• Elaine Zito

A Goal Planner That Actually Leads to Results

Every new year we spend some time thinking of resolutions and goals we want to try and achieve to better ourselves and lives. Most of the time these dreams fizzle out quickly. I think a lot of it has to do with taking on too much at once, not having a clear roadmap for how to get to the finish line, and not having anything to track your progression/keep you disciplined. Whether you're trying to lose 10 pounds, figure out what you should do with your life, or save up money for a down payment on a house, no goal is too small or unimportant to create a tangible plan for reaching it. But, it's pretty hard to figure out where to start, and what steps you need to take. I have finally found a goal journal that has checked off every box and more when it comes to producing real results.

With my first full year of using the Cultivate What Matters 2019 Powersheets, I have succesfully:

1. Saved up $500 of my personal spending money for Allyn's birthday (I had never sacrificed that much before on someone else)

2. Become a better wife by doing the dishes more often and giving more back-scratches (he actually verbally told me he felt I was thinking and doing more for him)

3. Tried something new (calligraphy) and realized it wasn't my passion

4. Which led me to figuring out what is...sharing my experiences through writing and photos

5. And so I launched the Isla Girl blog

6. Spent more time reading and learning from podcasts, and less time watching tv

7. Journaled almost everyday which included affirmations and reasons I'm grateful, in turn boosting my happiness and mood

8. Gone on at least one fun adventure a month with Allyn (dating your spouse is so important)

9. Spent less mindless time on social media by limiting myself to 2 hours a day

10. Worked to pickup lots of extra shifts to reach a 200 hour overtime goal in 6 months, which I ultimately exceeded to 335 hours as of this week

11. Finally sold the dang boat that we've been paying boat slip rent on for 2 years without using it

I achieved alll of this in 10 months. Some of these goals I didn't even know I wanted. Some goals took time to realize, but one thing leads to another and I continue to unveil more about myself and where I'm supposed to be going in life.

All of this was possible with the questions, prompts, and guidance of the Cultivate Powersheets. The workbook starts with 34 pages of brainstorming to figure out what you want your life to look like. It's all encompassing as well, including eight categories: health, friends, finances, spiritual and personal growth, spouse/significant other, family, work, and recreation. It talks about fears, letting go, challenges, things you're grateful for, things that fire you up, and more. If you think you know what you want, this will make you question it, and think harder to really understand what it is you actually want. It also makes you choose a word of the year. I chose 'productivity', in hopes to spend my free time more intentionally. But for the last 3 months I switched it to 'contentment', because I realized it's time for me to slow down and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I really have achieved and grown more than I ever have, in a short amount of time because of the discipline and guidance of this journal.

The next section of the book breaks down your brainstorming into tangible and specific goals. It creates a more definitive action plan on how to achieve the bigger picture. I ended up with 7 goals; financial savings, being less selfish, getting healthy and in shape, finding my passions/hobbies, working towards my dream job, learning new things, and using my free time well. Once I figured out these 7 categories, I could easily break them down even further to what action steps I would take to achieve them. For example, under financial savings I wrote that I wanted to save up my personal spending money for Allyn's birthday. I decided on $500 to gift him for his birthday to go on a weekend trip with his buddy of choice. Since I started in January, I figured I only had to save $56 a month until his bday in September. So I put that away every month, and then used the rest of my spending money however I wanted. I broke down the goal from wanting to spend my money on Allyn, to how and when I would spend it on him, and how much I would need to save a month to get there. Without those specific steps and monthly goals, I may have over shopped and carelessly spent, and then his birthday surprise, and ultimately me showing him I can put him before my wants, would have been ruined.

Finally, the planner is broken down into months with a seasonal check-in every 3 months. Within each month, you have a daily, weekly, and monthly chart where you can write in the steps you need to take to reach the bigger goals. In the month category for October, I wrote down to donate the boat. In the weekly area, I challenged myself to produce at least 1 blog post each week. In the daily space, I wrote to check the dishwasher/sink to see if it needed to be cleaned. Donating the boat (which was a last resort) turned into selling it, which lead to my ultimate goal of financial savings. The 1 blog post a week, lead to growing my blog and the bigger picture of working towards my dream job. And the checking of dishes everyday lead me to being less selfish and a happier husband who knows I try.

So if you could follow me through all my ramblings, it's truly amazing how detailed and broken down your dreams can get, but its ultimately the key to success of actually making them a reality. Without it, you might just be another statistic of giving up in week 3 of the new year, and never truly improving your life. (Dramatic, I know... but it's so true!) So stop making excuses, stop letting yourself down, and finally keep those promises you make. Actually follow through for once and see where you can go. You deserve it, you can have the life of your dreams! You just have to be willing to put in the work.

Go get those Powersheets, at cultivatewhatmatters.com that conveniently launch for 2020, on October 16th at 10 am. They sell out kind of quickly, and I don't believe they restock. You won't regret it. The investment is worth it. (And bonus, they come in the cutest colors and patterns, include a sticker sheet, and have the most inspirational and motivating quotes throughout!)

xoxo, Isla Girl