Sunday, February 21, 2016

How to Make Progress Towards Your Goals While Living Day by Day

By D. Dale Fairclough, PE, CPC
21 February 2016

1.     What are your short and long term goals? 
          a.  What would make you feel truly happy and fulfilled?
          b.  What are you naturally good at? What skills and abilities do you have          
               presently or are working on?
          c.  How can you meld the above into satisfying and rewarding goals?
2.      Practice Visualization:
         a.  Create a vivid picture in your mind of you being successful at your goals
         b.  What does it feel like and look like?  Really imagine yourself in the moment
3.        Create a realistic plan and schedule to reach your goals 
          a.  What are all the steps you need to take to reach your goals?  When? How?
          b.  What roadblocks do you expect and what is your plan to deal with those
          c.  What are your other priorities?
                - What things must you accommodate day to day to live a balanced life?
                - Are there things you are spending time on that you need to put aside
4.      Create a schedule that allows you to "take care of life's business" each day and make gradual progress towards your goals
         a.  Live in "day-tight compartments".  Deal with what you need to deal with for that day and put other things in the plan for the future. One thing at a time.
         b.  Set aside a time at the end of the week/month/year to plan for the next week/month/year including any new issues.
         c.  Remember first things first. Stay focused and don't open up every problem. Write down non urgent things for later...
         d.  Don't get distracted by small things.  Put unimportant things (especially other people's issues) aside.
         e.  Keep things in order; be organized as possible. Maintain a planner.
         f.   Don't procrastinate
5.       Express Positive Affirmations:
          a.  Speak positively about yourself and where you are going-- never negative
          b.   Speak in the present tense.  "I am doing well"  "I am on the way to success"  "I am doing what I need to do..." Say these thing in your mind or out loud as needed.
          c.   Accept yourself as you are right now. "I am good enough" "I have great qualities"  "I am growing as a person every day"

6.       Stay in control of your thoughts. 
          a.     When worries come, figure out which are real things you really need to follow up and write them down. 
          b.    Push the other junk and nonsense out of your mind.  Discard the negative thoughts.  Rid yourself of outside negativity and "critics".
         c.  Thinking about "What is the worst that can happen?" is sometimes a comfort 
7.       Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually:
          a.     Rest, relax, eat well, take vitamins/supplements, practice deep breathing, exercise (stretch, walk, at a minimum), pray/meditate/have peaceful quiet time

8.       Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.  

9.       Contact me if you need expert help and personal support:
         a.  Dale Fairclough (Allentown, PA)
         b.  Phone/text: 484-431-9231
         c.  Email:
         d.  Website:  

                    Content copyright 2016. Achieve Coaching and Consulting. 
                     All rights reserved.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Is Getting Organized on Your Resolutions List?

By D. Dale Fairclough
Date: December 24, 2012

Is getting organized on your New Year's resolutions list?  If so, you are among many that include personal organization as a need to be addressed in the upcoming year.  To some it comes easy, but to others, they have no idea where to begin or b) if they do know what to do, the task has been buried on the bottom of the "to-do"pile because of life's other priorities.  But, have no despair, now is the time to conquer this issue once and for all.  Here are some tips:

1) Begin by getting a daily or monthly planner for the New Year.  In case you aren't familiar, a planner is a book containing the days of the year that you can record information in pertaining to each day.  Then, begin using it to write all of your appointments, assignments,  reminders, etc.  Without this I myself would be lost on a daily basis.  Using this methodically has made life very manageable since I have no excuse for forgetting things.  It also helps me plan in advance to reduce conflicts and overloading myself on any particular day/week.  In these times,  smart phones have calendars and apps that can serve the purpose, but I mainly rely on the old-fashioned way.

2) Get your place organized.  "There is a proper place for everything" is a line that sticks in my mind.  I do believe that this is indeed true.    I think that most people can handle this feat themselves by starting with one area at a time and progressing throughout.  The first step is to reduce clutter by throwing out unnecessary trash, papers, and useless items.  Then, give useful things away if you haven't used them in the last couple years and really don't plan to.  Hang up, fold, put away items as needed (I really sound like a parent now). Finally give your place a good cleaning so that you introduce a new light and fresh feeling.  You may need to enlist the services of a cleaning service and/or a home organizer if things are in dire conditions.

3) Getting organized actually begins in the mind, but I do feel that the first two items create an environment conducive to thinking in a more organized way.  Now, it's time to begin to focus on your inner self and your goals. What are your major goals in life?  When do you want to accomplish them? With who? Write these goals down.  Please read my attached article for more particulars on this subject:

4)  The next steps to getting organized may involve:
A) Creating and following a daily routine (for eating, sleeping, work/school, family, exercise, etc.)
B) Developing a personal budget  so that you ensure your expenses plus savings are less than your income.
C) Developing a filing and record keeping system
D) Actively using lists to keep track of ideas, things to get done, etc.

5) If all of this sounds too challenging to do by yourself, enlist the services of a good personal coach. A personal coach can help you create a solid plan to address these items. Most of all a good coach will motivate you and keep you accountable.  There is no shame in getting help if you need it.


Dale Fairclough, CPC, PE is the Founder of and Chief Coach/Consultant at Achieve Coaching and Consulting. To get in contact with Dale, please visit or send email to Dale directly  Copyright 2012 by Achieve Coaching and Consulting.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Moving Away from the Past and into a Brighter Future

by D. Dale Fairclough
October 3, 2010 (original date)

One thing is certainwe cannot change what already has happened Only in the movies can a hero step into a time machine that takes them back in the past to change future events.  For real people, we have to realize that the things that have occurred good or bad are history- plain and simple.  What we CAN do is manage what is happening to us right now and work to shape what happens in the future.  So, how do we do that?

1)      Since we are human beings and we have emotions and memories, it is not easy to justhit delete and erase the past.  What we have to is firmly come to grips with and accept what has happened as reality that we cant change no matter what.

2)      But, is there anything we need to do to bring complete closure to this situation?  Perhaps there isnt anything further to be done But, if there is, think carefully about what you must say and do to ensure you make the situation as right as it can be rather than worse than it already is.  Consider if there anyone we need to clear the air with in this situation?  

3)      Perhaps this is something you only have to deal with within yourself.  If you are spiritual in nature, you may choose to reconcile the situation with prayer.

4)      Next, what can we learn from this?  How do we prevent something like this from occurring in the future?  What steps do we need to take to ensure this?  How can you be better from this point in time going forward?

5)      At this point, take a deep breath, exhale, and let go of this situation completely. It is gone from within you and you are released from the burdens of the past.

6)      Finally look in a new direction (physical turn to a window or some other pleasant view if that helps).  What positive goal do you need to set for yourself right now?  Your thoughts from this point forward should be towards the positive.  You must embrace that right now in this moment you are unlimited in what you can do in life.

7)      Once you have a goal in mind, you must continue to shape that goal and make it a reality.  Turn the concept into a step by step plan.  If you need help discovering what your goals are, shaping them, and creating the step by step roadmap hire a Life Coach that can help you get where youd like to be.  Id be glad to support you in attaining your dreams!

Dale Fairclough, CPC, PE is the Founder of and Chief Coach/Consultant at Achieve Coaching and Consulting. To get in contact with Dale, please visit or send email to Dale directly at  Copyright 2010 by Achieve Coaching and Consulting.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Discovering and Attaining Your Life Goals

By D. Dale Fairclough, CPC, PE
August 1, 2010 (Original date)

In the fast-paced world we live in today, it may seem like life is flying by. Sometimes we are just hanging on for the ride and living moment to moment trying to keep up with all of life's demands. This is especially true if you have a challenging job, children or other family members to care for, bills to pay, a home to maintain, or other time consuming responsibilities. We often feel some satisfaction in just keeping up and in maintaining things in such a fashion that they don't go haywire.

However, just keeping up and maintaining the status quo (keeping things as they are) will probably not get us to the higher goals we have in life. To reach those goals often requires a step-change-- meaning that we make a noticeable change in some area of our life that clears a path for us to take big strides forward.

You may then say, "I just don't have the time to even think about anything beyond what I already have to deal with". The truth is that, if you really have the desire, you can make the time through having the right mindset and effective planning.

Here's are step by step guidelines towards setting goals and taking the initial steps towards attaining them:

1) Find a quiet time to think. You don't need much time, but it should be a time where you'll have some peace and will be uninterrupted for 15 minutes or so.

2) Now, let's work on changing your mindset. First, remove any negative thoughts that tell you "you can't" or "lt's too hard", etc. Picture them being washed away out to sea or being flushed away never to return. Now, repeat to yourself, "no matter where I am right now, I know that I can be and will be where I desire to be". Just leave it at that. If any voice begins to tell you otherwise, repeat the sentence to yourself or even out loud.

3) Next think of the area in which you'd most like to set a goal for yourself (finances, relationships, business, education, spiritual, health, etc.)

4) What is the particular goal you have in mind? Don't limit yourself and don't think small. THINK BIG. What specifically do you want to accomplish? (i.e. get a degree in a particular area, save towards a home, lead some type of a group, etc.)

5) Now that you've gotten that far, you may need to wait until you have more free time to continue with the next steps of developing the goal. If you desire, continue forward.

6) Develop the goal further: You need to answer the questions what exactly is the reason and purpose of my goal? It could be simply that it will bring you true happiness. Who, besides yourself, is directly involved in this goal (if anyone)? Where will I accomplish this goal? When will I accomplish it? How will I get there? What abilities/resources do I already have and what abilities/resources do I need?

7) You'll need to understand what has prevented you from getting to your goal in the past. Here's where you may come face to face with past pessimism. Here's where you will have to battle against the thoughts that want to tell you "you can't, because...". Can you work towards this goal with your current lifestyle and responsibilities or do you need to make a change in your life to clear the path for this goal? When every reason that "you can't" begins to rear its ugly head, combat it, with "I can and I will, by doing..."

8) Now that you've answered these questions and addressed some of the roadblocks, the next thing you need to do is make a concrete plan towards achieving your goal. When do I want to be done? When do I need to start? And what do I need to accomplish each step along the way and when? Depending on the goal, you'll need a year to year and month to month plan. Then you will drill this down further to create a week to week plan.

9) Follow your plan and stay on course. Check each week that you've made the headway you expected. What progress have you made? Any need to make changes to get around something that isn't going well?

10) If all of this sounds too challenging to do by yourself, enlist the services of a good life coach. A life coach will help bring out your best ideas, organize your thoughts, and create a solid and workable plan. Most of all a good coach will motivate you to stick with your plan and will act as a sounding board along the way. There is no shame in getting help. People do it all the time to get into good physical shape. Why not get a coach to help get your life in better shape? CEOs have life coaches and advisors, even the President does as well. Why not you? You are just as important as anyone else. Believe that!


Dale Fairclough, CPC, PE is the Founder of and Chief Coach/Consultant at Achieve Coaching and Consulting. To get in contact with Dale, please visit or send email to Dale directly at  Copyright 2010 by Achieve Coaching and Consulting.

Helping Adolescents/Teenagers Stay on the Right Path

D. Dale Fairclough, CPC, PE

29 June 2010 (original date)

For parents on the go, I’ve assembled some quick tips for raising your teenager. Now, I know it isn’t this simple, but these ideas should provide some ideas to consider.
Developing a good relationship with your child

1. Talk, talk, talk. Have a conversation (not lecture) with your child. Genuinely talk about things they like and have an interest in. Let them know that their voice is important. If you can create a good relationship in that way, then it sometimes is easier to talk about the other things you need to talk with them about.

2. Develop their self-confidence. Encourage them to think critically and to speak up.

3. Have patience and be calm when you are dealing with them. It is alright to let them know you are not pleased, but yelling, etc. will not help the dialogue. Remember they are going through puberty, etc. and they have a range of sometime uncontrollable emotions.

4. Avoid the desire to over analyze their emotions and mind state, etc. Sometimes, let them be. No need to correct every instance of an emotional outburst. Give them a minute and then talk about the need for self-control…

5. Be a role model for how you expect them to behave and handle things. You cannot just tell them how to be, you must show them. They are always watching whether you believe it or not.

6. They are developing their identity. Along with puberty, this can be a very turbulent time for them. Understand this. Help them develop confidence. You can do this by praising them way more than you are critical of them. Aim for 4 genuine praises (even if they are small) for everyone 1 correction.

7. Realize that they are no longer little kids—ensure you are giving them their space and privacy.

8. Love them and hug them no matter how big they get. Maybe not in front of their friends though!

Expectations and Responsibility

1. Develop clear expectations for what you expect in terms of school, household responsibilities (cleanliness, chores), conduct in and outside of home, curfew, boundaries, etc. These must be clear and also reasonable (not just “because I said so”). Explain “Why” it is important that they do what you are asking. What are the real consequences in life? If they need to be motivated by punishment or losing out on privileges. If that is the case, make sure the consequences are well understood and more importantly that you enforce them.

2. On the flip side, give praise and rewards when they meet and exceed expectations.

3. Some expert may disagree with this approach, but I instituted an allowance system for my son several years ago based on him fulfilling his responsibilities. The criteria I used are: school, behavior/conduct, cleanliness/chores, being prepared/on time, and bonus. Explain that you really want them to get all the point/dollars they can each week and that it is easy-- but put the responsibility on them to achieve the target as long as they understand what they need to do. I typically give the bonus only for extra effort shown in one or more of these areas. Allowance is withheld for serious issues of school or behavior/conduct, but otherwise I try not to take away points for unimportant and inconsequential things since you do not want to appear as though you are analyzing their every move.

Daily Routine (i.e. School/After-school)

1. Set up an after school routine for your child to follow each day. Routine in general is of tremendous importance for children. For instance, the routine might be for them to have a snack, complete their homework and studying without the TV, perform household chores, then play video games/TV for a time before other activities. Make sure you check with them each day about homework, projects, and notices and get them the help they need. They should have an assignment book with the due dates for homework and projects.

2. For schoolwork. Set expectations based on what you know your child’s abilities are. If they are not a good artist, be satisfied with a good effort in art even if it results in a B-. Encourage them to put forth their best effort each and every day and praise their efforts even more than you praise the grade.

3. Talk with their teachers so that your child and their teacher both see how serious you are about school.

4. Show them that each homework assignment, quiz, etc. makes a difference. Take it one day at a time, and they will be surprised with the result of their hard work. Along with this, teach them to rebound and get back on track after a not so great day. Challenge them and reward them.

Talking about the future and what today means

1. Ask them what they may want to be when their older. Don’t be dismissive if it’s not exactly what you want since there’s a good chance they may change their mind at some point. You have to be careful not to make them hesitant to open up to you. Instead, encourage them to explore more about their desire. Go on the Internet, to the library, or to talk to people in the field.

2. Figure out what they are good at and start researching options yourself. Expose them to some of these careers/jobs that you think might fit them without forcing it upon them. Emphasize that no matter what they want to do in life, working hard in school, having a good character, good attitude, and work ethic will only help them achieve their goals.

3. Help them visualize what they what to accomplish. Ask them what steps they need to take to get there? How and when will they take these steps? This helps them develop a planning mentality.

4. Then help them visualize how much harder things can be for them if they don’t make good decisions and do what they need to do.

Importance of making good decisions

1. Sometimes explaining right and wrong doesn’t get through. Instead, teach them about being smart. Point out the consequences of mistakes. Real-world examples often help. In fact, if you can point out a bad mistake you have made, it often helps to show them that you too are not perfect. Be very vivid when describing the consequences of big mistakes. Do not think that something is so beyond your child that it can never happen. Better to talk than to regret not talking.

External relationships/activities

1. Try to involve them in different things that involve other children. This helps them learn how to socialize and interact with others.

2. Keep them involved in activities they like especially if it involves other kids that can be a good influence. This might be sports, music, dance, boys/girls scouts, the YMCA, church-related activities, etc.

3. Encourage them to keep "good company"—good friends that are moving in the same direction that they want to.

4. In cases where there is only one parent, you may need to find good adult examples/mentors for your child. The mentor doesn’t have to spend a whole lot of time, but it is important for children to have a model of the same sex (as well as of the opposite sex)


1. Make sure they are resting adequately and have a proper diet. Breakfast is important to having enough energy to make it through the day. Consider multi-vitamins/minerals, cod liver oil, etc.

2. Children who get regular generally more healthy. Exercise, daily if possible, is essential to maintaining good physical health. I also believe that exercise, whether is is by playing sports or being physically active otherwise, contributes to improved self-esteem and mental health. That's just for kids, but us adults as well.
3.  Don't be shy about talking to your child about puberty and other health issues.  There are many booklets that you can use as a guide.  Ask your doctor, visit your library, or search online.

Dale Fairclough, CPC, PE is the Founder of and Chief Coach/Consultant at Achieve Coaching and Consulting. To get in contact with Dale, please visit  or send Dale email at Copyright 2010 by Achieve Coaching and Consulting.