Making the Most of Your Year

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Making the Most of Your Year

By: Christy Geiger

Do you find yourself amazed at how quickly the months pass? Do you find yourself in a small panic over all you know you have to do and how little you feel you are actually accomplishing? Join the crowd! We live in a busy world where our time, priorities and energy are constantly challenged. The reality is that there is simply not time for everything and we don't have enough energy to complete everything. Bummer, I know! If only God had created the world with 8 days in a week or 30 hours in a day.. sounds good? Maybe, but really we would just quickly absorb that time too and be in the same spot.

What do we do? There are 5 simple steps to create greater success by managing our time and getting things done in business and life that are important.

1.) EVALUATE. What do I really want? Where am I headed? What am I doing now?

2.) GET REAL. What is really important that will impact and support your long term goals the best? What is not important? What is distracting me? What is not really supporting my long term goal?

3.) PLAN. What do I need to do to accomplish my goal? What are the KEY action steps? How will I do this? What schedule or strategy will keep me focused?

4.) FOCUS. Who do you need to be and what structures do you need to have to accomplish this (mindset, attitude, accountability)?

5.) MONITOR/EVALUATE. Am I doing little, unimportant things? Am I procrastinating? What is working/ what is not? How could I streamline what I am doing?

What happens with good intentions and goals.

Plans begin as ideas in our head; we desire to have or do something. The key to the success of the idea is a plan. You know the saying, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Sometime our ideas will make it to paper in the form of a SMART goal and sometime not. If we do write a goal people sometimes we will create some action steps, but rarely do they take the time to thoroughly think through what actions are actually needed at each stage to accomplish the goal completely. Sometimes people will start planning and get overwhelmed at how much work it will actually take or get overwhelmed with the process and give up. Often our goals remain our dreams because we fail to carve out time to make them reality. A management tip is to create a plan from start to finish. With this plan, decide if you have the time, energy, resources and desire to bring it to completion. Next, estimate HOW LONG each task will actually take. It is common to underestimate how much time each step will take and therefore it never gets done. Remember, if you are going to add something to your schedule, you must also plan to say "No!" to something else to make time to accomplish your goal.


To create an effective plan, begin with a careful evaluation. Most people are constantly evaluating their present state without much problem. We are constantly assessing, "What do I really want right now?" We look at things around us and talk about what we would like to be different in our life. We talk about our goals, New Year's Resolutions, current intentions, etc. We often state them as fact and sincerely intend to accomplish those in our life. We see how they would make a positive difference and desire for them to happen. There is a small percentage of people who also evaluate the questions, "Where am I headed?" and "What will it take for me to get there?" Evaluation is a tool that allows you to anchor where you are now, determine where you want to go and create markers along the way to ensure you stay on course. Without a longer term vision, we tend to react to current situations, "I need to make more money, I need to lose weight, I need to get this business off the ground, etc." This leads to wandering through life without focus or purpose. Evaluate the present and then also evaluate the future and what it would take to get there.

Step 2: GET REAL...

Then, get real. Does this fit in with where you are headed with your long term goals in your life? What is doing this going to get you? What is the cost (consider time, money, energy, emotional, etc.) Are you willing to pay it? If you do really want this, what is going to be important that you do? What is distracting you from making this happen?

Identify Key Result Items:

  • Write exactly where you are headed and what this is going to get you.
  • Identify what you will have to do and write that down.
  • Identify what you will have to say "no" to and commit to 3 things you will have to stop to make this happen. Identify what this will "cost" and write down how you will "pay" for it. (This is not just financial, it may be something intangible like - COST: time with the family, PAYMENT: work later during week, but home Friday for dinner and family day all Saturday.)
  • Identify 5 main distractions and how you can eliminate those.

Step 3: PLAN.

Next, plan what it will take to make this happen. You already have some Key Result Items from your Get Real Exercise. Take those and add to the list other ideas of what you know you will need to do to accomplish your goal. What are specific action steps you will need to take? Stop a minute and in your mind focus on your long term goal. See it in full and complete form. What is there? What are you doing? What do you notice about yourself and your actions? Now, in your mind walk backwards what did you do to get there? For example, if part of my long term goal is to have a thriving independent business, I may visualize myself in an office with the flexibility to be remote. Part of what I would need to do is establish an office, design portable systems, have a virtual assistant, have tools and resources for office work, etc. This becomes one Key Result Area: A functional Office. Then I walk backwards and plan steps I would have taken to create this functional office. Put dates on each broken-down action step and estimate what it will take to make each step happen (time, cost, etc.). Allocate completion targets accordingly.

Step 4: FOCUS.

Now that you have your plan flushed out and in place, who do you need to be to accomplish this? Going back to your vision of your completed goal, what mindset and attitude did you have throughout the project? How did you do this? What schedule or strategy kept you focused? What systems of accountability did you have in place? What kept you on track and focused? One of the most common errors people make is IF they get their plan complete, they begin work and get caught up in the rush of life again and start reacting and forget about their plan. When you created your plan you were looking at the big picture. When you are working in the trenches of life, you are limited to see what is in front of you, unless you stick to the plan. There is nothing wrong with evaluating and refining your plan as you go, but only when you are looking at it in perspective of the whole picture and not the short term moment. The story is told about the caravan crossing the Sahara desert. The desert was barren and large. Many parties got lost crossing the great plains as they could not see their destination over the horizon. A team went in and put in markers for travelers to focus on as they crossed so they would use each marker as a point of reference until they could see the city. This allows many parties to cross the treacherous desert in the most direct and efficient path. This is your plan. Plan it well, establish milestones to focus on, trust them and stay the course!

Step 5: Monitor.

Step back occasionally and evaluate what you are doing. Go back to step one. How are you doing? What is working what is not? Are you on track or off course? Make adjustments to get on track, re-design what is not working to new solutions and refine the plan in area that would increase efficiency or results toward your goal. Keep your long-term goal in mind and check to make sure your short term goals are supporting the long term goals. Notice your behavior. Accomplishing big goals is hard work. Plan first and keep your eyes on the pre-set short term goal that position you to reach your bigger vision.

Bottom line.

None of these strategies are rocket science. The challenge is to maintain the discipline, focus and clarity to implement these basic strategies. Evaluate your long term goal, be realistic, plan, set structures for focus and have check points to monitor. Invest your time in your plan and maintain the course once it is set. If you are serious about these goals, take action today. Insure your success by developing an accountably system for yourself. Hire a coach as your strategic partner to run with you. Find a buddy in a similar situation. Whatever it is, build environments to support your vision. Take the time to plan and design structures for success and you will see a difference! Here's to you and your success! Have fun!

About The Author

Christy Geiger is a Business and Life Strategy Coach. Christy is the owener of Synergy Strategies, A Business and Life Coaching Company that works with IBO's and small companies to impliment your 1000's of great ideas through strategies that will maximize and give the biggest bang for your buck, time, energy and effort!


Diane 23.01.2010. 23:56

How do you melt chocolate chips for making candy? I want to make a recipe my grandmother use to make years ago. It is called haystacks. You take chowmein noodles and mix with chocolate and make little haystacks out of it. It's very good.


Admin 23.01.2010. 23:56

+1 for answer by cazayde - You don't want the water at a hard boil, just simmering. Be sure to keep stirring the chips as they melt. I make a similar recipe substituting butterscotch chips and peanut butter in lieu of the chocolate chips [3 oz. (about 2 cups) chow mein noodles, 6 oz. butterscoth chips, and 1/2 cup peanut butter (I use creamy, but chunky might be worth trying)].


Aaron 15.11.2010. 20:42

How do you Make Year in Review? In my youth group I have been asked to make a year in review for my youth. I am using a mac computer and using I movie and I photo etc. The only problem I have is writers block! I have no clue what to do for the presentation. It needs to be interesting and modern but still primarily christian. Please help me with ideas or (preferably) Examples.



Admin 15.11.2010. 20:42

I was sitting here wondering myself about some of the things that have transpired this year. Perhaps these will jog your memory and you can springboard from them:

1) Heavy (unusual) snowfall this year
2) Earthquake in Haiti
3) Toyota's Massive Car Recall
4) Sinkholes in Texas (and opening seemingly everywhere)
5) The Chilean Miners event
6) The Gulf Oil Spill
7) PG County Executive (and wife) arrested - Jack Johnson
8) Youngest Police Chief in Mexico - Marisol Valles Garcia (age 20). PLEASE continue to pray the Word of God as found in Isaiah 49:23, 25 - for strength and protection for her as well as her child
9) Tragedy Strikes on first day of 2010 winter olympics
10) Building Tragedies Hit China and India within hours of each other - killing 119

If you find more, don't hesitate to email me your findings. : )

May you reach new heights in fulfilling your destiny!


okokyeahok 03.02.2012. 10:17

How much money does threshold rpg make per year? Im curious how much they make per year in USD. Based on donations and advertisement, me and a friend were wondering if they actually make enough to be worth it. Thanks in advance for any answers =)
Im aware that they've been in business for a long time. But with the growing options of 3d games for people to choose from, I think the text based market is taking a hit. I did read somewhere though that they've started charging an annual fee for playing. Thanks for answering though! Much appreciated =)


Admin 03.02.2012. 10:17

Since they've been in operation over over 15 years, they must bring enough to finance the operation. Common sense says that if they didn't, it would have folded long ago.

You have to be 18 to play, though.


David 23.04.2012. 00:00

How much do I need to make per year to live comfortably in a penthouse in New York? How much would I have to make per year to live comfortable renting a penthouse in New York City?


Admin 23.04.2012. 00:00

Why bother, comute you could live even more comfortably and have more money in your pocket than living in a penthouse. You can live for years in the outskirts for what 1 year in a penthouse would cost you.


bigbootyc 18.03.2009. 19:56

How much money do you need to make a year to live comfortably in New Jersey ? How much money do you need to make a year to live comfortably in New Jersey ? And what is decent amount to make per hr?


Admin 18.03.2009. 19:56

If it is just you, no kids, 55,000/yr ($26/hr 40hrs/wk). With kids, a bigger house and a bigger car, 100,000/yr ($48/hr 40hrs/wk). It all depend on your lifestyle, tho. I used to get by making just 45,000/yr ($21/hr 40hrs/wk) when I lived in my two bedroom condo by myself with my economy car..


Victor 13.04.2007. 07:46

How much money does the average pilot make a year? I wanted to know how much the average pillot makes a year that flys like ur boeing747 type plains most people travel on, as well as someone who own their own small plane like harrison fords character in 6 days & 7 nights. How much would each make roughly on average a year.


Admin 13.04.2007. 07:46

cargo 767 pilot makes 1/4 million a year


Braulio 14.01.2012. 01:23

How much does a mortgage worker make a year? I was wondering on how much the mortgage ppl make a year or about. And is it a good job to have with good benifits and bonuses?


Admin 14.01.2012. 01:23

It depends on what you mean by "mortgage worker". Do you mean the person who originates the loan (brings in the borrower and makes them sign paperwork), underwrites (does the legwork of detailing the viability of a loan to an individual), brokers (brings together the borrower and different banks), closes (wraps up and finalizes loan application), monitors, audits, or any of the default groups (loss mitigation and foreclosure). It varies widely. It used to be that the first couple of categories were booming while we were writing loans like crazy. Now most of the industry is in cleanup mode from the past bad decisions. The basic rule is whatever the industry was paying in 2004-2007, cut by 50%, and that's what they're paying now.

Originators use to make 75-100k per year, now if you can find a job, you'll make 35-50k, et al.

Hope that helps.


Iza 18.10.2006. 18:03

How much money does the average american make per year? How much money does the average american make per year? And to be more specific how much does a hairdresser/waitor/nurse make as apposed to say a manager of a bank or small marketing firm?


Admin 18.10.2006. 18:03

It depends on the area - to get salaries of specific professions, you can use - it's free.

The average yearly American salary is $35,062 per year - or $16.86 per hour.


Cutey Curls 24.07.2009. 21:08

I want to be a copyright lawyer and I was wondering how much a copyright lawyer would make per year? So as an average, in Canada, how much does a copyright lawyer make per year? I know the average range of estimations, but I really want an answer supported with a reliable website. People's estimates go from 80k to 300K and really doesn't help that way! Please support your answer!

Cutey Curls

Admin 24.07.2009. 21:08

It depends on how much you charge for your case. Some lawyers who are good charge a lot of money. It also depends on how many cases you take a year.

The average lawyer has about 5 cases a year and charges maybe $20,000 a case. So that would leave how much you make a year at $100,000.

Remember, this is just my guesstimate. You could make a lot more, or a lot less.


rj 05.02.2011. 18:03

How much money do you need to make per year to live comfortably in the United States? I'm 21 years old, I'm going to graduate from college in a year. I don't want a family in the future, I want to live and support myself. How much do you need to make per year to live comfortably anywhere in the United States? Say Florida for example? Thanks.

All I really want from life is a nice place to live and good food to eat. It shouldn't cost that much to support yourself could it?


Admin 05.02.2011. 18:03

I'm in the Seattle area and I make about $80k a year. I can afford to rent out my own place (that's several miles from downtown) for around $1000/mo, have a decent car, and eat pretty well, and support my hobbies. I could afford to buy a home that's about 25 miles from the downtown area.

A lot of it really depends on where exactly your job is in that area and where you choose to live. Most people work in the downtown area of a large city. Housing prices are going to be higher in that area since people want to live close to where they work. Supply and demand, it all goes without saying. Maybe you could luck out and find a good job in an area that's not the business central of that city. Then you could have more disposable income by renting a cheaper place.

On $80k a year I could go to a place like Tulsa, OK and live like a King.

The downtown area's of big cites like Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, etc are always the most expensive. You're going to have to make over $100k a year to live half-way decent in those cities.

If I wanted to live like a King I'd have to make over $200k-$300k in the Seattle area.


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