If you’re anything like me setting your goals for the year can be daunting and exhilarating, a fabulous way to set your focus for the year ahead. But when it comes to checking up on progress with achieving your goals that can be left for another 11-12 months, reminding you a bit too late what was left undone.
So I’m trying to be diligent and touching base with my goals regularly this year and the truth be told, it’s making a positive difference, thankfully.
Making this year work is really important to me, I lost a lot of last year to family duties with my dad being ill and I’m in serious catchup mode. I started using a new tool back in January that is making the world of difference – my Make it Happen Journal.
I thought a behind the scenes insight into what’s involved with working on your goals for your creative business could help others who find the isolation of a solopreneur’s life challenging at times, especially if you’re like me and achievement motivated.
Knocking Goals on the Head
This year I’ve managed to:
- figure out a much better way to photograph my ceramic jewellery.
- grow my Photoshop skills – basically every month I need to learn something new that I find really challenging.
- get most of my porcelain jewellery range of necklaces and brooches up online into the shop.
- design my new stationery range.
- get my original paintings and photographs onto the greeting card range.
- come up with my own inspiring quotes for the stationery card range.
- figure out a bundle of printing challenges and find a way to have my cards printed locally.
- publish the stationery range in the Creatively Belle online shop.
- start coming up with ways to display the cards at market.
- sell my stationery range into some really funky shops like Berkelouw Bookstore.
- find an easy way to do wholesale ordering on my website for stockists.
- design new porcelain brooches and necklaces that take my work into a new direction – at least the first test designs are working.
- learn a new ceramic decoration and firing skill for an idea for a new range.
- get along to weekly art classes and paint regularly.
- update the email newsletter provider and details on the website
- freshen up several areas on the website.
- grow my Instagram followers by thousands.
- regularly spend time with my folks and help around the house in ways they need me to.
Each of these have taken anywhere from several hours or many days work – usually a different amount of time than I initially anticipated.
Finding Motivation and Inspiration to Keep Going
Writing all of this down and knowing there’s a bundle of other things that are not even on the list (because really, it could be boring for you) is really satisfying and inspiring for me. It’s been a bit of a dedicated slog at times. I’ve had to be really disciplined and focused, determined to make many of these things happen.
As I’ve had to grow a lot with my own skills set to achieve much of this, I’ve had days when I’ve really had to push myself. And I’m really pleased that I have.
I do have loads more on my goals for the year and I did write a lot that required a whole year’s effort – like post weekly on the blog, which I’m doing but it’s not done yet so it can’t be marked off.
Plus going into the stationery range project I didn’t fully understand what is involved with it so there are many other things that I’ve completed that simply aren’t on the original list so I think I’ll add to the list at the end of the year with what I’ve done.
Monthly Checklist of Goals
The beautiful diary I have this year has each month sectioned with a tab and a double page spread so I’ve been using this to list my goals for the month. It makes it easy to reference them and check on progress.
There’s a bundle that just keep being carried over until the next month – somewhat frustrating. It’s happening either because I’m not doing the work on them or I’m still waiting on others.
I have, however, added to the list with activities I’m working on – and here’s where the stationery project turns up – so I can see what is actually being done.
From all of this I’ve been able to see how my plans change and evolve. The overall strategy pretty much remains the same, it is just some of the individual projects that are changing, adapting as I learn and progress.
All of this will help in very practical terms how I set my goals list for next year – with what’s possible and what isn’t.
5 Things that Are Working with Achieving My Goals
Here’s how I’ve been making it work:
1. I wrote them down.
I listed a LOT of goals, pages of them in my Make it Happen Journal, knowing there would be some left undone at year’s end. I just wanted to be able to get most of them done.
2. I’m using tools that are working for me.
This is both the Make It Happen Journal, my beautiful everyday journal and what I call my marketing journal which is one of those cheap and cheerful A5 spiral day to a page diaries. I’ve been writing ideas, resources, lessons learnt, designs, contacts, notes from business books I’m skilling up with and all manner of things.
3. Looking back over my goals each month is really useful.
Keeping on track by going over goals, setting priorities and focusing on what’s needed to achieve the tasks is making a huge difference. No surprise there but the thing is, I’m doing it and that’s where the difference is.
4. I’m adapting as I go.
I realise now that my initial thoughts about the stationery range were too small, I needed to think bigger. Plus, I’ve had some new opportunities come to me because I’m doing things differently. Being able to see how what fits with my initial big picture goals and strategy is letting me adapt quickly.
5. My own self talk is shifting.
I’m using much more positive self talk about what I’m doing. I’ve looked at some of my own self imposed limitations and have pushed them around. That in itself has been an interesting experience, arguing away with yourself as you figure out there are some fears and doubts that are preventing you from achieving what you want to do.
It’s really been quite liberating, but it was really important knowing clearly what I want to achieve and having specific goals to be working on.
Creating My Own Definition of Success
You’ll be pleased to know that I’m still not perfect (what a lonely life that would be!) but I am growing positively with all of this and I like that.
It would be wonderful if everything came together much faster and I had the financial results I’m seeking much sooner but that’s not how life works. It takes effort, time and consistency.
My goals are all very personal for me, they are all tied into my strategic goals for my own life. They’ll be different for every single person who reads this. But that’s part of the delightful key to a successful life, we each get to define our own terms of success.
My hope is that sharing this six months in goal review will help you with yours, whatever they are.
Do please let us know in the comments what your goals are, what you want to make positively happen.
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