There are so many blogs and articles on ‘5 Easy Steps to Have an Award Winning 2017’. This is not one of them. As a new entrepreneur myself, the mere idea of regimented goals gives me panic attacks - maybe because there’s a greater sense of responsibility/accountability, and a greater risk for failure. Failure is scary, but I’m starting to that I am more terrified of living a life of mediocrity driven by fear; or, living a life where I constantly get in my own way. More than failure, the idea of being far away from who I truly am hurts my soul and scares me to my core.
As a badass boss babe, you’d assume I’ve got this, right? Wrong! 2016 was a rollercoaster year, but one of the greatest things to come out of it was finding my life’s purpose. It’s the reason I breath, and out of it I created a business I love.
I’ll be honest though, KD and You didn’t have a set plan for 2016, nor did I map out my company goals. Like many small businesses, KD and You has grown organically but there comes a time in all business life cycles where a tipping point is reached. As December 2016 approached, I realized I needed a real game-plan for 2017. It was goal-time.
Or was it? Honesty is my strong suit today, so let’s go with it: when it comes to goals, I flounder. Structuring and quantifying my dreams gives me heart palpitations. In the business world, goals are encouraged to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-specific). While I agree with the logic of this goal-setting method, I think it can miss a crucial first step and that is where my resistance lies.
Dream outside the box
Creating goals first calls us to vision - to dream of what could be. Dreaming broadens our horizons to a myriad of possibilities. It also opens us up to the possibility that something might not happen. Here is where fear has taken hold, and I get stuck. Now what?
Imagine the most impossible and inconceivable dream you have, and allow yourself the time and permission to visualize it. Want to make $300K in 6 mos? Write it down! Want to find your life partner by 35? Write it down, too! The point is – as the cliché goes – ‘shoot for the moon because if you miss, you will land amongst the stars’.
The Challenge: Build a vision board that encompasses all your personal and professional dreams. There needn’t be a rhyme or reason – just get it out there on paper, as creatively as you can.
Where do I start?
It sounds simple and it truly is: start with your ‘why’. Question why the goal is meaningful to you. The more connected you are to the ‘why’ behind your goals, your motivation, the more likely they’ll stay front and center in your mind.
The Challenge: Next to each of your goals, write down the answer to this question: “Why does your goal matter? Once complete, write down on a scale of 1-10 how important it is that you achieve this goal within 2017.
Don't beat yourself up about it
Like I said, goal-setting isn’t my favourite thing to do. It’s scary, and it involves accepting where I’ve fallen short as well as re-gaining the courage to try again.
Goals are measurable and when a goal isn’t completed, what do we typically say happened? You got it. We failed. But what if we viewed an incomplete goal as simple data collection. It can be used to inform you that your process needs adjusting, or perhaps your time frame is too ambitious.
By understanding goals can be more nuanced than pass/fail, you will become comfortable with the notion that they can be fluid. Be adaptable. Goals should not be rigid - they’re guidelines that help you remain disciplined towards your dreams.
The Challenge: Fail early – go full force toward your goals so you can course correct early on in your timeline. But don’t beat yourself up about it! Just because you didn’t achieve your goal the first time, doesn’t mean it’s not for you! Maybe it’s a matter of “not right now” or “not yet”. Choose to be kind to yourself -- you are doing your best, and just because your best doesn’t present in the way you had hoped doesn’t mean that it’s insufficient.
Goals are meant for us
Somewhere in the mix of things we lost the concept that goals should be personal and intrinsically meaningful. Once again, they become incomplete goals and we beat ourselves up for not crossing the finishing line. Let’s break the cycle here, shall we?
As personal as goals are, it’s important to verbalize them. Speak your goals into existence. The more comfortable we become with the action towards our dreams, the more open we become to seeing the opportunities for them to be born into existence.
The Challenge: Make your goals physically visible via phone reminders, post-it notes, journaling or sharing with your business bestie. Build in wiggle room and learn to be gentle with how your goals unfold. Build in quick-win goals to retain your motivation.
Celebrate the good times, com'on!
What’s hard work without a reward? When making your goals make sure you create specific time and spaces to celebrate your achievements – that includes when things don’t work out as you intended.
The Challenge: Create rewards for goals that appear to have a perceived risk of failure. If a goal falls off your radar, take a moment to re-evaluate if this goal still holds meaning to you and adjust your sails to your new course.
What strategies do you have in place to make your 2017 goal-setting plan your best yet? Email us to share your ideas!
HUGE Thank you to my girl for writing this incredible post! You can connect with Kim here: kdandyou.com