Got goals?

I like to visualize my goals. It’s easy to look at and carry everywhere! 

Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” He was right. It’s so easy to say you are going to do something, to create hypothetical goals, to wish that things were different, and to hope that all your dreams will come true without taking any action. But that only leaves you stuck in the rut you are trying to escape.

Many goals are easy – “I’m going to find 10 minutes each day to catch up on the news.” Some are harder – “I’m going to set 3 hours aside each weekend to meal prep for the week.” And then there are those that seem entirely out of reach – “I’m going to increase my annual income by 10% within the next six months.”

Below are some steps to take when goal planning. As you will read, it’s not just one and done – all things, whether great or small take effort. The more you give, the more you’ll get.

Step 1 – Trust in the Universe

Before you even set your goals, you have to set your mindset. The truth is that EVERYTHING is attainable. Yes, you read that right. Everything that you can think up is available to you. The Law of Attraction states that like attracts like, so if you set a goal, but don’t believe it’s possible, it won’t happen. If you have negative thoughts, you’ll only receive more negative situations to feel bad about. On the contrary, if you set a goal, believe in it, and take action, you will achieve it.

This is the hard because it’s difficult to put faith and trust in the unknown, we love the feeling of control, and – let’s face it – when things are rough, it’s hard to be positive. Just give it a try and see what happens!

Recommended Reading: The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein and E-Squared by Pam Grout

Step 2 – Set SMART Goals

You may have heard about SMART goals at work. Companies are all about these, and for good reason. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time-Bound.

Specific

Be specific and detailed in what you want to achieve.

  • Vague Goal– I want to make more money.
  • Specific Goal – I want to make an extra $100 per week through my soap making business by December 25, 2017.

The Universe can have a sense of humor. If you’re not specific with what you want, you may get exactly what you asked for – such as a $5 gift card for taking an online survey Hey, it’s more money, right?

Measurable

This allows you to track your progress and help you stay motivated. So, if your goal is to make $100 more per week through your soap making business by December 25th you might achieve this by increasing your marketing efforts and then tracking the sales. This is something tangible that can be physically reviewed and monitored, so you’ll know when you hit your goal.

Goals that aren’t specific are so much harder to track and measure.

Achievable

Okay, I know I said ALL goals are achievable, and it’s true, but let’s be realistic here too. If you want $1 million by tomorrow, it’s probably not happening unless you win the lotto. But, if you’re just starting out your career and want to grow your retirement savings to $1 million by the time you hit 65, that’s entirely possible and achievable. Make sure you have access to the resources you need to make the goals happen.

Relevant

Does the goal matter to you? People tell you what to do all the time – you should eat better, sleep more, lose weight, etc. But if the goal is not top of mind for you or it’s just not a good time to start working on it, it’s not worth your effort or energy.

Time-Bound

All goals need end dates. When do you hope to lose 50lbs? Eventually? I hate to burst your bubble, but eventually is never going to happen. Set a realistic target date for achieving and then work on it every day.

Recommended Reading: The Push by Chalene Johnson

Step 3 – Take Action & Be Consistent

You don’t have to go at it all at once. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take baby steps. Even small efforts towards a bigger goal will add up over time. You’ll never reach the goal if you don’t start somewhere.

Recommended Reading: The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

Step 4 – Track Progress

Get a journal or an app to help track your goals. Writing them down reinforces the behavior and looking at them often will help you realize where you are and where you need to be. When you make a step in the right direction, note it. If you have a setback, note that too. This will help you reevaluate future goals.

Recommended Journal: Chalene Johnson’s SmartLife PUSH Journal

Step 5 – Reward Yourself

It goes without saying that kids love rewards. Secretly, adults do too! Indulge your inner child and give yourself a little extra motivation. I wouldn’t go overboard, but having something extra (such as a manicure, new pair of sneakers, or a tablet) at the finish line will give you a boost to reach those goals. I have a few goals to crush by November and I’m picturing a Lularoe Amelia dress (that I’ve wanted for months) hanging in my closet!

What goals are on your list for the coming months?

Remember, whether you think you can achieve them or you think you can’t, you’re right.

 

Save some green 

I’m very meticulous about most of the things I do, especially grocery shopping. I find that task to be horribly annoying, much like having to return the back seats of my car to their upright position after doing laundry.

Anyway, because if this I try to be in and out of the market as quickly as possible. This can be very difficult when reading labels and such, but after some time you will know which foods belong in your cart and which ones don’t.

I also don’t like spending more money than I have to. Eating clean can be pricy, but it doesn’t have to be if you know how to buy. 

Below is an outline of how I do my own shopping. It may seem crazy, but it actually keeps me sane. Follow one tip or follow them all.

Let’s take a step into my ridiculously organized / disorganized mind.

Plan it. 

Start at home by creating a meal plan for the week or next two weeks and follow up with a grocery list based on the items needed.

Tip: Keep in mind items that aren’t in season. For instance, if you want a summer salad in the middle of November, strawberries could be hard to find or triple the price.

I know it’s a little nutty, but I also categorize my shopping list by the layout of the store – produce first, then organic / specialty foods aisle, followed by meats, drinks, almond milk, frozen veggies, and eggs. Done! This makes it easier to find everything on the list without going in circles or backtracking ten times. It also helps to prevent wandering and getting tempted by food-like products that are just dying to go home with you.

Use your card. 

Sign up for a store card – it’s free. You will get an extra discount when you use your card. Some grocery store employees are really nice and will put in a card for you, others not so much. It might just be a few cents or a dollar here or there, but by the end of the year you can see some major savings. You might even get points towards gas or a Thanksgiving turkey. Score!

BYOB.

No, I’m not talking about drinking and operating a cart. (Although sometimes going to the market makes me want to go home and pour a drink.) Bring Your Own Bag. This is an easy one because they sell reusable bags everywhere. EVERYWHERE. For as little as $0.99. Get some.

And, as soon as you walk in the store, pick up a scanner at the front of the store so you can check your items as you go. (Another good reason to sign up for a store card – you need it for this.) I don’t know how many times I’ve had to explain the difference between a plantain and a banana to the cashier, so I love that there are machines that weigh produce and spit out a barcode sticker that I can scan myself. When it comes time to check out, just scan your handheld, swipe your card, and go. It’s that easy…usually.

Buy in season. 

This will save you a HUGE amount of money. I’m totally guilty of complaining about the quality of the produce to the guys who are stocking it. In the winter you can see some pretty nasty stuff: strawberries thawing out and dripping on the display, moldy fruit etc. “It’s citrus season,” they constantly remind me. Oranges and other citrus fruits in the winter, fiddleheads in the spring, berries in the summer, and squash and apples in the fall. Of course there is a bigger list, but you get the idea. Plus, it can cost 3x more to buy this sucky out-of-season produce. Just wait or buy frozen.

Buy on sale. 

This one is a no-brainer, but I can’t stress it enough. If I really want grapes, but $2.99lb means I’ll have to pay around $10 a bag, I won’t get them. Period. I love fruit, especially frozen grapes, but why pay $10 for something today when you can pay $5 next week and get two? It can wait.

Tip: You may want to read your weekly circulars to find out which stores are having the best sales.*

Freez it. 

This is one of the few times I’ll actually say to buy something even if you don’t need it. Did you know that there are so many foods that can be frozen and saved? Garlic scapes, onions, cauliflower, and chili, to name a few. Buy it on sale and freeze it, so when it costs double the price next week you’ll already have a stash. This can also make meal prepping A LOT easier.

Buy in bulk. 

It’s always a good idea to stock up on non-food supplies. I’m a very messy cook and I ALWAYS run out of paper towels. Recently, I started buying a big case and it has been so helpful. I suggest doing the same with sponges, dish soap, plastic baggies in all sizes, foil, plastic wrap, parchment paper, and, while you’re at it, even toilet paper. (I had to throw in that last one because I am always running out of tp. Oops!)

Hopefully these steps can save you some time and money and give you a little peace of mind. Happy (grocery) shopping!

 

 

*I don’t typically use coupons because they don’t apply to most of what I buy. They may for paper products, but those are few and far between. As much as I wish I could say I’m a pro, there is no extreme couponing going on in my house.