Home | Upcoming Events | Services | Results
Site Map | Member Login | Success Store | Contact


Latest Newsletter
Archived by date

Inspirational articles
Career satisfaction
Motivational articles
Goal setting
Sales and marketing
Humor and creativity
Technology articles

Free monthly success tips! Enter your email address!

Motivational Keynote Speaker

Comedy Shows

Public Seminars

Executive Coaching

Personal Coaching

Business Coaching

Employee motivation and retention

Management and team building

Press Room

Motivational and business resources

Book and website link directory

Contact Us


January 2004
Success Harmony Newsletter


The tradition seems to be to start the new year's newsletter with a goal setting tip. Frankly, I wasn't sure if there wasn't anything new to say. Then, as I sat by the fireplace reading a gardening book, I saw some tips that apply equally as well to goal setting.

I was reading "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew. He claims that his method is radically helpful in getting from the major pitfalls of most gardeners: over-planting, getting overwhelmed, allowing weeds to get out of control, and simply giving up before harvest comes. He said that, when he ran a community garden, 150 enthusiastic people would work like bees the first weekend of spring. By the time harvest came, there were maybe 7 die-hards who actually showed up to collect the fruits of their labor.

The square foot gardening method is almost offensive in its simplicity - and that's why it works. Essentially, a gardener is to split their garden into 12 inch by 12 inch squares (hence the square foot method) and only plant what they will be able and willing to eat. Instead of overplanting and then weeding, he says to only plant according to the space requirement per plant, say 1 pepper seed in the square, or 16 carrot seeds per square. With his method, he forces better planning than the "just dump the whole packet of seeds in the ground and thin it out later" method. By imposing limits and structures on the planting, he cuts down on the time required to tend to the garden. This makes it more likely that people will actually still be there at harvest time.

The same thing happens with goals. It is very hard to accomplish them without having a system in place that cuts down on the likelihood of starting strong out of the gate but getting discouraged or giving up along the way. I heard Tony Robbins say that most people will underestimate what they can accomplish in 10 years, but will grossly overestimate what they can accomplish in one year. We all hear about having big dreams but starting small, but that seems just far too boring when we are over-excited with meeting the new year with huge ideas about how to turn our lives into something bigger and better (or "smaller and better" in the case of the number 1 new year's resolution - weight loss).

So this year, I will ask you to be a goal setting wimp. Instead of coming out strong only to crash at the first distraction, I will ask you to assess your current life and see what you really have available for new things. If you are working three jobs already, you may only consistently find 2 nights of 20 minutes each. If that is so, that is your "square foot" available for your goals. If you have more time, great. You simply have a larger back yard in which you can choose to plant in. But even then, just because you have the larger space, it doesn't mean you need to use it up for new things all at once. In gardening, it is better to stagger the planting of new seeds as well, so that we end up with a continuous useful harvest, rather than with 150 cucumbers all in one week.

When you know what your "square foot" blocks are (this can be in time values, as well as the finances available for the pursuit of something new), look at the new goals you would like to plant in your square foot, how much of your available resources that goal should take up, and when you could expect a harvest at that rate. Write that expected harvest date down (for example, if you are wanting to start a business and only have 20 minutes per week available for study and implementation, you may expect to start in a year or more. If you have 10 hours per week, you can expect to start in a month or sooner.)

Then, decide what you are NOT going to do. Just as it is important to decide what you want, it is just as crucial to decide what to postpone or what not to do at all, because trying to do too much can easily distract us from what we CAN do.

Finally, get going. Set aside a specific amount of time and other resources (your square foot blocks) and then tend to your goal, irrespective of whether you are seeing immediate results. Remember, you wrote down when you can expect your harvest, so don't uncover the soil every week just to get upset you don't see any sprouts yet. Keep going. It may take you up to a month (as they say, it takes 21 repetitions to make or break a habit) to get comfortable with your new schedule, but after that? You will have gained momentum. Once this happens, you will find it harder NOT to continue than to stop with your new goal.

So, what are you doing - still reading this article?
Don't you have some measuring and planting to do?

Happy goal setting, sunshine and smiles,



To receive this free inspirational monthly newsletter, enter your email address:

Archived Newsletters



"Gardens make you think of the future."
From a movie, "My House In Umbria"

At a potato growers' conference held in communist Russia, attendees from all over the world brag about how they have been able to shorten the time needed before potatoes could be harvested. The last person to speak is a Russian grower who states they now pull the potatoes out only a week after planting. The rest of the growers gasp in amazement and ask how the Russian grower accomplished this. Which he answers simply, "Comrades, you have obviously never known hunger!"
Cold-war era joke

"Leadership can be found in the most unusual and unexpected
places...like in your daily routine when you live your life."

Doug Firebaugh




NEWSLETTER: Latest Newsletter | Archived by date | Subscribe for newsletter
ARTICLES: | Inspirational articles | Career satisfaction | Motivation and change articles | Goal setting
Communication and relationship articles | Sales and marketing | Humor and creativity | Technology articles

Home | Site Map | Member Login | Upcoming Events | Success Store | Client Results
Coaching Programs | Corporate Consulting | Motivational Keynote Speaker | Corporate Comedy | Contact

© 2002 Pavla Michaela Polcarova, CPR Coaching Services, Vancouver, BC, Canada