Getting Clear On Your Goals

Over the past few weeks I have discussed some of the obstacles and thoughts we have had on different elements of working towards goals. Topics such as motivation and comparison have featured in some of my previous posts,

For us, our focus is family and our vehicle to achieving our goals is property; (hence why a lot of my content will be related to our property journey). However,  so much of our work on mindset applies across all areas of our life not just the houses.

Of late, we have had to deal with a lot of paperwork, delays, worry, uncertainty and processes that have quite frankly swamped us mentally. Our ‘bounce back ability’ has taken a few hard knocks and has left us feeling, well, a lot less ‘bouncy’.

After reading some great books and gaining insights, we had to work on having the right headspace to go after those huge goals. This week I  thought I would share a quick activity myself and Matthew did to help us;  A: focus and B: work out the steps to get to those goals (that right now seem insurmountable, so far away and to be quite honest s*** scary).

Getting clear on the goal: Activity

After reading The One Thing, there was a section on working out the daily small things that build up and up to the big goal, like dominoes. (If you want to try this out, all you need is a pack of ‘post it’ notes and a clear wall).

We started with the areas of our life that formed our top goals. For us, it’s areas like family, cash flow needed, learning (not property related), giving back, social, health etc. The summarised goal goes at the top of the wall and we worked backwards, step by step. This makes you focus, it’s easy to chunk areas together, but when you take it all apart, they are made up of lots of moving parts like clock-work.

Our Goal Example

£xxx cash flow per month > How many rooms > How many properties would that be@ £1000 per month > How many offers made on a 1:15 conversion of accepted offers > How many viewings to get those offers > What area will provide those properties and so on.

By the end of it, we broke down a large number that seems way out of range, into achievable daily steps. This isn’t a new technique, I have seen post it notes in so many trainings and as assessment tools, but for us, having a colourful ‘post it note tree’ on our wall, just made us feel like we could get a handle on it. Sometimes, getting started or changing direction is the hardest bit when the end seems so far away. It also made us focus on us.

Do you ever listen to what other people want to achieve and get swept up in their goals? I find myself sometimes listening to people talking about dream cars for instance and all of a sudden I have gone from being able to name 4 cars to wanting an F Type. Yes it is a beautiful car, yes it would be awesome, but it doesn’t fire me up and get me up in the morning.

I have had to remember what does, because losing focus on MY whys made me feel lost.

We aren’t all driven by the same thing, we don’t all want to be billionaires and that’s ok. I saw a quote but can’t remember who it’s by, so, to summarise “remember why you started”. Always.

Motivation, Mind-set and Comparison

I have been staring at my screen trying to channel the fast flow of thoughts on mind-set, motivation and comparison; into a somewhat more coherent piece. These  words have so much meaning and over the past couple of weeks have formed the turning point for us. I wrote about our journey to re gaining our mojo previously.

We met with a friend on Sunday morning who we have been fortunate to meet through property networking. We discussed our goals and our struggles, where we are heading, coaching and generally caught up on life. Myself and Matthew walked away feeling positive, encouraged and full of respect for what he was achieving and his mind-set.

It also provided us an opportunity to reflect on what has happened this year. Saying it out loud was cathartic. Reflecting on what we have overcome in property without the feeling of shame and embarrassment at our mistakes or judgement of them. The stress that has consumed us at different stages this year has been and gone and here we are, still persevering.

Lesson 1; don’t compare yourself to other people, we have no idea what they are facing and you lose sight of where you are.

While we were all talking about motivation, I said that in the first year we had been fierce and totally focused but now I can’t seem to find it again. Our friend used an analogy of car lanes; hurt lane, comfort lane and goal lane. I will try to expand and explain.

Going from the hurt/pain lane to the fast lane can be much more of a motivator because we are determined to get away from our situation, it may be a job, money, imminent need for more time or health.

When we are in the comfortable lane, the urgency of our goals fades. Whether we do it today or not, ‘we will be ok’. The today’s add up and a month goes past under our radars. We still want our goals but the directions have got more vague . (We talked property, but it could be health, weight etc.) Add to this, seeing other people whizz past, you can doubt yourself to even be able to keep up. So we stay uncomfortably comfy.

The last lane isn’t necessarily ‘faster’, (we all have the same amount of hours in the day to reach our destination), but it has momentum. In this lane,  you are totally focused on your goals; the intrinsic motivation comes from within and this too is where your energy comes from.  If we are all honest with ourselves we usually know what we should do. You keep in this lane from knowing the value of your own goals and being prepared to take consistent action to achieve them.

Lesson 2: Remember why it is important in the first place.

This week I realised, I don’t want to use pain as a motivator and I am not trying to prove a point to anyone else. I am building a life for us and our family, that’s my motivation.








How To Design A Small Living Space



The Task

I can lose myself for hours pouring over interiors on Instagram, journals, blogs etc. I love all things ‘interiors’ the way some girls love shoes, (but as a size 9 that is a World where I can’t fully get involved, alas, I will just love cushions and mirrors instead). So when it came to planning this spatially challenged apartment, I knew there was a way of turning it from drab to fab! The flat in Birmingham is undeniably small, however, the location is great and there is heaps of potential; I just needed to figure out how to maximise the small space living theme.


Budget – Space – Storage

Budget is the common theme in all property projects, this one is no exception, but for this renovation we have had to focus. “What will have the most impact?” From this I looked at the flat another way. Currently, what is having the most impact? (But, for all the wrong reasons).

The kitchen. When you can stretch out your arms and touch both sides of the kitchen, you know it’s teeny tiny.

The bathroom. I am 5.9” so standing under the shower head over the bath, (with a sloped roof forcing your head to 90 degrees) is not how I would like to start my morning. Add to this the ‘bug graveyard’ that came with it and you’ve got yourself a pretty unwelcoming space!

Flow. The way you can move through a space, the light and the way you generally feel when you are in it, is something that is pretty hard to describe but instinctive when you see / feel it. This flat was ‘boxy’ that’s probably not the technical term, but each room felt disconnected from the next and it emphasised the lack of space and light.

Storage. There is next to no storage, even a minimalist would struggle.


When you can identify all the things that aren’t working, we can go about finding solutions. It’s a work in progress but this was the plan…

By knocking out the wall between the kitchen and living space, it creates more light and a feeling of space. This opens up the possibility of more storage and more functional usage, such as a breakfast bar and a taller unit to store larger items such as an ironing board and hoover. Sitting at the back of the property it doesn’t benefit from the sun pouring in, changing the units to gloss white will reflect the light and brighten the space.

In the living area, using spaces that would otherwise be wasted is an opportunity for storage. Building a shelving area and cupboard to fit the gap by the chimney saves on floor space by going up the wall. This will carry on into the bedroom, where floating shelves will create spaces without using the floor. Storage can also be maximised by using under bed space etc.

Aaah the bathroom, this was a decision between budget and functionality. It would have been cheaper to keep the existing suite and upgrade the tiles and floor. But this is where increasing the budget will pay off. Kitchens and bathrooms sell properties. I personally couldn’t live with such a claustrophobic space and this would have affected the rentability of the place I’m sure. The added expense of this will add value to the property but has meant assessing other areas and finding alternative solutions to help reign in the budget. In this project we opted for a less expensive worktop, made a breakfast bar instead buying it and replaced a panel in the door rather than buy a new one. My previous post goes into more detail on how to make savings when you are renovating,

It hasn’t taken long to transform this space and the difference is really paying off. I will let you know how it rents out! If you want to see further progress shots, you can follow us on Instagram

How do you work with small spaces? I would love to hear your small space hacks.