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How To Make a To Do List That Works!

When I discover something that works, I share it.  I post it on Facebook, I tell all my friends, I shout it from the rooftops!  Take heed, my friends, because this is gooood stuff.

This “To Do” List of mine that you’re asking about is part of a bigger goal-setting system presented by Brian Tracy, a motivational speaker.  And it’s quite simple to break down.

Goal Setting_brian_tracy

Get ready to focus and achieve like you never have before!

Brian Tracy’s 12 Step Method to Setting and Achieving Goals

*My sought-after To Do List falls in at #9, 10, & 11….but you NEED to read through all 12 steps to truly “get it.”  Why?  Because it is your life goals that must drive your daily To Do list.  Really.

1. Decide what you want in every KEY area of your life.  Use idealization; imagine your ideal life five years from now.

Four KEY areas: Income/Business/Career, Family/Relationships, Health, Net Worth

2. 30 Second Goal Writing: Write down your 3 most important goals in life.

Remember, goals must be clear, specific, and measurable.  My husband says goals must be S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

3. Set a deadline for your goals, with benchmarks.

You have a five-year goal, so break it down to 4 years, 3, 2, 1 year, 6 months, etc.

4. Identify your obstacles.

Write down every. single. thing. in your way of reaching your goals.  What are the constraints that hold you back? (For me, this step is HUGE!)

Goal Setting_obstacle

5. Identify the knowledge/skills you’ll need to achieve your goals.

What do you need to do/learn to move towards your goals?

6. Identify the people whose help/cooperation you will require to reach your goals.

List  Spouse, kids, family, coworkers, friends, mentors, colleagues, etc.

7. List everything you have to do to achieve your goals.

Again, every single step you can think of.  Consider time, money, people, and resources needed.  BE SURE to list what you have to do to overcome your obstacles. (Again, HUGE!)

Goal Setting_hurdles

8. Organize your list into a plan.

Put it into a sequence that you also prioritize.

9. Make a plan.

For each day.  For each week.  For each month.

10. Select your #1 most important task for EACH DAY.

Do this the night before.  Make it your new bedtime routine.  Which ONE activity would contribute the most value in terms of working towards your goals?  Next, prioritize the rest of your list by number.  This is how you’ll move through your day.

Brilliantly effective.  Yet so simple.  I’m doing this.  My husband is doing this.  Will YOU be doing this??

Goal Setting_ToDoList

11. Develop the habit of self-discipline.

The most successful people are those that exhibit self-discipline.  Work on your most important task single-mindedly until it is 100% done.

Why? Task completion releases endorphins, and propels you forward with the motivation to accomplish more.

12. Practice the visualization of your goals.

Create a mental picture combined with the emotion you would feel upon realization of your goal.  Doing this will make your goals become a reality.


Bottom Line: What you do each day should be helping you achieve your goals.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  And if it’s not, something is out of line.  It’s either your goals or your tasks, and you would need to re-address them both.

Two weeks into Brian Tracy’s 12 steps, and I feel great.  Clear.  Focused.  Affirmed.  Moving forward towards my three most important life goals.

Loving life,


Your Fit Family Coach