Some Alternatives to SMART Goals


smart goals hard goals pure goals clear goals



Life Area: Personal

You’ve heard me say, write, live SMART goals. That is:


S   pecific
M easurable
A  chievable
R  ealistic
T  ime bound

Here’s three other acronyms I came across for you non-conformists:


P  ositively Stated
U  nderstood
E   thical


L  egal
nvironmentally Sound
A  greed
R  ecorded


H  eartfelt
A  nimated
D  ifficult

Tom Hart Success Series 7-Day Goal Setting Challenge

For more on goal setting, check out my recent blog post Mid-Year Goals Check-in and dive deep with my 2016 Goals Series of blog posts: [here’s #1] [and #2] [#3 is linked here] [find #4 here] [and last in the series #5] and read [this blog post from the 2015 archives]. To learn how to write an action plan for goal achievement read [this post].

My crash course for this year is my 7-Day Goal Setting Challenge – A Guide to Help You Set Your Goals, Create a Plan of Action and Begin Achieving Them IN ONLY A WEEK! I describe it in detail in this Talk with Tom podcast episode on the subject [here].

Download my FREE 7-Day Goal Setting Challenge eBook – A Guide to Help You Set Your Goals, Create a Plan of Action and Begin Achieving Them IN ONLY A WEEK! [Download for FREE here].


In continuation of a sampling of the 100 Things Successful People Do from the book of the same title by author Nigel Cumberland (but not all 100 🙂 Here’s another 5:

1. Have the courage to fail

2. Seek wisdom and use it

3. Model the best

4. Sleep well

5. Laugh more.


One of my missions in life is to move and inspire people to live their highest vision.  It is my honor and privilege to serve you in this way.  I make it an absolute MUST to inspire each and every one of you to STEP UP and live the life of your dreams, NOW, and not settle for less than you can be, do, have, say or believe.

There is no better endorsement than that of a friend, so if you like what you’re reading or are using my many resources, tell a friend to join the Tom Hart Success Series Community, to receive email notifications of new blog posts and Talk with Tom podcast episodes, learn of upcoming events, and other news, by visiting my website  and clicking on the offer to receive my FREE monthly resource by leaving their email address (we respect your privacy and do not tolerate spam and will never sell, rent, lease or give away your information to any third party).

Mid-Year Goals Check-in


#GrowYourLife and #BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Personal

Nearly half the year has past to achieve your 2017 goals and I want you to ask yourself the following question: Are you on track to…

  • …make more money?
  • …spend more time with loved ones?
  • …travel as much as you want?
  • …live the life you dream of?

If your answers had you shaking your head or feeling disappointed, might I suggest taking action to get you back on track?

To help give you a little nudge, download my FREE 7-Day Goal Setting Challenge – A Guide to Help You Set Your Goals, Create a Plan of Action and Begin Achieving Them IN ONLY A WEEK!


7-Day Goal Setting Challenge


Continue reading

Try Time Blocking Instead of a To-Do List


ideal week sample time blocking#GrowYourLife and #BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Professional


Many of you know my simple time management technique. You start with a brain-dump to create a Master Task List, then from that develop a Weekly Task List, with your Top Three becoming your Daily To Dos.


When combined with my Ideal Week time blocking method (found on my FREE Resources page) you may find it easier to manage your time and your tasks.




Time blocking is essentially assigning your tasks to different time slots of concentrated work throughout your week.


Why Time Block?

Organizing your tasks into time blocks helps you prioritize better. Assign your number 1 task to your number 1 time slot. Your number 1 time slot may not necessarily be your first time slot of the week…make it your best time slot based on the cycles I talk about below.


There is also a psychological reason why time-blocking makes more sense. In what is known as the Zeigarnik effect, which basically states that we remember what we haven’t done better than what we have done, an uncompleted task weighs on us, leading to stress and insomnia. However, when we have all of our tasks placed into a specific time slot, we sleep more soundly knowing everything that needs to get done is assigned a time to get done.


Cycles and Biorhythms

I’ve written here before about the Pomodoro productivity method which recommends at period of focused work, usually 50-60 minutes, followed by a brief break of say 10 minutes. In spite of having a three hour block of time, be sure to “break” it up.


Before you start calendaring your time slots, think about how your energy and work both flow. Are there work cycles that could affect how much uninterrupted time you will have? And what times of day do you have the most energy or are best suited to do the tasks you need to do? “Don’t schedule a hard task in a time of day where you typically lag, and don’t schedule a big task in a small amount of time. Wishful thinking can’t change the reality of your schedule,” Cal Newport adds in his new book Deep Work.


Here’s how it works: Remember this: your Master Task List may contain 100 items but you know from previous mentions here that the Paraeto Principle states that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. The same holds true for your tasks. They will break out like this: 10% will be your highest priorities at any given time (with 20% of those yield 80% of your results). The bottom 10% WILL NEVER GET DONE. And the 80% in the middle will slide up and down, be replaced, drop-off, etc. So here are the numbers from your brain-dump of 100: 10 will be of highest priority (2 will be game changers), 10 will never get done, and 80 will constantly be on the move to completion or deletion.

Continue reading

Memorial Day Remembrance











#SuccessSeries  #MemorialDay  #GrowYourLife  #BuildYourBusiness

A Memorial Day remembrance to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our Country



Talk with Tom: Episode #19 | TwT Motivational Minute: Your Joyful Career Path


In this Talk with Tom Motivational Minute, Tom tells us how we can use our inner skills to guide us on our ultimate career path.

Every month, in just 30 minutes, Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

10 Basics of Personal Finance


10 basics of personal finance



Life Area: Financial

Disclaimer: This material is based on my personal experience and has been prepared for informational purposes only. It should not be the only means of your personal finance decision making; please consult a professional advisor before taking action.


Some of you have attended my Create The LIFE You Want workshop and you would remember much of these personal finance basics from my Saturday afternoon Money module. For those of you who haven’t attended (you can [sign up here for the next one] held closest to you in either LA, Denver, Dallas or KC) here’s a quick lesson in the basics of personal finance:

10 Basics of Personal Finance

1. Have a reason why money and financial freedom is important to you.

You must know your “Why” to be motivated as to the “What” and “How”.

When I started my first business at age 18, I was motivated to make money because I needed to pay for my college education. When I sold that company, a Southern California-based auto detailing company named Every Last Detail, and went into real estate it was because I was a new father and wanted a more profitable career to provide for my family. Your “why” will motivate you and keep you on track when the inevitable peaks and valleys occur. Continue reading

Seek Out a Mentor or Coach to Accelerate Your Results


 Seek a Mentor or Coach

#GrowYourLife and #BuildYourBusiness

Life Area: Professional


The Power of Mentors. Do you want to know how to cut twenty years off the learning curve in your career or business? It is to learn from people who are already where you want to be, or people who have done what you want to do.  A mentor is one of many ways to accomplish this.


A mentor is a person who is interested in your success, happiness, well-being, and future, and wants to make a contribution. A mentor brings insight, feedback, integrity, a willingness to help, and genuine concern for the mentee. One mentor can accelerate your career and two can skyrocket it. I suggest you look through your contacts and see if you can find someone who can contribute to your career or business success, and ask him or her to meet with you. The key is to create a win-win relationship. If the person is at a distance, then call. A mentor/mentee relationship can be accomplished over the phone just as effectively.

Set up ground rules up front for each person’s roles, expectations, agendas, time use, accountability, and feedback.  The right mentor can save you time, energy, and money. He or she can challenge your thinking, hold you accountable, help you reach your goals, share in your successes and failures, and have fun in the process.  Find someone today who can help you further your career in this way.

Seek a Mentor or Coach

Business or Life Coach

An alternative to a mentor is a professional business or life coach. Do your research and find the best fit with your business or personality, define your objectives, and have an initial free phone consultation to determine if he/she is right for you. I have been a business coach and a life coach for over 17 years and am a Certified Master Coach and have provided transformational coaching and Continue reading

8 Habits for Maintaining Work-Life Balance


 8 Habits for Maintaining Work-Life Balance



I’m like you, I struggle with maintaining a healthy balance between my work life and my personal life. I implement many tools and systems to avoid getting caught in the trap of over-doing or under-doing in either category so that I maintain a “being-ness presence” in all that I do.

Many of the tools I use can be found on the Resources page of my website including, my Personal Strategic Plan and Ideal Week templates, let alone my Annual Master Calendar. By now, you’ve probably downloaded my FREE PDF eBooks: Year-End Assessment Tool, 2017 Success Planner, and my 7-Day Goal Setting Challenge guidebook. All these ensure that I keep focused on my goals and that I calendar what I want to accomplish, and when.

I don’t think there is a division of work and life. I know that work is an integral part of all of our lives. The only reason I even used the term “work-life balance” in the title of this blog post is that it has become such a pervasively used term that everyone googles it to find out the very things that I’m writing about here. So, let’s just say I advocate a balanced life, and I’ll tell you here 8 habits to help you in your quest to maintain that balanced life:

Habit 1 – Choose the life you desire.

Many, many of the participants in my Create The LIFE You Want workshop come in the door not having a clue of the life they desire, nor have they ever given it much thought. Many believe “life” dictates their daily activities and that they have little to no influence on it. Of course, if you’ve been a reader of this blog for very long, you know that I believe nothing can be further from the truth and that to the contrary, I believe…I KNOW IN MY HEART…that our lives are not only in our control, but that our future is determined by our actions of today (and, our actions are a derivative of our thoughts of the moment). Now, before I get any email push back, let me acknowledge that oftentimes life will bring us something completely out of the blue – either positive or negative – and that those people, events, challenges, opportunities, etc are not our doing. But be prepared; that preparation is under your control. Continue reading

Talk with Tom: Episode #18 | ENCORE EPISODE: Daily Disciplines


In this Encore Episode of Talk with Tom, Tom gives us 6 daily disciplines to support of goal achievement. They include: morning intentions and visualization, using external images of success (Vision Boards), thinking a better feeling thought, having an attitude of gratitude, taking action, and acknowledging that it’s working.

Every month, in just 30 minutes, Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or GooglePlay, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.

Creating Effective Affirmations


creating effective affirmations



Tony Robbins calls them “Incantations”; Deepak Chopra calls them “Mantras”; I, and others, prefer to say “Affirmations”. No matter what you call them, they are powerful…and THEY WORK!

Affirmations are one of the most powerful ways to create a vibrational match for what you want to attract into your life.

Every thought you think and every word you say is an affirmation. Your thoughts and words are declarations of who you think you are and how you perceive the world to be. Every time you think a negative thought or make a self-depreciating comment you are actually affirming it as your personal truth. Fortunately, the same holds true for positive thoughts and statements.

Strong positive affirmations are powerful means of self-transformation and are key to creating the life you want. Affirmations replace the limiting beliefs that you have internalized for years with positive statements that “affirm” who you want to be and how you want to experience life.


Affirmations are a regular part of my day. I listen to Louise Hay’s 101 Power Thoughts Affirmations app as an important part of my morning routine, I cite my own affirmations throughout the day, and I have others in my ear-buds as I’m falling asleep. Stating affirmations aloud can be a powerful deterrent to negative thinking and if written, and spoken, as effectively as I am going to describe here, can be a supportive tool for your sub-conscious and the law of attraction to help you create the life you want.

Creating Effective Affirmations


One of my most popular downloads from my Workshop Resources page is my Creating Effective Affirmations handout from my Create The Life You Want workshop. Download it for FREE here. Print it off. Carry it with you or post it nearby for you to refer to as you write your personalized affirmations. In it I outline nine guidelines to follow to create powerful, effective affirmations for use EVERYDAY to help you manifest ANYTHING. The Nine Guidelines for Creating Effective Affirmations are: Continue reading

Talk with Tom Episode #17: 5 Reasons to Practice Mindfulness


Tom Hart Success Series 5 Reasons to Practice Mindfulness

In this episode of Talk with Tom, Tom gives us 5 reasons to practice mindfulness, how mindfulness improves decision- making, and why Richard Branson recommends entrepreneurs practice mindfulness.

Every month, in just 30 minutes, Tom shares topic after topic to Grow Your Life and Build Your Business. If you’re not already a subscriber, join us. Talk with Tom is 100% free, and there are special benefits available only to our subscribers, so be sure you subscribe yourself on iTunes or GooglePlay, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on the last Wednesday of every month with Talk with Tom.