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.

A New Project Means a New Journal – Are You Ready?

Do you have a special event coming up in your life that needs a lot of planning and preparation? If so, have you thought through how you will make plans and where you will keep track of everything? Maybe a new journal insert for your new project in your traveler notebook would be a great thing to consider.

Next Project Coming Up

My next phase of life will definitely require a new journal. Although it’s hard for me to believe, my hubby & I are at the stage of life to consider down-sizing. I don’t know where the years have gone, but we are heading for retirement and the next phase of life. To be honest, it’s heartbreaking for me to think of leaving our home of 30 years where we raised our family. Yes, I’m crazy sentimental – about everything. It’s a downfall of mine, for sure.

Background – Why It Matters

I grew up in a wonderful family with six children where form & function were the priority rather than appearance. My parents repainted the walls with the same color of mint green every 10 years – whether it needed it or not. With six children, my parents were focused on the realities of life more so than appearances. Whereas, my husband grew up around antiques that his father restored. His mother moved furniture around every few months to make things feel new and different in the house. There’s obviously nothing wrong with either of these approaches. But when our first apartment as a married couple was in an old brick farmhouse, my visual surroundings were quite different from the surroundings that I grew up with. It ended up setting the tone for all of our married life -until a few years ago.

Our home was built in 1799, while the owners lived in a log cabin on the property. (Oh how I wish that were still here, but it was moved decades ago about a mile down the road.) She is a grand old colonial four-square German style brick house, whom I like to call Springside Manor. These four-plus decades of married life, have allowed us to gather antiques and country décor. All the nooks and crannies are spilling over with goodies purchased on vacations and antiquing trips. The abundant country style has been my calling all this time.

The Shift Begins

A few years ago, however; we bought a weekend getaway close to a small lake. I wonder now if my hubby secretly had this as his underlying plan to pry my grip from our home. Whether it was his intention or not, it certainly has had that effect. It almost makes me sad in an odd way, that I’m not as upset anymore when he mentions downsizing. I can actually talk about it now without tears in my eyes! This totally different, modern type of house, that’s rather sparsely decorated, isn’t so bad after all.

As the reality of moving on settles in, I see many tasks and projects that will need to happen. So of course, that means I will need a new journal to help me work through this new project on the horizon. The following will be some of the topics when I start this next insert.

Categories in This Next Journal

~ Time frame
~ House repairs/projects to do before we can list our house for sale
~ Budget
~ Wish list for next house
~ Realistic list for next house
~ Location

How about you? Is there any big event coming up that will take lots of planning and preparation? Maybe a new project means a new journal is on the horizon for you too!

If you need a break from the busy-ness of life, don’t miss this next post:

Are you ready to purchase your journal?

So if you’ve been reading through the previous posts, you’ve probably made some discoveries about your planner needs. Does that mean you are ready to purchase your next journal or planner? Let’s recap what you’ve thought through so far:
1) you know what topics you want to capture
if you missed the “get started” post:
2) you know your preference on the scale of practical vs pretty
Now you need to decide if you want a portable planner or a large size to keep at home.

Does the size make a difference?

This last decision will help you narrow down the options for what type of planner/journal you purchase. If you want a portable one, decide what size will work best for your pocketbook or briefcase. On the other hand, if you want to keep your planner at your desk, then you can choose a larger size which probably expands your purchase options . Since the topic of this blog is traveler notebooks, then you know already that I use the portable option.

Moleskine Cahier Journa is my journal of choice

Traveler notebooks started with the standard size of 4-1/4” wide by 8-1/4” tall. My first traveler notebook was this size and it was fine. But I found it didn’t fit easily into my pocketbooks. It was just a bit too tall. The other thing that didn’t thrill me was the width. It was just a little too narrow for my liking. Previously in my planner purchases, I had used a 5”x7” hardbound and I loved the size of that for portability. But it was hardcover which made it heavier than I prefer. Enter the traveler notebook discovery and voila – now I can have inserts to fit my 5″x7″ artisan cover. This size fits my pocketbook great and yet the pages are wide enough that I can easily write my lists and weekly spreads.

The cover is typically called a traveler notebook, which contains several elastic straps on the inside. The inserts or journals that slide onto the elastic straps are available in lots of different options. My preference for the inserts is the Moleskine Cahier Journal which is 5″ wide x 8-1/4″ tall that I cut down to my 5×7 preferred size. I use the squared or grid insert, but there are a variety of options from various companies. Obviously, if you prefer, you can use a spiral notebook or glued notebook as your bullet journal planner. These however, may not fit inside a traveler notebook cover.

Options are always good

As a scrapbooker, there are some companies that have recently joined the world of traveler notebooks and inserts, so I’ll list a few.
Prima Marketing
Dylusions by Ranger
Elizabeth Craft Designs

With the exception of Elizabeth Crafts, most of these are the standard 4-1/4” x 8-1/4” size. They have a wide variety of notebook covers and most have numerous insert options for pages such as blank, grid, lined, white, kraft and even black. By the way, black is great if you are artsy and like to create with beautiful color on your pages.

Elizabeth Craft Designs recently came out with their planner line that has a couple cover options which are ring binders. If you are a crafter at heart, their planner line includes a great assortment of stamps and dies to create your own pages exactly how you want them. This line is perfect if you have the mindset of keeping your memorabilia along with your planning because of all the stamping and die-cutting options.

I make my artisan covers that hold my three inserts. I taught classes at my store on these so the ladies could decorate them as they liked. Stay tuned for future information on those. If you prefer the look and feel of leather, some cover options include Foxy Fix, Chic Sparrow, and Planner Perfect to name a few. There are also covers made out of fabric that can be found on social media.

Decision time

So now that you have more information on options, you should be ready to make some last decisions:
1) insert & cover size
2) brand/style, i.e. Moleskine stitched insert
3) grid, ruled, plain, or a combination
4) make that decision so you can purchase and get started!
Once you have a week or two written in your insert, you’ll get a feel for what works for you and what doesn’t. Then you can tweak it for the next week or month until you find the spacing and layout that work best for you.

Yes, you can change your mind

So have no fear, if your first week’s layout doesn’t wow you or give you the right amount of space, it’s not a problem. If there’s a certain day of the week that has more going on, you can adjust your layout to best suit your needs. For any of you who are familiar with Dyan Reaveley, a designer for Ranger Ink, you may have heard her say in her lovely English accent: “It’s only paper – they’ll make more!”

You are on your way to keeping track of your life better than ever before!

So are you ready to purchase your journal? If you decide to create your own bullet journal rather than purchase a planner, follow along for the how-to. Read this blog post where I explain the three inserts in my artisan cover: one insert each for weekly, monthly, and notes/lists.