Monthly Archives: July 2010

A Great (and Free) Resource for Planning Projects

I hope these previous posts have helped you with your goal-setting and planning- key components for your future success and progress.

Planning projects hasn’t been one of my major strengths in life.  I’ve done quite a bit through trial and error.

Organization is crucial in so many ways.  It really saves time when you know where to find things as you try to complete a project (whether it’s a big one or a small one).

As I’ve progressed through online courses I’ve taken in website and business development, I came across a very helpful resource called DiscoverFreemind.

I’d like to tell you about it- as it’s the type of resource that can help you plan and stay on course with your projects.  The software has some very helpful applications.  Here’s how I’ve benefited from using the DiscoverFreemind software:

A Good Overview with Step-by-Step Features

As you attempt a new project, it’s easy to start feeling quite overwhelmed with the amount of details involved.

With big projects, sometimes a bit of worry sets in.  What if you forget a major piece of the project?

Sometimes it gets very overwhelming with all the details involved.

I’ve found DiscoverFreemind very valuable, because I’ve been able to get a really good overview of the projects I need to complete with my home-office business.  It’s like having a blueprint or project map to see the things that I intend to accomplish.

The software is also helpful – as I’m currently using it as a visual step-by-step plan.

Staying Organized

I’m quite pleased with how this software has helped me become more organized.

The tutorials for using the software are very good.  It takes you step-by-step on how to use it.

I now have a visual organization for my short-term and longer-term goals.  I also use the software to list the locations for my notes and resources. This saves me valuable time in locating all the information I have- and helps me get things done faster.

As I develop my site and business, I no longer have to hunt for the information or notes that I need.

Good Reference Point

I spend less time wondering what needs to be done next.  I now have a reference point- for the steps I’m currently working on, and for the upcoming steps I need to take with each piece of the project I’m working on.

Flexibility

With DiscoverFreemind, I’ve been able to move the steps or the sequence of steps that I need to take with each mini-project.  That’s been very valuable to me. As I take action on my business activities, I’m learning more about the sequence of steps that I need to take.

As I’d learned in the tutorial, using the old method of writing the steps down isn’t as effective as using the software.  When you write things down on your list of items to be done, you might not list them in the order that it needs to be done.

With the software, it’s easy to move my sequence of steps around (with the mouse on my computer).  So, it’s very user-friendly.  It’s good to have the flexibility to move things around graphically, which of course is something I can’t do with my hand-written notes.

To sum it all up, I recommend DiscoverFreemind as a great tool for planning your projects.  It’s a great resource if you struggle with organization, ideas and the flow of information.

In my next post, I’ll discuss three essential components you can use in planning your next project.

For now, to learn more about DiscoverFreemind, click here, or on the image below.


clip opp A Great (and Free) Resource for Planning Projects

Key Steps to take when planning Projects

Planning a project can be a rather overwhelming task. But it doesn’t have to be.

With this next series of posts over the next month, I’ll be giving tips, questions and ideas you can ask, so that the next project you attempt will have the successful results you’re looking for.

As I put together my editorial calendar for this series, I found it very helpful to reflect upon the ideas I’ll be sharing with you. I have found that organizing and working on my own projects has been a bit of a struggle, and I’d like to share the things I’ve learned through the process.

There are various types of projects. There are home renovations projects, school projects, work projects of various types and general types of projects that need to be done around the house. Hopefully, these ideas and tips will be ones that you can use to effectively do these types of projects.

The End Result

It’s often very helpful to consider the type of end result that you want- when your project is completed.  What does it look like?

For example, if you’re adding a back deck for your home renovation, have you decided how you want it to look?  If you’re a student doing a science or business project, have you figured out the type of project you’d like to successfully complete?

Motivating Reasons to Complete Your Project

As you define the reasons you want to successfully complete your project, you’ll experience greater motivation as you go through the process.

For example, you may want to successfully complete your new deck because you’ll be able to enjoy your back yard a lot more in the summer, you’ll have a great place to entertain friends, or you’ll make more use of the barbeque you received as a birthday present.

If you’re in school, college or university, you may have motivating reasons to succeed with your projects.  For example, when you successfully complete your project, you’ll have a key accomplishment you could include on your resume.  This accomplishment could then be something that you can use to get the job you want to have when you graduate.  By successfully completing your project, you could possibly use it to develop new skills that you’d enjoy using in the future.

Define your own reasons for completing your projects, and you’ll have sound reasons to get started and stay on track towards completing your project successfully.

A Project Plan

Your project will be much more successful when you work from some type of plan.  It’s quite valuable to have some type of project plan or “blueprint” to work from.  This project plan will help you get started and will help you as you complete your project.

Planning your project will make it seem less overwhelming.  As you break your project down into a project plan, you’ll have a sequence of steps that you can take.  Having a sequence of do-able steps will help you feel less overwhelmed.  Breaking my projects down into manageable steps has been extremely helpful for me in the past.  It will help you as well.

In my next post, I’ll give you some more info and tips in project planning.  I’ll tell you about my experiences using free project planning software- which will help you in your current or future projects.

Developing New Habits for Greater Success

Success Image and Quote

Welcome to my July 24th blog post.  I hope my previous posts have been highly valuable and practical for you, as you set and achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.

Today’s post is about the essential role habits play in achieving your goals.

I’d like to talk about 3 types of habits that will help us make great progress in life.  These habits aren’t ones that I’ve mastered or completely developed.  The following are habits that I strive to develop each day:

The Habit of Setting and Achieving Goals

Here’s an important question.

Are you developing a habit of setting goals in your life?

Even small daily goals can give you a sense of accomplishment and greater self-approval.

Years back, I had the accomplishment of graduating with honors with my Business degree.

I’ve set new goals for myself.  As I’ve set new major goals (1, 3 and 5 year goals), they’re inspiring to review, as I’ve listed the reasons I want to accomplish them.  I have a printout in Word format, and for me it’s a great reference document, and as I use it, I try to visualize my future success.

I also set short-term daily goals, as I work towards my major goals.  These goals help chart my progress, and I’m encouraged to keep striving towards achieving the major goals I’ve set.

Short-term goals also make my goals seem more do-able, as they’re in smaller chunks.  It’s helped me to not become too overwhelmed.

The Habit of Developing and Maintaining a Positive Mindset

This habit can be a struggle.  I know this as I struggle with it.

But here’s a word of encouragement.  As you develop a positive mindset, you’ll reach your goals faster.

I like a quote I recently read from Brian Tracy:

“Act with purpose, courage, confidence, competence and intelligence until these qualities ‘lock in’ to your subconscious mind.”

I like to use the website wiktionary.org as a reference.  This site defines purpose as “a result that is desired, or an intention.”

Here are some important key life areas and questions we can reflect on and answer:

Purpose

“Am I developing a habit of acting with a purpose- with my desired goals in mind?”

Reasons

“Have I developed strong reasons for achieving my goals?”

Goals List

“Have I developed a goals list?”

“Do I review this list each day to focus my mind on achieving my inspiring goals?”

Affirmations

“Am I using daily affirmations to re-shape my beliefs about myself and my potential?”

Daily Goals

“Am I setting daily goals- with a motivational reason to accomplish them?”

The Habit of Expressing Gratitude

I discussed a bit about gratitude in the previous post, but thought I’d mention it again.  It’s worth developing the habit of gratitude.

When you wake up in the morning, is your life characterized by gratitude, or by a lack of gratitude?

I read a quote one time that said:

“Gratitude is born in the hearts of those who take the time to count up past blessings.”

Part of my goals with this blog- is to help my each of my valued readers (such as you- the reader of this blog to value:

  • each day
  • each moment
  • your opportunities
  • your freedom for personal/spiritual growth
  • your freedom to become the person you desire to be
  • the freedom you have in life to accomplish the goals you’ve set

This concludes my series of posts on the topic of the successful characteristics of goals

My next series of posts for the upcoming 4 weeks will be about planning projects.  This area has been a huge help for me to achieve more and make greater progress in my life.

success Developing New Habits for Greater Success

How Gratitude helps us achieve our Goals

I’m sure you’d be able to relate to my thoughts on the spin the media can take on things at times.

In today’s world, when we read the paper or watch the news, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the bad news that we hear. Sometimes it can seem a bit draining or overwhelming.  It’s unfortunate that a lot of negative press gets printed on the front page of the local paper.

As you work on developing a new viewpoint of gratitude towards life and your goals, its almost like a light switch is turned on.  I’d like to encourage you in today’s post to work on developing more gratitude in your daily routine and life.

I was reading a quote by Brian Tracy in his book titled “Great Little Book on Personal Achievement”.  One of his inspiring quotes in this book is:

“The more positive you are when you think and work toward your goals, the faster you achieve them.”

Here are a few points or ideas on gratitude that will help you achieve your goals. These ideas can also encourage you to begin achieving goals you’ve previously set aside and also for setting new goals.

Gratitude for the past- previous lessons and learning experiences

As you know, it’s difficult when going through tough times.  Mistakes are an inevitable part of life. Sometimes we need to learn things the hard way to move forward in life.

In order to make sense of some of my own mistakes or follies from the past, it’s helped me to reflect on valuable learning experiences.

For instance, when I first went to university, I lacked focus and was unmotivated.  I ended up on probation for my low grades.

It was a tough lesson, but I’d learned about the value of putting in a better effort, the value of time management, and the value of planning.  These lessons and values have helped me set and achieve new goals in life.

The painful experiences of life can create incredible value for you, if you decide to learn from them, be grateful for the lessons, and move forward with the new things you’ve learned.

Gratitude towards your life, your potential and your personal assets

It’s funny how easy it is to take things for granted.

Consider how health is taken for granted.  I had battled with a very bad virus earlier in the year back in January.  I had strep throat.  In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t a major illness, but it made me realize how I take my health for granted.

Now, I’m more careful with how I take care of myself.  I’d gotten away from using my exercise equipment, and now I’m maintaining a good fitness level.

Consider your present benefits and blessings in life. There are many people in the world who don’t have the opportunities that you and I have each day.  There are many opportunities to work on our goals and make a difference in the world.

Consider also your present assets.  You have skills, abilities, and personal characteristics that will help you achieve your goals, as you recognize them and develop them.

Gratitude for the fact that you can build a new future

Through the foundation of gratitude, you can build a new future with goals, new thoughts about a better life, a new vision for your future.

It is highly beneficial to journal about your accomplishments and the things you’re grateful for.  These things will help you to set and achieve your goals more effectively- today and in the upcoming days ahead.

My next post will be about the essential role habits play in achieving your goals.

How Focus creates Power to achieve your Goals

Strength Quote Image

Reflect upon the power of focus in your life.

As I typed out the last sentence, I thought about how easy it is to focus on the wrong things or upon unproductive thoughts in life.

Focus is a crucial feature of goal-setting and in achieving your goals.  In that case, I think it deserves its own blog post.

As we think and focus upon what we want in life (our goals), and we turn that focus into constructive action, we can achieve our goals and dreams in our lives.

For many years, I had lacked focus.  I had no new goals, and so I had no plans to turn these goals into reality.

I believe that focus includes determining the things you want in life.

If you haven’t already done so, you may want to determine your goals in the following life areas:

  • Financial Goals
  • Career & Professional Goals
  • Physical/Sports Goals
  • Family/Relationship Goals
  • Travel Goals
  • Material/Tangible Possessions
  • Community/Service Goals
  • Spiritual/Inner Personal Development

When I went through the exercise of determining my goals in the above life areas, it was a real eye-opener to me.

It helped me determine the things I want in life, and my important goals in each of these life areas.

It’s an important list for me to review on a regular basis, if not a daily basis.

It’s also a list that I typed out on the computer.  Since I’ve printed it out, it’s been inspiring and motivating for me to review it.  In the midst of all the negativity out there, it’s also encouraging to have my goals list, and my list of reasons for wanting to achieve my goals.

Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up, and to focus on your feelings or reasons why you can’t move forward or to achieve your goals in life.

Here are a few things to focus on when your belief is low.  It’s important to remember your past successes- and to reflect and focus on the following things:

  • You have made great progress in your life in an important area before.
  • You have accomplished things in the past that you’re proud of.
  • You have talents, abilities and skills that you can develop that you’d enjoy using.
  • You have important life lessons that you can use to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.
  • You’ve demonstrated the power of perseverance, resiliency, character, courage, hope and belief in the past- and you are again each new day that you’re given.

As I wrote the above list, I thought of one piece of advice I wish I had years ago:

I’d encourage you to focus upon the things you want in life, and to hold onto your belief in a great future- and to never give in to those who say it can’t be done.

Your life and your goals have incredible value.

Make each day count!

I like the image below and the quote about strength. If the words are unclear it says:

“True strength is not measured by how big your muscles are, its measured by the amount of good choices you’ve made and the amount of Victories you’ve accomplished.”

My next post will be another essential element in setting and achieving goals: the characteristic of gratitude.

l 30bd5ffb10f7473e806602d16bf7d2dc How Focus creates Power to achieve your Goals