Planning Archive

What If?

Posted December 30, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Okay, I know I said I’d be taking all of December off from blogging but it’s just too close to the start of a brand new year to not check in. First, thank you all so much for your kind words, emails, calls, text messages you’ve been sending. I appreciate your connection and your prayers.

I trust God blessed you over the Christmas holidays in a very special way. I know some of you faced adversity. Illness, death, and calamity just to name a few. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

I received the most amazing picture book in the mail from great friend, Melody Thompson. It chronicles the Road to Freedom Tour as I wound through Kentucky and ministered to women, recovered from a torn ligament in my knee and spent time on the farm. It was an amazing time with Melody and her family and now I have it in print! Thank you, friend!

A few weeks ago my good friend, Jennie Atkins, posed a thought provoking question on her blog, A Little Bit of Everything. She asked what our lives would be like if when we woke up in the morning, all we had was what we’d thanked God for the day before. That question has been in the forefront of my mind since I read it.

I began consciously looking at what I have and how I am blessed. When I see it, I’ve tried to make a conscious effort to make sure I thank God for it. The results have been amazing. 

I’m busy planning for a brand new year of helping others live their dreams. I hope and pray you are planning as well. Life is too short to not live it to its fullest. 

This year will bring challenges, but it will also bring success, joy, peace and countless opportunities for you to shine. I encourage you to take a few hours over this week to develop a plan and implement that plan. Sure, you’ll alter your course throughout the year. That’s normal but at least you’ll be going somewhere. 

What if, instead of pain, sorrow and disappointment, at the end of next year you were living your dream and making a difference in our world? It can happen. You can do it. I believe in you! I believe in the gifts God has given you. And I believe in the plans He has for you.

From the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful for you all. I treasure you, your dreams and your life. It has truly been an honor to serve you. You bless me in ways I cannot express.

I wish you great joy and success in 2014. I am looking forward to helping you live your dreams during these next 365 days. May you live to the fullest, your heart overflowing with joy and peace. May you feel how much you are loved and may you always have opportunity to be a blessing to others.

God bless friends!


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When Life Gets in the Way

Posted February 13, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

overwhelmed5 No matter where I go, inevitably I run into someone who is doing something but would rather be doing something else. I read one person’s description of that as the “yes-but” syndrome.

Judging by how many unhappy faces I see in the cars sitting in traffic jams on the interstate in Orlando, I’d say it’s an epidemic. People just aren’t happy these days. Why? They had dreams of doing something they really love but then… well, you know… life gets in the way.

Here’s what I tell clients, and generally anyone who will listen.

There is always a space between the here and now, and the living your dream part. That’s tough, especially if you don’t take advantage of the moments you have. I bet the guy next to me really wants to be a golf pro. While he’s sitting there in his pizza delivery vehicle, he could be listening to podcasts of pro golfing. Not only would now be better, he’d be laying the foundation for his dream job.

Take small steps. They make a huge difference in your disposition. Maybe you only have an hour while your daughter takes Woman Enjoying Her MP3 Playerballet. Fine. Plan ahead for that 60 minutes and work on your dream goal. Bring your laptop and construct a plan. Only have fifteen minutes? No worries. Make a list of the things you have to do when you do have more time. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish in tiny snippets of time. And you’ll be happier and have more hope in your day to day life.

Keep notes. Always. If you’re in the car, you can take notes into a digital recorder. Use several computers? Use an online note system and have it pulled up while you’re on. I use two. For ideas and research, I use Evernote. I love it. I can clip articles, websites, etc. right into my account. For my to-do lists I use Google Chrome Quick Notes. It’s a free app in the Google Chrome Store. If you create an account, it will save your notes online so you’ll have them anywhere. Don’t lose your brilliance. Trust me, when life gets in the way, you won’t remember it when you have a pen and paper.

Dream RoadLook, you may not be where you’re going yet, but you can move in the direction of your dream each and every day. It keeps the dream alive and reminds you and those around you of your purpose. It adds joy to an otherwise mundane existence and ignites your fire of passion. So, take advantage of those moments when life gets in the way. You’ll be glad you did.

Does life get in your way? Is it blocking your vision now? Share it here!

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I’m 20,296 Days Old!

Posted January 25, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Being that old sort of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? At the dawn of a typical day, we sleepily go from bed to shower by way of the coffee pot. By rote, we wind through traffic while checking email on phones that are smarter than we are.

A few hours later we shovel in more food and chug down a 5 Hour Energy drink before hitting the afternoon to-do list. Somewhere around dark, America commutes back to their four walls they absent mindedly refer to as home.

Another day quietly slipped into the history books, never to be noticed again.

When I was young, I thought I was invincible. Believed I’d live forever. Old age seemed something from a foreign planet, and a place I’d never reach. That was about 18,000 days ago. At that time, I’d never considered gray hair, wrinkled skin or a saggy belly. It’s amazing how a day… or thousands of them… will change the way you look.

Even if I live to be a hundred or more, I have fewer days left on earth than I already seen. I’m on the down slope. That means I really need to be about making my mark on the world. To take my rightful place in the history books. To help others live their dreams.

I’m not thinking morbidly. Not at all. It’s energizing for me to think this. It kicks me in gear and opens up my mind to the possibilities to help others be all they were meant to be. It also reminds me I need to get cracking if I’m going to accomplish my task.

A lot of things come to mind when I think of being over 20,000. Here are a few.

None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. We must live life while it is today. We can dream of tomorrow, but it isn’t ours until we wake up to it once it transitions into today.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I was born in the ‘50’s and started elementary school in the 60’s. I lived through the Civil Rights Movement in southern America. The Vietnam War ended just about the time I donned my cap and gown and marched to Pomp and Circumstance. Rich time in our history and I was there!

Double chins contain an abundance of wisdom. Don’t they? Or maybe it’s all the life I lived while growing my extra poundage. Whichever the cause, I’m older AND wiser than I was thousands of days ago.

Eating dessert first is always best. After all, the more days you live, the greater the chances you won’t live through the entire meal. Ok, maybe that’s taking it a bit too far.

I love my life and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’ve seen my share of good times, bad times, pain, sickness, health, prosperity and adventure. What more could I ever hope for?!

I love my life. Do you love yours? What do you think of when you daydream about your future? Share it here and you could win a copy of 20,000 Days and Counting by Robert D. Smith!


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You’ve Been Robbed!

Posted November 14, 2012 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

It’s true. You have been held up and robbed at lifepoint. Things in life have stripped you of one valuable minute after the other until you find yourself in the emotional poor house. And, to add insult to injury, it’s not even against the law!

Most everyone seems to accept this thievery as, well, just a part of life but that’s not true. Sure, you can’t do anything to stop the path of hurricanes or halt the rising cost of crude oil. But you can fight to protect your little corner of the universe.

If life were a hurricane, you’d see it coming, hopefully prepare for it, then pick up the pieces once the storm has passed. But the happiness looters don’t consider your plight. They sneak in and help themselves to the joy you are too vulnerable to protect.

Minute by minute they load up your your happiness into their getaway vehicle, along with your peace of mind, your hopes and dreams. What’s left is an empty shell of who you used to be.

Fortunately, you can do something to change that. You have total control. Just like the National Guard is called into keep looters from robbing you blind after a storm, you have all that fire power within you. All you have to do is tap into it!

Here’s what you do:

1) Take a good, hard look about where you are right now. Is it where you want to be emotionally? Be honest. If you’re not, admit it.


2)  Determine your three non-negotiables. What three things must you do every day in order to have joy? Quiet time? Exercise? Reading? Listening to motivational CD’s? What is it that not only invigorates you, but causes you to feel depleted if you don’t do it? That’s a non-negotiable.

3) Develop a simple plan and stick with it. Don’t be elaborate. That only sets you up for failure. Commit to your three non-negotiables and determine at what point during your day is best to complete it.

4) Stick with your plan. No matter what happens, with rare exception, you can always make time to do what you commit to. Most of us never have the time to do what we want to do. We have to make that time. Put those things at the top of your list and don’t waiver from doing those things before other things.

If you do these things, you’ll find yourself happier, and healthier. Believe it or not, you’ll also be more productive. Almost like magic you’ll have time to do those other things that previously robbed you of those activities you put on the back burner.

Try it. I dare you.

What are your three non-negotiables? Why did you choose those? How are you doing with those? Share it here!

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Five Most Important Reasons to Plan for 2013

Posted October 12, 2012 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Today we bring our planning challenge to a close. Interestingly, I haven’t had a lot of feedback this week. In understand that because buckets of nuts and bolts aren’t warm and fuzzy. They don’t get you to sigh and say, “awwww” like a cute little puppy. But, I hope you are taking advantage of this teaching to set yourself up for the best year of your life.

Here are the five most important reasons why you should.

You’ll give your best. Steve “Pre” Prefontane once said, “To give less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” How true that is. And the world NEEDS your best. So do you.

You’ll have a road map. I know some of you are “pansers”. You like to take life as it comes and just go with it. It get it. But with just a little planning and a tiny road map, you’ll be able to go twice as far and triple the adventure!

You’ll gain motivation. If you have a clear cut plan, it will energize you each day. You’ll have a sense of purpose. You’ll have an agenda for the day. And during the rough times, it will help you push through knowing you have a long range objective or goal.

You won’t waste time. Having an agenda compels you forward into the future, rather than the future just arriving unnoticed at 12:01am. You’ll keep tabs on the minutes, hours, days and weeks to determine how you’re tracking toward what you really want to accomplish for the year.

You won’t quit. The more time you spend thinking of and taking steps toward your goals, the more momentum you gain. And, when that happens, it also becomes less likely that you’ll get off the bus. After all, who would jump off a train traveling at eighty miles an hour?

Here’s the bottom line. Winston Churchill said it best when he declared, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” It doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun but it really is. Success is sweet. The journey is breathtaking and the experience is priceless.

I urge you to take some time and chose at least one thing you want to accomplish in the upcoming year. Set a bold goal. Once you do that, commit to yourself and our world to accomplish it.

You don’t have to be rigid about it. If you’re from anywhere near the Smoky Mountains, you’ll remember signs painted on barns, “See Rock City. Turn here.” Well, if you want to veer off your established course to see Rock City, THEN DO IT!  It’s ok. It’s your journey.

I wish you well in your exciting goals for the upcoming year. As you get closer to 2013 and have questions, email me. I’ll be glad to help. Here’s to a GREAT year!

What is your bold goal? Have you set it? Something holding you back? Share it here.



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Five Actions You Simply MUST Take

Posted October 11, 2012 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I hope you have given Tuesday’s questions some thought and can answer them. If not, I encourage you to go back and ponder them. Write them down or print out the blog post and carry them with you in the car. Focus on them these next several days. Get clear about where you stand with them.

I know you want to have the best year possible in 2013. Here are five actions you simply MUST take in order to make that happen.

1) Dream without limits. Let your mind concoct all sorts of things without any barriers whatsoever. Don’t stop the creative process by reality. You’ll have plenty of time to ground your dreams later.

2) WRITE IT DOWN!!!! No, I didn’t say type it. I said write it. There is something that happens in the brain by writing that typing doesn’t do. Write it down. In fact, why not start your 2013 journal now with your new dreams? I know you keep a journal, right?

3) Gather fodder. If your goal to build a log cabin in the Smoky Mountains, please give me a key… oops, I mean gather all the information you can about log cabins, locations, builders, etc. Subscribe to Log Cabin magazine. Surround and arm yourself with as much dream stuff as you possibly can. Go get Lincoln Logs and build a model on your dining room table. Yes, really.

4) Determine andWrite the steps. You won’t know all the steps right now. Others will come later but write down the ones you know now. Once you have them, go back and a “by date” timeline. No, you won’t be a failure if you don’t get the ground broken by your goal date. Remember, this is a journey, not a resolution. You’re going to miss a date or two but at least you have a tangible target to aim for.

5) Commit to the journey. You may not reach the destination. That would be great but in reality, more often than not the destination wasn’t anywhere near as rewarding as the journey. So determine that you will get everything you can out of the journey… each and every day. Take each step. One after the other.

This sounds simple and it is simple. Just not easy. But I promise you that you will be so glad you took these steps in the long run. If I could force you to do them I would. I believe they’re that important. Don’t you think you owe it to yourself to have a GREAT and fulfilling year?

Have you already taken some of these steps? Having a hard time? Share it here. 

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The Five Magic Questions

Posted October 9, 2012 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Yesterday I discussed with you why you should ditch the resolution for 2013 and replace it with a journey. With all my heart I hope and pray that you do that because it will set you up for success and a wonderful year.

Here are five questions that will jump start your journey planning:

1)   What are you a stand for? Sadly, many people don’t know the answer to that question but how you answer that question will determine whether or not you’re barking up the wrong tree in life.

2)   Why are you who you are? God did not make a mistake when He created you just the way you are. That’s true enough, but do you know why you are you? You have something very unique to contribute in your life that only you can do. Do you know what it is?

3)   What would the world lose without you in it? Suicide rates would be much lower if people would ask and answer that question before they took their lives. After 911, a song was recorded, “There’s a Hole in the World Tonight”. Each time a person doesn’t fulfill their destiny, they leave behind a hole in the world. Do you know what hole you’d create?

4)   What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? The major roadblock people face when deciding whether to live their dream is fear of failure. But what if that roadblock was suddenly removed and you knew for certain that no matter what you attempted, there was no way you could fail? Well, that’s exactly what you SHOULD pursue.

5)   What would it be worth to you to live your life to its fullest? If you awoke each morning excited about what the day brings today and jumped right into living it, how would that make you feel? And if you got to the end of that same day having done what you love in life and fulfilled your purpose, how would you sleep?

These thought provoking questions are critical to center you around what’s important. You simply must ask them of yourself. And answer them honestly. Please do yourself and the world a favor and take time today to answer these questions. Write them down. Burn them upon the tables of your heart. You’ll be one step closer to being completely fulfilled in life.

How did you answer these questions? Did they spark something within you? Share it here.

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Planning… It’s Not Just for New Years Any More

Posted June 18, 2012 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Courtesy of cooldesigns

I almost titled this article: The Grim Reaper… Or Not, but decided against it. But not because the title would not be fitting. Truth is, right now each of us is reaping the harvest of whatever we sowed way back before the beginning of the year. If we sowed good seeds, the reaping is a joyous occasion. If we sowed bad seeds, or worse, no seeds at all, we truly are a grim reaper.

A lot of emphasis is placed on New Years. Resolutions. Plans. The “I promise to have the most productive year ever” syndrome. One of the main reasons why 90% of all New Years Resolutions are broken by February is because they aren’t thought out. Somewhere around December 28th, we suddenly realize we have three days left in the year and are about the same place we were 362 days earlier. We hustle to make a non-thought-out commitment to better ourselves in the upcoming year. It rarely works.

I know you’re busy and face multiple duties on a daily basis. To contemplate goals for 2013 are, well, seemingly unnecessary and not a good use of your time in June. But I promise you the most successful individuals, writers, businesses, and successful entrepreneurs are working right now thinking, plotting and planning for how they will be successful in 2013. I’m doing that. You should, too.

I encourage you to look at your accomplishments, your goals and dreams this month. Evaluate where you’ve come compared to where you want to be. Plot your course for next year. Keep reviewing it for the rest of the year and adjust as needed so that you can start 2013 off with a bang that really means something.

Here are a few things I learned about setting goals.

1) Dream without limits. The first step of setting great goals is to let your imagination go wild. Give yourself permission to think of anything.

2) Write them down in order of importance to you. For example, you may want to be a famous country music singer next year but you also want to build a new log cabin. Which of those is most important?

3) Write down where you are right now in relation to reaching that goal. If your goal is to run a marathon, how close are you? Are you already running long distances, or have you not gotten off the couch yet.

4) Determine your knowledge regarding that goal. You may need help. Figure out what kind of help you need and what it will take to get it.

5) Plot the steps. Each step is very important. If you plot it out, you’ll know what to work on each and every day. Make sure you give yourself a deadline for each step. That will keep you moving forward. You can adjust the date if necessary but having a deadline propels you toward your goal.

Here’s to finding your true north in 2012 and staying focused on it in 2013.

What are your goals for next year? Why not share them here?

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