I love a shiny new year, don't you? It's like the first page in a new notebook, a clean fresh page, free from mistakes and full of possibility. It's a chance to start something new, to stop something old, whatever you fancy. New challenges, new skills, new opportunities.
I've been setting myself goals for a few years now, some I've hit, some I've missed, some I've missed spectacularly and some I've not only hit but totally smashed (which is just the best feeling!)
I've learned a few things about setting goals along the way too, the main one being:
It's all very well and good setting goals but if you don't have a plan on how you're going to achieve them, chances are that you won't.
I start by writing down my main big goal, then work backwards writing down all of the steps I need to take to reach my goal. In 2017 my goal was to launch Claire Salisbury Studios, my surface pattern design and illustration business, which was an absolutely huge task, slightly daunting and a bit overwhelming at times, so I broke it down into more manageable chunks, like this:
Launch Claire Salisbury Studios:
- Brand values, ethics and message
- Brand image, feel and voice
- Choose colour palette and fonts
- Choose appropriate tagline
- Design logo and social media avatars
- Buy domain name
- Set up shop
- Add payment gateways
- Write about page
- Write home page
- Research SEO
- Research trends
- Choose colour palettes and themes
- Sketch and ink
- Scan in sketches
- Clean and edit sketches digitally
- Create patterns
- Set up Facebook page
- Set up Instagram account
- Set up Twitter account
- Set up blog
- Set up newsletter
You can break it down further into even smaller chunks, for example,
Set up blog:
- Research other blogs in your industry to find your niche (what isn't being done already)
- Write ideas for posts
- Start drafting posts
- Stage and shoot any photos required
- Edit photos
- Finish drafting posts
- Schedule posts
- Plan social media for blog launch
- Plan social media for new posts
The smaller the actions, the easier they are to complete, and the more you complete, the more you want to complete, it really is a win all round situation.
So, now that you've got your goal and your plan on how to get there, here comes the slightly harder bit, actually doing the work.
The key thing here is consistency, in order to achieve your goal you have to show up every single day and carry out one of your actions, for the first couple of weeks you might think that you're not getting anywhere, but it all starts to come together and before you know it you're leaping towards your goal, I promise.
The other brilliant thing about doing something towards your goal everyday is that after a while, it becomes hardwired into your brain to do one thing towards your goal everyday, it forms a positive habit, so whether you're working towards a new goal or maintaining an achieved goal (for example, an exercise routine or running a business) you have the time already there scheduled into your day and your brain is already ready to work it. It's like a cross between science and magic.
There are lots of resources out there to help you plan your goals, notebooks, planners and Facebook groups. One of my favourites and the one that has definitely helped me out over the years with planning and carrying out my actions is the 100 Day Goal run by Juila Bickerstaff from The Business Bakery, there are plenty of printables such as your Master Action List and a Goal Tracker and the Facebook group is very lovely and supportive. A new round of the 100 Day Goal started yesterday, it's not too late to join in this time around and it's totally free, what's not to love. If you are unable to join in this time around there will be another round of 100 days starting on 1st May 2018 and again on 1st September 2018.
So now that you've got your goal and your plan what are you going to do this year? I'd love to hear what you've planned and to cheer you on as you go so drop me a line in the comments and let me know what you're up to.
Here's to a happy & productive 2018!