My step-by-step process for setting goals that will make you feel amazing!

My step-by-step process for setting goals that will make you feel amazing!

Last week I had the amazing opportunity of being featured on the local news! (Thanks Fox 5 + Janelle Brandom!!)During the interview I dished out a few tips on setting and achieving goals, and in my true nature, I wanted to expand on what I said and give you a my “get shit done” process!

This is exactly how I go about setting goals and making to-do lists in my own life so I hope it is helpful for you!

First, discover what you really want!

You might think you want a promotion, to get a different degree, or lose 10 lbs… but there is always a deeper reason why, a deeper desire behind the goal. When I work with clients I always ask, “how will achieving that make you feel? What will be different about your life when you get to that point?” 

A few tips to get right to the heart of what you really (deep down) want:

From here, it’s easy to work backwards and set goals that honor the true you!

Then, make an actionable, simple plan! 

This is all about bridging where you are to where you want to be. Most people get overwhelmed and try to do a radical life change, mapping out their entire year and giving themselves way too much to do day 1. As the old saying goes, most people over-estimate what they can get done in a day and under-estimate what they can get done in a year!

At this point, you already know what you want your life to be like, and chances are, you know the kind of things you want to feel a year from now. Let’s pull it back and focus on making the next 3 months practical and aligned with your big vision. 

My actionable 3 by 3 method:

  • Make plans for 3 big projects/goals every 3 months (i.e. Quarterly goals)

  • Map out all your other big ideas + plans for the other 3 quarters of the year, then set them aside! This way you won’t forget them, but they won’t be a distraction from the task at hand!

  • Break down your 3-month goals into weekly tasks- 3 big tasks a week to be exact!

  • At the start of each week, write out a to-do list of 1-3 things you can do each day toward your goal!


I keep it to 3 because it’s simple and keeps me from overwhelm!  (There’s nothing more defeating than a to-do list you can’t ever get done!)  


To sum it up: get clear about who you are and what you really want. Then align your life by making simple changes; taking small, actionable steps every day. 

Things to remember as you make goals for yourself this year:

  • Success that doesn’t make you fulfilled isn’t success at all!
  • Changing too much at once leads to burnout- keep it simple + strategic
  • Life change is hard, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help from an accountability partner, life coach, mentor, or friend!
  • You’re going to bomb from time to time. This is normal. Keep that shame-story far away and simply try again tomorrow!

I hope this was helpful to you! If so, go ahead and share with your girlfriends on Facebook! There’s nothing like having support from friends while you chase your dreams together. 

In love, Madison

P.S. I send weekly emails to The Tribe full of fresh content and my most valuable tips! If you want the inside scoop, grab the Come Alive Guide as my welcome gift + join below! 

I achieved all my goals last year and feel no different. Here's why:

What if I told you that achieving all your goals would do absolutely nothing for you? 

Now, maybe that’s taking it a little far. I’m a goal-setter and goal-getter myself. I made and achieved all my big goals for 2016, blowing some out of the park. Yet, I feel exactly the same about myself. 

Why is that?

Achievement is temporary. Your new status, job, move, love interest, diet… it all will become your new normal and you will go back to how you felt before, unless you change from the inside out. 

It’s like the old saying, “everywhere you go, there you are again."

So, instead of asking yourself what you want to do in 2017, I beg you to ask yourself,

“How do I want to be in 2017? How to I want to feel? How do I want to live?"

I promise you a list of goals and resolutions will do nothing to change the way you feel in your life unless you change the way you do your life.

It all started with deeply knowing yourself, discovering yourself from the inside out, and aligning your life from that place- it’s an inside out kinda job! 

So, here’s my challenge to you.

Instead of making goals and resolutions as you begin 2017, give yourself 5 minutes a day for 31 days for reflection in the new + updated 2017 edition of the Come Alive Journal Guide! Start your year with self-care routine and a simple daily practice of self-awareness. I created a free resource to help you along the journey! The Come Alive Journal Guide gives 31 prompts to help you get totally centered and create goals unique designed for you in 2017. 

It’s time to come alive to the real you, to make goals from a place of love, and feel the way you really long to feel.

Join me and the rest of the Tribe in a 31 day challenge starting Jan 5 through the guide! Share your journey by tagging me and using the hashtag #comealiveguide on Instagram! Can’t wait to see how you Come Alive in 2017.


Set goals with heart: a guide to making goals that you can’t help but achieve


Before I became a life coach, I was making, changing, and striving to achieve goals constantly. From spiritual goals, to health goals, to reading a certain number of pages in a book a day- I was always on the hunt for the next thing that would help me achieve my dreams and be the person I wanted to be. Unfortunately I rarely achieved the goals and made a lot of excuses.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t motivated or driven. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to achieve the goal, it was that the goals I made were holding me back.

Ever made a goal that sounded like one of these?

“Stop being so hard on myself.”

“Lose 10lbs and be beach-body ready.”

“Cut out sweets, carbs, meat, gluten, and dairy.”

“Remove toxic people and make better friends.”

All of these goals are:

  • fear based
  • more like a demand; requiring striving, pain, and a lot of work.
  • negative and uninspiring.
  • without vision.
  • they make you feel heavy and weighed down from the start.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a goal that makes you giddy, excited, and look forward to the day you achieve it? There are a few tips and tricks I use with my clients to get them to that place, and I want to share them with you.



Use these tools TO make goals you can’t help but achieve:


Figure out who you are and what you really want. A few ways I like to do this are by meditating, journaling (use my free journaling guide meant for this exact purpose!), or by talking with my coach.

Heart-centeredness is about the deep, core values and desires, when not aligned with our lives, leave us feeling unfulfilled. Heart-centeredness is a state of peace in which life is aligned. It is when the choices we make line up with our values and our deepest desires.


What is it that you want? In order to make clear and inspiring goals, you must know what it is you’re aiming for. Sure, you want to lose 10lbs, but what is the deeper goal behind that? How do you want to feel when you’ve achieved your goal weight? What do you want your life to be like in 6 months? What will change when your goal is met?

Danielle Laporte calls this your “core desired feeling.” It is the feeling underneath your goals, it’s the heartbeat of why you want what you want. Getting clear on your core desires will help you emotionally relate with your goal.


Allow yourself to envision what life will be like when you achieve your goal and get really comfortable with it. Imagine what living out your “core desired feeling” would actually be like. Many of us create goals that we don’t believe we will achieve, even if we want to achieve them. Visualizing what life will be like when you achieve your goal is a great tool for when you’re unsure you have what it takes.

PRACTICE: Close your eyes and envision your life in one year. What are you doing? Who are you with? What does your life feel like? Get connected to your vision and start to see it as a real possibility. This will help you train your brain to a new normal- you’re getting connected to the reality that your goal will come true.


The words you choose when making your goals are very important. Words give life and meaning to our desires, and when you have strong desires for your future, the words you choose should reflect that. Keep the words in your goal positive and inspiring.




Everything you’ve thought through, as you’ve gotten clear about and envisioned, write it down. Seeing it visually and getting your thoughts onto paper will help you reinforce your clarity and connection to what you want. When you land on the goal you want, write it down and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day.

            PRO TIP: Put your goal in your car, or make it your phone background!


You don’t need to post your goal on Facebook or instagram to have accountability; in fact, I would discourage you from shouting it from the mountaintops. Instead, find one or two people who can hold you to your goal, encourage, and support you. These people can be a best friend, a partner, or a coach. (It’s best if this supportive person cares about you, but is not personally invested in you achieving your goal- this way your support is not biased, and their emotions won’t get in the way.)


Nothing is worse than working towards a goal that makes you feel inadequate. You will face road bumps because goals stretch us and ask us to step into our highest selves. Stay loving towards yourself. Give yourself compassion. Reward yourself for progress and keep track of your successes!

Setting goals with heart will not only help you create more meaningful goals (and ultimately a more meaningful life), it will help you achieve your goals with ease. Apply my goal setting tips and let me know how it goes for you; maybe even revisit your current goals and tweak them a bit!

I can't wait to hear how you supercharged your goals by adding a little heart. 




I would be happy to support you on your goal-setting journey in a 30 minute clarity call, helping you get clear on your goals and giving you a boost of energy to get going towards them! Oh, and it’s free. Reserve your 30 minute call here.


If you are in Springfield, MO come The Bravery Board this Saturday 10am-noon at Culture C-Street. Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess and Bravery Board co-founder Kate Alsup are giving their expert advice on goal setting. Grab your tickets here.

The Bravery Board is a local passion project I co-founded in March. We host monthly gatherings on topics related to mental wellness, personal growth, and thriving in community. It is a great place to get connected and be inspired. If you’re not local, you can still join the fun! Listen to past speeches here.