Daymaker - a person who performs acts of kindness with the intention of making the world a better place.
~ David Wagner
, author of Life as a Daymaker; how to change the world by making someone's day ~

DayMaker - any thought, word, or deed that spreads happiness, compassion, or fruitful ideas.
~ Annis Cassells ~

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Turning my Goals into Action

Working to achieve a goal can be frustrating and downright discouraging if we're not making headway. For a goal to become more than a wish or a hope or a dream, I had to figure out what would best help me reach it.

The goal writing lessons that I used with seventh and eighth graders in my classroom  became the technique that would work for me. It's good for any goal, whether I'm working on a daily or a mid- or long-term goal.

Here are the writing steps I take:

1. Visualize the change I need to make. That becomes my goal.

2. Write the goal. Write it in the present tense - as if I am doing it now. I am getting my health under control with diet and exercise. I am clearing the clutter from my desk. I am finishing project A. 
Not “I’m going to...” or “I want to...” or “I will try to...”  But, “I am...”

3. Place the goal where I can see it. For a long-term goal, I might write it on three or four cards or Post-its and put them in prominent places.

4. Each day, I write the goal on my organizational sheet along with my to-do list.

Two action steps were huge in helping me accomplish my health goal this past year:

1. I shared my goal with my best friend and partner, Judy. Then with a few others.

2. Several times a day, I asked myself the crucial question:  “Does my behavior match my goal?”

The impact of that question is remarkable. Judy would invite me to go for a morning walk, and I’d almost decline, but I’d think, Does this behavior match my goal? Then I’d get up from my computer and be ready to go. Shopping for groceries and trying to create new eating habits, the question would come to mind, Does buying this match my goal? Yes to spinach, whole grains, and broccoli; no to ice cream and white rice.

Posing the question gets me back if I get sidetracked or lose focus when working on a project.

So, when you have a goal in mind and want to get off to a powerful start with it, write it in the present tense, and be sure to question your behavior and whether it's contributing to your success in reaching that goal. Before too long, the goal becomes a part of you.

What success have you had with recent goals? How did you put them into action?

How would you write the goal that you are ready to work toward?

~xo A ~


  1. Thank you for sharing this insight, Annis. I needed to be reminded of the power of the "crucial question." Like you, I made a decision over a year and a half ago to manage my health through diet and exercise. The first letter of my middle name is "I" and it does not stand for "Ice cream;" though, until I set my health goal, one would think it did.

    Holding myself accountable to my goals is critical to their achievement. To ignore the "crucial question" is to admit that I am not worthy of them. I can't imagine saying, "Dennis, you are not worthy of health and happiness."

  2. Exactly, Dennis. The crucial question is key for accountability. And, darn tootin' you are worthy! Thanks for sharing. xoA

  3. Great ideas, Annis! I like to write my goals down, but your asking yourself the question is a great reminder!


  4. Debbie - It does keep me focused -- and often "out of trouble." xoA