Welcome to 2016! It’s amazing to me how at the blink of an eye another 365 days go by. 2015 was an ok year for me, I had much personal growth and learning about limits. My oldest daughter graduated high school and began her first year at college. We traveled to several new places in the US. I learned more about my chronic pain and how to manage it better, which has enabled me to become more active and hopefully on a plan to run another half-marathon in the near future. Towards the end of the year I was able to put more focus on my freelance business and breathe some life into it.
As I look down the path of 2016, I pause. Two years ago I wrote about my issues with making resolutions for the year, because they only set up a person up to fail. While at the core I still believe this to be true, I have a bit of a different outlook on goal-setting, especially as I’m looking ahead to not only my personal goals, but my business goals.
Side note: The first thing to do is stop calling them resolutions, and stick to goals. Here’s why:
Resolution definition: A firm decision to do or not to do something.
Goal definition: The object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
See the difference?
Personal Goals: I come from two places here. I still feel you should break up your goals in smaller pieces, but it’s good to have an end game. I’m looking to January 2017 to run another half-marathon (P.F. Chang’s Rock and Roll is mid-January). How do I achieve this? Regular training usually begins in September, but I know I will need to give myself more time. How can I break this down into more manageable “mini-goals” to get to my ultimate accomplishment? I’ve already begun, when I make my daily schedule in the calendar I block out time to exercise. I keep my mind focused on the next day, or possibly the week ahead. What can I accomplish now, today? If it doesn’t happen today, that’s ok, we can try again tomorrow.
Every goal has a different strategy. Another thing I would like to do is attend more local shows in the Phoenix area. How do I achieve this? There really isn’t an end game, this is ongoing. So I’ve decided that I will try and attend at least one local show every month.
Keep in mind you have not failed if you don’t achieve your personal goals. Life is a work-in-progress, and nothing will go smoothly. I was getting back on track physically earlier in the year, then I had a car accident and that set me back several months. You can’t plan perfectly, and life is great at giving you lessons in dealing with sudden change.
Professional Goals: I still believe you don’t have to plan a year out, but you do have to look a bit further into the future when you think about business. It is your financial well-being, what pays the bills. I’m looking ahead to the next six months, and working backwards from there. Although I enjoy what I do greatly, I also like looking at my goals from a financial perspective. The best way to do this is look up or decide what you want to make in a year, break it down monthly, then plan how you are going to accomplish making that amount each month. A budget is very important. You do have to spend money to make money, you have to figure out that balance.
Organizational skills also come into play here. I find at times I give so much to clients I push my own personal business growth aside. If you don’t calendar it, you won’t do it. Block time in your day for personal business. For me, a to-do list isn’t enough, I need to actually block the time out in the calendar.
In both personal and professional goals, acknowledge your achievements along the way. Even if they weren’t in your original plan, it’s important to look back and see what you’ve done. Guaranteed you have accomplished more than you thought. That can also be very motivating, and keep you on track to reach your ultimate goal.
Everyone is different, while I know my limits and can’t plan too far in advance, some people make that resolution and stick to it (my husband is this way). How do you set your goals? I’d love to share ideas and brainstorm, leave a comment or find me on social media! Whether you are only looking at today, the next month, or the year ahead, make it the best one you can!