Taking Stock

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Taking Stock withMartijn2017 Goal Setting — part 1: Taking Stock

With the Holidays coming, I’ve promised my readers a peek into my personal goal setting process. Over the next weeks, I’ll be sharing with you a series of tools to help you craft strong goals for the year to come. And — just as importantly — enjoy the whole proces. It will include a set of worksheets that will hopefully inspire you to make 2017 your best year yet!

Setting the example

It’s easy to share new ideas. It’s like pointing people to a bridge crossing a river. However, it’s much more challenging to change their ways of thinking and get people actually moving. Especially in the field of personal development the saying goes: you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink. In my opinion it’s about setting the example, by becoming the embodiment of the change you’re after. That’s why I’ll be sharing with you the best tools that helped me, both personally and professionally.

Your first tool

The first tool in setting amazing goals for 2017 is Taking Stock. Like a person running a store, it’s important to make an inventory of what is there and what is missing. Building the life of your dreams, it’s about being grateful for what is already working in your life AND being willing to do the work needed to change what is not and/or create what is still missing. I believe we should take a holistic approach to life — examining various areas, like our finances, our work, our home, our relationships but also ourselves as a person. Since you are your most important asset in your life.

Step 1

Download here the first worksheet, print it and really take some time for taking stock and evaluate where you currently are in your life. Take a moment to mentally go past all important life areas: you yourself, your relationship, your home, your career and your finances. Answer the questions on the worksheet and rate yourself intuitively on each section. Give a score between 0 and ten. With zero logically being an area which in so unfulfilling, it hurts and 10 the high score, with fireworks and champagne.

Step 2

Now for the important second step. Before diving into the area which needs the most improvement, go to the section that you gave the highest ranking. Think about how you can improve the rating of your best scoring life area even further. If you scored already a 10, think of ways on how to turn this into a 12, 20 or even a hundred. Because you can always find ways to raise your own bar. And most importantly: really plan time to take this specific action for further improvement.


The last time I did this exercise, my relationship scored already a very big 9. Which I then planned to further improve by taking my lover out on a special, romantic date. Which I did that weekend.

Step 3

Now move onto the area that you scored lowest. If you have two or more life areas with the same score, pick the one you feel is in need of your attention the most. And again think about an immediate action you can take for improving your score. At least with one point, preferably more.


For me, this was finally taking the time to declutter my apartment, since it was draining my energy and costing me joy. I knew I wanted to move house at some point, so I really needed to start sorting out my junk. Before I could invite a real estate agent over, I needed to make my home more representable.

Setting the wheels in motion

What happened next was truly magical. After taking out the first few bags of rubbish, my now husband and I found our dream home (and accompanying office space for my company!) in Elst Utrecht, near the forrest. We placed our bid and obtained the property in less than 3 weeks time after doing this exercise.


I hope you will get the same amazing results with this powerful tool. It will no doubt reveal what you need to start working on first. By focussing on the future as well as the present, you are setting the wheels in motion for creating your dream life. Of course this still requires some (hard) work. But I can assure you it’s all worth the effort. More on this to follow. For now: good luck with taking stock!


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