s a working mom of two toddlers, there have been plenty of days in the past I found myself barely surviving. Hands down those days were more than those I could say I was on my “A game”.  I would start my day with a jolt, praying to get showered before my children awoke.  After throwing myself together, I would run out the door in a suit, wet hair, a child on one side and another on my hip, both in their footed pajamas. The drop off would initiate the start of my hour and a half commute and pumping milk in my car. My entire day would be in “GO mode” so I could return on time, pick them up and start their bedtime routine.  By the end of my day I could not fathom even doing the smallest chore let alone start on a new endeavor.



As an executive focused on corporate planning and portfolio management, you would think it would have occurred to me to run my own life as a boss! After all you can let your life run you, or you can goal plan and run your life.  Those are your two options. Period.


Once I started goal planning and getting myself a little more organized, I found myself being that girl- you know, the one who decided to go for it.   I was able to establish healthy routines and complete large “projects” in a way that didn’t stress me out. My successes drove up confidence in tackling more things. In fact – this past year, I was able to work up the nerve to start my own company and a YouTube channel on top of my regular corporate working mom schedule. I even got back to hobbies I haven’t had time to do in years.


Here is how you can start writing your goals RIGHT NOW:


Goal Planning – Brainstorming Template

Please email BUTOLIVEUMORE@GMAIL.COM if you do not have MS Excel and would like to receive this template in another format

  1. IDENTIFY YOUR PRIORITIES: Break your life priorities into simple categories. This is important so that you will end up with a prioritized list of goals, which are well understood and can be scheduled in an efficient way.  The categories I used for this year are Family, Household, Health, Business (my new business which will demand a significant amount of time), and Hobbies. YouTube falls underneath my hobbies category, but I also enjoy crafting and creating in general. I have several projects on the docket. If you don’t account for items like this, they either won’t happen or they will derail the priorities you took the time to plan. I recommend you choose categories that make sense for you, but keep it simple and select less than 5 or 6.


  1. BRAINSTORM: Do a complete brain dump onto a piece of paper or a spreadsheet of all of your goals.  Some these may make it onto your calendar and some won’t.  This process does not have to be perfect or complicated.  It should not take more than a half hour to do!


Now, for anything on this list that will take more than the free time you would have in any given day, mark that as project.  For those you can accomplish in a given day, go ahead and pencil them into your calendar.


What is left on your list are all projects or effectively, goals.  I write my goals in what is called an Agile “story” format:



Your “so that” is key to how you are going to decide what to focus on at any given point in time as you calendar and manage these goals.


  1. IDENTIFY YOUR SUCCESS CRITERIA – What will determine that your goal has been successfully met? Make sure you are using measurable and specific criteria where possible. For example, if one of my goals under “Health” is to Establish a self-care routine so that I can take better care of my family, and myself – then having the routine in place may be sufficient to meet my success criteria. Your success criteria should also be something that is within your direct control. This means that targeting a specific amount of pounds for weight loss may be motivating and fine; it should not be your main indicator for success.  Think beyond that and ask yourself the “so what” one more time. In other words, why do you want to lose x amount of pounds? The answer to that is what your true success criteria should be.




  1. ASSIGN SIZES:Assigning tee-shirt sizes to each line item.  Is this goal Small, Medium, or Large? This will enable you to determine what to work on when.  At times when you are feeling overwhelmed, you may find that you have too many items on your calendar or two many large items running at the same time.


  1. ASSIGN TARGET START AND END DATES:Put some target dates against your goals.  We will adjust these when we start scheduling.  Once you start assigning these targets, you are going to immediately notice how many things you have going on and how they will collide and compete! Also keep in mind “blackout” days.  These are the days in which you can’t work on your goals (vacations or business trips) OR simply don’t want to be working on your goals. I always plan to complete my goals, where possible, before November so I am free to rest during the holiday season.