There is no better time than NOW to go inward, pause, take a deep breath, exhale and think about the outcome and results you want in 2013 for yourself, your business, your family, or your community.

If you want to achieve your 2013 goals, now is the time to start planning, preparing, and positioning.  In this blog post I am going to show you how to do that using our simple software system called Actionplanr. But first, I want to share a personal short story about the power of setting goals.

About ten years ago, I had this idea to organize a fundraiser for kids who were living in foster care. My goal was clear — raise 100,000 to help kids find permanent homes. My vision was to host a live & silent auction and gourmet food & wine tasting event.

The date had been set to reach my goal. All I had to do now was put together a plan, prepare and position myself for success.

The idea for the fundraiser was the fun and easy part.  Even setting the goal and date was a piece of cake. But I had no clue how hard it was going to be to execute upon my vision.  I had no idea how challenging it was going to be to take action and bring that vision to fruition.

Long story short, I had to convince, people to give me a lot of money to sponsor the event.  I had to persuade winery owners and restauranteurs to come pour their wines and serve their food for FREE!

I had to influence a lot of businesses and organizations to donate their services and products (like heli-skiing trips to Canada and spa packages to very high-end resorts) for the auction.

I also had to recruit hundreds of volunteers to help with the planning and preparation.  And most importantly, I had to sell hundreds of tickets and demonstrate the value of the fundraiser to attendees.

When it was all over, I held two fundraising events for kids in the foster care system and raised over $350,000! And I did it by planning, preparing, and positioning.

As I mentioned, it was hard work! I didn’t have Actionplanr back then to help keep things simple, organized, and structured.  Instead, I used a big binder to track my project and manage my results.

Now that I’ve done all the hard work, I am going to make it easy for you and show you how to plan, prepare, and position yourself for success in 2013 by using the same methodology I used to achieve my fundraising goal.  Only this time, I have a simple software goal planning tool called Actionplanr to help illustrate just how easy it is.  You can apply this technique to any goal, any vision, any outcome, and any result you want.

Ready? Let’s begin.

Plan and Prepare

You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint right?  Or you wouldn’t go on a long road trip with out map would you?  Yet, it dumbfounds me to see so many people taking action on an idea or a vision without taking time to plan and prepare for success.

Everyone wants to be successful, but success is defined differently by different people.  Some people measure success by their level of happiness.  Others determine success by how much money they have in their bank account. And some evaluate their success by the quality of their physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health.

Whatever the case, it is different for different people. The  point is that you need to be clear on how you are defining success for your specific goal.

Success for my fundraising event meant reaching my goal of $100,000 by a certain date to help 10 kids in the foster care system find permanent homes.

Start with a clear outcome.  Begin with the end in mind. Understand and know the results you are looking for.

Get crystal clear on what success means for you. If you are having a hard time figuring that out, I highly recommend you work with a business coach or life coach. Hware has helped hundreds of clients for many years with our business and technology consulting services.  Feel free to email me at and I will be happy to talk to you and if we feel we can’t help we will gladly refer you to a few good ones.

Once you are crystal clear on the results you want or the outcome you want to achieve, you then need to come up with a plan on how you are going to get there.  Below is a screenshot of Actionplanr’s goal setting software template I created for a fundraising event.

Actionplanr Goal Popup for Fundraiser

Once you have stated your goal, it is now time to break that goal into phases and action steps.   Think of phases as chapters in a book or major milestones and think of action steps as the specific activities you need to take to help you move towards your goal. Below is a screenshot of Actionplanr’s phases and action steps.

Actionplanr Phases and Action Steps for Fundraiser

Actionplanr Phases and Action Steps for Fundraiser

Links to websites and access to notes  are very helpful.  Being organized and efficient is critical to achieving your goal.  Actionplanr allows you to input active links and notes in each goal and in each action step.

Sometimes you may decide to change the sequence of phases or action steps and that’s okay.  Actionplanr allows you to drag and drop so that you can customize your right activities at the right time.



Positioning is about having the right mindset.

Let me give you an example.  

Just the other day I was giving a workshop to aspiring entrepreneurs.  Some of them had hobbies that they wanted to turn into a business.

I explained to them that the difference between a hobby and a business has to do with the intention, energy, and mindset you put behind it.

How you position yourself for anything you do in life and work starts with the right mindset. An entrepreneur is going to have a different mindset from a hobbyist. One is profit-driven and the other has nothing to do with generating revenue.

When you are serious about your goals whether they be business or personal, you will notice a different mindset than when you aren’t that serious.

Your drive and determination is different.  Your focus is different. And your level of commitment is different.

I’ve achieved many of my goals over the years and I have failed at some of them too and I can honestly say that my goal achievement or lack thereof was dictated by my level of commitment.  It simply wasn’t a big enough priority.

Positioning yourself for goal achievement means that you put support structures in place. You surround yourself with the right people. You put the right systems in place. You take time to plan and prepare.

Let me give you one more example.

I knew that launching a software product company was going to challenge me like nothing before.  I knew it was going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my professional and personal life.  So what did I do to position myself for success?

I started eating much healthier meals.  I started getting more rest and sleep. I became more intentional about how I spent my time.  I cut out all activities that were a waste of my time, and sometimes that meant saying no or good-bye to people, parties, and places.

Insert PARTY Picture here

I started asking, “How is this going to help me get one step closer to achieving my goal?”  Sometimes, taking a few days off and going on a hiking trip was what I needed to restore and rejuvenate my brain and body so that I could come back and be more productive and effective.

Positioning is about shifting your mindset from amateur to professional, from hobbyist to business owner.

Life is much too short to delay your dreams.

Don’t let another year go by without putting your ideas into action or turning your vision into a reality.

Don’t let another year go by without putting systems in place that will help you become more organized, more efficient, and more productive.

When you empower yourself with productivity planning tools like Actionplanr, you set yourself up for success.

Actionplanr is FREE to test drive. As a trial user, you can achieve your goals by making an action plan from scratch or from one of our templates.  Check it out and let us know what you think!


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