Plot Your Course

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”—Winston Churchill

Nothing is ever accomplished without setting goals. Some goals are accomplished quickly and easily. Other goals, however, are only reached by setting and accomplishing a series of smaller ones—some easy and some challenging. In the end, some will be successes, some will be failures.

I set goals for myself, and I’m sure you do too. But while “failure is not fatal,” no one sets out to fail at what they want to do, including me. So I do my best to set myself up for success. How?

One of the keys to helping me reach my goals is to write them down.


Have you ever decided not to make a grocery list because you needed just a few things, only to realize when you got back home that you forgot something? Yes, it may sound simplistic, but an effective way to accomplish your goals is to write them down—just like writing out a grocery list. It’s an effective tool for success. Why?

Because writing down goals is not only a memory aid, but it keeps you focused instead of thinking about them randomly, clears the clutter from your mind which, in turn, will help you brainstorm on how to better reach them. Committing your goals to paper makes you more committed to attaining them. And you can keep track of your thoughts and make any changes or add ideas that come along the way.

It’s also hard to forget your goals when they are staring you in the face. That’s why I not only write them down, but I post them in a place I can’t ignore, like the refrigerator, or the bathroom mirror, or on the front door (well, maybe not the personal ones…). Putting them in a conspicuous place becomes a daily reminder of what I need to do for the day, or even the week. This also helps to keep me from getting distracted. I always have my goals in front of me, literally.

So now, take a moment to stop and think. Grab paper and pen or your tablet and write: What is your five-year goal, where do you want to be? Do you want to be living a chemical-free life? Would you like to have less stress? More income? More control? Break it down after that. What are the yearly, monthly, and weekly goals that will propel you to your five-year goal?

Sometimes it is only through many failures that we achieve our goals, which is why I love what Thomas Edison once said when asked about his attempts to invent the light bulb. He said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” So if you find yourself floundering, don’t get discouraged. Regroup, learn from your mistakes, and keep working toward accomplishing what you have set out to do.

Choose to Nest Pretty by choosing to write down your goals down and post them where you, and others, can see them. Celebrate all your successes, for they are not final. Learn from every failure, for they will not be fatal. And by all means, courageously continue striving to reach your goals.

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