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In February of 2008, Susan and I went to Bordeaux, France to visit our parents, who were there on an LDS mission.  It was truly a trip of a lifetime.  However it isn’t something that we ever really thought we would do, until we started talking about how great it would be if…. We dared to dream of how great it would be if we could go to France together while our parents were still there.  We could be tourists with Mom and Dad. It seemed like a pretty big dream, but we kept each other motivated, until we finally started the planning process and made it happen.  And it was so worth it!!  The things we saw were amazing, but more importantly, we felt like we got in touch with our roots, and with who we really are, as we took the time to relax and just enjoy in a way that we just couldn’t do at home being the mom and the one in charge.  It was awesome.

Being able to dream is so important in life. Growing, developing, becoming a little better and a little more with each passing year can be what really keeps us feeling alive.  Having something to look forward to is also what can get us out of bed each morning.

In The Devil and Miss Prym, Paulo Coelho said

Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”

We can all dream big, and then, with our eyes open, plan and expect to make that dream become reality.

However, it is estimated that 90% of Americans do not set AND act upon their goals. Without some type of plan (or goals) our dreams will become nothing more than pretty pictures in our mind.

Why do people resist setting and keeping goals?  Fear of failure? Stress about one more thing to have to do? We all have our reasons and excuses, but today I’d like to talk about 9 benefits we get from setting and reaching real attainable goals.


  1. Focus – when you have taken the time to clear your mind, and start the process of goal setting by writing down everything that you want, then re-evaluate your list, and prioritize it, you begin to notice the things that are most important in your life. By focusing on your goals you start to notice the insignificant distractions and let them go, as you choose to work on the things that are really important
  2. Time – Once you have focus and know what you want to do, you can spend your time more wisely. By concentrating on what you want to do, you can get to what you want faster
  3. Peace of Mind – Knowing that you have a list of goals and have written down the things that are important to you, you can relax, knowing that you have a plan to deal with each area of your life and you don’t have to be worried about how to get it all done.  You will get it done one piece at a time, because you have a plan that you are in charge of.
  4. Motivation – You can have a greater sense of purpose and increased motivation in your daily tasks, because you know they are going to work towards your greater good, reaching your dreams.
  5. Confidence – With each step of your goal plan reached, you can have your own private victory, and feel good knowing that you did it. Each small success is SUCCESS.
  6. Clarity – Day-to-day decisions are easier when you see the end in mind.
  7. Satisfaction –  Your life and work can be more satisfying as each task you accomplish brings you one step closer to completion.
  8. Future – You have hope in your future because you are taking control through the dreaming and planning process
  9. Happiness – As you set and achieve goals you will develop a greater sense of happiness over your lifetime, and a more positive attitude.

There are many benefits in the process of learning to effectively set goals and act upon them, even beyond the benefit of the goal itself.

If we feel like we “Have to” or “should” be doing something in our goal setting it can become very stressful, and we may want to give up.  Don’t fall into this trap. Keep your dreams foremost in your mind during the process. This process is for you to feel good, not stressed.

When we go about setting real, attainable goals, the goals will be things the we “WANT” to do.  We get to pick the things that we want to have in our lives.

Before you think about starting the process of goal setting, take some time to figure out what you really want for your life.  Ask yourself:

What could I do in my life that will help me feel more successful and happy?

If you think you might like to take the next step, and start setting some goals, but could use a little help, come check out our previous post with realistic goal setting techniques.

Keep your dreams real and focused.

We should be able to dare to dream, without being afraid of disappointment if our dreams don’t come true immediately. By setting goals we are taking one step at a time to reach for our own shining stars.                                                                            –Laura



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Imagine with me for a moment. Go ahead, put your daydreaming eyes on. Take a big long deep breath. Let it out slowly. Do that a couple more times. In, out. In, out. 

Now picture you wake up and find your life has taken an unexpected turn for the worst and you have moments to live. Just moments to tell your loved ones what they mean to you. You don’t have the luxury of planning your words out perfectly. You hug them, you sob. Although you believe afterlife will be wonderful you know you will miss so many people, you’re sure that will hurt something fierce and you wonder if your family will be ok?

And in those last seconds you start to doubt, did you do enough with your time on earth?  Did you give of your talents?  Were you courageous when fear would have been easier?  Did you love when loving was so hard to do?  

Your eyes close even though you will them to stay open. You’re not ready. Just a few more minutes. Just a couple more days. 

Now come back to the here and now and take a moment to asses how you feel. Were you able to put yourself into that imagery? Could you imagine how you might feel if you had but moments to live?

I think it’s natural if your first reaction was to see all the things you didn’t do or should have done. We are often to hard on ourselves. 

I’m going to challenge your thinking.  Already in your life you have touched hearts that only you could touch and have been exactly what someone else needed.  That does not mean you are perfect or that you never failed. We all do that. It does mean YOU ARE ENOUGH. Just how you are. Imperfect, yet trying you. 

Can you believe that?  

 I am His masterpiece and that is enough. 

Close your eyes again and now imagine you have passed on and left this world. 

The world that surrounds you becomes brighter. People are calling your name. Your grandmothers there. Her mom is there. Family you have never met but recognize upon first glance rush to greet you. 

Your sad cries have become tears of insurmountable joy. So much love is being thrown your way, more than you can ever recall. Your heart feels like it is going to burst.

Your dearest family members sit you down and show you glimpses into your life. You see the time you brought dinner to a friend who was having a rough time. She didn’t care that you picked up pizza instead making something fancy. She talked about it for along time. It meant the world to her that someone cared. 

You are reminded of the many phone calls where you listened to different friends and helped them know you understood. 

The picture shows of a time when life was more than you could bare and yet you still held your little ones tight and snuggled their squishy faces. 

That night when you were especially tired then your friend called in tears and you dropped everything to go on a walk with her. 

Those scenes were all familiar to you even if you have not thought of them for quite some time.  The screen changes and in a flash you see those same experiences but now from their perspective. 

You see the tears they shed once you left their side. You hear the words of gratitude when your name is mentioned.  The unexpected life changing moment you were a part of simply because you were willing to share part of who you were with them. 

In life you were simply living, you were only being you. It was not until this moment you began to see the sprinkling of good you left along the way. The many hearts you touched with no desire to be seen or recognized.

Now take a deep breath again. In, out. In, out. 

Can you recall some of the good you have done?  Times when someone has needed just what you had to offer. Feel that. Allow yourself to see that you truly are more than enough. In fact you are you, and nobody can do you as good as you can do you.  


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successThere was once an old prospector who had spent his life looking for gold, and over time had become very successful.

He decided to share his knowledge and brought a young man, seeking his own fortune with him to the mines to find gold for himself.

After several hours of searching, the young man said “well I give up, there is nothing in here but some old rocks. I’m going to go look somewhere else”

The old prospector said “show me some of those rocks.” He then took the rock and cracked it open. Inside the rock were small yellow veins. He showed it to the young man and said “look right here, this is the gold you’re looking for”

The young man said “no, that’s not what I want.  I’m looking for nuggets of gold. I want to find my fortune just like you did. I want nuggets like you have in your pouch.”

The old prospector then took out his pouch and showed the contents to his young friend.  “My pouch is full of gold dust, I work to gather a little each time I find it and over my lifetime of searching, I have found my fortune. The gold dust may seem small, but it has all added up.”

The beauty of this story is in the misconception that the young man expected to find his large fortune all at once.  The reality of our lives, is that anything really good, takes time to develop.  The trick in just to not give up before you get to the “prize”

I really like the yesterday’s post in which Susan talked about setting goals. It reminded me that there were some goals that I talked about a few months ago. I decided to go back and look at that post and it reminded me of 2 things I wanted to get better at. The really interesting part is that as I read the post again, I realized that I had done the 2 things, not just this week, but in that very day. It wasn’t conscious. I didn’t do them because it was a goal, but I believe that because it was a written down goal, even if I didn’t remember it, somewhere in my sub-conscience I knew it was what I really wanted.

As I’ve done some more research on goal setting, here are some of the things that I have learned.

Once you have written a goal down, and taken some time to visualize it, you will be constantly moving toward this thing that you know that you want.

The disclaimer is that you will move positively forward as long as you do not discard the goal by doubting in yourself or the validity of the goal.  Some goals can go by the wayside, as you discover that there are other things that you want for yourself instead.

I think this is why it is important to have your goals written down. You can choose to erase certain goals as you need to. Maybe you have something else to take it’s place, or maybe it just isn’t as important to you as you first thought.

I think one of the most important things about goal setting, is to make sure you are setting goals for things that are important to you, and not just because you think they should be important, or because someone else is doing it.

This is a big reminder for me. Maybe it is the oldest child syndrome in me, or maybe a little insecurity. I tend to want to do what is “right” and to me that means finding out what others are doing to make sure I’m doing it “right.”  I remember as a girl in 4th grade, being in a talent show with a friend who took dance with me.  We did a tap dance for the whole school, and I did the whole dance, looking at her feet to make sure I was doing the steps the way she did. Can you imagine how that looked? I’m embarrassed just thinking about it. I hadn’t gained enough confidence in myself to just get out there and dance. Now as an adult, I have to be careful that I’m looking up at what I want to do, and not down and anyone else’s feet.

Over the years I have seen change in myself and my attitudes. I have practiced more patience. I’ve learned new skills.  I have gained more confidence. None of these things happened overnight.  They all happened here a little and there a little. There are big pictures that have come into focus over time, and I’m sure there are still more beautiful mountains that I will get to climb.

I like the idea of having a vision board to keep focused on what you want in life, but I keep my vision board in my head.  Because it changes so regularly.  I’ll share one thing that seems small, but was a big deal to me.

This weekend, 7 months after I got married, I finally got our wedding picture framed and put up on the mantle.  I pulled together the other spring decor that I had to complete the mantle and put it all up. Now I realize that to many of you, this is just a part of life and not a big deal, but it was kind of a big deal to me. I’ve never been great at decorating. I love seeing the great stuff everyone else has done, and sometimes I try to copy the stuff I like. But this time, it was a vision I had in my head of the fireplace mantel, with the temple wedding picture being the main focus of our home. Having finally completed this project, gave me the energy to work on the next project that I would like to do in my home.

And seeing some successes in my life will give me the drive to set bigger goals that I know I will be able to achieve if I really want to.



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Do you have moments in your life when you wake up feeling on top of the world?  And in that instant you wonder how you could ever feel differently? In those moments I see myself as Wonder Woman.

I feel that way every January 1st. I’m a goal setter and I love the idea of New Years resolutions. I take is as an opportunity to dream and hope and plan. I feel unconquerable in my goals and I am usually very ready to tackle the world one step at a time.  

But inevitably the intensity of that feeling fades and I start to allow the self doubts and worries to override my “I got this” feeling. I let myself get distracted with other things and my focus gets off track. 

Does this sound fimiliar to any of you? Do you relate in some way? So what can be done about it? How can we stick to our goals and notice our progress along the way?

I am sure there are books upon books on how to do this. In fact I am sure in my library I could pull out several.  The trick is to find a solution that works for you. 

This year I decided to try something a little different and so far this has been the best system for me so far. As I share with you what has been working for me feel free to take this system and make it your own. Or use it just as I will describe. 

For this goal setting project I used post-it notes, my favorite pencils, a notebook (digital notebooks work great for this as well) and a poster board.

1. Ask yourself “If there were no limits what would I do, who would I become, where would I go, what would I create?”

Dream big, dream small, and dream somewhere in the middle. In your notebook write down whatever comes to your mind. This is a free flowing exercise. No structure. No wrong answers. Think about all aspects of your life. Social, physical, mental, spiritual. 

2. Step away for a couple of days. 

If something more comes to your mind add it to the list. At this point don’t worry how you will or will not be able to achieve your dream goals. 

3. Pick 5-7 of those goals to begin with. 

Once you come back to it you will have had time to think about what is really important to you. I suggest picking a mixture of big items and smaller items here. Include different categories as well. You could include business, hobbies, fitness,  relationship etc. It is not possible to do everything at one time.  

4. Write each of those 5-7 goals on individual sticky notes.

 I like to include the category on the top of the sticky note and then underneath that I write the goal. Do what works for you.

Here is one of mine.


When I wrote this Sticky note I had no idea how we were going to do this. It seemed very far away. Do not worry yet how you will reach your end goal. Did you catch that?  I’ll write it again for you Do not worry yet how you will reach your end goal.

5. Line up your goals on the bottom of your poster board. 

This may seem backward but go with me here. You will see why in a minute. 


6. Establish where you are right now

For each of those 5-7 goals you will need to establish where you currently are. This will help you to know where to began and it will help to measure your success. 

In January Laura and I had our blog url. And that is it.  

Line those post-it’s up at the top of your poster board with the correlating end goal at the bottom. All of that space will be filled in with action steps. Like this. 


7. Establish your very first action step for each goal. 

You don’t need to know every single step it will take to reach your goal. You just need the next step. This is the process that takes you from where you are to where you want to be. Sometimes when you try to see the whole process it can do two things, feel overwhelming and feel impossible. 

My sister-in-law Sarah put it this way,”You want to get from point A to not point A”. It doesn’t matter how small the steps you take are as long as you are moving in the direction you want to go. 

Write down on a post-it the first step you need to take to reach your goal. To continue with my example I wanted to make a blog header. I knew this would be both easy and rewarding so I chose to start there. 

Place that directly under the corresponding post-it. 

8. Add the next step

For some of the goals the next several steps will be easy to figure out. For each next step create a new post-it. Do not think to hard on this. Only create a next step if it comes quickly and easily to your mind.  

As you complete a next step action item you will create a new next step action that will be placed underneath. This helps you see the progress you are making.


9. Hang it where you can look at often.

Mine is in my closet where I can see it as I get ready for the day. By daily reading it I am reminded of where I want to go. 

Be aware of how you feel when you look at your board. Try to celebrate where you are and where you are going. Recognize that life is a journey not a destination. The process can and should be just as rewarding as the end goal. 

10. Celebrate

Find some way to celebrate when you have finished a next step. It can be simple or big. Whatever it is make sure it motivates you. Go out to dinner with friends. Have a piece of cake. Have a dance party in your living room. Whatever it is to a moment to recognize what you have done and how good that feels to be one step closer.

Once your goal is completed an even bigger party is in order. And let that momentum carry into your other goals. I like to leave up my accomplished goals for a little while so I can pay myself on the back so to speak. But when you are ready take down the sticky notes and replace it with a new goal, where you currently are, and next step action items.

Go be awesome! Take time for you and be awesome in whatever it is that drives you.

Make it a crazy good day!!


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We are so passionate about the concept of embracing your own joy. It’s something we deeply believe in and are striving daily to achieve.


  1. Choose to see the good
  2. Be true to yourself and your beliefs
  3. Let go of judgement part 1 and part 2 
  4. Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle
  5. When you fall off the bike, get up again
  6. Enjoy other people talents.
  7. Surround yourself with people you love.

Over the next few weeks we will go into greater detail about how to accomplish those 7 things.

Today I am looking around me and finding such gratitude for the many wonderful people in my life. When I get home tonight I am going to squish the heck out of my husband and kids.

Comment below and let us know how you will choose to own your joy today.


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