Life and Spiritual Coaching

December 27, 2008

Good friends are worth their weight in gold

Filed under: Christian,Family,Life Balance — by Donna Ritter @ 9:30 am
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I had always dreamed of walking down the aisle at graduation with my Dad in his Harvard robes. When I was a senior in college, He was coming back from giving a paper and had a heart attack on the airplane. Even though they emergency landed the plane in Atlanta, he died. That night I had double dated with my sister to see a “Yes” concert, but went home earlier than she did since I had an 8:00 am Calculus class.

I was a senior in college when my Mom called me up (after a very late night at a YES concert) and asked me to come over since my Dad was “sick”. I told her I needed to sleep and would be there after my class in the morning. My parents were divorced by then, so I thought it was a bit weird, but went back to sleep. Then she called back and told me I was dead. I rushed to her house at 3 in the morning n tears. My Dad was my best friend. My Mom wanted me to find my sister but I had no idea where she was and there were no cell phones back then. She gave me a stiff drink (which was the last thing I needed – but I took it anyway). We waited for my sister Barby to show up and when she did, we both broke down in tears again. My Mom asked me to go to my Dad’s apartment to look for a will (he was only 45) and she didn’t feel comfortable doing it. I was a basket case. Luckily my roommate was there to drive me.

Seeing my Dad’s most personal things was horrible to me. I found what I could and brought it back to my Mom.

I stayed there, but went to school because at the beginning of the semester, my professor had said there would be no exceptions to missing exams. I must have looked a mess, because one of my friends came up as I was waiting and said”what happened to you, did someone die or something”? When he heard my story, he walked into the classroom and explained my situation to the professor and she was so nice, and told me of course I could make it up. Maybe it helped that my Dad was the Dean of the Graduate School – but he led me out of school to the next door college bar. Now this was about 8:30 am. My best friend said “Let’s have a few beers and celebrate his life”. We did and we laughed and cried at the same time. One old drunk came over and asked us what was going on. When we told him, he cried too! We all started laughing which sounds weird, but it was what I needed most.

It was then that I found out who your real friends are. Some that I thought were my friends looked the other way when I was coming. Some sat with me and let me talk, cry and cried with me. It was like my Dad’s death was contagious and some of my so called friends didn’t want to catch the “germ”.  That’s when I learned the value of true friends. They are with you through the good and bad, the ugly, the horrible and the tragedy. Some of those people I can call today (and I’m 53) and it’s like we never stopped talking.

Then the next shoe hit the floor. My Mom wanted me to decide where my Dad should be buried! His Dad was on vacation, but I refused to make any decisions until I could talk to my Grandfather. No parent should survive their children. I had never had death touch me, and I couldn’t handle it. I was floored that my Mom couldn’t see that.

We ended up sending the police after my grandfather. Thank God he took care of everything. We all flew up to Massachusetts were my first Grandmother was buried. My Dad was cremated and buried next to her. My Grandfather sent me the pictures he developed that my Dad had taken on that trip; they were of the same place where he was buried. It was fall, so I’m sure he was taking pictures of the changing leaves – but is was still creepy. My sister and I didn’t have much money, but we went to a florist and bought roses to lie on his grave.

When we got home, the money he had was to be left to any minor children (of which I was not) but there was an insurance policy with me as the beneficiary. I felt said because he had always wanted a boat. I think you should always make sure you experience your dreams.

My Mom said she and Barby would take me to court to get that money – so I gave it to them. Not worth fighting for. I almost quit college at the suggestion of my Mom, but my Dad’s professor friends rallied around me and got me through it (thank goodness for those wonderful men).

I gave up the idea of graduate school and got a job in the computer industry where I have been for 30 years. My Mom and Scott moved up to New York before I graduated and no one I was related to came to the ceremony. Not even my sister.

My husband and I have an iron clad will so hopefully none of this business will happen. I grew up very fast during those years and still hear my Dad in my prayers. I made peace with my Mom before she died (at 72) and I am very glad I did. Family is what is most important and should never be taken for granted. Nor should goof friends – they are worth gold and they endure much longer than teenage crushes or small arguments. Nurture them with love and they will serve you for your whole life.

You never know when your time will be up so always tell your loved ones how much you love and appreciate them. Never go to bed with any anger in your heart. I have a sign over our bed that says “Never forget to kiss me Goodnight” so my husband and I remember how important it is. Forgive no matter what and live so you have no regrets on your deathbed. Older people will tell you that the only thing they worry about are regrets from a missed time to tell someone they loved them or a missed time to spend more time with their kids. Don’t let that happen to you. Life goes by in a blink! Live, Laugh and Love everyone! You never know when the last day will come – so no regrets!




Using Earned Value to Predict Project Success

Filed under: PMP,Project Manager — by Donna Ritter @ 9:08 am

This Post examines how the data points of Planned Value (PV), Earned Value (EV), and Actual Cost (AC) can be used to analyze the current status of a project and forecast its likely future. EVM looks at project performance for the current period and at cumulative performance to date. EVM is described and illustrated here in terms of cumulative data, using the Project data.

This post introduces a fourth data point, Budget at Completion (BAC), which is the final data point on the performance measurement baseline (PMB). Budget at Completion represents the total Planned Value for the project. For Project EZ, the BAC is 150.

This is a goof rule of thumb:

• If your SV >0 and your SPI > 1.0, you are ahead of schedule and under budget. If your SV = 0 and your SPI > 1.0, you are on budget and ahead of schedule. If your SV < 0 and your SPI 0 and your SPI > 1.0, you are ahead of schedule and under budget. If your SV = 0 and your SPI > 1.0, you are on budget and ahead of schedule. If your SV < 0 and your SPI < 1.0 you are behind in budget and schedule.
• Indices: Schedule Performance Index (SPI); Cost Performance Index (CPI); and To-Complete Performance Index (TCPI)
• Forecasts: Time Estimate at Completion (EACt); Estimate at Completion (EAC); and Estimate to Complete (ETC)

These variances, indices, and forecasts can be used to answer the key project management questions. It lets us show the relationship between those project management questions and the EVM performance measures.

Schedule Variance (Are we ahead or behind schedule?)
The Schedule Variance (SV) determines whether a project is ahead of or behind schedule. It is calculated by subtracting the Planned Value (PV) from the Earned Value (EV). A positive value indicates a favorable condition and a negative value indicates an unfavorable condition.

The Schedule Variance can be expressed as a percentage by dividing the Schedule Variance (SV) by the Planned Value (PV). In other words, the project is 33 percent behind schedule, meaning that 33 percent of the planned work has not been accomplished.

Schedule Performance Index (How efficiently are we using time?)
The Schedule Performance Index (SPI) indicates how efficiently the project team is using its time. SPI is calculated by dividing the Earned Value (EV) by the Planned Value (PV). The Schedule Performance Index indicates that—on average—for each 8-hour day worked on the project, only 5 hours and 20 minutes worth of the planned work is being performed; that is, work is being accomplished at 67 percent efficiency. This is a very useful statistic to use in resource allocation.

Time Estimate at Completion (When are we likely to finish work?)

Using the Schedule Performance Index (SPI) and the average Planned Value (PV) per unit of time, the project team can generate a rough estimate of when the project will be completed, if current trends continue, compared to when it was originally supposed to be completed.

The originally estimated completion time for the project was 12 months, so the project manager now knows that if work continues at the current rate the project will take six months longer than originally planned. It is important to note that this method generates a fairly rough estimate and must always be compared with the status reflected by a time-based schedule method such as critical path method. It is possible that an earned value analysis could show no schedule variance and yet the project is still behind schedule; for example, when tasks that are planned to be completed in the future are performed ahead of tasks on the critical path.

One trick I always use is to have the engineers update their time on the project daily. This is quite normal. But I also have them update the remaining time that task will take. If the original estimate was 40 hours, and the engineer spent 20 hours on it, that does not mean he is 50% done. Software is very hard to predict and new things are learned as one gets deeper in the project. So if the culture allows the engineers to update their remaining work every day, I can run Project scenarios to see if the critical path has changed. I can also have a discussion with the engineer to see if we can work smarter to pull in the estimate. Most of the time, we don’t spend enough time estimating a project and just jump in and write code. This mode usually bites you in the end.

Next I will show an example I found using the techniques I’ve written about in this post.


December 22, 2008

The Meaning of Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Donna Ritter @ 6:33 pm
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When I was a teenager, I confused true friendship with casual friends (mostly boys). The thing is the casual friends come and go and true friends never leave. This especially became apparent to me when as a senior in college my Father (who was a professor at the University I went to) had a heart attack on an airplane on the way home from giving a paper. I was completely astounded at how many of my “true” friends ignored me as if death was somehow catching. They avoided me like the plague. My true friends stuck with me through the crying, the remembering, the shock and the drunken nights at the local pub. I had gone to school the night after my Dad died, even though I was up all night, because my teacher had said no excuses could be made to make up a test. One very good friend walked in with me and explained the situation and she excused me. My Dad was my best friend, so I took it very hard. I felt as though God had taken him away when he was finally getting over the divorce with my mother and starting to live the life he deserved. It took me a good 20 years before I sought out God again (and thank God I did, He is a very big part of my life now).
During the Christmas season I get a little sentimental. We have had some great times together with many great friends. Good friends are very hard to come by and you should never let them go. I firmly believe (by my own experience) that people are sent by God to be with us when we need them most. I believe they may be angels (or at least God’s messengers). I have some that I may not hear from for years, but when the need comes and I call them or they call me it’s like we never stopped talking. I hope you find someone like there to be one of those people who you can count on to always be there.

I believe this is one of the reasons God put us on earth – to cheer and hold up others who are in excruciating pain, or even the simple pains of life on this earth because we have all felt the same way at times and can relate. I tried to explain to my son that even though he was grateful that God gave His son to save him, he would never understand the gravity of that sacrifice. As a parent you realize that putting your child in danger that you can’t save them from must be the greatest gift you could give someone (and also the hardest thing you could ever do). Don’t forget that the simplest thing you can do for someone may be exactly what they need. You may be their angel doing God’s work!

Please don’t forget your friendships and know that people love you, even if you don’t see each other as much as you’d like to. Take the time to call or send a note. Casual friends come and go but true friends never leave your heart. That’s something teenagers need to learn through experience. I was taught very early that if a boyfriend wanted me to give up one of my girlfriends, he was very mistaken about my feelings towards life. I think losing my Dad at an early age helped me to realize that.

So, let’s all try to get together with the ones we love more often and while we are not together please remember you are always in their hearts and they are in yours. Don’t wait until it’s too late to express your love. Life is very short (even though it seems like it goes on forever!).

No one cares about what they’ve accomplished in life when they are dying; they care about who they loved and who loved them back. Any act of kindness you show to someone is an act of kindness you show our Lord Jesus.

Merry Christmas to you all and God bless you, your family and your friends!

Love always, your angel Donna

December 13, 2008

Preparing for 2009!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Donna Ritter @ 6:12 pm
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Preparing for the New Year – Welcome to 2009!

New Year’s is a time to reflect on the past year, look forward to the New Year and reflect on the changes you want to make. One of the most important things to remember is not to set you up for failure. Most people have a list of New Year’s resolutions. If you have too many resolutions, you will become overwhelmed by trying to do too many things at once. It takes 4-6 weeks for a person to integrate a new habit into their lives. A better solution is to pick your top 3-4 resolutions and plans. If you take them one at a time, you can get gratification for succeeding in implementing one before going on to the next.
The top 10 on most people’s list includes the following:
• Spend more time with your family: No one (if they think about it before it’s too late) would want people to remember them as the person who was always at work, the person who had the most toys, or the person who once they retired, could not figure out what to do with their time! Hello! I would love to be in a situation where I could relax, travel, spend time with friends and family whenever I wanted. This is the time to rethink your priorities. When was the last time you took the family out for a hike in the woods or out for dinner?
• Lose weight: This especially hits folks after gorging themselves during the holidays. Losing weight is a life style change and diets are the wrong approach to losing weight. The best thing to do is to eat small portions more frequently during the day to keep your blood sugar at a consistent level. Keep this up all throughout the year and you won’t need to add this to the list of resolutions next year!
• Exercise: Look at the parking lot of any gym in January. You’ll find they are very crowded. Everyone knows that they feel better if they are exercising, but most people go overboard and then get frustrated when they don’t keep up with their plans. Keeping fit can be done anywhere! You don’t need to join a gym. Walking is free and one of the best ways to exercise. To start, take short walks during breaks and at lunch. Build up to have a total of 30-35 minutes a day walking at a pace where you pass most people up but can still keep a conversation going without huffing and puffing. After you get to this point, add some weight training. You can buy 5-10 lb weights and use them in a light to medium workout 10-15 minutes a day for a total of 50-60 minutes a week. Do this slowly so it becomes an enjoyable break, not a chore. Play some music. And remember; stretch before and after any workout. This makes all the difference in the world. You don’t want to be laid up with a pulled muscle!
• Stop Smoking: I know how bad smoking is for you. I lost too many people to diseases caused by smoking, but since I’ve never smoked, I can’t say how hard this is from experience. I suggest consulting your doctor. It’s never too late to stop!
• Relax and smell the roses: This is something I have to constantly remember. Relaxing isn’t something that comes naturally to me. Life is too short to ignore this one though. One thing that helps me is to meditate.
• Stop drinking: This is something that you can’t do cold turkey. Taper off slowly or moderate your drinking.
• Get out of debt: The economy is on everyone’s mind these days. Start by keeping track of what you spend during the day. It’s amazing how much money you can go through and not be able to say where it went at the end of the month. Once you have control over your day to day spending, start looking for ways to cut your budget. There are a lot of great blogs around that help with finances. One of my favorites is They have advice on everything about money.
• Learn something new: this is one I have no problems with. I love to learn. I read constantly. There are many avenues to treating yourself to a new learning experience. Look at your local community colleges. Lots of them have free or inexpensive classes on things from bird watching to photography.
• Give back to the community: There are so many people out there that are less fortunate than you. Find out what you can do. If you don’t have extra money hanging around, give your time. It’s so valuable and you will come away from it with a good feeling.
• Get organized: Go to the Container store or something similar and get those papers organized. You don’t have to keep receipts for years (unless it was a major purchase and you may need it for warranty or tax purposes). I keep my receipts in a folder with a section for each month. Same for bills. As you come to a month that is filled, empty the contents and throw them out. Scan receipts for major purchases and save them on your computer. You need to keep tax records for 7 years, but most of the paper we all save can be thrown out. Don’t let your magazines pile up. One of my problems is with books since I read so much. I heard a professional organizer say that if your bookshelf is full you can’t buy a new book unless you get rid of another book. Take them to Goodwill or to a used book store.
Have a Happy New Years!!

November 19, 2008

Being Creative

Filed under: Communications — by Donna Ritter @ 1:46 pm

Here are 9 practices I personally use to help me in ‘cultivating’ creativity.


  • Being Relaxed – Take a moment to do something that makes you happy; that brings you joy; that you love; that centers you. Meditate, take a walk, go for a swim, read something that puts you in a good mood, journaling – writing down your thoughts (this can be so rewarding!).
  • Gratitude – Thinking about all things you are grateful for produces a positive energy flow and vibration. As you feel the love in your heart for all the wonderful blessings and gifts in your life, you will instantly relax and feel all warm-and-fuzzy inside. In that moment of warmth and love, you are open to creative energy.
  • Tickling Your Imagination – Imagination is highly visual. I’ve found it helpful to practice seeing vivid images with my eyes closed.
    • Try it. Close your eyes, and imagine that you are in a scene, any scene. Okay – pick your ideal scene, practice seeing the details of your environment in this scene. See the colors, the textures, touch something. What does it feel like? What do you hear? What do you smell? What is the temperature like? Etc.
  • Being In the Moment – Every outstanding musician or artist will tell you that when they are creating great music or art, there are no thoughts, they are completely in the moment, and experiencing flow. Athletes call this ‘being in the zone‘. You can practice present moment awareness by giving full attention to whatever you are doing: eating, washing dishes, making your bed, etc. Meditation helps tremendously. The book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle is also highly recommended.
  • Being Inspired – Practice seeing beautiful things that moves you emotionally. Flip through a book containing thought provoking images, go to an art gallery, read something inspirational, talk to someone who calms you.
  • Drawing – This may sounds funny, but one of the effective ways to practice getting in touch with your creative side is to start drawing. Drawing forces you to see things differently. I highly recommend the book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” and the workbook by Betty Edwards. This book was designed for people who has never drawn before. I first heard about this book from a psychology textbook. I have gained much from its insights.
  • Seeing Alternatives – Be curious. Practice asking yourself how to do something differently. When seeing the solution to a problem, ask yourself, “What are some alternative ways to doing this?“. Develop the mental attitude that “there is always another way” even when alternatives seem ‘impossible’.
  • Being Open – Never shut down any idea that comes your way, do not make judgments about it. Appreciate any idea that comes to you, even ones that seem “stupid” or “obvious”. This way, you encourage more creative ideas to surface from your being.
  • Think on Paper – With a bunch of loose paper (or notebook, I prefer loose paper so you don’t feel restricted that you have to keep the page ‘straight’ and organized.), start jotting ideas down. Write everything down that comes to your head: random words, phrases, ideas, thoughts… sometimes you might want to circle things and draw lines to connect ideas. When an inspiration hits, follow it. If you suddenly have a different idea, jot it down somewhere on the page or in a new page. This is how I construct blog articles. I start with ideas and points, sometimes really crappy points at the start, and once I fall into ‘flow‘, the article will take shape before my eyes .

November 16, 2008

Let Me Be Known By The Company I keep – a poem by Beth Moore

Filed under: Bible,Family — by Donna Ritter @ 6:03 pm

I just finished a bible study by Beth Moore called “Living Beyond Yourself”. This is the poem at the end and I’d like to share it to you. It has spoken to me.



Let me be known by the company I keep

By the One who determines each day that I greet

From the moment I wake til He rocks me to sleep

Let me be known by the company I keep!

Let me be known by the company I keep

When the valleys are low and the mountains are steep

By the One who holds fast when swift waters are deep

Let me be known by the company I keep!

Let me be known by the company I keep

By the One who implores me to sit at His feet

And quickens my soul to discern what is deep

Let me be known by the company I keep!

Let me be known by the company I keep

Eclipsed by your presence that I may decrease

Til all You have chosen this traveler to meet

No longer see me but the Company I keep.



But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23).



November 15, 2008

Moving Out for the First Time – Advice

Filed under: Family,Life Coaching — by Donna Ritter @ 3:20 pm


·        Always pay yourself first. Put as much money into savings as you can and leave it there until you have enough to live on for 6 months or so. You will never be sorry. Start your retirement fund early and don’t touch it. If you go to work for a company that matches your contributions, take advantage of it.

·        Be wary of credit cards. They are too easy to get and too hard to pay off. If you have to buy it on credit, you probably can’t afford it anyway and most likely don’t need it. If you use credit cards regularly, you will pay many times for the same item. Save buying on credit for two major purchases, a car and a house.

·        Invest your money in things that you understand. If you don’t understand it, then either educate yourself or find something you do understand. This understanding will help you decide when to invest, when to hold and when to sell.

·        Find a job doing something that you love to do. You spend most of your life at work; it helps to enjoy what you are doing. This may seem like a strange to say that while making a lot of money is great, doing something that you enjoy and are good at will bring you more satisfaction in the long run so try to find a balance between being a starving artist and overstressed CEO.

·        Keep an emergency savings account.  In a perfect world, this would be enough to support you for 6 months but it can be as little as $1000.  The emergency funds purpose is to pay for emergencies.  I know you are saying “duh, Mom” but you have to understand that emergencies happen all the time. It is for things like the car broke down and I can’t get to work without it.

·        Setting down. When you find that special person, make sure that they are someone who will support and respect you.  Hopefully, you will find someone with similar goals to yours, both financial and life goals.  I have found that while love is grand if the support, respect and common goals aren’t there, love loses out at worst and at best your life will be a struggle. I was so lucky to meet your Dad. We were best friends for a long time before we dated and it made all the difference in the world. When hard times come, and they will, you need your best friend to support you and hold you when you think you can’t go on.

·        Your career. Whatever you do, do it with all your heart.  You are smart enough to do anything you want to, you just have to make up your mind that you are going to do it.  Don’t let anyone beat you down.  Don’t settle for second best, you deserve the best of the best.





November 10, 2008


Filed under: Life Balance,Life Coaching — by Donna Ritter @ 12:35 pm
Tags: ,

When you are a young adult, you have the perfect opportunity to experience life in its fullest! You don’t have kids yet or a house to tie you to one place. Explore! If I was in college again, I’d take a year off to travel the world. You don’t need a lot of money if you stay at youth hostels and use a rail pass to travel around Europe. If you have other destinations in mind, research how you can do a work/study or an exchange student program. If you really get to know the local culture, it will teach you more than any college course could. Plus you’d have fun!

This is also the time to be spontaneous decisions, since you don’t have the baggage of an older person to carry. Be daring! Explore yourself. Get to really define yourself.

Talk to people from another culture. Try their food and check out their customs. Talk to the older people in the area. Learn about their history. This will give you invaluable experience and insight!

Before you leave for the journey of your life, check the internet to brush up on the places you plan to visit. Look for where the tourists go – and make sure those aren’t the only places on your list. You want to check out where the locals go and live. Try to learn some of the language before leaving. Also, check for travel deals offered at the time you are going to be there. Make sure you write in your journal.  

November 4, 2008

Advice to my Younger Self

Filed under: Advice to My Younger Self,Life Balance — by Donna Ritter @ 10:39 am
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This is the first of many articles I am writing that are advice I wish I could have given my younger self. It’s amazing how much you can learn over 50+ years of living that gives you insights you wish you had when you were 20. This article is meant to be targeted at advice that may have swayed my decisions when I was in college.

·         You are a unique individual who is loved for what you are – not what someone tries to make you to be. Follow your heart. Do what you have passion in. This is especially essential when you choose your major in college. Some people choose majors based on how much money they could make. In the end, you spend so much of your life at work that it doesn’t matter how much money you make if you are miserable making it!

·         Travel and learn about other cultures as much as you can. It is very easy when you are young without a house or big bills to backpack around Europe for example. You can get a train pass that lasts for months and stay and inexpensive youth hostels. Hanging out with the locals teaches you much more than going to the tourist traps. Joining the Peace Corp is another option.

·         Stay away from negative situations or people. They can easily bring your mood down the tubes.

·         Make goals in college and stay focused on them. If you want to learn music or the arts – do it! Even if you don’t major in the fine arts, they broaden your minds.

·         Make an effort to stay positive. That can be hard when you focus on others or the news, but the more positive energy we all pass along, the better off we all will be.

·         Allow yourself to have time off to play. Never lose the child within.

·         Stay close to your family. They are the ones who will love you forever no matter what (except if you are in the unfortunate position of having an abusive family). Listen to the older ones. Believe it or not, they do know more than you do!

·         Surround yourself with reminders of your unique greatness. This can be pictures, quotes, letters anything that reminds you why people love you and why you mean more than anything to God.

·         Start your day with prayer, meditation, readings or whatever is your spiritual guidance. This will make the rest of the day start off on the right foot. 

·         Take care of yourself in the way you eat, exercise and what you read and put in your mind. This is your time to soak up everything you can and decide what the most important things are that you want to keep active in the rest of your life.

·         Don’t sweat the small stuff as they say. In life there are always ups and downs. Ride them out. Each challenge makes you stronger.

·         Keep a smile on yourself. It has been proven to be good for you and others around you.

·         Forgive everyone – including you! We all make mistakes. Take risks. Failure is a way to learn and you can’t get there without taking risks.

·         Give thanks every day. Journal as much as you can. It will not only record your thoughts but also improve your writing skills.

·         Have fun! These are some of the best times of your life! Learn and experience as much as you can!


October 27, 2008

Plan, Do, Check, Act

Filed under: Life Balance,Life Coaching — by Donna Ritter @ 11:06 am
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1 Planning is an exercise we all use daily, but seldom do we use it on our own growth. In order for you to get where you want to be in the next 5 years, a plan is essential. This post will take you through the planning cycle using Deming’s famous Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.

1.1 Plan:

Planning includes defining what you want to achieve. I use a mission statement, roles (like mother, wife, friend, and worker), and goals (like become an expert Digital photographer, have a solid financial plan for retirement…) and break those down into short term and long term goals.

You can use any number of these and other tools to plan your ideal future. Remember; don’t let that demon that says “you can’t do that” get into your head. You can do anything you set your mind to!

Once you have a written account of where you want to go, it is time to determine how you should go about achieving it. Use time management techniques, prioritization, visioning and other tools to help you complete your plan. I will talk more about these techniques in later posts.

1.2 Do:

Practice your plan for a month or so and see how it goes. Keep a journal and write down what is working and what is not. Even though I am talking about long term plans here, that doesn’t mean they won’t change all along the way.

1.3 Check:

Take some time to analyze your successes and failures. Remember – failures are not bad. They are simply learning mechanisms. If someone never failed, that would mean they never took risks. Risk taking is an important key to moving ahead in life; so no punishment or feeling bad if something doesn’t turn out like you thought it would. Just change the way you go about it!

1.4 Act:

This is the fun part. You have worked out the kinks and are ready to fully act on your mission. Your chances of success are greatly enhanced by a positive attitude. Keep a journal of successes, what you are grateful for and what things you may want to look at during your next Check cycle.

2 Prioritizing:

When you are in the Planning stages, prioritizing is a great tool to help you hone in on what is most important to you. First write down the actual priority of these roles in your life. What do you spend the most time on? Then write down your desired priority of these roles. There is probably something you should fix to get back in line with your authentic self.

3 Goal Setting:

Goals should be written as SMART goals. S = specific, M = measurable, A = attainable, R = realistic and T = timely. Specific means the goal states exactly what you are going to achieve, measurable means you can measure whether it was successful or not, attainable means you are giving yourself a goal that is within your grasp to achieve (no flying to the moon), realistic means it can be done within the limits you set and timely means it has an end time in which it should be completed.

Write the goal in positive language so it is something you would like to do, not something you’d like to put off.

Goals can be achieved over different timeframes; short term (within a month), medium term (within 6 months) or long term (within a year or several years).

4 Planning Your Goals:

Here are some steps you can use to plan your goals:

·         Visualize how your will feel, what you will see once you achieve your goal. Close your eyes and hold this vision in your mind. Write down your thoughts on a sheet of paper.

·         Write down the steps you think you need to take to achieve it.

·         Arrange the steps in time order

·         List all the resources you need to help you get your goal.

·         Identify any blocks or risks that could get in your way.

·         Establish plans for managing the risks.

·         Make a list of action steps and take your first action!


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