Tools and Resources to Help You Achieve Your Goals
This is Part 3 in the Achieve Your Goals Series.
If you’ve got big goals (which I’d bet you do since you’re reading this) you will definitely need an arsenal of tools and resources to support you. The options are expansive. You can choose between a plethora of tools, techniques, software, books and more. I’ve listed a few here. I encourage you to do research on your own as well. But don’t get overwhelmed. If you come across something that you think can help you try it out. You will likely have to experiment with different products and techniques before you find your ideal “toolkit”. Just keep going until you find the right mix for you.
Inspirational and Motivational Resources for Achieving Goals
So first up is inspiration and motivation. These words are often used interchangeably but they do have differences. Oxford Dictionaries defines inspiration as “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative” and motivation as “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something”. I think of inspiration (as it relates to goal achievement) as the feel good stuff that plant the idea that something is possible for you. Seeing someone lose fifty pounds may inspire you to do the same. Motivation is more of the kick you in the butt stimuli that helps you commit to the goal. Your doctor telling you that you’re pre-diabetic and you need to lose fifty pounds may motivate you to get serious about your weight loss goals.
When you have big goals for your life you need a combination of both. You need to be inspired as in reaffirm that what you’re working toward is possible for you. And you also need to be motivated as in you have to achieve this or else. It’s the carrot and the stick. You need both to get to where you want to be.Inspiration and motivation are both critical to achieving big goals. Click To Tweet
There’s no universal inspiration or motivation tools. What inspires one person may motivate another and could have no effect on a third. You have to know for yourself what inspires you. What makes you feel full of possibility and expectation? And what motivates you. What makes you say this has got to be done and it’s got to be done now?
Below are some broad level resources to help you. A lot of the time it’s the content as opposed to the resource type that determines whether it goes on your inspiration list or motivation list.
“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London
- Books (Check out my book, From Caterpillar to Butterfly: Transform the Life You Have into the Life You Love. It’s a mix of inspiration and motivation. I love In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and The Magic of Thinking Big among others.)
- Podcast (Check out my podcast, From Caterpillars to Butterflies. Again a mix of both but mainly inspiration and practical tips. I also enjoy Self Made Man (even though I’m not a man), The School of Greatness, and The Art of Charm).
- Youtube videos (I personally love a good sermon. Here’s Right on Time from Pastor Joel Osteen. The Guru Story by Eric Thomas is amazing as well.)
- Music (I love a good Christian song such as Oceans by Hillsong United. Some other songs to get you inspired or motivated: This Girl is On Fire, I Was Here, Lose Yourself, Let’s Go, Brave and Roar.
- Blogs (Addicted to Success)
- Events (Unleash the Power Within, Dreambuilder)
- Before and After pictures or results (weight loss, career, health, lifestyle).
- Income Reports (These are super popular on Pinterest).
- A person (Family, child, parent, someone doing things you want to do).
- Yourself (some people are self-motivated. Activities such as journaling can be inspiring).
Where will you get inspiration? And motivation?
It’s important that you build inspiration and motivation into your routines. It could be a morning routine or an evening routine. It can be a particular day of the week. I also recommend scheduling events you can attend live and in person a few times a year.
Also, be mindful that you can get motivation in situations that seem bad or negative. It’s common to despise situations that we don’t enjoy but they can be a huge source of motivation if you let them. For example, if you hate your job you can walk around with an attitude. Or you can reaffirm that you MUST find another job, start that business, go back to school, etc. NOW.
Goal Setting and Tracking Tools
Ok, so now that you’re motivated and inspired let’s move to tools you can use on your specific goals. We talked in part one about setting SMART goals. Once you have your goals you need to do something with them. You can’t just set them and forget. At least not if you want to actually achieve them. What do you do? You write them down and monitor them. Here are some tools to help you stay on track:
Excel: A good old fashion excel sheet can help you track progress towards your goals. You can list each goal and various milestones that you want to hit. Each time you make progress update your excel sheet. For example, if you have a goal to save money every month you can notate how much money you saved. Or if your goal is to lose weight you can track how many pounds you’ve lost each week.
Planners: There are alot of planners on the market that can help you achieve your goals. The key is to find one that doesn’t just have calendars but that also provides places to write your goals and accomplishments. Here’s a good one on Amazon: Panda Planner (not an affiliate link). For a digital planner and audio course check out my Transform Your Year Planner.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” – Benjamin Franklin
Journals and Notebooks: Another technique I like that goes along with planners is a daily goals activity. Every morning you write your goals down in a notebook or journal. This is not a to-do list. It’s the goals you’re working on at this time in your life. Every evening you write how you progressed against each goal.
Journals and notebooks are also good for daily reflection and reaffirming what you want. I had a mentor who would write her ideal life story every morning in her journal. You can also write what you’re working on and the results you are seeing. This is more in-depth than what you would include on an excel tracking sheet. Need a notebook? Check out this I Slay Goals notebook on Zazzle (I had this created for myself!).
To-Do Lists: Keep track of what you need to do everyday toward your goal so that you don’t inadvertently leave something out. Some people recommend doing this first thing in the morning. Some recommend doing it the night before. Whatever works for you is fine, but always know what’s pending and from who? You can keep to-do lists from other people as well. It’s more of a follow-up with these people about these items list. That way you don’t forget what you need or requested from someone else.
Apps: There are a number of apps and online applications that allow you to set and track goals. A few are Google Drive (particularly good for shared goals or holding each other accountable), Way of Life (reminds you to exercise, drink water, etc.), and Anydo (described as the “most powerful to-do list”. integrates with Alexa, Siri, and Chrome).
What goal tracking tool(s) will you leverage?
Techniques to Minimize Distractions
If you can’t focus for the necessary amount of time you will find it very hard to accomplish your goals. It’s important to minimize distractions as much as possible. Here’s how:
Unsubscribe: If you’re on too many lists that do a better job of getting you off task than on it may be time to unsubscribe. Go through your inbox and review the emails you receive. Is it helpful? Does it add value? Or is it just entertainment? If you’re truly committed to focusing on your goals get off of lists that don’t serve your current goals. You can always re-subscribe later. But for now it has to help you go where you’re trying to go for you to stay on the list.
Now my emails are amazing and they will help you go where you most want to go so if we’re not already sync’d up join here:
Cancel subscriptions: Along with unsubscribing you may need to cancel subscriptions such as your cable subscription. If you truly want to go all the way in on achieving your goals and dreams and keeping up with the latest TV shows distracts you it’s time to cancel the cable.
50/10: Minimizing distractions by committing to work uninterrupted, nonstop in 50 minute increments. This means no social media. No email. No bathroom or water breaks. Focus on the task at hand for 50 minutes then take a ten minute break. Repeat. Set a timer to help you stay on track.
Get Organized: One of the biggest culprits to distractions and less than optimal productivity is a lack of organization. If you can’t find anything you’re doing yourself a disservice. Every minute you spend searching for your planner or workout dvd you could spend actually making progress. Get organized and stay organized. Everything that you need to work should be in your work space. It should have it’s own “home” where it lives all the time when not in use. If you have a disorganized space, clearing it out can help you focus in on what’s really important.Distractions and sub par productivity is caused by lack of organization. Click To Tweet
Getting organized also means organizing your work. What are you going to work on and when? What’s the most important. If you’re keeping a daily to-do list you need organization and strategy around the order that you will tackle each item.
Getting organized also means organizing your day. What time will you work on each goal?
Turn off cellphone: Turn off your cellphone when you’re working. Similar to the 50/10 rule. Don’t answer calls or texts for a predetermined amount of time so that you can concentrate uninterrupted. We have a habit of letting our ringers run our lives. A ding or a buzz doesn’t need your immediate attention. Unless of course it’s your wife and then it does. 😂
Productivity Rules: Create rules that will help you stay productive and on task. This might mean no television before or after a certain time. Or only a certain amount of TV (or other activity) everyday or week. It could be limiting alcohol. It’s hard to be productive when you’re tipsy.
How will you minimize distractions?
Meditation: Meditation can help you get your mind right. Research shows that meditation can help you concentrate, sleep better, and feel less stressed. A winning combination when it comes to accomplishing your goals. You can also use meditation to visual your goals or visualize yourself accomplishing those goals. Find meditations on Youtube, Headspace, and right here! Try this I Am Abundance guided meditation to help you feel more abundant and more deserving of abundance.
Affirmations: Affirmations are positive statements affirming what you want to be true or reminding you of what is already true. Success is a mental game. If you can get the good stuff programmed into your mind you are winning. Affirmations can help you do that.
Rest: Burnout is no bueno when you want to achieve your biggest goals. Regular rest will help you avoid burnout. Plus, when you’re tired either mentally or physically you’re not at your best. You don’t think straight. You don’t perform as well. Rest is a critical resource for accomplishing your goals.
Outsourcing: You can’t do everything and you shouldn’t even try. Where possible outsource noncritical tasks. This could be house cleaning, grocery shopping (order online and pick up at the store or even get delivery groceries, laundry, mowing the lawn and a ton of other stuff. There is help available to you. You just have to be willing to release control a bit. And you’re helping someone else make a living. It’s truly win-win.
Say no: I repeat: You can’t do everything and you shouldn’t even try. Don’t over commit yourself. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Don’t put your goals and dreams on the backburner so you can help someone else achieve theirs. Be good at saying no when saying no means saying yes to you and your dreams.
Coaching: Coaching can help you achieve your biggest goals because it helps you put the right tools and resources in place. It can help you set the right SMART goals to begin with. And there is built in accountability, inspiration, and motivation. If you’ve struggled achieving your goals on your own soliciting help from a trained profession just might be what you need to push yourself over the edge. Learn more about coaching with me here.
Which of these bonus, surprising resources can you take advantage of?
Your turn! How do you stay committed your goals? What tools and resources do you find most helpful?
P.S. Don’t forget to check out Parts 1 and 2 if you haven’t already!