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Today’s Work It Daily Challenge is to create actionable goals. Setting goals for yourself has always been a part of your life. Whether you’re creating a to-do list for the day or writing out your New Year’s resolutions, you’re constantly giving yourself items to check off. Goal-setting is an essential piece of getting what you want. Without goals, you have no map, motivation, or plan. But are you setting yourself up for success by creating the right kind of goals? Formatting your goals effectively is just as important as having them. There are two kinds of goals I typically set for myself: Ultimate goals and Actionable goals. An ultimate goal is something big that you’d like to achieve in the future. An actionable goal is like a step towards your ultimate goal. For example, let’s say one of your goals is to write a book. Great goal! This is something you’d identify this as an “Ultimate Goal.” Instead of just saying, “Write a book” on your to-do list, create actionable goals for yourself like, “Brainstorm at 3-5 plot ideas” or “Write for one hour each day.” Writing a book is the ultimate goal here, but it requires a series of “mini” goals you have to achieve first, like brainstorming plot ideas. Here’s another example. Let’s say you want to learn more about fine wines. Instead of saying “Learn more about fine wine,” perhaps you would say something like, “Watch online course on wine making,” or “Attend wine tasting this week.” So, today, challenge yourself to create actionable goals. Think about those BIG goals you want to achieve, then determine what little steps will help you get there. What are your actionable goals for this week? Tell us!

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Happy New Year! It’s a few days into the New Year and your resolutions are already starting to become a burden. Don’t beat yourself up. Most likely, your resolution was an emotional decision not based on fact. New Year’s resolutions are goals that don’t usually pass the test of time. But why? Goals need to be realistic, attainable, and measureable. Realistic goals are attainable to you within a set amount of time. An example of a good goal could be earning a Bachelor’s degree in three years. A stressful goal would be earning that same degree in two years. It isn’t impossible, but it is beyond extraordinary and everything must go exactly as planned. One misstep and your strict timetable is off track. Another example of a good goal is the ever famous lose XX* pounds (*insert your personal number here). All too often, we want the weight to disappear and we commit ourselves to a goal of 10 pounds a week. When we only lose three, we are stressed to the point of gaining an additional seven. Lofty goals aren’t a bad thing, but it is important to be realistic in how and what we have to do to be successful. Success requires clear thought, decisive action, and deliberate reflection. As you begin your journey towards successfully achieving your goals (or resolutions), keep these tips for goal setting in mind:

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As you sit at your desk in the cubicle on the left, overhearing half of the conversation between Jessica and her soon to be ex-boyfriend Jacob, you might be thinking that, although you were excited when you got this job, things have really changed. If you think your pile of paper clips is more exciting than your work life, it’s definitely time for a do-over. But how can you get re-energized and get excited about your future? Perhaps it’s time for Plan B. Why not work from home and build your own fabulous empire? But how realistic is this you ask? Your father worked on his company’s business site his entire life, your friends and relatives have all done this, as well. But in your heart of hearts, you’ve always known that your path was not to be foretold by the actions of others, and so you will go your own way. All that you have to do is dig deep, much deeper than you ever have before, and remember that the payoff will be enormous! I watched an old Oprah’s Next Chapter show that I had stored on my DVR back in July. The subject of this episode was David Copperfield, the magician. I am not sure why I kept this specific title, since I did not find him particularly interesting, however, I learned something incredibly powerful when I watched the recording. So of course, the reason that this taping remained, through many deletions of other programs, was to provide a reminder about the keys to success. They both spoke of their “P”s. Oprah mentioned “Passion” and “Preparation,” and David added “Persistence.” I immediately stopped the DVR, and wrote down these little pearls of wisdom, bestowed upon me by two of the wealthiest, most successful people on this planet. If you want to change your life, you must find your passion, take on the requisite preparation, and be persistent in the face of the guaranteed adversities that will arise. Thus, Plan B! If you want to change your life, if you want to work from home, if you want to create a business that can alter the trajectory of your life’s path, then you must find your bliss, prepare yourself to morph your bliss into a wonderful business, that you and others can rally behind and get excited about, and consistently chip away at your dream, one day at a time, piece by piece, step by step, until one day you will turn around and realize that you made that dream come true. What is the first step in implementing your Plan B? Write your plan down on paper. (Don’t be like me, I was one of the lucky ones to get a leather journal from Oprah, and now I won’t write anything in it, so your journal can’t be too cute, or too meaningful to write in!) Why should you write your plan down? Writing down the elements of your plan makes your intention real. It is step one in your multi-step plan, to go from twisting paper clips at your desk, to launching your new life. If you do not like to write in journals, try Microsoft One Note. One Note is a software notebook that allows you to keep numbered and to-do lists. Online clippings, photos and more, so that you can create a virtual journal of your plans, goals, and objectives are also available. As you proceed, you can build your work from home business plan, and more. I keep One Note on my network drives, so that I have access to it from any home computer I might use. In addition, Windows SkyDrive, offers One Note online. So if you choose the free SkyDrive version (which is less potent), you can read your notes, as long as you have an Internet connection.

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