Another new year is on the horizon, so let’s look at how we set goals for our business that are achievable and satisfying. As creatives we are very driven yet so often feel we’ve not met our true potential. This internal struggle erodes the joy we have in our achievements and leaves us feeling like we need to do more.
Lee Matthew Jackson
We will learn to set goals that really mean something to you. These goals will have clear outcomes and steps to achieving them. They will be based on what is good for you, your family and your business rather than the many external competing factors.
If 2020 has thrown you a curveball and you really want to make 2021 count, join me as I share how I set goals and achieve them.
After years of disappointments I developed the following framework for recording, evaluating, choosing and planning my goals.
- Write out a list of what you want to achieve
- For each one write down why and what the outcome will be
- List these out in order of importance to you
- Select the most important and break it down
- Plan small achievable actions with realistic milestones
- Choose as many others as feel manageable and repeat the process
Word of caution
- You need to want it
- You need to accept it will take time
- You need to be able to measure outcomes
Finally, failure is an option. The amount of failed projects I have under my belt that have taught me lessons or lead to unimagined opportunities are invaluable. Much better than sitting on my butt complaining about how hard things are.
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As creatives we are very driven yet so often feel we’ve not met our true potential. Use this planner to change that.
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Welcome to the Agency Trailblazer podcast. This is your host Lee and on today’s show, let’s talk setting goals and how to achieve them. Before we carry on, let me thank our amazing sponsors Cloudways. They are our cloud platform of choice, you can check them out over on cloudways.com. They are the backbone of my agency and I would not use anybody else.
Right then on with the show. With another year on the horizon, you’ll be thinking of the future, planning those big goals, those big dreams. As creatives, we are really driven and yet so often we feel like we’ve not met our true potential. And I’ll tell you what, that feeling of not meeting your true potential really starts to erode the joy that you have in the achievements that you have made and it kind of leaves you feeling like you have to do something more.
This is my own experience. I fail to look at the things I have achieved, and instead I compare myself to those around me and I look at what they are achieving and what I have done therefore pales into insignificance. And I feel like I now need to do more to push myself further, to get busier to be more prevalent, to be more prominent, whatever that needs to be. I get robbed of that joy, of that excitement and of that sense of achievement in what I have accomplished.
Over the last few years I’ve learned to be happy with what I’ve achieved. I’ve learnt to stop comparing myself to other people and to understand that everybody else is running their own race. They are building their own businesses. They are building their own lives. They have their own opportunities. They have their own visions. They have their own lives to live and I’m not leading their life. I’m not living their life and nor do I really want to live their life. I have dreams. I have passions. I have things that I want to achieve and that’s for me, that’s for my family, that’s for the people that I love that’s for the people I want to serve.
So this episode is very much me sharing with you how over the last three years I’ve developed a kind of framework for planning my goals for each and every year and getting them done. We’ve also developed a workbook for you so you can write down the goals that you have. You can evaluate them, reverse engineer them and create a roadmap for 2021 to allow you to achieve those goals. So I hope you are motivated. Let’s get stuck in. You can find that workbook over on trailblazer.fm and just go over to episode number 297 for more information.
First things first, we’re going to write out a list of things that we want to achieve and nothing’s off limits. Write everything that you want to achieve down on a piece of paper or use the workbook that we’ve provided. It doesn’t matter how big or how small it is, just get it written down. There is nothing better than writing down those things that we have inside of us on a piece of paper so that we can see them and we can visualize them.
Now we have our list of goals, for each one of them write down why you want to achieve that goal and what you want the outcome to be. An example might be: I want to achieve X in recurring revenue for my business so that I don’t have the worry of money and the outcome would be more time with my family.
You may find it useful to use the workbook and print off as many copies of this page as you need to represent each and every one of the goals that you’ve written down. So far, we have a list of goals that you want to achieve and each one has a why and the outcome that you expect. This is a really useful exercise as it will help you understand which items on this list are more important than others.
Use this next bit of time to reorganize the list into order of importance, the most important to you being first. Starting with the most important goal. Next, we can break it down. How can we reverse engineer this goal? If our goal is to achieve recurring revenue of a certain amount within a certain amount of months, then we start at the end, that’s the value and we work our way backwards working out what actions and activity we need to take to make that happen. Take your time on this and do be realistic, 12 months can go by really quickly and we can be very impatient.We might expect big results really quickly where I have found that small, achievable actions will get us to where we want to be quicker than if we try and go for the big shift, the big change. So what small achievable actions with realistic milestones can you set over the next 12 months in order to achieve that most important goal?
Then from the list of goals that you have, pick as many others as you feel are manageable for this year and go through the same process of reverse engineering that goal. How can you break that down into small achievable actions? What realistic milestones can you set throughout the year to check your progress against?
This may seem super simplistic, but we as humans love to complicate things. I’ve done this for the last three years and have achieved so much simply by first writing out that list of those things that I feel I want to achieve. Then for each one of those writing down why I want to achieve them and what the outcome is that I want it to be. I reorganize these into the order of importance. Then I select the most important and break it down. I’m going to plan small achievable actions. I’m going to set realistic milestones for that goal. And finally, if I feel I have capacity for more in the upcoming year, I may choose one or two more but that does lead to my words of caution.
Number one, you need to want it. This needs to be really important to you. You really need to be brought into that way and into that outcome. Number two, you’d need to accept that it is going to take time. And number three, you need to be able to measure what it is that you are trying to achieve. So remember, those small achievable actions need those realistic milestones. They need some dates attached so that you can monitor your progress throughout the year.
As we come into land, I want to share one final thought, and that is failure is an option. It’s OK to fail. It’s alright to set a goal and not necessarily achieve it. Frankly, I have a huge amount of failed projects under my belt, and yet they’ve taught me lessons or they’ve led me to unimagined opportunities. Opportunities that have been invaluable, things I would never have dreamt of. You see as much better taking action than sitting on my arse and complaining. So I would encourage you, get that list written out of those things that you want to achieve. Get down that why, that outcome. Reorganize your list, pick a few. Create some small achievable actions with those realistic milestones and make 2021 your year.
You can check out the show notes for the full framework over on trailblazer.fm and that’s episode number 297. And be sure to grab the free content upgrade, which is our workbook that you can print off, fill in and take action upon.
Guys, we have a Facebook community, you can find it over on trailblazer.fm/group. There are over three thousand six hundred web designers, agency owners, designers, freelancers and complete legends who all hang out and support each other. I would love to hear from you what goals you have selected, so come and join the community trailblazer.fm/group.
Let’s make 2021 an awesome year together. If we don’t see you in the Facebook group, then we will see you in next week’s episode.