Focus On This Podcast

146: 5-Minute Exercises to Launch Your Q3 Goal Success



Blake is back to talk with Courtney about how we can start the third quarter on the best foot. They offer two very simple exercises that you can do right now that will give you the clarity you need to succeed in Q3.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How simply writing down your goals increases the likelihood of success
  • Where you can put your goals to keep them top of mind
  • Which moment is the most critical when you switch to a new planner

Also, Blake gives an update on where he’s been and what’s coming up next for him.

To download a simple Full Focus goal chart, visit

To watch this whole episode on YouTube, click here:

For more episodes, visit

Episode Transcript

Courtney Baker: Hey Blake, how’s it going?

Blake Stratton: Oh hello, Courtney. So good to see and hear you yet again.

Courtney Baker: Yes.

Blake Stratton: It’s been a minute.

Courtney Baker: It has been a minute. First of all, I want to get to the important thing. You have texted me more in the last six weeks than the previous two years.

Blake Stratton: Yeah.

Courtney Baker: So, let that the audience know, exciting times. We’re like real friends.

Blake Stratton: I know, it’s been a challenge for me, but that was a habit goal, was to text Courtney once per quarter, which would triple my previous output of friendship investments. So, that was a habit goal for me, trying to connect a little bit more.

Courtney Baker: Yeah, which I appreciate.

Blake Stratton: It sounds like you’re feeling that, which is good.

Courtney Baker: Yeah, for sure. I’m a little sad for everybody listening because I’ve heard from you more, but they’ve actually heard from you a little less lately and I don’t know if we should get into that now.

Blake Stratton: That probably explains, I heard there was a huge surge in your subscriber base. So, that probably explains it.

Courtney Baker: Yeah, that’s not true. Should we talk about this now or should we talk about it at the end of the episode?

Blake Stratton: Let’s save it.

Courtney Baker: Okay.

Blake Stratton: Because there’s people listening who don’t even know who I am. They’re like, “Who’s this Blake guy? Don’t tell me that verbs isn’t here today,” and they’re already getting angry. So, if we don’t get to the good content that we have planned for this episode we are going to lose them.

Courtney Baker: All right. Well everybody, hang with us because we’re going to be talking a little more about what Blake has been up to and it’s pretty exciting for everybody listening, me included, and verbs who is not with us today, but we’ll be back with this next week.
Blake, I am really excited to have you because today we’re going to be talking about how to help you boost your chances of goal success and we’re obviously right here smack dab in the middle of the year, which we love to call The Messy Middle. Today we’re going to give some tips on how to improve the likelihood that you actually end the year and look back and think, “Wow, I had a lot done. I’m really proud of myself.”

Blake Stratton: I’m excited. It’s going to be simple. It’s going to be practical and you can get started today.

Courtney Baker: Welcome to another episode of Focus on This, the most productive podcast on the internet. You can banish distractions, get the right stuff done, and finally start loving Mondays. I’m Courtney Baker here with Blake Stratton. Happy Monday, Blake.

Blake Stratton: Happy Monday, unto you Courtney.

Courtney Baker: Is it a bazillion degrees where you are?

Blake Stratton: I’ve been watching basketball, NBA playoffs, and this weather reminds me of Draymond Green, he’s running all over the place. When Draymond Green takes off his sock, I think that feels like what I step into when I leave my front door. It is so humid and soggy and hot.

Courtney Baker: Yeah.

Blake Stratton: So, there’s a mental picture to ruin everyone’s Monday. You’re welcome. That’s the weather in Nashville, Tennessee. There’s your update.

Courtney Baker: There you go.

Blake Stratton: That was actually weather and sports update in one update. For news, let’s kick it over to Courtney. What do you have for us?

Courtney Baker: Well, and I think when you get to that level of sock stinky weather, you know that it is almost the third quarter, which means it’s time to really get going tackling your next set of goals for the quarter. And so, this is really the perfect moment indoors to sit down and think about what you want to achieve before October. Does that feel weird? For me that feels weird. It’s almost like October feels like light years away, like literally light years away, but it’s really right around the corner.

Blake Stratton: I just now this week stopped writing 2021 when I have to date things, just now happened.

Courtney Baker: Yes, I know, and here we are it’s almost Christmas decorations are going to be up in three months. No, two months. We are here, people.
As you’re kind of like, “It’s hot outside.” I think it’s easy in the summer to just kind of a little comfy. It’s like, “Let’s get inside where it’s cool or just lay out,” but actually it’s really a great point right here in the middle to really stop and think about what you want to achieve, what you want to make possible in the next quarter. Today, again, we’ve got some really simple ways to improve your likelihood of succeeding at those goals, and here’s the kicker. These are things you can do in five or less minutes, no time, quick action things, to help you make progress.

Blake Stratton: So, we’re halfway through the year. You might be thinking, “I am way far off of where I wanted to be,” or maybe you’re thinking, “There’s so much left that I want to accomplish this year.” The first segment we have for you, this first tip, is going to fight that feeling of the bigness of what has to be done by just taking a small action that actually has a really huge psychological effect on your ability to accomplish what you want to accomplish. You’ve heard us say it before, but it’s worth hearing again. Here it is, Courtney. Write down your goals. Write down your goals. It sounds so simple. It sounds too easy to have a positive effect, but it is very powerful and most people, because they discount it, don’t even do it. Don’t take our word for it, right Courtney?

Courtney Baker: That’s right.

Blake Stratton: The back of lab, Full Focus, people have been with their test tubes and their chemistry sets, they’ve been testing this. You have some research?

Courtney Baker: Yeah, that’s right. Dr. Gayle Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California found that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down. Obviously if you are someone that has used the Full Focus planner for awhile, you’re like, “Obviously, that’s the whole thing. You’ve got to write them down.” So I have two caveats for you, maybe you’ve never used the planner or maybe you’ve never used the goal section of the planner. This is for you.
It’s also for those of that have been using the planner for a long time and you’re about to get ready for this quarterly switch over, to remind you that that time that you take to move your goals from this quarter to the next quarter is a very powerful moment. And so, whichever spectrum, wherever you land, this is a really important key to come back to time and time again.

Blake Stratton: I think it’s so powerful for two reasons. It creates clarity and it creates self accountability, clarity and self accountability. I talk to people regularly who say, “Yeah, I got a goal,” and they sort of riff on something that’s in their head, and even in the conversation it becomes obvious to me that they don’t have total clarity on what they’re truly trying to accomplish.

Courtney Baker: Yeah.

Blake Stratton: There’s that quote, “Thoughts disentangle themselves passing over the lips and through pencil tips.” We’ve all experienced it. By simply writing the goal down you realize, “Wait, if I had to write down this goal and give it to a friend, would they clearly know exactly what I’m trying to accomplish, when I’m trying to accomplish it?” So on and so forth. Maybe not, but writing it down will help you get the clarity you need while at the same time, and this is what happens to me is, maybe I’ll rewrite the goal down like you just referenced transferring it from one planner to the next. It’s slow when you physically write it and in that space my brain is working in the background going, “Oh yeah, I probably should do this or do that.” Do you have that experience?

Courtney Baker: I do. I do think it brings a lot of clarity, but so many times for me it’s the smarter framework clarity that comes with writing it. I don’t know if I’m just not smart enough, but trying to do that all in my head and make sure I’ve checked all the boxes. Again, if you’re new to listening to the podcast or new to using the Full Focus planner, you may not know the smarter framework, but really writing goals well is kind of the next step to just writing it down. For me, it’s like the process of writing it down actually helps me make sure that I’ve got a well crafted, clear goal. Like if I’m going to be accountable to it, I want to make sure that it’s well crafted.

Blake Stratton: Absolutely. You’re getting that extra clarity from the smarter framework and it’s super helpful.
Let’s shift to this next section. This next tip is somehow even simpler than the first. If you thought we were going to break it down for you and make it easy, guess what? It just gets better. Here it is. Post your goals somewhere visible. Put a physical piece of paper, post it note, note card, framed, visual portrait, something, post it somewhere visible. Okay? This could be on your bathroom mirror, by your desk. You could make it the lock screen on your phone. You name it. Put it where you can see it.

Courtney Baker: One reason I think this is really helpful right now is if you’re like me and like you as well, recently we’ve just moved back to the office for some people or if you’re like the real estate market in Nashville, everybody just changing houses. What’s that game where all the pieces go up and you have to shake them? Boggle? Boggle? Maybe?

Blake Stratton: Boggle is a word game.

Courtney Baker: What’s the shape one and they all come up and-

Blake Stratton: Shape one and they all come up.

Courtney Baker: Yeah.

Blake Stratton: Oh oh oh, Candy Land.

Courtney Baker: Yes, it’s like Candy Land. Anyways, in Nashville everyone is moving.

Blake Stratton: It’s like Candy Land out there.

Courtney Baker: It’s like Candy Land. That’s crazy. You’re like, “Do I want to be in the Gumdrop Village or the Snowflake Palace?” I don’t know. All I care about is which one has a home office.

Blake Stratton: The game is called Perfection.

Courtney Baker: Perfection. Okay, thank you, Nick.

Blake Stratton: I’ve never heard of this.

Courtney Baker: Yes, Perfection.

Blake Stratton: Yeah you have. You have.

Courtney Baker: You have. It’s an oldie. It’s been around for a long time.

Blake Stratton: It pops up.

Courtney Baker: It’s red with little yellow pieces.

Blake Stratton: It would not be an episode of Focus on This unless really Courtney and I got into our bag of elder millennial games.

Nick: I was going to say it’s the elder millennial segment, that unspoken segment that always occurs.

Blake Stratton: Yes. Yes.

Courtney Baker: Listen, yes. That’s true. We can’t help it. It is there. But if you haven’t transitioned, like for example with me, I had a place in my home office. I had a window right beside my desk that always wrote my goals. Now that our office is open, I’ve been kind of transitioning more and being here more and so I don’t have a place where my goals are visible. So, for those of you that are listening, this was a really helpful reminder, maybe something’s changed, maybe they’ve been in the same place so long that they’re there, but you don’t actually see them anymore. You know how that happens? You’re like, “Oh, yeah there’s my goals. I’ve just been ignoring them because it’s been in the same place so long.”
We also have, maybe you’ve got a bulletin board or somewhere you want to post your goals. We have a free download for you so you can list all of your 2022 goals. It’s a nice little print out for you. You can get that
All right guys, we have a brand new segment for you maybe coming up in the future. It is called Basketball with Blake.

Blake Stratton: Hey.

Courtney Baker: So Blake, what do you have for us this week?

Blake Stratton: Do do do. Swish.

Courtney Baker: Actually, I would love-

Blake Stratton: Squeaker sounds.

Courtney Baker: Yeah. I would love to hear from you on what’s happening with transfers and acquisitions. Is that what you say in basketball? Trades. Trades and-

Blake Stratton: Transfers and acquisitions. What?

Courtney Baker: It was just some words that came out of my mouth.

Blake Stratton: I was like, “Oh man …” At first I was like, “Is she asking me a real question? If the answer yes, I just realized I’m too slow to actually be able to answer it well.”

Courtney Baker: Yes, trades. What’s happening in trades? Is there another word for trades? All jokes aside, Blake you have not been on an episode of Focus on This for a few weeks here and I think now is the time to kind of let people in on some exciting news. So, you want to break the news to everybody?

Blake Stratton: Sure. Sure. For those that have recently started listening to the podcast, hi my name is Blake and I was on here for a bit, two and a half years, and it was amazing. The big change, I’ll frame up this way, which is we always talk about productivity as not about just getting stuff done, but getting the right things done, and maybe a level up from that is when you’re achieving goals you should be learning about yourself and you should be becoming who you want to become.
For me, as well as for you listening, that journey is deeply fulfilling because you get to learn about yourself, what you like, what your strengths are, where you add the most value, and then slowly, or maybe quickly depending on your life situation, you can begin to arrange things in your life to play more into your longterm vision and play more into your strengths. It’s really fun and really fulfilling and that’s the frame, I guess, that I want to share the changes that have been happening for me.
A long time ago, way back when, the year was 2019, and we were discussing, me and the Full Focus team, this amazing idea and this vision of, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if someday people were equipped to teach and train the productivity system that’s embodied here in this thing we call the Full Focus Planner to teams, to businesses, to coach up individuals?” That was a dream and that was something that was in my heart as well as leadership of Full Focus.
If you remember, you heard us talk about late last year we launched a Full Focus Planner Certification Program. It was really awesome. Some of you listening are certified pros. If you haven’t heard of that you should definitely check it out, if you want to learn all the details about it, but I had this idea that I took to Courtney, I don’t know, a couple months ago or so.

Courtney Baker: Yeah.

Blake Stratton: And it essentially went something like this. “Hey, here’s a what if. I’ve noticed I enjoy talking about this stuff. I enjoy teaching and I enjoy training. I’ve gotten to do a lot of training in the past for Full Focus. A lot of businesses who wanted to train their teams in these principles and these systems, I was privileged enough to get to do that training and I realized, you know what would be amazing is if I could shift my work life, so to speak, to be catered more in that direction where I’m able to do training and coaching primarily?” The strategy that we developed where that made the most sense would be for me to actually transition out of my role. Some of you know I was primarily a part of our sales team at Full Focus where I would sell our small business coaching primarily, as well as some other things. But what if I transitioned out of that role and became a Full Focus Certified Pro myself?
That turned into a really productive, for no pun intended, a productive conversation and it made the most sense for me to resign as an employee of Full Focus. So, I’m not officially on the team anymore, but I am fully in this Full Focus Certified Pro lane right now, and so I’m currently coaching some teams and some individuals. I actually have a group where I really focus on people who are employed and are using the Full Focus planner. People that feel like they don’t have the agency that they want and maybe feel stuck and limited. Well, the good news is you’re not limited and you can make some serious gains and create some success and freedom.
Anyway, I’ve been doing that, getting up and running, and it’s been really fulfilling. So, that’s the big news. How’d I do, Courtney? Did that make sense?

Courtney Baker: Yes, it did. I’ll say right out of the gate because I think people were probably wondering, “Does that mean no more Blake on the Focus on This podcast?” And no, I think occasionally you’re going to join us from time to time. It won’t be every week, but it will be occasionally that you’ll be jumping in here. I think that will be exciting for everybody listening. And also, I just want to say for my side, when you kind of shared that idea, I think the very first thing I said was, “That makes so much sense. It has always been so obvious, your passion for the planner and because of your own experience with it, and really the freedom that you got from it, being able to share that with other people just made so much sense.”
And so, it was obviously sad, but [inaudible 00:19:59] episode. We’re like besties now, just text messages. I mean, come on people.

Blake Stratton: I’m texting you and you’re showing emotions left and right.

Courtney Baker: I know.

Blake Stratton: It’s bizarre.

Courtney Baker: Guys, can I share this story? I don’t know if this should make the episode or not, but on, let’s see, Blake’s last day when I found out that Blake maybe wouldn’t be here for every episode of the podcast, kind of figuring out the transition. Guys, I cried. I was so sad and really, truly, and I’ve said this to verbs and Nick and Blake, I just feel like the pandemic … I saw y’all as much as I saw anyone during that time. You just didn’t see that many people then. So it was kind of our little group, getting through the pandemic, trying to figure out how do you do this. I cried. I was so upset and I told Blake, I called him and was like, “Hey,” I was really sad. “I cried.” Blake was like, “Oh, huh? Haven’t even really thought about it.” I died.

Blake Stratton: So callose.

Courtney Baker: The scuba guy has rubbed off on me and the emotions are coming and, maybe I’ve rubbed off a little bit on you, Blake.

Blake Stratton: Yeah [inaudible 00:21:38] I was too busy achieving. I didn’t even notice what had happened.

Courtney Baker: Yeah.

Blake Stratton: No, there was emotions and there was deep emotions on both sides. I would say I haven’t gotten to share this. I know that we just talked about, the point was, “Hey, what am I doing now?” But I actually just, if I can, before Nick plays us out with some music, I would just say because I’m not an official host of the podcast anymore, I’m going to be now more of a guest, you may even say a special guest. I don’t know if you would go that far, but a semi level of specialty is maybe do do do. But I’ll be a guest occasionally, but because of this, I at least wanted to say to you listening, there is several of you who have sent me messages on Instagram or on Facebook or LinkedIn asking, “Hey, where are you at?” Or letting me know that you appreciated me.
I want to let you and everyone listening know, thank you so much for allowing me to encourage you to practice what, for me, has felt like a skillset that I have wanted to learn and develop to really practice with you, to communicate these principles that I think are really, really powerful and to be a partner with you on your own success journey. That is deeply fulfilling. I’ll say, and I know Courtney feels the exact same way, that it is so meaningful to know that the goals that are really changing the trajectory of your life and the people that you love and care about and work with, the idea that we have played a part, if only to encourage or inspire or instruct you, is really humbling and really exciting. I just want to say thank you for every Monday morning that you allowed me to be coming through your Air Pods or your car speakers or whatever, it’s been very fun and I don’t take it for granted for one second.
Hopefully, if you would like to, I’ve been trying … if you’re in the Full Focus Planner group you probably … I’ve been sent so many friend requests just because I’m out of the loop now and I’m trying to connect with as many people as I can from our community. So, if you would like to connect I’m on all those normal social media things that you’re probably on. But just wanted to say thank you, I guess, before we move too much into all the tactical things that are happening.

Courtney Baker: Again, but you’re going to be around so let’s not make it like you’re never going to be here. I have to say this. I’ll be a marketer for you and all the Certified Pros. If you are interested, like Blake, there is a whole host of Full Focus Planner Certified Pros that if you want to go deeper with your planner or you’re having trouble with goals or when I was talking about smarter goals earlier in the episode, you’re like, “I don’t even know what she’s talking about. How do I do that?” Working with a Full Focus Planner Certified Pro is a great way to kickstart some of that stuff, get in those good practices, or maybe just needing the accountability.
For me, just having to come and tell somebody, “I did it or I didn’t do it,” is all I need. I’m not going to tell somebody that I didn’t do it. I’m going to tell them I did it. I should clarify, not lying. I’m not going to lie. I’m going to get it done.
So, if you’re interested in working with a Full Focus Planner Certified Pro you can look at the directory at, but also inside of our Full Focus Facebook community all of our Full Focus Planner Certified Pros are group experts. So, if you see them in the community, see somebody that you’re like, “Oh, I really like them. I like what they’re talking about. I like the advice they’re giving.” Reach out to them and talk to them about potentially working with them as your Full Focus Planner Certified Pro.

Blake Stratton: All right y’all, so back to your goals. Remember we’re halfway through the year. Don’t get overwhelmed by what hasn’t got done or what has yet to get done, but just focus on these two actions. Action the first, write down your goals. Action the second, post them somewhere you will see them. Just make it the next three for the next quarter. Write down three goals and post that somewhere where you will see it, and be friends with me on the internet. Guys, you won’t get to hear me. Let’s be friends on the internet. That’s the bonus tip.

Courtney Baker: Be friends with Blake on the internet, but don’t expect text messages guys, okay?

Blake Stratton: No, don’t expect text messages. You can expect a DM, but be friends with me on the internet.

Courtney Baker: Thanks for joining us on Focus on This.

Blake Stratton: This is … Now that I’m [inaudible 00:26:37] It’s even more productive. This is the most productive podcast on the whole internet. So, share it with your friends and don’t forge to join us in the Full Focus Planner community on Facebook.

Courtney Baker: That’s right, and Blake will answer all your questions.

Blake Stratton: Yeah.

Courtney Baker: And we’ll be back here next Monday with another great episode. Until then, stay focused.

Blake Stratton: Stay focused.

Courtney Baker: How are you, Blake?

Blake Stratton: Oh, I’m swell.

Nick: Oh no no no. You don’t say, “How are you,” on this show.

Courtney Baker: Really? Oh, I say, “Happy Monday, Blake.”

Nick: Yes.

Courtney Baker: Okay. Happy Monday, Blake.

Blake Stratton: Happy Monday.