Six Questions to Ask When Setting a Goal


What Makes a Good Goal? 

Some people seem to achieve goals regularly and are continually climbing their way toward a better life. Still, others fail repeatedly and seem stuck in a rut.

A good goal is structured and planned in a way to be more likely achieved.

Achieving goals isn’t a matter of chance, there is a methodology anyone can apply to get better results.

Here Are Six Questions to Ask Yourself When Setting Goals:

1. Can I measure it?

Your goals need to be precise and positively worded. You goals need to be set just above your comfort level and just below your frustration level.  Don’t set a goal like, “I want to lose weight.”  Be specific, “I want to lose five pounds by Steve’s wedding.” Your precision has something to measure and a due date. Focus on what you want, and use words to compel you toward the desired result.

It may be obvious, but a good goal is something you cannot currently do. You might dismiss a goal because you think it is too easy, but if you can’t do it, then it is a good goal.

2. Is it the correct size?

You goal needs to be big enough to matter, but small enough to be completed in a reasonable time.  It’s better to set three five pound weight loss goals than to set one goal of fifteen pounds. By losing the first five and meeting your goal you set off emotions and brain chemistry like dominos.  You begin programming your brain for success.  Think bite-sized goals and bust them out. Big goals are resolutions; they’re the meals. Goals are the individual bites of that big meal.

You cannot measure your goal against someone else’s goal.  If you want to run a 5K in under 30 minutes and your friend is training for a marathon, you still need to be proud of your goal.

3. When will I finish?

You need to set a deadline for your goal.  I use a countdown time app on my iPhone or type it into my calendar.  I can see how many days, hours, and minutes until my next 5K or word count on my book.  Goals need deadlines.  Without them, they will remain dreams.  Set a target completion date.

4. How will I keep myself accountable?

Goals need to be written.  I would start by keeping a journal and check back often. You need to lineup what resources you have at your disposal and that includes people that can keep you accountable.  Some people I know have found success ‘checking in’ on social media sites like twitter and Facebook.  Posting pictures and short entires of their progress.  Find creative ways to keep yourself accountable.

5. Does it interest me?

You aren’t going to finish anything unless you feel strongly about it.  Create some leverage and ask yourself what would happen if you don’t complete it, and what would happen if you did.  Inspire yourself. Remind yourself why you want this. Get into it.

6. What will it cost?

A good goal is one that will improve your life and those around you.

When setting a goal you must look ahead and see how it will impact those around you. All goals cost something whether it be time or money.

Will this goal help your family? Will it negatively impact your finances? Will it improve or hinder your relationship with your family?

This is, after all, your goal. You cannot rely on the actions of others to achieve your goal. You cannot rely on your finances. (I know some who allow themselves to buy things and call it a goal.  That’s not a goal, that’s a want.)  Be prepared to invest time in achieving your goal, but know what the costs are and use good judgement.

What questions do you believe are important to ask when setting goals? Leave a comment.

Escaping the Gravitational Pull of Stress

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Escape velocity is described as the speed an object needs to be traveling in order break free of a planet’s gravitational force. On Earth, escape velocity is seven miles a second, or 25,000 miles an hour.  That’s fast. The good news is, that once an object reaches escape velocity it no longer requires further propulsion. If the object fails to reach this speed, consequently, it is pulled back.

For a long time the science community believed escape velocity was unobtainable. That nothing would ever leave Earth’s atmosphere. Now, you and I benefit from the thousands of man-made satellites orbiting our earth. They allow us to communicate, prepare for weather, direct our course and more.  Escape velocity achieved. Benefits obtained.

Right now you are sitting with a cold-blooded killer with a similar hold on you. Stress.

It’s real. It’s dangerous. It’s been identified as the number one killer of all Americans. At times, stress has a gravitational pull on our lives that is seemingly unescapable. Flares of panic. Pangs of anxiety. Stress drives some to madness, addiction, and others, sadly, even worse.

If you are having difficulty escaping your stress you are damaging both mind and body, your relationship, and your employment, but fortunately there is much we can do to obtain the ever-so-needed escape velocity over our stress and move forward with our lives.

The key to our overcoming the consequences of stress, however, is the identical solution of a rocket seeking to escape the planet’s strong gravitational pull.  Both require an incredible amount of explosive commitment to achieving the result. We are talking sheer brute force and power.  We can’t try; we must commit. We can dabble at it. We must go all in. Buckle-up buttercup, it’s time for liftoff.

Here are 12 stress-busting tips to help you achieve escape velocity:

1) Know in your heart and mind that “this too shall pass.” Faith and affirmation are your bodyguards.

2) Commit to some intense aerobic physical activity. Workout kids! Get the body moving.

3) Confide in a close friend or journal. Get it out of your system. Don’t bottle it up.

4) Prayer. Best anti-anxiety drug ever made. Find a private place to quiet yourself. Tell the Big Guy what’s on your mind. Then listen.

5) Laugh. It’s time for some ‘Three Stooges’ or some great comedy. Laughter is awesome medicine.

6) Face your fear. Go ahead and describe the worse-case scenario. Look your enemy in the eye. It will instantly shrink before your eyes.

7) To the War Room! Start developing a plan of attack if your worse fears were to come true. You will find comfort.  You’ll also find that there is always a solution. When one door closes, another opens.

8) Fellowship. Surround yourself with family, activities, and others. You need your tribe. Your tribe needs you.

9) Get away! Ever notice your problems shrink as you drive out of town? Put some miles between you and the location of your worry. (You will have to come back. Hawaii is not an option.)

10) Music. I have my stress-busting playlist ready.  How about you?

11) Comparison. You have stress. So does everyone.  Pick up a newspaper or go to CNN. Seeing the problems of the world tends to shrink our own. Can’t find anyone with a bigger problem? Turn to the obituaries. Oh, and count your blessings.

12) The Size of the Hero Depends on The Size of the Problem. Wanna be a hero? Conquer BIG problems. No one ever got a medal for tying their shoe.

In order to reach escape velocity you’ll need to apply all of these with passion and intensity. Doing one of them won’t work.

Hoping to see you in a stress free orbit soon.

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and keynote speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

including corporations, schools, churches, conferences,

and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.


You’re Blowing It!

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You’re Blowing it!

It’s not procrastination. That sounds too sophisticated.

You’re not stalling. That’s just too nice.

You’re blowing it! You are about to miss a once in a lifetime opportunity because you are more interested in reading your Twitter Feed or updating your current Facebook status.

Life is short and we all have goals and dreams. We work toward them or we don’t. When we don’t achieve our dreams we make excuses and cover up our inaction with niceties. We act like we will eventually get there and that everything is going to be fine.

Well, what if you’re wrong? Live your life without regrets and get your dreams on the production line.

You need help? Great. We can do that. We can find you the resources you need. (And you won’t.) We’ll locate any needed backers. (You don’t really need that either.) And we will guide you around every other excuse you are prepared to make. (And you will.) But, we cannot tell you what your dream is, and ask you to get started.  That little bit of magic is the fuel for the entire dream.

Throw perfection out the window and aim for progress. Dream big but when creating settle for completion. You can always work on a part two later. ‘Finished’ is a beautiful word.

Look in the mirror. Are you blowing it or are you getting started?

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and keynote speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

including corporations, schools, churches, conferences,

and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.


Write it Down.

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We write down the groceries we need, gifts to buy at the mall, doctors’ appointments, to-do lists, recipes, directions, car maintenance appointments,  and other things we deem important.

We compose emails, texts, Twitter posts, blogs, and we update our Facebook status with regularity.

Yet, most people choose not to write down their goals, their resolutions, or what they want to accomplish for the year, yet alone their life. They fail to design a plan, or even make a list of where they’d like to go, what they’d they like to have, who they’d like to help, or the person they’d like to become, and then they’re frequently disappointed when life doesn’t deliver their dreams and wishes.

Writing down our goals and resolutions matters. Follow the recipe to create the dish, arrive at the location, assemble the product, complete the course. It really is that simple.

My goals, resolutions, and plans are always updated in a small portable journal.  I take it nearly everywhere I go. There are no scrap pieces of paper in my life, no post-it notes, no napkin designs; I write everything in my journal. If I want to change direction, need a little motivation, or can’t remember where I was on a project, I know where to find it.

I also begin each day with an index card that serves as my to-do list.  It works in conjunction with my journal. Neither are difficult, nor take up much time. They work well for me, but perhaps not you, and that’s fine. All I wish to accomplish is to emphasize the importance of writing down your goals and resolutions. That’s it.

Just jot them down after some thought and review them periodically as the very minimum to make some awesome accomplishments.  Or, start a journal, and design the life you want to live.

Then of course there is the most cited Harvard Study of all time about writing down your goals. It states that the 3% of the graduates who took the time to write down what they wanted, accomplished more than the other 97% combined.

My personal testimony: Writing down my goals and resolutions has created incredible results in my life. Without question it is the single most important tool in my arsenal.

For those that don’t know where to begin, I encourage you to begin simply. There is no right or wrong method. If you workout every day your body is going to change, regardless if you know what you’re doing or not. The better the plan, the better the results. The same is true for writing down and maintaining your goals in life. Some is better than none.

For those that say they don’t have time to write down their goals, please know that our time here is short and we need to spend it on what matters most. Take a few minutes to design the life you want and aim yourself in that direction.

Write it down.

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and professional speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation including corporations, schools, churches, conferences, and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.


One more… One less…

One finger

Run one more mile.

Eat one less donut.

Call your mom one more time each month.

Stay off Facebook one entire day.

Write one more page.

Buy one less extra.

It all comes down to one more or one less to make a significant difference.  Use some consistency each day, each week, each month, and you will really see progress.

Resolutions don’t have to be huge they need to be consistent. Simple actions compounded can create some dramatic changes.

Imagine weighing twelve pounds less than you do right now this time next year. All it would take is a pound a month and some consistency. The same principles can be applied to your finances, projects, goals, and dreams.

Good luck.

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and keynote speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

including corporations, schools, churches, conferences,

and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.


This is the year I resolve to…

Resolve quotes

The new year offers each of us an opportunity to renew and refresh our lives. It can provide us with an opportunity to look forward and plan new adventures, new goals, and imagine new possibilities. It allows us to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and imagine a new life.

Yes, we can do this at any time in the year, it doesn’t have to be the first of January, but when the calendar turns to a new year there is a genuine feeling of renewal; it is like hitting the reset button on a computer game, or buying a new car.

Many people dismiss the idea of making a resolution. They believe resolutions are a waste of time. And for many it is, because they approach it the wrong way. I see it quite differently. To me resolutions are a part of my life plan. They provide me with direction and purpose.

Should you create a list of resolutions? No question about it. Absolutely! Just make it a “resolution” not something less. A resolution by definition means unwavering. It all comes down to word choice.

For most, it’s not a resolution, it’s a wish. Here are the things I’d like to have happen, but I don’t really want to put anything into it.

A resolution is far different. Here is what I resolve to accomplish. I won’t let anything stand in my way. This is the person I am committed to becoming.

What if I fail? Oh, you will fail, and plenty of times. The person who made a wish quits, and the person who made a resolution tries again. On the same date the following year, everyone that made a resolution is in many ways better off, and those that made wishes are at the same place, or sadly more often worse.

The consistency and discipline needed to

improve in one area, say dieting, carries over to others, say spending less. Making improvements in one area benefit many.

So, yes, make a resolution. You will be more productive and feel better about yourself. You might just inspire someone else too.

Resolutions can be as simple as, “This is the year I will…

• lose those extra pounds and get into better shape.

• finish writing my book.

• enter that 5K.

• save more money.

• get a quote on that remodeling project.

• grow closer spiritually through prayer.

• payoff that loan.

• regulate my time online better.

• give more charitably.

• create something that never existed before.

Resolutions aren’t dumb, nor are they a waste of time.

I hope you make one, share it, and if not actually achieve it, come closer than you ever have in your life.

Good luck.

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and professional speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation including corporations, schools, churches, conferences, and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.


Would Steve Jobs Consider You a Bozo?

The world is filled with admirers of Steve Jobs, and rightfully so. The man was an incredible visionary, innovator, speaker, businessman, leader, and communicator. His impact has left little untouched.  One overlooked talent though, was his use of simple language to convey his passion for a product or service. How many times did we hear him say, “insanely great, phenomenal, awesome, revolutionary, amazing, and of course magical?

His word choice was in sync with his passion for minimalism in design and the simple elegance of his presentation. Uncomplicated. Straightforward. Direct. Powerful. The advertisements, stores, packaging, and even his dress embodied this motif.

He chose simple words, but words powerful in their connotations. They were chosen with care. They were delivered with passion. They told a story.

My favorite term Jobs used was when he called someone or their idea a Bozo.

Bozo was a term Steve would use to describe someone that just didn’t get it. A bozo to him was someone that was more interested in the bureaucracy of business rather than innovation. A bozo was someone that was ineffective and someone that wasn’t authentic. A bozo was someone who focused on what wasn’t important. Basically a bozo was anyone Steve didn’t respect.

I recently read an article though about his use of the term bozo at NeXt. According to NeXt employees, you could go from bozo to genius in months if you eventually got it and performed. (Better yet, outperformed.) And I am sure you could probably drop back down again too.

Many think Steve burned bridges, but I don’t think that is the case at all.  Sure, he was competitive and occasionally became upset, but I still remember the shock I had, and later conceded to the brilliance of his move, when he partnered Apple with Microsoft. When you consider all of the deals he made with the record industry, artists, television companies, and publishers, you realize he built far more bridges than he ever burned.

Steve Jobs had standards, incredibly high ones, for himself, his staff, and the corporations he created.  The results speak for themselves. Bozos either don’t have standards or they break them.  Bozos lack vision or don’t follow it. Bozos place business over delivering a quality service or product.

Don’t want Steve Jobs to think you are a bozo? Do the following:

  • Be original. Don’t steal the work others. Create. Don’t copy. March to the beat of your own drum.
  • Set high standards and hold others to high standards.
  • Be prouder of what you didn’t do, than what you did.
  • Have a vision. Focus on it and chase it down.
  • Understand and emphasize the relationship between product/service and the client.
  • Know the story behind why you do what you do.
  • Do what you love.
  • Give more than you take.

These are just my observations of a man I never met, but a man who impacted my life more than most of those whom I have.

I will work hard not to be a bozo.

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and professional speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

including corporations, schools, churches, conferences,

and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.


Book Review of Off Balance by Matthew Kelly


For those who wish to accomplish more in life and experience greater personal and professional satisfaction, I highly recommend Matthew Kelly’s new book Off Balance.

Work-Life Balance has been a popular theme in contemporary writings, but Matthew Kelly contends it is not only unachievable, but  undesirable as well.  In this book Kelly lays out the very system he uses with his clients and himself to achieve personal and professional success, how to create an energy-rich life, and he provides us with a clear strategy to prioritize and accomplish our dreams.

Matthew Kelly challenges the very idea of seeking balance in our lives and he asserts that what we actually want is for personal and professional satisfaction, not balance. Balancing, he contends, prevents us from these satisfactions and he illustrates that we, like all who have achieved greatness before us, must make sacrifices in some areas to obtain this satisfaction.  Matthew conducted a survey that found people overwhelming prefer satisfaction to balance in both the workplace and home. “Over the past three years I have asked more than ten thousand respondents, ‘If you had to choose between balance and satisfaction, which would you choose?’ Not a single respondent chose balance over satisfaction.”

This is a great book for corporations to give to employees, as graduation gifts to those about to begin their careers, and for you to add to your personal library. Everyone wants

to achieve more and make the most of their life, and we all experience periods of frustration and loss of energy, and lack of direction and drive.  Now it is time to do something about it. Read Off Balance an put it to work.

I am proud to have met and befriended Matthew Kelly.  He is a wonderful encourager and friend.

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and professional speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

including corporations, schools, churches, conferences,

and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.


ISBN: 978-1-59463-081-1

160 Pages

Publisher: Hudson Street/Penquin

Publication Date: September 15, 2011


Reward Commitment: Invent a buy-back program

I picked up my daughter’s basketball sitting

Deflated basketball

where she practices at home.  It was as smooth as an apple.  Useless.  All the bounce was gone, and it was becoming threadbare in some areas. I was about to toss it in the trashcan and get her a new one when my daughter stopped me.  She told me she was taking it to practice with her that day and that her coach would give her a new basketball. In fact, she elaborated, her coach would give her a new basketball for every one she wore out.  Wow! What a fabulous idea!

My daughter’s coach did in fact give her a basketball for every one she wore out, but more amazing than that is that her coach instilled in her a desire to practice, gave her a visual goal, and reinforced the successful habits of a committed athlete. Well done.

I incorporated that idea into my own life. I have been wanting a new laptop for some time. Not just any laptop, but the new MacBook Air from Apple. I have saved my money and all I need to do is place the order, but I made a commitment to myself to wait until I have finished the book I have been working on for the past two years. My current laptop used for writing will be replaced with the new one when the book is finished and query letters mailed.

It’s easy to become distracted, but there are techniques we can employ to counter them and become more productive, and I believe creating your own buy-back program is an excellent idea to meet your goals.

Discipline, focus, commitment, and training are the keys to success in any area in life, whether it be writing, sports, art, or anything else. The distractions become less influential when we have a clear measurable goal in front of us.

I hope you can find an area in your life that you can set-up a similar buy-back reward program. Perhaps you can use it with a friend or family member, or perhaps even with yourself.

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and professional speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

including corporations, schools, churches, conferences,

and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.


Five Ways to Improve Your Customer Service

UnknownI just went through an uncomfortable customer service experience with The Ford Motor Company and the handling of their recall of my vehicle. While I understand recalls happen and improve safety, I believe corporations should recognize some very basic principles in the handling of their customer service. Customer Service is paramount.

Here is my advice about how you can improve your customer service:

1) Care. Customer service is truly that simple. Show the customer that you genuinely care about them, and that you’re not just trying to cover your butt. Recognize the importance of the customer’s time, and acknowledge its value. Show the customer you care about them, not the problem, not the product, not who’s right, but the individual customer. Care.

2) Answer the Customer’s Question. Don’t answer questions so guardedly and evasively that the consumer is confused. Don’t make the customer go through a series of handlers before getting someone that can actually answer the question. Respond to the customer’s questions timely. Unanswered questions makes the customer feel unimportant. Ultimately the customer just wants to know if someone is doing something.

3) Ask The Customer The Magic Question: What can I do to make this better? You don’t necessarily have to give what they ask, but if it is the right thing to do, I hope you consider it. The customer will at least feel as if they were heard. Perhaps the customer doesn’t even know what they want, and this line of questioning will lead to a solution. Listen to the customer. Keeping records does not make good customer service. Just because you took notes about our conversation does not prove to me anything is being done, nor that you even listened.

4) Offer Something The Customer Cannot Obtain or Achieve on Her Own Personalize the experience. Offer to do something the customer cannot do on their own. Ford offered to call the local dealer for me and the car rental place and make an inquiry. I had already done that. Living in a small town I asked them not to bother the dealer because the recall wasn’t his fault. I even asked them to document that request. It was overlooked and made me uncomfortable in my community. Again, listen to the customer. Don’t offer to do something I can do on my own, provide me with something beyond my ability.

5) If your Company has a slogan or motto, Live up to it! On Ford’s website it says: Ford: Drive one. Yet during the three months I was without my vehicle I was never offered one, even after I requested one. Ford hired Enterprise to provide me with a rental vehicle. Their slogan is “Enterprise: We’ll Pick You Up.” Yet, when I called them to schedule to pick up, they told me I was out of their delivery range. What!? If you have a slogan, live up to it.

I wish Ford well, in fact I own stock in the company, and I applaud the workers that build their amazing vehicles. However, Ford’s future success, and that of any company is not solely in their product, but their customer service. Sadly, my next vehicle will not be a Ford simply because they had me test drive a competitor’s vehicle for the three months of recall repair. (I share this post in hopes it helps Ford improve. I reached out to Ford through their toll free number, Facebook, and Twitter during my unpleasant Ford experience.) Recalls and repairs happen, but take care of the customer. For better or for worse, the experience will be memorable.

My local Ford Dealer was awesome! Each and every member understood and delivered excellent customer service. They followed each of the five suggestions for Great Customer Service above. The Ford Corporation however, didn’t deliver a good customer service experience at all.

A couple of my followers on Twitter shared these customer service suggestions:

@jcorppio on Twitter says : @kellycroy Best cust service concept: “I will handle that” and then doing it on time, with no negative nonverbal cues, even if you hate it

@grocer0123 on Twitter says: @kellycroy Well, don’t tell me I’ll get it tomorrow and it still not be here the day after tomorrow.

Click to email Kelly questions about presenting at your event!


Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and professional speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation including corporations, schools, churches, conferences, and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event