Getting Places - Counseling, Consulting & Coaching








Helpful Tips

  • Read
  • Make Lists
  • Journal Writing
  • Chart Your Progress
  • Become Accountable
  • Find a Mentor
  • Be a Mentor
  • Join a Group
  • Hire a Coach


Check out our book reviews for ideas where to start.

Make Lists:

Everyone has tried this strategy to at least help them remember. This can be an excellent way of achieving goals.

The best lists keep things in manageable chunks that can be accomplished and CHECKED OFF. Large projects can also be maintained on lists, but they tend to be less effective than the more specific topical or time based lists.

An example of a topical list is the “grocery or shopping” list. Keep it in a place where it is readily updated at the time the need is recognized and fast to nab when the time comes to hit the door. This plan can work well for meetings too. Keep a file folder with the topic at hand and put items in when recognized and it will make for a good reference tool when creating your agenda.

When using time based lists, be specific about the timeframe/goal to make the best use of your list. As a minimum you will want to plan by the day. It can be fun to make a game out of lists by the hour or using a strategy of 15 minute segments. Make a list of all the “little things” and then see how many you can do in 15 minutes. Do this three times a day and keep score. Better yet, play the game with a co-worker.

Having a plan always increases productivity and making good use of simple tools like lists can also improve motivation.

Journal Writing:

There are many reasons that people keep journals or diaries. Maybe you have tried this when you are dieting. Keeping the information you need in a book can help you see patterns. Writing something about your feelings, events and experiences can help you gain insight.

When anyone is trying to make a significant change in their life, they need to have an idea of where they are, where they want to go and how they want to get there. The more understanding you have of that process, the more you may be able to influence the changes you want to make and even the rate at which you can change.

The biggest obstacle for journal writing is that people tend to start and stop. It would be great if you could write in your journal everyday. If that isn’t working, try something a little more flexible. You may find there is a time that you could make a “journal date” with yourself on the weekend. Even once a week will help you gather the information and build your insight. Feel free to keep your journal in a book or type it on your computer. Who knows, you could end up a famous blogger if you publish your journal on the internet.

If you are writing to help achieve a certain personal goal, you will also want to take time to evaluate what you are learning and what progress you are making. Set a schedule for this review that makes sense with the nature of the goal. A weight loss goal might work well with a weekly assessment, but a goal of self-esteem or something in a relationship might be better evaluated monthly. There are some goals where the daily evaluation will make sense, but that would be if it is something that you are really able to see a difference in from one day to the next. In that case, you may have something that is more like a chart or a log so you can keep up with the daily documentation and then have time to evaluate at the end of the day or the first thing the next morning. This can work if you are developing a new habit or an exercise routine.

Sometimes journal writing can help you find out where you are “stuck” and that information can allow you to get the leverage you need for a breakthrough. If you find yourself in a place where the goal is clear, the method for attaining it is valid, your motivation and insight are adequate and yet you can’t gain the momentum you need to reach your goal, this would be a good time to consult someone who can help. A new perspective or additional insight can create the synergy required for change.

One of the joys of journal writing is being able to look back over time. This can be very inspiring and a wonderful way of appreciating your journey and the strength with which you live your life and choose who you become.

Chart Your Progress:

Have you looked at your retirement account statement lately? This is a great example of charting your progress. Retirement statements are often very good at putting the numbers and information into visual charts and graphs that help you understand where you are relative to where you want to be in building your nest egg.

One way to reach a goal is to devise an easy way to mark your progress toward the goal. The best way to do this is with a simple matrix where you mark each step toward the goal and plot your progress.

Kids love charts that help them get stickers on a chart. Look at some of the behavior charts in a local teacher’s store for ideas. If you make this visually appealing it will help you remember to chart your path and it will also make it enjoyable to look at how well you are doing.

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