The Must Have Tools & Strategies to Achieve Your Goals

No one can do it alone, you need help and here are the top strategies you need to achieve your goals!

Have you ever said, “I am going to go out and immediately CRUSH my goal of world domination/solve plastic garbage crisis/potty train my ten month old/quit sugar!” and gone out and immediately done it?  

Ya, me neither. *sigh*.  

It doesn’t mean we’re bad people, lazy moms, or stupid. What it does mean is that we all take steps to achieve our goals. Sometimes we take five steps, and sometimes that path is more like a marathon (long, slow & steady), or maybe even like a roller coaster, one with loop-de-loops or it goes through fire or even aliens attack. Who knows.

What I do know is that actually to achieve your goal, you need to be like Spielberg and set the stage, get the right props, and coach the leading performers! You need the right tools for the job! In this post, I am going to walk you through the 11 essential tools and strategies to achieve your goals!

How to Reach Your Goals

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As I said in post one of Your Goal Setting Master Series, The Four Pregame Steps for Strategic Goal Setting, that only 8% of people actually reach their goals. Don’t let that statistic get you down, let that stat fuel the fire deep in your belly to be one of the 8%! If you want it, then you need an arsenal up your sleeve!

What type of goals are there?

A goal is a goal, except for when it isn’t. Uhh? What I mean is I don’t want you to get stuck in a rut, a rut of “there is only one way to look at this or do this”. Goals can be…

  • personal goal
  • career goal
  • short term goal
  • long term goal
  • habit-based goal
  • outcome-based goal
  • small goal to help you reach your big goal

Yet what each of these goals needs is an action plan, accountability (to yourself or others), and positive thinking!

And, if your human you will also need a bit of help. No one can do everything on their own, you will need tools, tips, resources, and strategies to achieve your goals.

11 tools to help you reach your goals

Some of the tools that you need are free and some you need to pay for. Some tools are on the inside, and some you have to go out and get. Let’s take a look at how you can give yourself the best shot at being part of the 8% of people that actually reach their goals!

1. A no BS attitude

It’s time to stop lying to yourself or making excuses for your action/inaction. Stop the lying; it’s not doing you any favors! I won’t elaborate, as this tool doesn’t need to be sugar-coated, or explained in a way to make you feel better. It’s what it is, you know it and I know it.

2. A place to write your thoughts & clear your frustrations.

It’s incredible how cathartic writing is. A total brain dump of thoughts, feelings, or to-do lists frees up so much mental space. So be it a journal with prompts or a basic spiral for you to free flow your thoughts. Write. It. Out.

Besides, written goals (especially ones you write every day) are more likely to be achieved because of the attention and focus you put on them.

One of my absolute favorite journals is Lara Casey’s Powersheets, they are so beautiful and inspiring, they encourage free-flowing thought and have great prompts to help get to where you need to go! Absolutely check them out!

3. A way to track your progress

Your goals need to be visual to you! A basic monthly calendar printed off or something that reminds you to do what needs to be done, and then you can reward yourself with a gold star (we all loved getting a gold star in 4th grade, nothing is different now).

Using an inspirational calendar can help motivate you on your way! Combine it with some productivity stickers, or some gorgeous stickers can make it all come alive!

Bonus – a SMART Goals worksheet

Remember in the previous post, we talked about framing your goals to be SMART goals? A great way to track your progress is to use a SMART goals worksheet, the best part is that you can just make your own!

Take a piece of paper, write out your meaningful, but vague goal, then right below that label each next line S, M, A, R, T. and fill in the specifics. Come check-in time, it’s a simple Yes/No as to the action taken or the outcome achieved.

Remember, a SMART goal is a “clear goal” because you lay it all out. It’s…

  • a specific goal
  • a measurable goal
  • an achievable goal
  • a relevant goal
  • a time-bound goal

A successful person isn’t successful due to luck, their accomplishment is due to having a process and following through, while still being flexible enough to grow and pivot when need be.

4. Things that make it enjoyable

If you don’t like doing something, it’s going to be a struggle to keep doing it. So you need to find something that makes it more enjoyable.

Colored pens, cute stickers, a guilty pleasure that’s good for you, luxury bath salts, or watching your favorite movie after you do your monthly budgeting session.

For example, your bigger goal is to “lose weight”, a smaller goal within that scope is to run on your treadmill every day for 30 minutes. You’re invested in this goal but it’s still a struggle.

However, you love to watch old reruns of Gilmore Girls. So make it a guideline that you can only watch Gilmore Girls while you run on your treadmill. You’ve just made that end goal more achievable by making it more fun.

5. Set your environment up for success!

If your main goal is to save money, then please unsubscribe from stores emails about sales, and unfollow them on social media! Don’t put yourself in temptations’ direct line of fire!

For example, if you get fast food too often, then get some healthy granola bars for the car, and change your driving route, so you don’t drive by the 456 drive-thrus on your way home from work!

Roadblocks will happen, you can’t eliminate all of them, but it’s how you proactively manage the obstacle that sets you up for a successful outcome. It’s a form of personal accountability, where it’s your duty to be forward-thinking and plan for success!

6. One friend to call you on your BS – an accountability partner

To help set you straight. You know who she is, the one that makes you want to be a better version of yourself! The friend that will come over to help you clean out your garage! Pick the friend that’s honest & true to be your accountability partner.

Along with that, you have to be open to receiving honest feedback, consider it a personal growth opportunity 🙂

Besides, maybe you can her set goals and you can help review each other’s action steps, processes, and progress.

7. A check-in routine that you won’t cancel on

To reach your goals you need to regularly check-in! Be it a weekly check-in on a Facebook group, or you emailing yourself on how you did (yes, email yourself!) Or a coffee pit stop with your accountability partner where you both go over your goals and talk about struggles & brainstorm new ideas on how to move past or push through!

Set up these check-in points now, at the beginning, spread them out between your smaller steps, so you can be sure you’re on track with your objective.

Put these action steps in your daily planner, as a calendar reminder, or a daily alarm on your phone. Remember, goal achievement doesn’t happen by accident, it’s due to careful planning

8. A “Hell Ya” mindset!

Yup, it’s the law of attraction! You need to believe in your skills & abilities. I know whatever you are working through can be hard, or depressing, or even totally crappy. Yet, you need to understand how much power your mind has on your chance of success, and then use that to your advantage!

One of the very best books for helping to motivate you and change your inner monologue is Marie Forleo’s Everything is Figuroutable! Seriously, one of the best books to read if you need some tough love to get your motivation flowing and your mindset shifted to believe in yourself!

9. Time to reflect

Don’t just jump into things blindly. Take space, think, and then move. Taking too much time can be as much of a hindrance as not planning at all. Set a deadline for your decision and action-taking process!

Don’t forget that reflection needs to happen throughout the process. For successful goal setting, you need to review, tweak and adjust your methods along the way.

10. A vision board

I know this sounds a little out there, or even too touchy-feely, but humor me. A vision board is something that people use as a success tool, and it works! It absolutely works! It’s taking the law of attraction to the next level. You are, in a sense, creating your future when you make your board.

How to make a vision board

You take pictures, quotes, small trinkets, seashells, whatever you want, and use them to help describe, show, and represent how you want to feel and what you want for your future. You can make a physical one by cutting out pictures and taping them to paper, or you can create a digital one on Canva.

I honestly love Canva, it’s so easy to use, and you can do almost anything with it to create stunning visuals. If your brain can see it, all swirly, with light teal and maybe a shadowed thingymajig, then you can probably make it in Canva! The best part is that it’s free! There is a paid option, but that’s if you’ll be using it a lot and like the convenience of some functionality options. (I use the pro version, it’s inexpensive for how much I do depend on it!)

Getting personal here, this is a shot of my original vision board. I uploaded a few of my own pictures and used some of there’s to highlight what I wanted. I don’t expect it to resonate with you, but it does to me, and that is what is important.

vision board

Canva has made it really easy to use, you just search for “mood board photo collage,” and it pops up a bunch of different professionally designed templates that you can use. They already look beautiful; you just need to make them yours! (I didn’t use a template when I made mine, as I didn’t know about the templates then, whoops.)

I have also used Canva to make party invitations (you e-send or they have printing services right within the platform, or take it to a printer). Or you could do Christmas cards, honestly whatever you want!

If you want the full step by step process, check out how to make a financial vision board.

One cautionary tale with vision boards

Some people think that using a vision board, and bringing in the law of attraction will simply work on their own. You will get what you want if you think about it hard and often enough. Not true! You have to be willing to do the work to get you there!

You need to put in the sweat equity towards your goal! Visualize yourself working toward your goal, not just achieving your goal (source). Your vision board should be a daily reminder of your goal and inspire feelings to motivate you to work hard towards that goal!

jerry rice quote

11. A simple & straightforward strategy to reaching your goals

I have wasted so much time & effort in my life by trying to do it all myself! It’s admirable, and I hate it. I respect that I’m not afraid of learning things from the ground up! I grew up on a farm; hard work has never bothered me.  

Yet, I could have saved a lot of time and frustration if I had found something that could have helped me get to where I wanted to be a lot faster or a lot easier (sometimes both)! It’s the horrible cliche – work smarter, not harder.  

So what do you do to work smarter right here, right now? You use the tools available! I have a Personal Core Value Free Guide that will help you define your own Personal Core Values. You probably already know what is important to you, but can you articulate that? When you put specific & meaningful words to something, it brings them upfront and with such clarity! It’s amazing how your priorities were ever foggy before!

When I first used this method (and then made the Personal Core Value Free Guide for you, it gave me permission to say ‘No” to things that weren’t moving me forward in the areas that are most important to me! It took away the question of “should I do this or should I do that,” and it took away the guilt of saying no to things that I really didn’t want to do. The weight was literally lifted off of my shoulders; it was so freeing!

I decided that I wanted to take it a step further because knowing my priorities was one thing, but how could I use this information to propel me further? One of my many obsessions is to-do Lists. They make my heart happy, and I get such satisfaction from crossing things off as I completed them! My to-do lists had sub-lists and action items and further bullet points! A slight mess would be putting it politely.

So I reorganized it all into the full Living Your Genuine Life by Your Personal Core Values Workbook. It takes everything 2-3 steps further by using your values to identifying goals that will move you forward to where you want to be! These goals are incredibly important to you because this is who you are at your deepest level!  

personal core value optin

The Workbook helps you identify roadblocks and gives space for the why’s and the how’s. So you can overcome obstacles that may keep you from reaching your goals! Remember, when you handwrite things down, it helps anchor this information in your brain, making you more likely to retain the information and ultimately reach your goal!

I am so incredibly proud of both the Free Guide and the full Workbook! As it’s given me specific, actionable steps to go precisely where I want to go and live the way I want to live, not just toiling day in and day out for a reason that I’m not quite sure about to get to something that kinda sounds right.

Now that we’ve talked about how to find goals that matter to you, given you a list of tools that can dramatically affect your chances of success, I want you to do one more thing. I want you to go back to your goals and double-check the origin of those goals.  

Sometimes ideas get into our heads, and we just assume that they are good ideas, or maybe these ideas were taught to us when we were young and have just carried them forward without scrutiny. So lets just quickly check to see if you should dump any of your goals because, well, they suck.

The top 5 goals that you should dump!

I want this list to set you free from goals that aren’t worthy of your time or your heart. Because these kinds of goals just pull you down, they don’t make you happy in the long run, even though they may seem like a good idea at one point.

  1. Goals of comparison – Yes, your neighbor always looks perfect at your kids 7 am school bus pickup, and you… well… you kind of feel as put together as Rosanne Barr after an all-night bender. You “should” get up earlier and put on makeup and fit into cute clothes by the time the birds wake.  F that!  Getting up at 5 am to look pretty for strangers is no way to spend the wee hours of the am!
  2. Goals of obligation or guilt –  You know what I’m talking about, so don’t even try to hide your face! Your Dad keeps bugging you about getting your kids into more sports, or how you should be a better parent. Ugh, no thanks. Doing something you don’t want to do for others will only make you resent them for asking/demanding it of you and resenting yourself for doing it.
  3. Goals of expectations of others –  This goes for others’ expectations of you and your expectations of others. You cannot control the way others act or what they say or what they do. They should not try and control you either! Don’t let your Mom’s 1945 housewife expectations tell you how to clean your own home! (In turn, you may have to accept the fact that she won’t change.)
  4. Goals that don’t resonate with you –  You have a good goal, but something isn’t clicking for you down in your gut. That’s fine; take it back to the drawing board. Don’t half-ass stuff, that’s lame. Take time to think (just don’t push it to the back burner for four years). Think about why this goal is on your list in the first place. Ask yourself why, then answer yourself, and repeat that four more times. Don’t settle for the first answer; dig deeper!
  5. Goals that you’ve had for the past few years –  If you’ve had the same goal year after year (after year). You need to think about why you haven’t achieved it. Maybe it falls into one of the categories right above about bad goals? Perhaps you decide to pass this goal over for a year and come back to it, that’s fine here too! YET, if the reason you haven’t reached this goal is that you’re worried/scared about it, then I strongly urge you to make this THE YEAR that you face this, and go after it! More on this below…

What to do with that one goal that you cannot let go of!

Above, we talked about goals that you’ve had on repeat like a 90’s power ballad when you were in 10th grade (aka Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing). We talked about how you needed to let them go. Well, what if this goal is your thing? You know, the thing that you close your eyes and dream about every night? But you just haven’t done it for whatever reason.

  • you’re scared of failing
  • you’re scared of succeeding
  • you’re afraid of what others will say or think
  • you’re overwhelmed on where to start
  • you’re petrified!

Be it getting a new job, moving across the country, breaking up with your SO or getting help with addiction, or whatever it may be. THIS IS YOUR YEAR! If you need help in getting out of your own way, then I want you to get a book.  

You need a little bit of tough love, but not too tough. You need someone to shake you till your teeth rattle (just a tiny bit) and tell you to quit whining and go out and do it already! Well, Marie Forleo’s Everything is Figureoutable delivers!

She gets you to think, really think about potential life-altering questions. She challenges the way you think about things, shifting your mindset to her classic “everything is figureoutable” phrase because she genuinely believes that you can get through anything!

If you are stuck in a rut or struggling to find your path to happiness, then this book is absolutely for you! If you know that deep down, you’ve been using plain old excuses as a legitimate reason not to live your life on your own terms. THEN THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!

She goes over how to define your dream, eliminate excuses, change belief systems, increase motivation during the long haul, and focus on progress, not perfection, and even rejection. Everyone who reads this book will close the back cover with at least one sentence burned into their brains (if not a few more).

Here’s the one that stuck out to me (I know I told you this one a few weeks ago, but it hit me so hard it bears repeating, again and again, if need be).

“All beliefs are a choice and choices can be changed.”

Marie Forleo

At the end of the day

We have enough things stacked against us; our slowing metabolism, our increase in tech obsession (ahem… IG stories at 11 pm). It just makes sense to give ourselves as much of an advantage as we possibly can by utilizing tools that are available to us.

Trust me; you can achieve your goals; you just need to be strategic in how you go about it! Because your goals are worth the effort, your goals are worth the time. Your goals are worth you reaching out, no matter how far, to go out and grasp them and make them yours!

person core value free workbook

Next week in part six of Your Goal Setting Master Series, we get comfy with some amazing Mamas, who happen to keep a close eye on their finances! We’re talking to them about their money goals for 2020! Get out your #2 pencil, this is going to be good!

What tool or strategy do you think will help you the most with achieving your goals?

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  1. I love that you elaborated on goals that you should dump! Also, having the friend to call you on your BS is so important! Great tips.

  2. This was a really good perspective. I literally just had a conversation with my kids about an hour ago explaining to them what a vision board is because I’m gonna have them make their own when I make mine tonight. They’re 7 and 10 so I’m curious to see what they’ll put on theirs lol. And I absolutely love Jen Sincero. She is the one who got me believing and curious about the law of attraction. Great post. Thanks for your insight.

  3. Informative and helpful post. Going to work through your series. I intend to also create a digital vision board in Canva. I wish I had found this series in early December so I could have implemented everything from January. But better late than never, right? Thank you for a great article.

  4. Thank you for sharing your vision board 🙂 I have a physical one that I look at when I get dressed in the morning. I love the idea of creating a digital one! Will it a go – something that I can look at when I’m at my desk. Thanks for the recommendation on that book by Marie Forleo! Can’t wait to check it out 🙂 thanks for the inspiring ideas.

  5. I love your outtake on goals. I also love the items listed especially the planners. Thank you for the amazing tips.

  6. Great goal setting series. All the points are very important. I recently created a vision board and find it a great inspiration to remind me of my why and what I’m working towards. I find we can have the mindset and routine but a picture with words that resonate personally can really help with focus and working through the obstacles.

  7. Yess! A Hell Yea kind of attitude! Out of everything you wrote about here that was a big take away for me! It all starts with the attitude. Everything will either come with ease or every step will be like walking thru mud. Thank you for spreading the motivation today!

  8. I love it! Very interesting and very helpful. I am going to read the series from the beginning now. Can’t wait for the new post!

  9. Your posts in the series are really great! I love some many of your ideas. Canva is really amazing – I’m kind of obsessed! And your tip about colored pens or something similar is so true – something small can make a goal enjoyable!