Visualize It

wendel moretti/

My wife Mayra always loved to exercise and keep fit. However, many years ago, she lost her motivation and stopped exercising. Moreover, although she was upset about it, she just couldn’t seem to get started again. I had been trying to figure out ways to help her, and I came up with the idea of creating an exercise calendar.

I purchased a twelve-month schedule book, and I drew up a grading scale on the last page. On this page, I had written things such as:

“5 workouts a month: You’re on the right track. Keep Going!”

“8 workouts a month: You’re building momentum!”

“12 workouts a month: Outstanding!”

“15 workouts a month: You’re on Fire!”

Mayra began to use this calendar and started to exercise again. Each day she worked out, she would draw an “X” on the corresponding date in the calendar.  It wasn’t long before she broke free from her inertia, built momentum, and was back in the swing of things and feeling fantastic.

This story illustrates two ideas. First, if you have a goal, having a written record of your progress is a good idea. Second, having a visual representation of this progress can serve as a phenomenal motivator that will help propel you toward your goals and dreams.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you found it enjoyable and helpful. If you have and know of anyone else who may benefit from it, please feel free to share it.

Schedule It!

Leeloo Thefirst/

If you have set a SMART goal for yourself—kudos to you!

Now, in order to achieve your goal, you are going to have to perform specific actions on a regular basis. This may be every day or several times each week, and this can sometimes be a difficult thing to do. I understand that many of us have responsibilities to our education, our jobs, and of course, our families. These obligations often fill up so much of our days that finding the time for the activities necessary to bring us closer to accomplishing our objectives can be challenging. 

An excellent solution to this difficulty is to schedule the activities that need to get done. That’s right—grab a paper calendar or open a computer document/phone app and write down or type in the things you need to do. Block out specific time slots on certain days for your goal-related activities. This planning ahead will help ensure that what you want to do will get done. Otherwise, your goal-related tasks will likely be forgotten and diluted out by the frequently overwhelming amount of other “busyness” that seems to happen daily.

Let’s say that you want to become healthier and have created a SMART exercise goal that involves jogging for 30 minutes four times each week. I recommend looking at your schedule at the start of each week and blocking out times on the specific days when you will jog. For instance, you can say that you will jog from 8:00-8:30 on Monday morning, from 8:00-8:30 on Wednesday morning, from 4:00-4:30 on Friday afternoon, and from 9:00-9:30 on Saturday morning. You have now prioritized and set aside specific times for your goal-related actions. You will get them done!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope that you have enjoyed it and found it informative. If so, please feel free to share it with anyone you think may benefit from it. 

Be SMART About Goal Setting

Ingenious Buddy/

Are you thinking of setting a goal for yourself? Kudos to you!

It’s important to note that goals should be concrete. If a goal is vague, you wouldn’t really know what you are striving for, and it would thus be difficult to achieve. For instance, setting a goal to exercise more is a bit nebulous. How will you know when you have accomplished it?

This highlights the importance of setting precise goals.

A commonly taught tool called SMART goals is enormously helpful in doing this. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-connected. Allow me to illustrate using our exercise example once again.

Let’s say you wish to become healthier, and you intend to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle to help do this. Let’s set a SMART exercise goal.

Specific: What type of exercise? Jogging

Measurable: How much do you want to jog? The goal is to jog thirty minutes three times each week.

Achievable: Your goal should stretch and challenge you but not be so difficult that it is overwhelming. I think that, for most people, jogging thirty minutes three times each week is achievable.

Relevant: Your goal should be aligned with your values. If you wish to become healthier, then jogging is definitely in alignment with that.

Time-connected: There has to be a deadline for your goal. For instance, your goal is to be able to jog thirty minutes three times per week within two months.

This is an excellent example of a SMART goal.

The next time you want to improve something about yourself and set a goal, be intelligent about it and set a SMART goal.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and found it informative. If you have and know of anyone else that might benefit, please feel free to share it.

Blank Sheet

Karolina Grabowska/

What do you see in the above photograph?  If you answered, “ a blank sheet of paper,” you’d be right. However, I see something else as well. To me, this blank sheet of paper can be a symbol of so much more. 

Have you ever said that you wanted to change or improve something about your life? Have you ever said that you would start eating healthier or exercising more? Or maybe you’ve said that you will try to be a better mom or a better dad. Have you ever had the intention to do such things but, for whatever reason, just never followed through? If this is true, please realize that you are not alone in this. 

More importantly, please understand that the blank sheet of paper represents opportunity. It represents your future, and, as you can plainly see, it is blank. It signifies that tomorrow is a new day and that you have the ability to write anything you want on this blank sheet—that you can do and change anything you want tomorrow, irrespective of your past. The fact that you have not done something in your past does not mean that you can’t do it in the future. Your past does not dictate your future—you dictate your future.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed it and found it informative. If so, please feel free to share it.