6 minute read


  1. Tools
  2. Planning
  3. Process to follow up



Amy uses paper and pencil to lay out what she needs to accomplish. She uses a “Do-It-All Planner” put out by Orange Circle Studio. She likes it because she can see the whole week at one glance, get everything out of her brain and onto her book, plan ahead, even look back to see what didn’t get accomplished and put it at the top of her list for next week. She realizes that there are apps out there that do the same thing, but she prefers old-fashioned paper for this. She does use an electronic calendar for appointment type planning.

Dave is the more techie of the two. He uses Things which is available for the Mac and the iPhone. It doesn’t work for androids or Windows. Dave also tried the reminder app for the iPhone and android. He likes that he can categorize them and tag them. He also uses Google calendar to sync with his phone, as well as Fantastical which lets him put in natural word appointments. He speaks into his phone and it translates it into text. For tasks and goals Dave is trying something new called Chains.cc. It’s a web page and an app for the iPhone. For example, you can set up a time to get up each day, skip the days you don’t want, and it tracks how many days in a row you accomplished your goal. The idea is to not skip a day on your goals and break the chain. The same idea applies to people who put x’s on calendars.

Everyone has different styles, habits and goals, so one thing won’t work for everyone. Get online and search ‘best goal achieving apps’ or ‘best goal setting apps’. There are different apps for different purposes. Some apps remind you to do your goals. Other apps track what you’ve done, motivate you, or make it a game. There’s a lot out there, so find something that works for you and use it.


Last month the Mitchells talked about setting goals in their Organized Family podcast episode #14. They talked about how to plan goals. To review, in that podcast they talked about setting SMART goals in four different areas (physical, emotional, social and mental). They would even add a 5th area to set goals in and that would be financial goals. They talked about taking the whole month of January to very methodically select your goals for the year. Dave read an idea proposed by David Seah awhile ago where he says write your goals in January, start them February 2 and then check in on them regularly like March 3, April 4, May 5… as the number of the month matches the number of the day.

The Mitchells have set some family goals over the past few years. They started out by aiming to hike 40 miles as a whole family between Dave’s 40th birthday and Amy’s 40th birthday. That gave them 2 years to accomplish that. They loved how it pushed them to do different things. They normally do a lot of summer hiking, but in order to reach their goal by Amy’s birthday in the spring, they picked up snowshoeing to get the last 10 miles in over the winter. It was fun but they wouldn’t have done that without this goal to push them.

After the Mitchells hit their 40th mile, one of the kids asked “What’s our next family goal?’ Dave does a lot of winter camping and weeklong scout camps with the scouts, but he had been so burned out on camping with the scouts for the past 3-4 years, that the family had failed to making camping together a priority after awhile. So when the need for a new family goal came up, Dave suggested they get back into it by camping 20 nights as a family by Dave and Amy’s 20th wedding anniversary. That gave them 2 years to accomplish that next family goal. And it only counted if all 7 family members were camping on the same night.

While working on this family camping goal, the Mitchells went to Philmont Scout Ranch for a week where all the participants sleep in tents the whole week. Though Red and Blue child were backpacking in the back country and the rest of the family was in the main Philmont camp, they counted those 6 nights because they were all under the same starts on the same nights, even though they weren’t in the same campground.

The point was they had to plan ahead for this to be accomplished. It wouldn’t have happened on its own. They looked ahead on open weekends and planned a campout. They even planned campouts at nearby campgrounds on busy weekends, so they could still get off to their Saturday morning activites. They’ve also worked camping into their vacations. The Mitchells visited the New England area of the United States last summer, and they realized how the different woods are out there compared to what they are used to in the West. It was a great experience which they may not have experienced if they weren’t working towards that family goal.

Several other activities were also accomplished as the Mitchells were out camping. They did some canoeing, some hiking, and some historical sightseeing as well.

Keep in mind as you are setting goals, that they don’t all have to be just about yourself. They can be goals for you and your spouse to accomplish, you and your family, or you and your coworkers.

The Mitchells have two nights left before they reach their goal, and they are planning on doing a backpacking trip this summer with another experienced family. That will help because overnight backpacking is all new to the Mitchells, and going with others who are more experienced will improve the chances that it will be a successful activity. Also the social time and distractions of going with friends will be an added bonus when the trail gets long and the packs get heavy.

The best part of these family goals is that it pushes family members to try new things they haven’t done before. Once this goal is accomplished, the Mitchells will need to gather up the family and come up with their next family goal idea. Getting everyone’s input helps give all the family members ownership of the new goal. Tracking the success and planning ahead are some of the keys to success as well.

Process of Following Up

Regular reviews of your goals are important to make sure you keep working on them. There are different times that you can do that like daily in the mornings. Mitchells did an earlier podcast on Personal Morning Routines, where you can check some of those daily goals during that part of your day. You can also check some goals on a weekly basis. The Mitchells have a goal to do a podcast once a week. Other weekly social goals could be go on a date with your spouse once a week or a child once a week. When you review, that’s also a good time to reflect to see what went well and what could be improved. Monthly reviews could happen on regular calendar dates like 2/2, 3/3, 4/4… for those big areas of your life. Measure things at these evaluations.

Micheal Hyatt, author, blogger, and entrepreneur, made a list of the 10 biggest mistakes people make in setting goals, and on it he says one mistake people make when setting goals, is that they don’t keep them visible and refer to them often. Resolutions can’t be written up and set in a drawer without reviewing them regularly.

Hopefully using David Seah’s idea of checking in with your goals regularly will help you be more successful. Find a tool that helps. Plan ahead. And review regularly. And that combination will help you be more successful this year.

Image is “Franklin Covey Task List Wallet”, by Thirteen Of Clubs, https://www.flickr.com/photos/thirteenofclubs/2282521903

Please follow and like us: