Brandee Lee Crooks



Years ago, I was driving my 9-year-old daughter to school and having a conversation with her that was trying my patience.  Rather than argue with her, I told her she’d make a good lawyer because she always posed a good argument. She got silent and stared out the window for a moment, then asked, “Mom, if I go to Yale, can I be a lawyer?”.  Amused, I replied, “Well, yes it just so happens to be a perfect school for that”. She turned to look at me and said, very decidedly, “Ok, I’m going to go to Yale and become a lawyer”. The thought occurred to me to inform her how difficult a task that would be and how expensive it is, but instead I replied, “Sounds like a great idea!”. I proceeded to help her create a plan of action that included an online tour of the campus and a Yale t-shirt so she could envision herself there.

Every year, millions of people create goals for the new year.  According to a December 2018 study by forbes.com, less than 25% of people actually achieve them.  Does that mean we are doomed to failure and should stop setting goals? No! To increase success in any goal setting, we must also increase:


Believe it’s possible.  Imagination is encouraged up to a certain age, but at some point we’re told to think realistically, often by people who gave up on their own dreams!  Before you let someone tell you what you should believe, consider how far their own beliefs have gotten them.


Allow yourself to daydream about the amazing life you want to create.  Create a vision board and don’t shove it in the closet this year! See yourself every morning on that vacation, in that house, with that family and that bank account.


Don’t make your goals smaller, make the path clearer.  Increase your focus by creating detailed plans. I like to call them “bite size pieces”.  Start with the goal, and work backwards from there. Create daily and weekly goals and watch your confidence rise as you achieve them.  If you get stuck, connect with people who have accomplished what you want to accomplish and keep planning!


When there are challenges (and there will be challenges) repeat Steps 1-3.  Incredible lessons are often learned in these moments, so be grateful and keep going!

My daughter (who chose Yale because of a TV show) is now 16. Her goal of attending Yale has changed to the University of Cambridge.  She finished high school as a sophomore last May, completed a 30-day internship at Cambridge over the summer, and is completing her GE credits online until she’s old enough to legally move out of the country.  I never did tell her what a difficult task it would be and instead decided to follow my own advice.

Brandee Lee Crooks

Brandee Lee Crooks is a mortgage loan officer, real estate agent, entrepreneur and mother of two. Her passion is connecting with people and building relationships based on a foundation of integrity, authenticity, communication and gratitude. She lives by the philosophy that we each have the power to create the life we want, the only limitations we have are those we create for ourselves and beginning each day with clear focus and intention is key to a successful life.


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