Setting Goals

Refocusing {when goals get off track}

Setting goals isn’t just for the beginning of the year!


When we’re at the beginning of a new year our goals are new and sparkly and we’re all ready to hit the ground running. We might even have a brand new, sparkly planner all ready for us to get to work and start filling it with all of those appointments, plans and goals we have for this new year.

Setting Goals

You might also be wondering why I’m writing this in August when the new year is still 4 1/2 months away. Well, it’s because a lot of times we lose focus as the year goes on and we tend to lose sight of those goals that we started the year out with. So, we need to refocus and gain sight of those goals again.

According to Noxuhair blog, one of the reasons we lose focus so quickly is, “because we don’t immediately see the results we desire.  We live in a world where instant gratification has become the norm.  When we don’t see the results we want as quickly as we want, we become discouraged.  Another reason is the fact that we haven’t put a plan in place to achieve our goals.  I’m sure we’ve all heard it said that a goal without a plan is just a dream.  Without a strategy to achieve our goals, it is easy to get distracted and/or discouraged.”

If you’re at that place of distraction or discouragement I want to share some tips with you to help you refocus on your goals and begin to see clearly again.

Get back to making daily to-do lists! #planning #todolist #goals Click To Tweet

Tips for refocusing:

  • Get back to making daily to-do lists with no more than 10 items including household duties. If you’re an entrepreneur it’s easy to get distracted by all of the things that you want to do in your business, but you can’t do them all in one day. Spread things out and have a set time to do each thing.
  • Re-envision your vision board (find mine here). I wrote a post all about vision boards and you can read it here. Having a vision board is important to help you envision your future and the things that you want to do. So go back and take a look at what you put on your vision board and see exactly what you have accomplished, you just might be surprised.
  • Choose 1-3 things that become the top priority for each day and make them the sole focus of your day. According to Dumb Little Man Blog he suggests that if you try to focus on more than 1-3 goals you easily get off focus.

“If you constantly have trouble keeping to your goals, maybe you’re spreading yourself too thin. Pick 1-3 goals that are most important to you, and stick to them. Don’t bother yourself with any other goals until these goals are achieved (or unless priorities shift and these goals no longer reflect what you want in life).” –Dumb Little Man Blog

  • Have an accountability partner.  Having someone to help keep you on track and you doing the same for them helps everyone stay more focused. Choose someone who isn’t going to be easy on you if you keep making excuses. You need someone who is going to hold your feet to the fire so to speak and help you to meet your goals even in hard times.
  • Get that shiny (well maybe less than shiny now) planner out and put it to use! You can read about Emily from HoneyBee Joyous’ planner here. Another idea is using a bullet journal which I’ve started doing too and I love! You can follow my planner board on Pinterest here. 

 

 

 

 

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Successful People

How successful people map out their day {Free printable}

How successful people map out their day {Free printable}

I’ve been learning more and more about learning to map out my days and really put a plan of action into place. My to-do list isn’t as long as it used to be. I’ve learned to make it a bit shorter.

Successful People

1. Write your To-Do List the Night Before. 

According to The Millionaire’s Digest, You should write out your To-Do list the night before. I have started making this a priority for myself and making sure that I stick to only listing out 10 things on my list. This “order” was given to me by my business coach Katherine from This Needs To Be Said Media and I have found it super, super helpful.

Tip: Only list 10 things on your to-do list. #smallbiz #entrepreneur #bizcoach Click To Tweet

2. Have a morning routine and stick with it.

Remember what your mom always said, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Yes, it’s still true as an adult. It’s super important to have a daily routine and especially a morning routine.

As a parent, I have a routine for my kids and they know that it consists of getting up usually going potty, heading to the kitchen getting them a sippy cup of either juice or milk, giving them their gummies, then starting the coffee pot and then I start making their breakfast. It’s their daily routine and they’re used to it. If that routine gets thrown off so does their whole day.

Tip: Set up a daily morning routine and stick with it. #entrepreneur #smallbiz #bizcoach Click To Tweet

I recommend setting up a routine if you don’t already have one. Literally, map out your morning. If you don’t have children to get off to school, then plan to sit down with a cup of your favorite morning beverage and do some inspirational reading, go over your plans for that day in detail, look over the appointment list and get familiar with the client details for those you will be meeting with.

3. Set Daily Goals 

I have found from personal experience that setting daily goals are a great way to feel accomplished at the end of a day. Setting goals in small chunks are a great way to work on a bigger goal in pieces.

Tip: Break down big goals into daily little goals. #smallbiz #bizcoach #entrepreneur Click To Tweet

Check out this video on habits:

I have created a printable just for you to help you with goal setting. You can download it here.

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The Plan Better

The Key to A Successful Week {Planning}

The Plan Better

The Key to A Successful Week {Planning}

I believe that planning is a huge key in being successful. I love planners, I don’t think that’s any secret to my family. I also love decorating them up. I enjoy looking at printables on Pinterest. I have found some pretty awesome things on there.

I believe that planning is a huge key in being successful. #Printable #planner Click To Tweet

I recently came across a planner by a student Emily from Honeybee Joyous that pretty awesome. It’s a printable one or you can send the downloadable file off and have it bound at your local Staples or Office Max, unless you have a binder or hole punch and printer. I am loving the way that this planner is so versatile.

Printable Planner
Emily from Honeybee Joyous with the planner that she created.

You all know that I run a business, but I’m also a mom, wife, and I help organize some women’s ministry events at my church. So, I needed a planner with large areas for planning and large blocks that were accommodating for lots of information.

Printable Planner,,

These squares are pretty awesome for writing in appointments. The planner is plain, so that you can decorate it any way that you like. I chose to print it out a little bit at a time and will be hole punching it to put into my planning binder.

Another function of this planner that I like are the goal and gratitude pages. I think that it’s important to set S.M.A.R.T. Goals, using these planning sheets are an awesome part of that.

Printable Goals

Setting those goals are a must for entrepreneurs and bloggers. Another important part of reflecting on your month is gratitude. Showing gratitude is super important in building a positive mindset. Even if it’s something small that you’re grateful for, write it down. Many times, I’ll think man, I just can’t think of things that I’m grateful for, but I have to stop myself and remember that I have a place to live, I have a bed to sleep in, I have an amazing family, I have so MUCH to be grateful for and I’m going to be listing them. Using these planning pages.

Printable Gratitude Reflection

Something else that is a necessary part of monthly planning is keeping track of finances. Emily has done a wonderful job of putting together this financial tracker within the planner to keep track of your finances. Keeping accurate financial records are a must with running a business, keeping up with the household finances, being a college student or any aspect of life.

Planner Finance Tracker

Another feature of this planner is the weekly spread where you can add a bit more details to your week. You can include your top 5 picks of what is super, super important to finish for that week and things that you absolutely can not forget, whether that be an important phone call, email or letter that need sent out. These weekly sheets are not lined, which makes it super easy to add lots of details, or get a bit artsy if you wish, add decor with washi tape or rubber stamps, stickers, or drawings whatever floats your boat.

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this planner in exchange for writing a blog review, and becoming an affiliate for the planner. If you decide to purchase this planner, I am given a percentage of the proceeds, this does not make the planner cost any more than if you were to purchase the planner directly.

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Business

Brain Dumping {The New Business Success Strategy}

Business

Brain Dumping {The New Business Success Strategy}

Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the ideas running through your head on a daily basis?  I often have things running through my head that is business related and then I forget them and seem to move on.

So, today I’m going to talk about creating a more productive to-do list. To do that, I’m going to start with brain dumping.  You might be thinking what in the world is a brain dump? According to a Bing search:

A brain dump (sometimes spelled braindump, or brain-dump) is a complete transfer of accessible knowledge about a particular subject from your brain to some other storage medium, such as paper or your computer’s hard drive.

I recently started a list of all of the things that I needed to do both household items and business. It felt freeing to unload my mind and then, even more, freeing when I was able to start crossing things off that list. My business coach recently asked me to start sending her to-do lists each night and then making notes on that list each day as I worked through it, noting  when I was tempted to get sidetracked. I love this idea, it keeps me so productive and helps me to complete the tasks that I desperately am needing to get done.

If you’re a business owner you know that life as the CEO of your company can get extremely chaotic and stressful especially if you don’t have a plan in place. Here are some tips that I have found help me to stay accountable to a to-do list.

Brain Dumping {The New Business Success Strategy} #virtualassistant #smallbiz Click To Tweet
1. Limit yourself to no more than 10 tasks at a time.

The reason why I limit myself is simple, if I overwhelm myself with tasks that I “think” have to be completed that day, then I run in circles and end up not completing my to-do list for that day which then turns to discouragement. It’s a vicious cycle that keeps repeating.

Limiting yourself to a specific number of tasks is highly recommended. If you complete all 10 tasks then you can either reward yourself with some extra time off, self-care ritual or you can take on a few more tasks. If you are feeling way overwhelmed by the amount on your list it might be time to outsource some of those things to a virtual business assistant (more to come on that and check out my offerings here.)

You can even break this list down into sub-tasks.Using Asana is a great way to keep organized. If it’s online tasks then you can add files directly in there and share them with your virtual assistant so that they are keeping on task as well.

2. Choose an accountability partner or group.

Having accountability helps to keep you on track and give you support when you are struggling. My business coach has been a huge help with this, I’ve let her know, “hey, I’m really struggling with this area.” And she’ll email me back and say ok, let’s try such and such or give yourself a break, you’re being too hard on yourself. That accountability partner can be the one to keep you going when you feel like slacking off too. They can remind you of the ultimate goal that you’re working towards.

Maybe, your list has nothing to do with business, maybe it’s housekeeping or health goals that you’re working on. Having that support system in place is huge in creating success. I have found in my time in business that you can’t really be a one-man/woman band, it takes a village to really run a business right. Even if all of that village are not paid, employees. I’ve joined many, many Facebook groups and enjoy the support and encouragement I get when I go in there and post a win or a struggle that I’m having. So, get your accountability partner in place.

3. Take notes.

This is something that I learned from my business coach, it helps me to know when and why I was distracted. Taking notes on your to-do list allows you to locate those things that you really do not enjoy doing, and if you’re running a business, you can outsource them to a virtual business assistant.

“Do ONLY the things you LOVE and OUTSOURCE the things you DON’T LOVE!”
-Abigail

So there you have it, my 3 top tips for completing your to-do list and making it count. If you have tips that you use to complete your to-do list, why not share them with us? Just comment below! We love to hear from our readers.

I also wanted to share with you that I will be publishing a magazine for virtual assistants and entrepreneurs on July 20, 2016. I’m looking for contributors. If you would like to contribute to this online magazine, please contact me by clicking here and I’ll get you more details!

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Consistent Action

5 tips to develop consistent action

I have been learning more and more about how much consistency is key in whatever we do. In running a business, in creating new habits, even in potty training my kids it’s important that we be consistent. Making daily strides to remain consistent will help you to develop consistency. Today Onika is sharing her 5 tips to develop consistent action. -Abigail Kuhn

Consistent Action

It’s is so easy to get trapped into thinking and planning too long. You should have respect for your goals, checklist, and perhaps your list of to-do items; however, you need to be mindful of deadlines and project/task completion. You can take some time writing and rewriting your goals, thinking, and planning, tapping into your subconscious mind, working through fears, emotional blocks, or whatever. But you must eventually get into taking action, otherwise, you are wasting your time.

You need to be mindful of deadlines and project/task completion Click To Tweet

Success isn’t designed to be torture, but it requires a great deal of time and effort. If you will only discipline yourself to get into a sustainable mode of movement, you will not feel overwhelmed with everything you have to do. You must figure out what you need to do to get over the wall of thinking about what you want and actually getting what you want. This is vital because time is the only resource you can’t recover.

“One day you will wake up and there won’t be anymore time to do the things you’ve always wanted.”
-Paulo Coelho

Everybody wants success but many don’t want to do the work. You must minimize the time you spend deliberating and maximize the time you spend actively pursuing your dreams. You should challenge yourself to think less, do more. Are you in?

5 tips to develop consistent action

1. Begin with results in mind. Don’t worry about the how forget about the “naysayers” and don’t worry about what your family and friends expect of you. You must create actions steps that will take you from a dream life to a life of reality.

2. Slow and consistent wins the race. You don’t need to be in a hurry and get overwhelmed. You must keep moving and keep taking small steps in the right direction.

3. Action encourages motivation. Motivation and passion for success will follow if you have the nerves to go without them.

4. Action creates courage. Your initial fake courage will be strong real courage. In the words of Joyce Meyers “do it afraid”.

5. Action makes you humble. When you are faced with the lack of success you think you know everything because you have not tested your mettle. You really don’t know anything, so you feel like you know everything. You are just starting to learn about success and the possibilities of it. You haven’t done anything so feel like you can do anything. Humble yourself, be patient and listen because your current thinking may draw you further away from success versus drawing you to success.

To-Do List

How do you tackle your To-do List?

To-Do List

Managing your To-Do List

There are so many things about running a business that it’s easy to become sidetracked and disorganized very quickly. However, there are also so many different tools available that we can develop a “shiny object syndrome” and get sidetracked with all the fancy tools that are out there.

  • Have a daily to-do list.
    Keeping a daily list of the things you need to get done is super important. I recommend starring or highlighting the most important tasks. Only put what you know you can accomplish in a days time, or you will feel defeated at the end of the day.
  • Keep a brain dump list.
    In keeping with doing a daily to-do list, keep a master list of everything you’re needing to get done. This list would be your ultimate brain dump list. It’s really freeing to do. It helps to free space in your mind to concentrate on the tasks that you currently need to get done.
  • Keep a set schedule.
    Create a schedule and stick to it. I recommend using Google Calendar and that way you’ll be able to change colors for each thing you need on your schedule.
  • Group like tasks together
    Instead of  jumping from task to task, group tasks that are similar so that you can easily transition without having to recalibrate for each task.
  • Set your timer
    Time each task. If you tend to take too much time a specific task, then set your timer for a specific amount of time and race the timer. The good starting point is 15-20 minutes but you can set it for as high as 45 minutes and then take a 15 break.

 

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Stay More Organized at Home and Work

7 Ways to Stay More Organized at Home and Work

7 Ways to Stay More Organized at Home and Work

Do you have a problem staying organized and focused? This is an issue for many people today, at home and on the job. Adopt the following 7 practices, tips, and strategies, and you will find yourself clutter free and focused, organized and more productive.

1 – Let Technology Help You

There are several applications and pieces of software that can keep you organized at home and on the job. The following apps are some of the most popular for organizing work, handling travel plans, freeing you from text message overwhelm and helping you in other important aspects of your personal and business lives.

  • Track My Life
  • Dropbox
  • CamCard
  • Expensify
  • Tripit
  • Hashtags
  • MailTime
  • HabitList
  • IFTTT
  • Toodledo
  • Cold Turkey
  • ProcrasterApp
  • CoSchedule
  • Venmo

2 – List Your Big 3 Every Day

Write down your top 3 tasks for the day. Accomplish or complete these first, before you do anything else. You will find your productivity soar, and your organizational skills improve.

3 – Do One Thing At a Time

Do you remember a few years back, when multitasking was all the rage? As it turns out, you get more accomplished when you focus on one task at a time. The human brain works better when it is devoted to one train of thought. Research backs up this belief, showing that multitaskers suffer higher levels of stress and anxiety, and more disorganization as well.

4 – Handle Things Once

Deal with your mail as soon as you take it from your mailbox. Don’t take it inside, lay it down on your desk or counter, intending to deal with it later. Do the same thing with every physical and virtual object or piece of information you have to deal with.

Handle everything one time, and you cut down on the time spent trying to organize your life.

5 – Simplify

Stay More Organized at Home and Work
Keep Things Simple

Do you really need another purse or pair of shoes? How many sports jerseys are enough? Do you have too many televisions, smartphones, tablets, and computers? How many coffee cups can you drink out of at one time? Take some time to simplify your life. Organization is easier when you have fewer things to deal with.

6 – Learn to Say No

Sometimes organization simply means saying no. The more times you agree to help someone out with a task or chore the more you are putting on your plate. Just like the last tip, simplifying, learning to say no means fewer obligations and simpler organization.

7 – Clean Your Workstation

Stay More Organized at Home and Work
Work Area

Relatively recent research about clutter reveals a simple way to organize your life. Did you know that everything in your field of vision is being processed by your eyes and mind? You may be consciously writing a report or listening to a conference call. At the same time, your brain is trying to handle any and all visual data that your eyes are processing. Clear your workstation of everything but the essentials you need to do your job and you will find your ability to stay organized and focused improving.

7 Ways to Stay More Organized at Home and Work.

Social Media

Why you should be using Social Media

Social Media

You might be wondering at this point why social media is so widely used by businesses and why it’s so important to their marketing strategy. I would like to answer those 2 questions with today’s post. I began using social media before I started my business so for me it was about connecting with my friends and family and staying in touch and being able to see the pictures they were posting of their growing families. Then I began using it more and more for my business and for even locating clients and jobs.

I have done a lot of researching and observations of how others use social media and how they’re able to build their businesses using it. What I have been finding is that it’s a way to get more on a personal level with your clients and customers. If you know much about Facebook, which by the way is one of the most widely used social media outlets, you’ll know that it alerts you when someone on your friends list has a birthday so that you can be sure to connect with them and tell them happy birthday.

Facebook

On Facebook you can create a business or fan page where your clients and customers can keep up with what is going on in your company and where you can sure useful information. When I’m sharing to my social media outlets I try to choose things that are going to provide value for those that will be reading or scrolling through the site. Sometimes the things that I share are just simple graphics that can provide a tip, a laugh, a fun fact whatever seems to be helpful and fun for my fans or clients. You can also use Facebook ads which are becoming more and more widely used, you can even hire an expert to help you design your ads, monitor them and make sure that they are successful. Another option on Facebook is that you can create an exclusive group for your tribe. If you run any kind of business challenges, classes, coaching groups, or just want your clients to have a place where they can come for support, then you can create a group just for them. It also gives you a way to provide value for your clients outside of your normal packages, 1:1 coaching, group coaching or whatever services you’re offering.

Twitter

Twitter is a very fast moving social media platform. So, I use Hootsuite to automatically post tweets to my twitter feed. Twitter is a bit harder to connect with your followers, but it is possible. You can set up with a service to send a direct message to followers as soon as they follow you and you can choose what is sent, so you might send them links to your website or your service or maybe the book that you’ve written and are trying to market. Another big thing with using Twitter is using the #hashtag it will help to market your post if you do research on the #hashtag that you want to use so that your post is seen by your ideal market or client. From the infographics and studies that I’ve done the maximum amount of times you post is not super important but you do want to post a minimum of 3-5 times per day. Since Twitter moves very quickly and only allows a max of 140 characters per tweet and videos, pictures, and links take up space within that 140 characters it’s highly recommended to post more than 3 times per day. You can find different services similar to Hootsuite such as Klout that allows you to curate content based on the topics that you’re an expert in and then you can auto schedule articles in your topic of expertise to post to your twitter feed.


Hootsuite - Social Relationship Platform

Pinterest

I can’t say enough about Pinterest. I am totally in love with it. I generally use this to relax at night before heading off to dreamland. I have a personal account and I have a business account, that allows me to curate interesting information to share with my followers. Pinterest allows me to get my content out there as well. I can pin posts from my blog and get them seen by many more than what I have in my Facebook and Twitter followers. Creating Pinterest graphics allow you to really hone in on your branding so that when people see your content being shared and pinned they will instantly know that it’s you, which allows you to create a real brand for yourself.

You can create group boards which will allow you to invite others to pin to specific boards on your Pinterest. You can create group boards for your customers and clients to share their favorite products, blogs, articles and more from all around the web, and that also gives you an outlet to share with your followers or clients and have your content seen by their followers and friends as well.

So, using social media for your business is super important if you’re building an online business or even a brick and mortar business. This will allow you to market to more individuals than you could if you were sending out flyers, or doing snail mail advertisements. When you’re sharing with your followers and they share with their friends then you’re reaching a wider audience.

Using social media for marketing will also allow you to search your ideal candidates and reach them through sharing useful content and posting it to your feed which will show up in their feed and allow them to share with their friends and followers and allows you to reach a broader audience. You want to make sure that when you’re pinning things from your blog you include your branding and your website on the graphics that you create. I highly recommend creating your own graphics for blog posts using a program like Canva or PhotoShop which allows you to choose colors, fonts, and add your website to any graphics that you create.

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Boss Like A Lady – Women Entrepreneur Series – Liz Gutman, Jen King, Joan Baker, The Confectioners —

Concluding the series of hand-lettered and illustrated series of some women making history, I am presenting a group of women that work together. All of the women I interviewed and drew own their own creative businesses and make them successful despite many obstacles, including their own occasional self-doubt. I hope they inspired you to make a little history […]

via Boss Like A Lady – Women Entrepreneur Series – Liz Gutman, Jen King, Joan Baker, The Confectioners —

Being a woman and running a business can be difficult at times especially if you’re a mom and wife on top of being an entrepreneur. Find out how these women overcome the obstacles in their way and build successful businesses.

Being a woman and running a business can be difficult. #smallbiz #womanownedbiz Click To Tweet

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Entrepreneur

6 Ways to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur

People all over the world dream of taking that leap from working for someone else to owning and operating a business. It takes a special type of person to bring an idea to fruition and make money at the same time. Most want to be their own boss, but don’t know what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. Knowing that you’re ready to put in that two-week notice is only the first step to entrepreneurship, There are 6 things you need to do to make it work.

1. Take Calculated Risks

You have to be a calculated risk taker to succeed in business, but don’t be a fool. According to Forbes.com entrepreneurs follow the “Act. Learn. Build. Repeat.” model (http://onforb.es/1Xl4G1l).

2. Be Passionate

As an entrepreneur, you have to love what you do. You must be passionate and your idea has to be viable. So ask yourself if you can tolerate doing what you do every day, possibly with no days off, because you love it so much. If you can’t see yourself enjoying running your business, it will definitely not succeed. If you can’t sell your idea to yourself, nobody else will buy from you.

Ask yourself if you can tolerate doing what you do every day, possibly with no days off.… Click To Tweet

3. Provide Excellent Customer Service

Great customer service is what helps to build customer loyalty. Providing customer friendly terms and conditions, partnered with an awesome shopping experience will take you a long way. Follow through and fulfill your promises and obligations and clients/customers will not only come back, they’ll recommend you to others.

4. Perfect Your Product and Become an Expert 

Create a product or service that people want, and perfect it. You can’t go wrong when you provide a high quality, niche product or service that the customer/client can only buy from you. If you’re no the best at what you do, there’s nothing from stopping the consumer from taking their money elsewhere.

The rewards of being an #entrepreneur outweigh the hassle and hardship. #smallbiz #startups Click To Tweet

5. Utilize Social Media

Every entrepreneur in this era of real-time communication has to master and utilize social media.

  • Treat the media in your feeds like commercials. Every image and video should be cohesive with your brand message.
  • Engage with your customers and followers
  • Share other information that is pertinent to your field
  • Share your expertise
  • Create a social media calendar and schedule
  • Link your profiles together with a service like HootSuite(www.hootsuite.com) for easier and more productive sharing

6. Create A Business Plan and Marketing Plan

Take the time to write a full business and marketing plan complete with projections and a full strategic analysis. This will force you to think your idea fully through. You’ll research statistics, profit margins, projected profit and loss, trends, and craft a plan to carry your business successfully at least 5 years out.

The rewards of being an entrepreneur outweigh the hassle and hardship. There’s nothing like making a sale and saying to yourself, “I did this on my own.”

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