MacDonald: Take out the TRASH |

MacDonald: Take out the TRASH

Machen MacDonald

We are a few weeks into the new year, and I wanted to check in with you and see how you are doing with your resolutions and declarations you set for yourself this year.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that the people who stay on track with their goals have developed the habit of taking the TRASH out and those who struggle tend to let the TRASH pile up.

First things first. In order for us to achieve a goal, we must set a goal. To properly set a goal, it needs to be SMART and pass your ACID test and be set from where you are, not where you think you should currently be in life or your career.

To properly set a goal it needs to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Actionable, Relevant/Realistic and Time bound (SMART). As you set a SMART goal, you can then develop a score card to track how you are doing. If you use the formula Results=Activity X Effectiveness, you can then adjust your activity or effectiveness to get back on track with the results you desire when you find yourself off course.

Even if you set a SMART goal, there is the possibility you may not achieve it. I know that I’ve set SMART goals and still fell short of achieving them. Upon closer inspection as to why I didn’t hit the goal I noticed that it did not pass my ACID test. In order for a goal to be Achievable, it must be in Alignment with our values. We must have the Capacity to achieve it or the wherewithal to develop the Capacity. The goal must be Inspiring and not expiring to us. We must have the Determination to do whatever it takes, morally, legally and ethically to achieve it, i.e. be willing to get up one more time than we are knocked down. If your goal passes your ACID test, you are on your way. It can still be a struggle.

To minimize the struggle, you will need to take the TRASH out. This is not necessarily a once-and-done process. This is just the same as the can under your desk at work or the sink at home. If you don’t empty it out on a regular basis, the TRASH will start to overwhelm you.

At the end of your day, empty your TRASH:

Thoughts that hold you back or limit you in some way. Throughout your day notice your internal dialogue that doesn’t support you and the achievement of your goal. These are the shoulds, woulds and coulds. Anything that has the theme of “I’m not enough because …” needs to be dumped.

Rationalizations or stories you tell yourself or others about why the goal can’t be achieved. This takes our focus off improving ourself and provides the convenient distraction of why it’s OK to give up.

Actions that trip you up or contaminate your ability or capacity to keep on keepin’ on toward the achievement of your goal. These include steps in the wrong direction as well as inactions.

Sorrys. Saying you are sorry is code for you did not respond with enough of your ability and stay accountable. You can always redo or do better. Limit or eliminate the number of times you say, “Sorry,” and you will accelerate toward your goal.

Habits that no longer serve you or your quest toward your goal. We are creatures of habit. Successful people have successful habits and failures have habits steeped in failure. You can always change any habit.

Set SMART goals that pass your ACID test and take out the TRASH each day, and you will enjoy the achievement of your goals.

Make it up, make it fun, and make it happen!

Machen P. MacDonad, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at and (530) 273-8000.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User