It's that time of year when most of the goals we set for ourselves for the year have probably not been crossed off our To Do list and are still waiting to be achieved. And if they all have been achieved already, then you need to dream bigger scarier dreams! And it's right about now that I wish there was a perfectly crafted turn key way to guarantee getting things done and accomplish all that we have set out for ourselves. Wouldn't that be great? While there is no turn key, there are five main things that have really helped me in accomplishing goals and getting stuff done that I want to share with you! Let's jump right into them:
Write them down.
Chris has probably said the phrase to me, "you don't know where you're going if you don't know where you're going" literally a million times. And he is so right. It may seem like an obvious or simple thing to do, but clearly identifying your goals and what needs to be done is going to help you 1) know what you are working towards and 2) identify what you need to do to get there. And I don't just mean have your goals loosely floating around your head somewhere between your grocery list and the time of your dentist appointment. I mean pen to paper, clearly writing out specifically what your goals are. I often do a huge brain dump of all the things I want to get done (for the year, that month, for the day) and then prioritize them.
Keep them visible.
Now that you have them all written out, keep them out. Have your goals sitting on your desk or hanging from your mirror where you can constantly see them. This way you will see them each day and remind yourself what you are working towards. Writing them in a journal and then tucking that away until the end of the year to see if you (*fingers crossed*) hopefully can check off some of the goals that you (*fingers crossed*) remembered, isn't going to be helpful. Chris was the one that truly taught me the power of this very early on. And I will let you in on a little secret... Chris used to keep a little laminated (yes, laminated!) card with his goals in his wallet. So each time he took something out of his wallet, there were his goals demanding not to be forgotten and calling for action. Each time Chris would achieve a goal he would take a marker and cross it off on the card. True story. At first I honestly thought he was a complete (yet adorable :) ) dork for doing this, but let me tell you, Chris has achieved more of what he has set out to do for himself more then anyone I know! So write down your goals and keep them visible.
Identify smaller steps.
As great as it is to have a list of goals, I have found that they just stay a list of things that hoooopefully will happen UNLESS I identify what needs to be done for each to be accomplished. This means taking each goal and writing out the steps that need to take place in order for me to move forward in the direction of achieving them. Notice I didn't say what steps I need to take to achieve
the goal. While in some cases it may be as cut and dry as simply doing XYZ and the goal will be achieved, a majority of goals don't have clear 1,2,3 steps. So I encourage you to write out ACTION steps that you believe will help you move forward toward your goal, even if it's just a little. Maybe a step is reaching out to a colleague or emailing a question to a vendor. Goals are often much less daunting when we identify smaller steps to take for each. And then the key to this tip is taking action
and actually doing these steps you identified!
Assign timing to them.
Having "this year" be the timing for when you want to achieve your goal is often much less motivating and can lead us to put off taking action towards that goal. Simply put, it can encourage procrastination. In February we may feel like we have lots and lots of time to achieve that goal, but how many times has December rolled around and we realize we haven't done anything to work towards it. Having timing associated with goals and the steps to be taken helps us 1) prioritize what to do first, 2) allocate our resources and 3) adds a sense of urgency in achieving it.
Have someone hold you accountable.
This is a big one and something we can so easily forget as business owners. Many of us are so used to juggling everything with our business and doing it all ourselves, that we forget the importance of accountability. While Chris and I are in constant communication about the status of things, we sit down every other week together to go through our goals and share updates with one another around the business. It's a status meetings of sorts. Some of the projects Chris isn't involved with at all, but just vocalizing to him the progress or lack there of is helpful for me. I share with him some of the obstacles I am facing and he can encourage me and sometimes provide suggestions about what to do. I know not everyone works with someone else in their business, but even if you have a colleague or friend that can hear your goals and what you are working towards, it can be super powerful. If you can both help one another in getting that much closer to accomplishing what you set out to do that's even better! I know it may not be easy, but it's important to share your goals, dreams, and action plan with someone so they can encourage and hold you accountable.
With all the snow on the ground right now, I am day dreaming about this sunny shoot in Santa Barbara CA... I think we need to plan a west coast visit again sooner then later! Adding that to my goals and making the timing ASAP! ;)