You’re Smart. And Smart People Make SMART Goals

Make goals ACHIEVABLE.
  • Make sure that the goal you set out to achieve is actually do able.  I can change the world, it’s true.  However… I probably can’t grow a foot taller, join a professional sports team or run a marathon in the next week.
  • Remember, too, that achievement requires action.  We can’t just sit there and expect things to happen.  Goals go nowhere without action.  Create an action plan to achieve your goals.
  • Let’s take a moment here to remember:  we can only make goals for ourselves; and we cannot force goals on others. Our goals may be in conjunction with another person’s goal, like a business plan with a business partner, or a healthy living plan for the whole family.
  • Break down your goals to make them achievable.  Big goals are a  series of small goals, or, broken down even further, a series of tasks or steps.  Set a big goal, then break it into bite-size actionable steps.
  • Make your goals achievable, but also use them to stretch you as a person! Don’t make your goals too small!

Make goals TIMELY.

  • Set a time frame for your goals.  A SMART Goal needs to be timely, time specific.  “I will achieve xyz goal by March 1st” or “next Tuesday.”
  • Every goal needs a deadline, or else its just a wish.  Set a deadline, and then make mid-goal benchmarks to check your progress.  Make the goal time-frame long enough but not too long!

You Can Change the World in 17 Minutes (or less)

Big progress and big changes can be made in little pieces.

Too often, we believe that great progress towards a goal can only be made with a great investment of time and effort.   We get stuck in perfectionist thinking, believing that we can only make progress or work on a project if we have a bunch of uninterrupted hours all together (that doesn’t sound like my typical day or week, how about you?).

However, maintenance and progress towards goals really can happen in bits and pieces of time, in 5 or 10 or 15 minute increments, fit in around all the other tasks and responsibilities we take care of  on a regular basis.

For example, consider the 7th game of the 2016 World Series.  

I would love to know what was said to the Chicago Cubs team during the 17 minute rain delay in the 7th game of the World Series back in November.

If you were watching the game that night (as myself, my family and most of the cities of Chicago and Cleveland plus millions of others were), you may remember the rain delay.  

It was a late night with an extra inning, so when the rain delay was called, I decided to go to bed.  In those 17 minutes, I plugged in my phone to charge, brushed my teeth, put on my PJs and hit the pillow.

As I drifted off, I heard my husband and sons start to chat again and I figured (correctly) that the delay was over  and the game had resumed.  So Of Course I got up and watched the fantastic end.

17 minutes.  The team all said how important and pivotal the talk in the weight room was, how simple and moving words made the difference.

17 Minutes.

And here we are, in 2017.  Let’s appreciate that symmetry.  As we begin 2017, what can we learn from the 17 minute rain delay?

Do not underestimate the power and potential and progress that can be found in small bits of time.  5, 10, 15 minutes?  17 Minutes?  I’m just sayin’!

So, what can we do in 17 minutes (or less) that can help us have a better, healthier, kinder, more productive, more organized 2017?

  • Take our vitamins; 
  • Take a power nap; 
  • Take a shower; 
  • Make our bed; 
  • Run an errand; 
  • Text or call a friend when we think of them; 
  • Pay a bill, either in person or on-line; 
  • Pray; 
  • Respond to an email ( I just booked a presentation for April.  2 minutes.  done!); 
  • Delete a bunch of emails; 
  • Unsubscribe from a catalog or retailer; 
  • Steep a cup of tea; 
  • Clean out the fridge; or 
  • Fold a couple loads of laundry, and put it all away.

And per my awesome friends and readers:

  • Reorganize our purse or bag (receipts; discard or file, update or toss notes/ lists, change, bills in place;
  • Clean that pile of mail off the printer;
  • Clean out junk mail (both physical and email), as well as
  • Empty the recycling bin (virtual and physical);
  • Throw out the garbage in the car (No, C., no judgement here!);
  • 10 minute pick ups in each room;
  • Take 5 min when you use the bathroom to wipe it all down;
  • 10 min quick clean up of my desk;
  • Gather dishes(coffee cups!) from various reading spots and put in dishwasher;
  • Empty and reload dishwasher, makes a huge difference;
  • Go through the house, gather shoes, put in correct bedrooms;
  • Do a once thru the house to pick up items and put them where they BELONG; and
  • Stash a bag on every floor for donations, add to the bag as you come across things to purge!

Imagine with me, friends.  If we were open to taking little steps instead of waiting to take great strides to our goals.  We could feel the rush of accomplishment in a steady glow, stay motivated, makes changes mid-stride. Let’s think about 2017, and all the great progress we can make in 17 minute-or-less pieces!

Here’s to a great 2017!


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Happy New Year! 7 Ways To Clear Clutter This Week

I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but I also love the calm and clarity that follow.  Here are 7 ways I’m clearing clutter this week, give one or two or all seven a try!

  1. Return stuff to other people:  Hooray!  My kitchen counter is clean again!  Last week, it held a roasting pan, a pie pan, an instruction book for someone else’s gift, a holiday cookie tin and a few other random items, none of which belonged to me.  The tin was the last to go, but as of yesterday, everything is returned!
  2. Donation / Recycling Clutter:  Drop off donations and recyclables, or at least put the next charitable donation pick-up date on your calendar and plan to have a bag ready.  Then start filling that bag!!  We have a couple of bags already filled with donated Christmas decorations, toys and outgrown kid and adult clothes.
  3. Purge cardboard:  I feel like we’ve been swimming in shipping boxes and toy packaging.  The recycling bin filled up quickly over the holidays, but there’s more room this week!  Collect the boxes, break ’em down and lug ’em out.  You’ll be glad you did!
  4. Plan a Returns Day.  Place a shopping bag by the door.  As you go through your home and routines this week, look for the items you intend to return and place them and their receipt in the bag.  If you can’t find the receipt, spend a little time looking for it, but don’t get hung up on perfectionism.  Even if you can’t find the receipt, a smaller amount of store credit or cash back is better than holding on to an item you know you won’t use just because you can’t find the receipt.  Spend an afternoon, and run those errands to return the items.  Cha-ching, money in your pocket and the clutter goes away!
  5. Clear the Catalogs:  Clean off the coffee table, reading pile and kitchen counter.   Call the 800# on the back of the catalogs or go to, and remove yourself from mailing lists.  Subscribe online, if you’d like, and you may get regular promotion notices and coupons.  To avoid email notices, skip the subscription, open your web browser, create a bookmark folder called “shopping”, bookmark the page in your browser, and add it to your shopping folder, then toss the catalog!
  6. Phone clutter:  Ugh!  I am tired of the solicitation calls on our home phone line!  Register all phone numbers (cell, too) with the National Do Not Call Registry at, if you haven’t done so.  And this month I will answer all calls on the home line, and request that the caller remove me from their list, which they legally must do if we ask.
  7. E-Mail clutter:  I am happy that a few people un-subscribed last week.  As a blogger and newsletter writer, it should not make me happy, but I was proud of those 4 folks on my mailing list for deciding to let go of something that was not working for them. Good for them.  Of course, now that they have un-subscribed, they will never know that I applauded their efforts.  And remember, I welcome your suggestions and comments for improvement, to keep my content meaningful and useful for you.

Yeah, you!  Look around, you’re feeling lighter and looking better already!  Way to go!