Tag Archives: to-do list

Your Last Failure Holds a Secret

Your Next Goal is at Risk

You have a goal. Maybe you even have a clear plan to achieve that goal.

You’re on track, but you aren’t aware of what is lurking about to pounce and stop you dead in your tracks.

If you are human, you have both achieved goals and failed at achieving goals. Your goals are at risk of failure each and every time, so how will you determine this one will make it?

Each time you set out to accomplish something new, you hope it will work out. There are a lot of factors that determine its viability from the get-go:

  • True desire
  • Your goal is in harmony with your authentic self, your purpose, and the laws of the Universe
  • Your 100% decision vs. 99% or less
  • Etc.

For today’s topic, let’s assume all of these other factors are green lights—your desire is true, the goal is in harmony with your authentic self, your purpose, and the laws of the Universe, and you have indeed made 100% decision.

With all of those in prime position for success, the next factor to address is the secret your last failure holds.

One of my clients was in the middle of a huge upheaval in her life due to a move, which left her staying with family out of state, running her business out of boxes in her car, traveling for weeks at a time across the country, until she finally settled into her final destination, yet another state away. That’s transferring from state A to B to C over several months, while traveling the country in between.

It’s hard enough to run a business staying put, much less trying to stay on top of everything while being transient!

She had a goal to continue running and growing her business (indicated by specific benchmarks) while adapting to her life changes during this time, but she ended up experiencing intense struggle, stress, frustration, and distraction instead.

What did your last failure look like? It could be small with minor consequences or massive with critical, life-changing consequences. Either way, there are principles at work and clues that can change your world.

Why Did You Stop?

What caused that last failure? In more specific terms, what made you stop? Why did you stop?

I learned this approach from my favorite coach, David Neagle, and have found it critical to taking that next piece of power back into my and my clients’ lives.

For the client I mentioned, we took a look at her goal that was being put on the back burner, and why she stopped.

Her reasons were that XYZ problems and tasks had kept coming up. Every time she did what she was supposed to do, for example change her address with the post office as well as with a specific company, something would still go wrong, and she didn’t receive an important shipment before she had to leave on another business trip.

She felt powerless and completely stressed out as she checked items off her to-do list, just to have them pop up again, and interrupt her business and life in the process. She kept having to handle these issues, and did so inefficiently at that, while the rest of her business suffered.

In analyzing how these instances made her stop, we saw that she easily fell victim to the choices of others and gave in to the resulting struggle. This related back to her “control freak” nature, and the perpetual evidence that she must keep control at all times or else things “break.”

Another evidence of that operating program was when a major mistake happened that she knew was 100% her doing. In this case, she was easily able to face it and fix it, as opposed to the constant issues that were caused by third party involvement.

Can you see how her core, subconscious belief was dictating her experience of easily getting a solution in some cases versus struggling with stress and frustration in others?

Our subconscious serves to prove its beliefs. That is what we are “fighting” when we are trying to change our experiences and improve our circumstances.

Instead of fighting it, we understand that it’s only trying to preserve us, and we work to change that core belief into one more suited to serve us.

In recognizing her subconscious program which determined the point where she “stopped” moving forward, we were able to approach her challenges from empowerment instead of powerlessness, thus begin to change her experience. She was able to move from struggle, to having just another item on her to-do list to handle without the distracting stress and emotions.

Unlocking Your Failure’s Secret

To achieve your own goal, here are the steps to take before your next goal’s risk appears, before it starts to fall apart:

  1. Identify your last failed goal.
  2. Ask yourself, “What made me stop? Why did I stop?”
  3. Identify your responsibility. Whether those answers have to do with you directly or third parties and external circumstances out of your control, identify where you actually did have power in each and every case.
  4. Identify what core belief you are operating from based on the clues.
  5. Determine what the real truth is. (In my client’s case, she had to determine that we truly can’t control everything, but we can take our power back in everything and more effectively handle hurdles as they come.)
  6. Give yourself a new experience. (In my client’s case, she had to continue to relinquish control, and learn to consciously recognize when it worked out wonderfully. She then began to let the new evidence sink in, and let the struggle and frustration become empowerment to handle challenges when they arise.)

When you choose to stay victim to reasons (excuses) for failure, you choose to stay disempowered, upset, confused, and it interrupts you from adapting to the changes you want to make.

When you draw on the clues from past failures, you empower yourself to never let them stop you again.

I will gladly help you through this process via my private coaching or group coaching programs.

Next step—plan your celebration when you achieve that next big goal!




My Best Task Management Tip (Life Really Is Better After “4D”)

It’s Time to Get Really Honest About Your Responsibilities

If you’re like most non-lazy human beings, your to-do list is miles long. *sad face* It’s such a bummer too because you really aren’t the crazy headless chicken you are acting like, you’re just overwhelmed. It’s time to get really honest with yourself. I mean really honest.

There are things on your list that don’t need to be there. I know, I know, you meticulously listed every single thing that needed to be done, hence its spot on the list. And if you did something that wasn’t on the list, you wrote it down just so you could check it off. I know the drill.

But here’s the thing. If you are as overwhelmed as I have been at times, then you absolutely have things that do not need to be on that list. While there are other techniques to managing yourself around time that don’t include elimination, sometimes you just need to double check that everything you are doing is in line with your one true path.

It’s list scrubbing time!

Manage Your Overwhelming Tasks Honestly With The 4 Ds

There are a few steps in this process, but it won’t take very long, unless you resist being honest with yourself… In fact, to help with that, I’m going to add an extra step in the beginning to put you in the right frame of mind. Grab some paper and a pen and here we go:

  1. Vision: Write down what your ideal work day looks like. If most of your work days looked like this, you would have a fulfilling place in business and life. This will help you get clear on what really matters to you.
  2. Mind Dump: Make a list of all of your general responsibilities and frequent tasks. (Plus getting them out of your head helps you think more clearly!)
  3. Prioritize: Reorder that list according to importance and separate into three categories—high, medium, and low importance.
  4. 4 Ds: Finally, assign each task or general responsibility one of 4 Ds: Do, Delay, Delegate, Delete

Learning to delete and delegate may be the two most important things you can learn from enforcing the 4D rule!

You may think you don’t have anyone to delegate to right now, but if you are solution-oriented, you will soon begin to see opportunities to delegate in a new light. Here are some examples to get your mind thinking differently:

  • Pay the neighbor kid $5 to come fold your laundry
  • Hire a VA (Virtual Assistant) part time just to start handing a few things off a month
  • Hire an errand runner to go get your dry cleaning and light bulbs

It’s time to take your life back and get control of your tasks! And another thing—you do not have to finish everything on that list! There will always be more. Revel in what was accomplished when it’s time to stop and do something else for a bit. :)

For a fantastic self-management around time two-week up-level course, join my Busy Girl Bootcamp starting Monday, June 30! (And, yes, guys can join too!) It’s a purely digital course, so if you join after June 30, you will still start with “Day 1.”

Your Time is Gold—Your Time Management Should Be Too

Gold Time Management


You’ve probably realized by now that you can’t manage time. Time doesn’t obey. It doesn’t speed up or slow down, even if it feels like it’s running out at a rate of a million seconds per normal second. Or it feels like that meeting is dragging on for years. (And for all of you Einstein lovers, sure, there may be some evidence to time actually changing, but this isn’t really about that right now…)

What you can manage is YOU. Here is a fabulous tip I got from Jinny S. Ditzler’s book, Your Best Year Yet.

What We Do

Every single task we ever dream of having on our to-do list can be categorized into one of the four quadrants on this chart.

Chart: What We Do

The red quadrant represents what we most often spend our time doing—running around like a headless chicken, putting out fires, and tearing our hair out trying to get all the urgent/important crises handled. (Or, in some cases, we spend time on the opposite end of the spectrum. We end up wasting our time on all of the busy work in the bottom right quadrant reserved for Not Urgent / Not Important tasks because we are too overwhelmed by everything else to face any of it. This is called avoidance. Stop it. [I can say that because I find myself there from time to time. Ugh!])

Let’s take a moment and look at the top right quadrant—the one that includes Important tasks that are Not Urgent. This is where our personal goals, such as exercise, trying a new raw recipe, and spending more time with friends and family lie. This is where your long-term business goals such as adding a new target market, launching a new product, and beginning public speaking lie. It also includes to-do’s that are not urgent today, but will be tomorrow.

And this is why we’re stuck in the red zone—because we only do what we think has to be done right now, and we never get around to doing anything else, which inevitably end up moving into the red zone. It’s a vicious cycle. Plus we’re unhappy because we’re not getting around to what we really want for ourselves.

What We Should Do—The Key to Time

Clock and Key

Can you imagine having only one “fire” a week instead of five a day? Can you imagine actually making progress on your true, heartfelt goals, instead of being stuck doing only what has to be done? Can you imagine easing into each task in joy rather than dread? There is hope.

There will be an adjustment period to break the downward spiral, but it will be so worth it! It comes down to one basic rule. Do the Not Urgent / Important tasks FIRST. Jinny promised, and I promise, and deep down you know, the Urgent / Important tasks will get done! They will. You know they will. You owe it to yourself to create the life you really want, so go ahead and break the cycle. You can do it!

Chart: Gold Time Management

So start with the Not Urgent / Important tasks and work your way counter-clockwise around each quadrant. It’s called Gold Time Management, but it’s really self-management around time. From here on out, make your first goal of every day to practice Gold Time Management and pretty soon you’ll be singing a different tune!