to end the marriage if they can’t get it together.  This is serious.  Don’t be the unfortunate soul who is willing to sacrifice a loved one for material things that can burn up tomorrow and have no lasting value.  Learn to let go and you will open up your life and your home to peace and rest.

These are just a few ways clutter can cost you.  If you saw yourself in any of the above examples, you are not alone.  But the good news is you can fix it since you caused the mess in the first place.  The Max Money Mind is dedicated to providing timely advice on how to organize your life and finances so that you may gain financial freedom and peace of mind.

Join our email list and you will immediately receive your copy of our free eBook “The Max Money Guide To Building A Bulletproof Budget.”  It will show you how to quickly organize your finances by  building a budget that actually works, even if one hasn’t worked for you in the past.  So what are you waiting for?  It’s freeClick that opt-in button and join our growing community dedicated to doing more, getting more and living more.!


In the previous article, we discussed how determining your core values allows you to figure where things fall in order of priority in your life.  Okay, now that we’ve got that the next question is how do you fit all the things you have to do in the run of a day into your life so that they live up to your core values?  Here two powerful items come into play:  Goals and Priorities.  Goals are where you ultimately want to end up, the destination on your life map.  Priorities are your means of getting there, your vehicle, so to speak.  All your priorities are the things you should be doing at this moment in time to get you moving toward your goals the fastest way possible.  First, let’s talk about goal setting.

You can, and should, have several goals.  Each one will cover different areas of your life and should always be geared toward making you and your life better.  They can be physical, like running a marathon.  They could be spiritual, like drawing closer to God.  Or maybe you have a financial goal, like accumulating enough money in the bank to retire.  Goals are limitless and only confined by your imagination.  But how big should your goals be?

Goals should be BIG.  I’m talking moon shot big!  Goals need to make you stretch and grow.  They need to make you struggle and change and get uncomfortable.  Those are the only goals worth having.  But keep in mind that they need to be realistic and attainable.  If your goal is to figure skate in the Olympics and you’ve never skated before and you’re over the age of 30, that’s probably not a realistic goal.  But once you have a goal in mind, write it down.  Then we need to reverse-engineer it.  What do I mean?

Reverse-engineering your goal means taking it and working it backwards in time to today.  Let’s take the example of retiring to a Caribbean island.  That’s a big goal.  So ask yourself, where do I need to be in 5 years to make sure I’m on track to supporting that ultimate goal?  Maybe it means being debt-free.  So that’s your 5-year goal.  But being debt-free probably means upping your income.  So maybe your one-year goal is to have a thriving side-business that boosts your income.  Now, how do you get there?  Hmmm, maybe in 6 months you need to be starting that business.  That’s your 6-month goal.  A good one-month goals in support of that would be maybe filing a business license for a dba.  Before that though, you need to know what kind of business you want to start, what legal entity should you use and how viable will it be.  So a good one week goal would be to determine the kind of business you would like to start.  But what can you do today to support that goal?  Today, you could read one article, or buy a book to read that relates to starting a successful business.

See how we deconstructed that and arrived at the one thing you should be doing today to ensure that you ultimately arrive at your goal?  Try this powerful tool, it works.  Studies support the fact that those who are most likely to reach their goals are the ones who write them down and have a plan to get them.

Keep in mind though that the difference between a dream realized and a mere wish is action!  And the only person who can perform that action is you.  Your actions must be your priorities, which are in turn aligned with your goals.  The key thing to keep in mind here when determining your priorities out of all the things you could be doing in a given day is asking yourself what is the one thing I should be doing right now to make sure I’m on track for my next goal?  In the example we used above that would be reading something that will educate you about starting a business.  If you’re not doing that now or haven’t done it already today then you’re doing the wrong thing.  The next tool we discuss will make sure you are doing the things you should be doing at any given point in time.

Let’s now look at the power of the daily To-Do list and how it allows you to set your priorities.  One thing that highly productive people share in common is they list the things they need to accomplish in a given day.  The list is a simple yet powerful tool!  It is a visible reminder of what you need to do and a powerful motivator as you cross off each task you accomplish.  You too can use it to work wonders in your life.  Think about all the things you need or want to do each day, then list them.  In that list you will have both things you could be doing and things you should be doing.

Now look at the list.  Of all the things on it, if you could only accomplish one thing in support of your goal, which would it be?  Put the number ‘1’ next to it.  Now look at the remaining items.  If you could only do one of those in support of your goal, which would it be?  Place the number ‘2’ next to that item.  Repeat this process until all items have numbers next to them.  Anything that most directly moves you toward your goals are the things you should be doing.  Those take priority over the could be doings.  Now, work your way through this list until you accomplish everything on it for the day.

If you fail to get to everything on the list, don’t worry.  Just carry those items over to your list for the next day and finish it then.  But always place emphasis on the things you should be doing in support of your goals.  It’s that simple.  You will be amazed at how much more productive you become when you work the list and make it a part of your daily routine.  Now go tame that time monster and show it who’s boss!