The “Moral Support” approach to goal setting

April 30th, 2016 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on The “Moral Support” approach to goal setting

Hi Lifetickers,

Goal setting and achieving can be a lonely, lengthy and tiresome duty. Often we fail along the way or we lose inspiration and abandon hope of ever reaching our target. Other times, we can simply keep extending the deadline and so it drags on and on slowly losing its lustre. This of course, comes with the territory. If goals were easy they wouldn’t be goals, so we must at all times find ways to motivate and inspire ourselves to keep on keeping on.

One proven method is to enlist moral support. Whether it’s your spouse, partner, friend, mentor, sibling or coach, a “supporter” is someone who can help keep you accountable throughout the journey.  A supporter should be someone who knows your strengths and weaknesses. Someone who knows how to encourage and not discourage, is empathetic and finally, wants to see you succeed.

Your relationship should be an honest one. There is no point having a supporter if they can’t say to you “Gee Shane, you’ve been a little slack the last month. What can we do to turn it around?” But equally, if criticism is warranted then you want it to be constructive.

If you think your goal setting could benefit from a genuine supporter or two, then you also need to think about what commitment you want from them. Here are some things to consider:

  1. How often should they check in with you and your goals? e.g. weekly, monthly. Remember, you don’t want to place too big a burden on them?
  2. What are you looking for from them? e.g. Words of encouragement, analysis of performance, gentle reminders, discussion on overcoming stumbling blocks. Make sure you discuss this with your potential supporter so they are clear on your expectations before they commit.
  3. How long should they be expected to support you? e.g. a month, a year, for the duration of the goal itself. This is also important. Anyone can commit to a chat about something, but six months might be more than they can live up to.
  4. What’s in it for them? e.g. you’ll do something for them, payment or simply nothing because this is the kind of thing you do for each other. Again, be sure to be open about whatever the expectation is so your supporter knows exactly what the role is all about.

Finally, the good news is that Lifetick allows you to have supporters for your goals. All they need is a free Lifetick account and you can add them as a supporter. You can add as many as you like and it means they can check on the goal(s) you share with them and offer comments of support through the application itself.

So why wait? What are you struggling with right now? Think of who might be a great supporter for that goal and ask them. You never know what value they can provide. They too might need support in some areas in their own life!

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New beginnings…

March 27th, 2016 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on New beginnings…

Hi Lifetickers,

Life is filled with new beginnings. New school, new job, new spouse, new child. At a grander level we have New Year for the western world and subsequently Chinese New Year for many in the east. Today, marks Easter, a celebration for Christians all over the world that also speaks to us of something new. What each of these occasions offers, be they small or large, is an opportunity to “begin again”.

Beginning again is a beautiful concept because it can never disappear or become irrelevant. There is always the opportunity to do it. Even if I were to begin again today, I could completely stuff it up and still begin again tomorrow. And the next day. What is important is that we let these events in our lives inspire us in some way so we have the mindset that wants to begin again.

Beginning again relates to many aspects of our lives. I think back fondly to the days when I played Rugby League (yes, that is different to Rugby Union, but I did in fact play both codes). We had a very wise coach who was able to impart to us and instil in us a mantra that was all about beginning again. It was inspiring in both its simplicity and its effect. He simply made sure we always said to each other “We score next”. Had he said “Don’t let them score” or “Don’t miss a tackle”, then our belief system would be shaken as soon as either one of those events occurred. (Not to mention, they were focusing on negatives and not positives). Instead, he had has looking forward no matter what the setback was on the field, no matter what the score was. It kept us focused and regardless of whether the opposition scored or we scored, we could still look each other in the eye and say “We score next”. We could just as easily have said to each other, “Let’s begin again”.

There will always be opportunities for you to begin again. All you have to do is to be open to them and embrace them.

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The “Small-Medium-Large” approach to goal setting

February 3rd, 2016 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on The “Small-Medium-Large” approach to goal setting

Hi Lifetickers,

This is the second in our series on goal setting approaches. If you missed the first, it was called the “Brain Dump” approach and we encourage you to read it. This one however is the “S-M-L” approach or more verbosely – the “Small-Medium-Large” approach.

Quite simply, this approach encourages you to introduce into your mindset the idea of having three concurrent goals and no more. By limiting to just three, you will have more focus and perhaps this will help you achieve all of them. As you can probably imagine, the S-M-L approach requires you have a small goal, a medium goal and a large goal. These aren’t necessarily sizes in terms of magnitude or difficulty, but rather time. It is more ideal if the Small goal is less challenging, but the imperative is that its achievement should be soon! The reasons they should all be based on time are as follows:

  1. The Short goal allows you to be working on something that will deliver a result soon. This means you get into the habit of logging into Lifetick and completing tasks. It also keeps you motivated because the likelihood of achieving the goal is high and the time to achieve it is within say three months. The sooner you see results, the more likely you are to be motivated to continue on your goal setting journey! What’s more is that as soon as you have completed your Small goal, you can immediately enter a new Small goal. Momentum is a wonderful thing. Which leads me to point number two,
  2. The Medium goal allows you to pursue something more meaningful in your life. Something that might require careful planning or a sustained effort of saving money. Typically, the duration is 6-12 months. This is long enough to require some ongoing effort, but not too long that it seems entirely unachievable or too far into the future to worry about. Its companion, the Small goal, will keep you returning to Lifetick again and again and this will ensure the Medium goal gets equal visibility. Visibility means “front of mind” and front of mind means more likely to do something about that next task for your Medium goal. The more we think and see and do things about these goals, the more real they become. And the more palpable and possible and exciting they become. Sometimes it’s not so much about physical effort, but mind effort and “visualisation”. Keep your Medium goal always in mind.
  3. The Large goal is the big one. The one you are afraid to start because it is so daunting. The one you perhaps dare not tell anyone in case they laugh at you. The one you think that in some ways might define you one day. It is also the one that you have time to nurture and grow and refine. The one you contemplate by day and dream about by night. It is the one you must capture in Lifetick most and just as the Small helps the Medium, so too does the Medium help the Large. I could repeat all the points in #2 above and they would all count, but there is an even great significance for capturing and working towards your Large goal. By the time you have entered, re-entered, refined, re-tweaked, re-imagined, re-tasked and actually completed some preliminary tasks of your Large goal, you will have actually completed several Small goals and perhaps one or two Medium goals. What this has done for you is create an environment and mindset of doing, achieving and believing. You have already begun to realise that these things can be achieved and for many of us that is half the battle. Without even realising it, your celebrations of completing the Small and Medium goals has given you the necessary fuel to keep on keeping on with your large goal. Of course it is hard work and it requires ongoing hard decisions, but it is something that you will have the time to devote to its crafting because first and foremost it is based on time. And time is on your side.

And so we have our S-M-L approach. Maybe we sometimes have an S-S-M-L or just an S-M, but as long as we have a mindset of S-M-L then we improve our chances of achieving the big things that matter to us. The good news for you is that Lifetick is free when you manage four or less goals, so what’s stopping you?

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The “Brain dump” approach to goal setting

January 14th, 2016 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on The “Brain dump” approach to goal setting

Hi Lifetickers,

As mentioned in our recent post, we wanted to share with you a variety of approaches to setting your goals in Lifetick.  What I’ve found is that there is never a perfect way and quite often I personally will oscillate between extremes. Nevertheless, I think this can be a positive because it means your mind is finding ways to make it work which is the priority! Alternatively, it can mean we are finding ways to procrastinate or avoid facing the task of actually completing the tasks themselves!

So without further ado, let’s begin with what is perhaps the most common approach which I affectionately refer to as the “Brain Dump” approach. It begins with what is a fury of excitement and activity. This of course is a highly favourable disposition and mode of operation. Why? Because it means people are throwing all those loose ideas and long held dreams and aspirations into Lifetick in a blaze of glory. The key to this is to see it through. The more you put in the more a picture will begin to form and the more you will understand just how big this can be. Initially, this will be extremely appealing and will lead you to understand all the things that are important to you. In your exuberance, it’s likely you will:

  • Set quite a number of goals
  • Set aggressive timeframes for achievement
  • Put email reminders on all your tasks and
  • Log in each day and refine and add tasks and journal notes

Now this is a great start, but there are some risks. Very few people can actually sustain motivation and activity in this way.  Here’s where it gets troublesome:

  • There are just too many goals to manage and it seems overwhelming
  • In your earnestness to achieve, you are now getting a deluge of task reminders which then compounds if/when you miss due dates
  • You realise achieving goals is hard and start to have doubts about it all
  • You start to question which goals are actually important to you and finally
  • Your initial excitement starts to wane.

However, being aware of potential pitfalls will help you transition into a more sustainable way of working diligently (at a pace that suits you) to achieve your goals. The initial exuberance can now be converted into something more aligned to you and your way of working. It’s ok to face our limitations. It’s only when this happens that we know where they are and what it will take to extend them. So, how do we make this transition? Here are some tips:

  1. Review all your goals. If you have some doubts or misgivings, maybe push the due dates out or convert some to Dreams. This will immediately take the pressure off.
  2. Focus on your timelines for your remaining goals. How aggressive were they? Can you perhaps extend their due dates to give you more time?
  3. Make sure your tasks are granular. This will make each task easier to tick off as complete and give you a small sense of achievement and progress. Never underestimate these small wins.
  4. Review your reminders. Not every task need a reminder. Think about when you want a reminder for each task. Some only need a reminder on the day, whereas others that take some effort might need a reminder a week before. Mixing up the reminders has the added benefit of creating diversity which ensures your brain doesn’t go into auto-pilot when receiving them. This means you are more likely to pay attention to the reminder because you have to think for an extra few seconds about when the task is due and what needs to happen before then.
  5. Add a note in your journal every time you log in. Sometimes when reviewing goals there are no actions to do, e.g. tasks to complete. Rather than feel you have logged in for nothing, add a short journal note every time you log in. This will 1) give you an action to do, 2) crystallise your thoughts because you are taking time to write them down and 3) build a great habit – journaling.

The most important thing about goals is they are not set and forget. They are likely to change and evolve and therefore, this should be embraced. The more time you spend thinking about them and working toward them, the more you will come to understand what is actually important to you. Sometimes, some things we thought were really important just aren’t. Likewise, other pursuits become even more important to us the more we think and work toward achieving them. I love the Brain Dump approach because it really clears the head and gets it all out there. But like everything in life, it is something that needs constant refining, revisiting and reimagining. So don’t lose heart if it isn’t perfect from day one. It’s not meant to be!

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…and we’re back!

December 30th, 2015 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on …and we’re back!

Hi Lifetickers,

You may have been wondering why we’ve been silent for so long. Well, I think it’s two fold. Sometimes it’s difficult finding something original to say. Presenting a perspective that’s new and fresh is important to your readers. Anything less is an injustice, insult or sheer waste of people’s precious time. Secondly, work and life can get in the way, thus limiting the time it takes to actually develop those fresh thoughts. Nevertheless, we’ve had a chance to withdraw from the online chatter for awhile now and are looking forward to sharing some new ideas and approaches with you. As always, we remain true to our topic – goal setting and achieving.

Having conceived Lifetick over eight years ago and since used it to tick off many of my own goals along the way all the while corresponding with many hundreds of users, it is nice to be able to reflect and share what I guess amounts to a large body of knowledge. Of course goal setting is always different for everyone, but what doesn’t change is the effort it takes.

People I meet are often fascinated by Lifetick and the ideas underpinning it. Some see it as a silver bullet to all their worldly needs, others a handy tool. One good friend thinks of it as nothing more than a glorified pen and paper and enjoys telling me so. Regardless of these very diverse opinions, the reality is the same for all – if you want to achieve something great, then your success is largely a measure of your effort and commitment to that outcome. Will Lifetick help you? That depends on you. Here’s why.

Lifetick is what I call an “aspirational product”. It’s not mission critical, it’s not checking your calories burned or steps taken every second of every day. It is something more though. And by being something more it requires more. More from you. You have to find a reason to make Lifetick a part of your life. You have to find a way to make checking in each day or week a habit and an important part of your life. What will that reason be? Again, it’s different for everyone. But here’s the catch…

If you don’t find that reason then your usage of Lifetick, your focus on achieving important things in life, your commitment to excellence, your belief of who you wanted to be when the New Year comes round will slip away. And indeed it does. I know because I have the wonder of “usage statistics” at my disposal and they tell a very brutal story. As they say “Don’t become a statistic!” This is very true for Lifetick.

So you must be wondering why all the tough talk? Well, I’m interested in helping people achieve their goals, not drift off into fantasy. And the best way I know how to do that is to first set expectations. Over the coming months I will give you every possible tip I know to give you the best chance to achieve. But right now, the most important thing you can do is make a commitment to yourself. It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be achievable. Start small and grow from there. One step then the next. That is how all journey’s begin and end.

If this is your first time to Lifetick, then welcome. If you are someone like me who has been using it for many years, then I’m very happy that we are still here together. I wish each and every one of you the very best for 2016. I wonder what our conversation will look like in 12 months time?

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A year to remember, a year to forget?

January 3rd, 2015 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on A year to remember, a year to forget?

Hi Lifetickers,

After a lengthy absence from the blogosphere, we’re happy to announce our return and of course a happy new year to you as well. As always, thank you for your support. We hope Lifetick is serving you well as you enter a new year filled with hopes, dreams and aspirations. With that in mind, today’s blog is about reflection on what has gone before and how it has the power to shape what will come.

Often we can be quick to forget about what we have been through in an attempt to release ourselves from the pain and suffering associated. Nevertheless, these experiences are those that shape us the most. I am a great believer that everything is learned in failure. But there is more to it than that. I’m reminded of a brilliant quote from Aldous Huxley:

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all lessons that history has to teach.”

Simple yet profound and certainly something worth bearing in mind as we mentally and emotionally prepare ourselves for the year ahead. It is not just our own experiences, but those of people around us, the work place and at a global level that have the capacity to impact us not just indirectly, but often very directly.

Perhaps in thinking about your goals for the next 12 months, one simple exercise could be to think of three things first:

1) What have I learned about myself the last 12 months?

2) What have I learned about the world in the last 12 months?

3) What have I learned about the nature of humanity in the last 12 month?

Why consider these things? Well, at a practical level the answers may in fact impact your priorities. But at a deeper level it may just help you determine whether the goals you had in mind are the right ones for you.

Regardless, of your approach we wish you the best of luck. The process of setting and achieving goals is as much about the journey as it is about the destination, so find a way to appreciate the journey because it will be tough, but it will be worth it.

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Your 2014 choice: Function or Form?

January 2nd, 2014 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on Your 2014 choice: Function or Form?

Hi Lifetickers,

The new year is upon us and with it comes the usual indulgence of introspection (something I thoroughly encourage) and planning for a better year than perhaps the one that just preceded it.  Whilst I am on the record for my harsh assessment of New Year’s Resolutions, it is difficult to avoid slipping into that mindset. So rather than passing it off as something entirely negative, we should in fact look for what we can draw positively from it. In this regard I offer two things: 1) embracing goals and 2) a focus for helping you stay the path in achieving those same goals.

There is enough on the Internet (and our website/blog) to satisfy the first point, so my intention in this post is to offer something addressing the second point: something for you to perhaps ponder as you go about your activities each day to remind you of why you are doing what you are doing. Just as a coach at half time in an intense contest needs to deliver a clear and simple message, so too would I like to humbly offer you something distilled into a small phrase that eliminates and separates from the clutter that constitutes the information that flows in and out of our lives each day. That simple phrase is: “Function or form?”

At the risk of becoming somewhat a reductionist that is re-purposing the classical architectural concept of the blend of form and function to make beautiful buildings, I do think it is very worthwhile to see how this concept applies to our every day lives. We make hundreds if not thousands of decisions every day, many of which aren’t even entirely conscious ones. However, for those that are and for those that matter to our long term wellbeing we should ask ourselves:

“Am I doing this to better serve my true interests, goals, values and welfare?” (Function)


“Am I doing this to look good?” (Form).

At first glance it almost seems as if the two alternatives don’t fairly represent either end of the spectrum, so perhaps it could help if I were to add some variations to the latter (Form):

Am I doing this to:

  • appear more than what I am?
  • impress others?
  • avoid being embarrassed?
  • rule out any chance of failure?
  • keep up with the Jones’
  • further myself at the expense of someone else?
  • take more than I give?
  • fit in with the crowd?
  • satisfy my ego?
  • cover up my lack of substance?
  • enhance my status?

Whether we like to admit it or not, Form (in the context of this post) often comes at the expense of Function. It doesn’t just rest with us either. Society, through its institutions, constantly offers us Form over Function and we are all too happy to allow it. In fact, we often demand it. Need convincing? Try this for a sample:

  • Politicians are elected to 2-4 year terms and are expected to do something for our long term futures yet if they don’t meet our populist and fickle short term interests we vote them out.
  • CEOs live and die by the sword that is known as the share price, yet time and again we are reminded by people like Warren Buffet that share prices very often do NOT represent the true value of the company and are far too short term in nature.
  • Celebrities cover our online news pages and multiple magazines, yet we know full well reading about their latest plastic surgery does little to develop our own lives. And yet, these magazines are what we consume more than anything else.
  • Politicians from opposing parties will consistently and reliably disagree with everything the opposing party suggests. Is it even remotely possible that they disagree on absolutely everything? Or are we more comfortable with them lying to us to maintain the “us vs them” paradigm. At what point in our history did this become not just tolerated but expected and accepted?
  • More and more advertising is directed to us focusing on Form (status, differentiation, appearance, image) than Function (what real value it actually brings to us). Have we really become that superficial in our collective affluence?
  • We spend hours on Twitter and Facebook (to name just two) each day in aid of what? Being informed? Is that really the information we need to be consuming so fervently?

So what does this mean for you and your year ahead? Well, I think it is quite simple. Be conscious of your actions and your motivations. Do you want to bring value into your life? Or do you want mediocrity? The path to mediocrity is well trod and it is filled with those who chose Form. But the path to true value has never changed. It has always been there, sometimes barren and sometimes inhospitable, but nevertheless, it remains always asking us to take up the challenge.

So in the midst of the chaos of our lives that is about ensue for another 12 months, perhaps this is something you can contemplate and decide upon each day when you wake up:

Am I going to choose Form? Or am I ready to choose Function?

The choice is yours. Life is waiting.



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Introducing Magnitude

October 27th, 2013 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on Introducing Magnitude

Hi Lifetickers,

Magnitude on Goal windowHope this finds you well. Today’s post is to announce some new features to Lifetick, the most important of which being the introduction of a Magnitude setting for goals. Presently, we have Priority, but we thought it would be beneficial to also track how challenging the goal is as well. Therefore, Magnitude can now be set with the following values: Easy, Do-able, Challenging, Daunting and Audacious. We hope this is something you will appreciate.

We’ve also added a pie chart for Magnitude on the left hand side of the Navigate screen and added both it and Priority as sortable columns in the list view of goals. Simply click the header row above the metric to sort by that. Click again for reverse order.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our Twitter feed for the latest Lifetick updates and our regular posting of 140 character inspiration! Have a great week.

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New productivity tweaks to Lifetick

September 9th, 2013 by Shane Maloney 2 Comments

Hi Lifetickers,


Today’s post is to announce a couple of small, but hopefully, useful tweaks we’ve added to Lifetick.


Firstly, you can now enter tasks more quickly by using the “Save + Add Another” button. This will keep the window opened after you have created a task ready for entry of the next task. This functionality has also been added to our Trackers input screen.


Secondly (and this is a personal favourite), you can now select an existing goal and move ALL the due dates (tasks and goal) forward or backward. Whilst I’m sure some people are performing well enough that they can bring their dates forward, I have to be honest, I’m not.



Already I’ve used this functionality to gently push out some, shall we say, “optimistic” time frames such that I have a much greater likelihood of success. We think it’s much better to be realistic about progress and performance than perpetuate fantastical dreams that only serve to disillusion us in our efforts to achieve more in life.

Why not log in now and see how are all your goals are tracking? It would be nice to feel back on top of things and a simple date adjustment could be the best method to achieve that.


Finally, if you haven’t already, subscribe to our Twitter feed. Lately, we’ve been posting some inspirational gems from our resident Lifetickologist. Perhaps there’ll be something in there that can inspire you!

Have a great week.



Lifetick now accepts credit card payments

July 20th, 2013 by Dean Nottingham Comments Off on Lifetick now accepts credit card payments

Hi Lifetickers,

Hope this finds you well at the midpoint of the calendar year. Despite our recent lack of blog posts, we are still tinkering away and are very keen to keep the enhancements coming. We’ve got some exciting things ahead this year, but firstly, we are happy to announce we now accept credit cards for payment.

Up until now, we have solely relied on PayPal for our payment processing. As a bootstrapped startup company, minimising risk, development cost and time to market were all critical factors to making us successful and PayPal assisted in all of those areas. Whilst they have proven to be a reliable entity, we understand that there are many customers who would prefer to use a more direct method. Fortunately, we are now in a much stronger position so to move to a fully integrated payment gateway was high on our priority list.

Initially, we are implementing this for Lifetick, but soon it will also be available for Lifetick Coach. At this stage, we are happy to continue offering PayPal so if this is your preferred method, fear not, it shall remain as a payment option.

Thank you for your continued support and we hope this addition makes it easier to do business with us.

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