• Abby Myette

Spring is starting to bloom. For many that means it’s time to cultivate your garden. This year, in our new house, I am hoping to plant some new flowers and start a little garden. To successfully plant a garden, there are a few tools I will need. A shovel, some fresh soil, a hose, and some flowers to plant. With the right tools, I will be able to plant a beautiful garden.


Goals are the same way. With the right tools you can grow your goals. With the right tools you can organize everything you have going on in life and make consistent progress on your goals. I want to share with you the five tools I use to cultivate, keep track of, organize, and accomplish my goals.


1. Notebook for ideas

I am definitely a pen to paper kind of gal. I like writing things down. I find it easier to flip through a notebook and find my ideas over the years. I like the feeling of holding a notebook in my hands.

For Tradewinds, I have a specific notepad. In it I keep track of all my ideas, my plans, outlines of new programs, and notes from workshops and webinars I attend. When I am stuck on an idea or have a mental block, I can flip through the pages and often find inspiration in ideas from months or even years ago.

My favorite notebooks are the coiled notebooks from Erin Condren. I like a coil bound book so I can fold it completely in half. It’s easier to hold on my lap that way. I like Erin’s notebooks in particular because I can customize the cover. I like to put inspiring messages on the cover or brand it for my business.

goal setting journal on desk
My current Erin Condren notebook. I love this quote!

Screen shot of iPhone notes list

2. iPhone notepad for on-the-spot ideas

Often ideas come to me when I am in the most random places; in the middle of a spin class, watching a movie, listening to a podcast, or talking with friends. So, despite my love of pen and paper, there isn’t always one handy when an idea strikes. I keep several different notepads in my phone for these moments. I have an iPhone and just use the notes app. But I do have several different notepads; Tradewinds ideas, quotes, podcast notes, or my favorite, random shit.

I periodically go through these notes and delete stuff that isn’t relevant or needed anymore. I will transfer important notes to my actual notebook. At the end of the day, the notepad on my phone is an in the moment, short term solution.


3. 3-month calendar for long term planning

I love my three-month calendar. I discovered it last year on Amazon. It has been one of the best purchases I have made. I am able to plan out all my content three months at a time. I can compare month to month what I have going on. The best part, the month page comes off easily, you move it up on the calendar, and the newest month is underneath. You just keep moving the pages up as the year goes on.

Even if you don't have a business, this tool can be helpful to plan family vacations, school breaks, and big work events. Having one place to see 90 days in advance helps me break down the big plans into smaller tasks.

Check out the one I have hanging in my office: Amazon link.


4. Amber’s Planner for weekly business focus

For those of us juggling multiple jobs, family, pets or kids (or both), keeping everything organized can be one of the biggest challenges. Thank goodness for my business coach, Amber Housley! Because she knows this is hard. And she created the perfect weekly planner to help business women like me get organized.

On Sunday, I sit down and fill out this planner. This planner is a place where I can combine all the information I have across calendars and marketing plans. It also prompts me to take a pause and focus on how I want to feel and what I’m grateful for. Sometimes in the hustle of life, it’s easy to forget how important that pause can be. Once it’s filled out, I have a clear plan for the week for both my task priorities and my mental focus.

Right now, I’m in an additional coaching program that can have up to four meetings a week. Those go on the weekly planner right away! I scroll through my 9-5 job calendar, my Tradewinds calendar and write down all the big things happening. I take a look at my 3-month calendar to see what marketing pieces I have planned for the week. If the calendar says blog post, then my to-do list will say write blog post, edit blog post, publish blog post on website. Yes, I break it down into each of those individual tasks. It helps me manage my time, feel accomplished, and not get overwhelmed.

I also look a week or two ahead to see what I need to be working on and what material needs to be finalized {see where that 3 month calendar comes in handy?}. This helps me avoid those “oh shit!” moments if I had planned something and then never did the work to create the content or material. Reality check: I don’t fill this out every single Sunday. There are weeks when I don’t get to it or if it’s a slow week and I don’t feel it’s necessary.

Side note, if you have any questions about working with Amber, I’d love to chat about my experience and answer any questions! Just drop me a DM over on Instagram!


5. To-Do list for short term tasks

Have you ever written a task on a to-do list that you had already accomplished, just so you could have the satisfaction of crossing it off? Yup, me too!

I love a good to-do list. And I use a couple different kinds depending on how much I have going on.

First, there is the good old-fashioned Post It Note. I tend to write my to-dos on a Post It Note when it has to get done that day. The organizer in me really doesn’t like having lots of notes hanging around. Write the task down, get it done, throw away the note. That’s my routine.

Second, I have a notepad from Lily Pulitzer that is broken into three sections, do this, maybe this, then this. I generally use this notepad for projects when the tasks have to be done in a specific order. It is also useful when I have a lot on my to-do list because it encourages me to prioritize. Now, in reality, sometimes I do jump around and complete tasks out of order. But overall, I find this breakdown really helpful.

Third, my personalized to-do list note pad. My best friend gave this to me for my birthday a few years ago {clearly, she knows what I love!}. I keep it in my bedside table. I typically use it to plan out my weekends. I love the different circles to breakdown all the different things I want to do and need to do on the weekends. Often, what I write down is simply, Tradewinds time. Then, when I go up to my office, I have my specific lists for what I need to work on for my business. So, I’m not repeating my specific to-do list on each notepad I use.

The ‘people to call’ bubble is one of my favorites. It sparks a reminder in me to reach out to someone. In this world of 6 foot distance, masks hiding our smiles, and cancelled social gatherings, it’s been even more important to make intentional time to connect with the ones we love and miss.

Three different notepads for organizing tasks.
My three favorite notepads!


Here's the Cliff notes version:

Each of these tools serves a different purpose to help me stay on track with my goals.

  1. notebook: brainstorming and long term notes

  2. iPhone notepad: on the spot ideas

  3. 3-month calendar: planning out long term

  4. weekly planner: setting priorities for my business

  5. To-do lists: what needs to get done

Which one will help you on your goals? Comment below and let me know which one you're going to use this week!

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I love to write.


The feel of a pen in your hand, the crack of the spine on a new journal. The smell of fresh pages just waiting for you to fill them. These all bring me joy.


For February, I set a joy goal to journal every day. I’ve been journaling or writing in a diary since I was a kid. But in the last few years, I have been sporadic at best. Even though I enjoy it, I had not made it a priority. I decided I wanted to change that!


On Monday, February 1st, I sat down and wrote in my journal. And over the following twenty-eight days, I continued to make journaling a priority. {Okay, let’s be honest, I wrote almost every day. Doing something every single day is hard! I did miss a few days, and that’s okay! I was still very consistent so I consider this a win.} In those twenty-eightish days, I gained three really important things, clarity, peace, and focus.



Clarity

I don’t typically have a plan when I journal. I just start writing with whatever is on my mind. But sometimes I do need a prompt. Using a journal prompt encourages me to think about things I may not have considered. My writing often ends up in a rabbit hole of thoughts and ideas that have been marinating my brain for some time. They needed to come out but I just didn’t know it.


The other helpful prompt is to start writing about something I am stuck on or frustrated with. Then I just keep answering the question why over and over again. It encourages me to think, to be honest with myself about the situation. And here is part of why I love journaling, no one is ever going to see what I write. There is no fear it what I put down on paper. It is for me and my eyes only. I can be brutally honest and vulnerable. We all need that from time to time.


Whatever path I take to start writing, the process often brings me clarity. I start to realize new things about myself or a challenge in my life. For example, I had been in a really bad mood and grumpy. I decided to bake cookies one night. When I went to journal later that day, I realized my mood had completely shifted. I didn’t even realize it until I took the time to pause from all the craziness, but spending time baking helped shift my mood. Now I know, next time I’m in bad mood, I have to whip up some cookies!


Peace

My life is crazy busy. I imagine yours is, too! I typically journal at night, just before bed. It gives me the opportunity to release from my mind all the things swirling round from the day. I often also end up writing out a to do list for the day ahead. If I let all these things just sit in my brain all night long, I don’t sleep well. How can you fall asleep when you’re also repeating to yourself, don’t forget to buy eggs at the grocery store tomorrow?!


At the most basic, journaling is a brain dump. It gives us the chance to empty out all the thoughts and emotions swirling around in our brains so we can find peace. With that peace we are able to focus on what is right in front of us, the people we are with, or just the peace to close our eyes and drift to sleep.


Focus

Focus is the combination of the clarity and peace. When my ideas and thoughts become clear, when I have emptied my brain of all that is pulling me in fourteen different directions, I am able to focus.


I can focus on the most important tasks. I can focus on the people I am with. I can focus on what really matters. With focus I am able to make intentional progress. Progress in my business, in the things that bring me joy, and in the relationships that matter.



I am hopeful that my habit of journaling regularly has been revived. After making it a priority for 28 days, I have been reminded of why I enjoy it so much. As I continue to grow my business and develop new programs, new ways to support my clients in their own goal journey, I know journaling will be an important part of the process.


Will you start or continue on your own journaling journey?

What will you find when you take the time to write whatever is on your mind each day?


{If you need inspiration for where to start, what to actually write about, check out my free journal prompts. You can download it right now! Then grab a pen and your favorite journal and get started.}

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How do I stay on track with my goals? This is one of the top questions I hear. With the everyday responsibilities of family, work, and just life in general, adding in working on goals can be a challenge. You know you want to make regular progress on your goal but you’re struggling to be consistent.


I am sharing my four best tips to help you stay on track and keep making progress on your big dream goal.


1. Write it Down

Don’t leave your goals swirling around inside your brain. That isn’t going to do you any good. Studies show that writing down your goal helps cement them, makes them more real. I challenge you to take it a step further. Describe your goal in detail. Write down what success looks like, feels like, even smells like. The more descriptive you get, the more invested you will become in making everything you wrote down a reality. Plus the more specific you are, the easier it will be for you to know exactly what you’re creating and what action you need to take.




2. Quality over Quantity

As you’re writing, you may have more than one goal that comes to mind. My imagination often carries me away and I have so many ideas I don’t know which one to focus on, so I end up not focusing on anything {I see you nodding your head thinking, me too!}. Then my goals don’t ever become goals, they are stuck as just dreams.


I don’t want that for you! So, focus on just one goal. And focus just on the next few weeks. By narrowing your focus to only one goal at a time, you’ll prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed. Plus it speaks to the whole quality over quantity mindset. Focus on one goal, and do that thing really well. Then next month, keep going or switch it up to something else.


I vary some of my goals from month to month so I can take advantage of the seasons. In February my goal may be to read more often (cozy time by the fire). Whereas in May my goal may be to run 10 miles a week (when it’s warm and dry outside).


3. Tell Other People

No one accomplishes big things on their own. Now that you know the one goal you are focused on, share it with other people so they can support you.


They may simply offer words of encouragement which will definitely help keep you motivated. You may find a goal setting partner and together you work on a common goal. This is great for fitness related goals. It’s much easier to get up and get to the gym or get on a virtual workout if you promised a friend you would meet them there.


The other benefit of telling people is they may have resources that can help you. When my goal was to find a new job, I told everyone I knew. The job I ended up getting was sent to be by an acquaintance I ran with from time to time. You never know who may have insight or connections to help you achieve your goal! Don’t keep it a secret. Put it out there into the world!


4. Have a Plan

When you set out for a road trip, you usually start by plugging the destination into your navigation system. Then, you follow the step-by-step instructions. Achieving your goals should be much the same way.


Unfortunately, there is no Google Maps for goals. You’re going to have to do the work yourself.

Take a look at your overall goal and break it down into the individual action items within that goal. And for each action item, create individual tasks. The tasks are what end up on your to do list. {If this sounds like a system that works for you, but you need some support to break it down, check out my signature program, Ready, Set, Goal!}



If part of your goal requires doing research on the topic, that’s your action item. Your task may be to set aside 30 minutes twice a week to research on the internet. Or, if you have a couple websites specifically that you want to look at, spending time on each website becomes its own task. By breaking down your big idea into these smaller tasks, you’re creating a step-by-step plan that is easy to follow.


Put it into action!

Now that you have my best tips, here’s your action plan to put them into practice. You can do this right now!

1. Pick one goal to focus on for the rest of the month.

2. Grab a piece of paper and write it down.

3. Hang that paper somewhere you can see it every day.

4. Tell someone else about your goal.

5. Write down five small action steps you will take to make progress.

6. Complete your first task and start building your momentum!


#goalsetting #goalactionplan #goalmomentum #goalsettingtips #goalactiontips #shareyourgoal

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