It’s Crunch Time. Put a Date on Your Goals!

it's crunch time - put a date on your goals

These past few weeks, it’s crunch time – literally – during my daily morning walk. Acorns have started to drop and leaves have begun to flutter down to the ground from the trees. Either they’re crispy from the long hot summer, or their colors change and then they fall. Almost every step results in a crunching sound of one sort or another.

The Raven Run

You may be aware that one of my business “mentors” is Darren Hardy. As editor of Success Magazine for quite a few years, he interviewed many successful entrepreneurs during that time. This summer he initiated a 90-day challenge to walk or run at least one mile a day for 90 days. It was called the Raven Run in honor of a man in South Miami Beach, Florida, nicknamed The Raven.

My sister and I completed the 90-day challenge, and are on day 25 of the second 90 days. And lately, the sidewalks are strewn with acorns and leaves. Almost every step results in a crunching sound of one sort or another. It’s definitely a reminder that summer is behind us as we enter Fall and the final months of the year.

it's crunch time - put a date on your goals.

Crunch Time for Your Goals

What does all this mean? The last quarter of the year is upon us. It’s crunch time. Put a date on your goals! Some people may reflect on their goals for the year and decide to give up and start again next January. For those in a business setting, the fourth quarter is huge. It’s time to finally get out of the red and move to be in the black by the end of the year.

Regardless of what category applies to you, I encourage you to look hard at this “crunch time”. Wouldn’t it be a shame to let these last three months go by waiting for January to roll around? Breathe life back into those goals so you can finish your year strong. The momentum from this fourth quarter will carry you full force into the new year.

Break It Down

If your remaining goals are too large to complete in three months, just break them down. Think of this as your crunch time and determine some smaller steps to break the goals into. Perhaps define one step for each of the three months left. Whether it’s personal or business goals, I encourage you to think through how you can make progress these next three months. The Hollis Company is doing a Last 90 Days Challenge ( to help people focus on the end of the year. If that would be helpful for you, I hope you take the time to check it out.

Put a Date On It

So yes, it’s crunch time with all the dry leaves and acorns on the ground. But let that be a reminder of something else. It’s also time to make plans now to finish the year strong. Get out your planner, set aside the time to write down your goals and then break them into smaller steps. Put a date on your goals. Keep those goals and dates in your planner so you can check it every day to stay on track. Make your planner work for you to help you achieve all that you want in life.

Hummingbird Battles: Focus On Your Own Goals

hummingbirds don't share very well - focus on your own goals

Recently we had the privilege of spending some time with our son and daughter-in-love in Tennessee. We drove there to welcome their new son into the world and to our family – he is our sixth grandchild. Little did I know how that visit would help me focus on my goals. And it’s all because of some hummingbirds…

How well do you focus?

One of my favorite things during that visit in Tennessee – other than holding the new grandbaby of course – was watching all the birds at their bird feeders. If we were very still, we could sit on a rocking chair on the porch and watch them just a few feet away. Those feeders were busy most of the day for the week and a half we were at their lake house. The hummingbird feeder was my favorite one to watch. I’ve seen a few hummingbirds various times before; however, the activity was always very calm and friendly compared to this.

Battle of the hummingbirds

At first, I could hear the whir and hum of the wings of a hummingbird. Those wings worked so fast to zip that bird from the nearby tree to the feeder. But stand still for 5 or 10 seconds, and wham! Another hummingbird flies in, from seemingly out of nowhere, and dive-bombs the sweet little innocent bird that was feeding. And in no time, that first sweet little bird is caught up in a fight. It was full-out dive bombing, one into the other – literally. A few times, 2 or 3 other hummingbirds would join in the battle.

I was taken aback at how these tiny little birds didn’t want to share that sweet water with each other. The crazy thing was, that feeder had 6 or 7 tubes, not just one! They all could have enjoyed lunch together if they hadn’t been so concerned about what the others were doing.

The lure of keeping up with others

Instead, they made quite a fuss as they loudly squawked and chattered at each other during their battles. Their cute little hum turned into a fierce buzz as they attacked each other, over and over again.  I had no idea that such sweet looking, tiny little creatures could be so terrible to each other. These hummingbirds were nasty. Maybe they didn’t have good parents to teach them how to play nicely with others!

So what did I learn from these feisty, yet beautiful and fascinating little birds?

Be grateful for everything

It was a good reminder that no matter where we are in life – what hobbies, what job, what house, what car, how many children, how many grandchildren – we need to just appreciate where we are. It doesn’t matter if others have more or less, larger or smaller, more exciting or more calm, or whatever. We need to be grateful for who we are and what we have.

Focus on your own goals and work with all you have to make your life how you want it. If someone is further ahead than you – no matter. If someone is further behind than you – help them along if you can. Many times in life, I’ve been reminded that God doesn’t hold me accountable for someone else’s actions or in-actions. He only holds me responsible for my actions or lack thereof.

What goals are you working towards? Do you have them written out in your planner? Figure out what it is you need or want to achieve, then then put your head down and get busy.

Set your goals – then focus

hummingbird focus on your own goals

One of the people I enjoy following is author Jon Acuff. I heard him speak at Barnes & Noble a few years ago on his latest book “Finish”, and his humor cracks me up. His latest event is the September January Challenge, which I joined. If you have a goal, consider jumping in for the month of September for this short challenge.
I made a goal to spend 1-2 hours a day this month working at my blog. I’m not going to look at what grand things others are accomplishing and allow that to discourage me. I am only accountable for me. I need to focus on my own goals.

Each of us has things to do in life – much more than just find food like the hummingbirds. So how about you – do you have a goal you want to focus on this month? I encourage you to determine your priorities, set your goal, lay out the plan, and get started. And then stay focused on your goal, without letting yourself get sidetracked with what others are doing.

By the way – coming soon: online class to make your own junk journal. Check out this post in case you missed it:

Our Boat Trouble Can Help You Reach Your Goals

our boat trouble can help you reach your goals. boat in the middle of a lake

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “the best two days of a boat owner’s life are the day they buy the boat and the day they sell it.” Well, we don’t necessarily agree at this point, because we’ve had lots of wonderful times in the past two years on our old, but “new to us” pontoon boat. However, we’ve had our moments of trouble. And this latest one, may actually help you reach your goals.

Word of the Year

How could that be possible? It starts with my word of the year actually. At the end of last year, I knew I would be closing my brick & mortar scrapbook store in January of the new year. I realized my life would be taking a whole new direction and carefully considered what my word for the next year should be. After much thought, deliberation, and prayer, I ended up with “propel” as my word for this new year.

Half-way Mark

If you follow any social media at all, I’m sure you’ve seen lots of comments and posts about doing a mid-year checkup as we are in the month of June. Not necessary for me, I thought, since I have this great word of the year and am moving forward on one of my big goals for the year, i.e. this blog. But then, as life would have it, we had boat trouble.

Treading Water

So, picture a lovely, sunny, ‘life is good’ kind of day out on the water; and then – in the middle of the lake – the boat stops moving. But wait, the motor is running; yet the boat is completely at a stand-still in the water. How is that possible? Trust me, it is. After having it towed back, being damaged in the process, and waiting for repairs; it dawned on me. This boat trouble is so similar to me trying to reach my goals. My word of the year might be the best word I’ve ever come up with. But if I don’t think through steps and have an action plan in place to “propel” my goals forward, then what good is that word? I can visualize myself moving forward with my goals, but if I’m not taking the appropriate action, I’m at a stand-still with achieving them.

boat propeller - how our boat trouble can help you reach your goals

Does Busy Equal Progress?

Just as a boat with a great motor is of little value without a working propeller; all the goals in the world will get us nowhere, if we don’t make a plan. So how about you – do you have a goal you are working on? Do you have a word of the year? Maybe now really is a great time to check your progress. If you are busy with all sorts of activities – ask yourself if they are moving you closer to your goal. Or are they just items to check off in that cute little list in your planner to make yourself feel like you’re taking action? If those actions don’t help you reach your goals, are they really worth your time? This post can be of help if you need to get your day in order:

daily check list of items to do. your actions matter to help you reach your goals

Does It Matter?

This boat trouble was a great reminder for me that goals need to be broken down into smaller steps, and then those steps need to be taken one by one. Don’t allow someone or some thing to sidetrack you into busy work, or to a totally different issue than what you’re aiming for. Stay the course. Focus. If you need help with goal setting, either of Hal Elrod’s books are a great place to start: Remember, just because you are busy doesn’t necessarily mean you are moving in the right direction, or moving at all toward your goal. Our little boat motor was working as hard as it could, but without a good propeller, it didn’t matter. Make sure your actions matter, so they help you reach your goals.