Happy 2016! How’s your biz going?
Dan Schawbel, in his annual workplace trends article for Forbes, says that, “By 2020, about 40% of Americans will be part of the gig economy.” Freelancing and gig work is predicted to rise, and more companies will be offering flexible work (telecommuting, remote options, flexible hours, etc.). We’re seeing a huge shift in the way we work, which is very exciting for people who want to explore entrepreneurship.
In December, I sat down and set some lofty goals for 2016. You can see the high level on the vision board I created and posted on Instagram. While I have some pretty big goals for this year (I am turning 30, after all—agh!), these are practical goals I feel very motivated to achieve.
Do you have trouble keeping New Years resolutions? According to this poll, only 8% of people actually succeed at achieving their resolutions. Mind you, a lot of those resolutions are health related, but the numbers are pretty bleak. Looking back on 2015’s vision board, I achieved about 80% of my goals, which is a lot better than I’ve done in previous years.
Why set New Years resolutions in the first place?
I believe that goals/resolutions work for some, but not for others. If you believe in the art of manifestation or visioning, then this is a good strategy. Some people just do, but others need to envision, plan, and strategize. Goals help us start that process.
How do you feel about your resolutions this year? If the answered is overwhelmed, it might be time to revise. If you’ve set unrealistic goals, or too many goals, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. “False hope syndrome“, which psychology professor Peter Herman and colleagues have identified as resolutions that “significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with their internal view of themselves”, can damage your feeling of self-worth.
If you’re starting a new business, pick one to three big goals maximum, especially if you’re a workpreneur.
There’s still time to revise your resolutions!
Time for a check-in. Do your resolutions need a slight revision? It’s still January, and no one will judge you if you do a little tweaking.
Set yourself up for success this year, and create a plan that is achievable with hard work and perseverance. Here are some tips to help you build lasting resolutions, and join the 8%!
Embody the change
I tried this the other day, and am a little embarrassed to admit that I may have gone too far. I actually started crying…tears of joy! For that fleeting five minutes, allow yourself to experience the emotion of having achieved a big goal, such as launching your first product. Hold on to those feelings, and use them as reminders and motivation. And if this exercise doesn’t quite work for you, try journaling instead.
Make your goals positive ones
As Art Markman says in his Time article, “A positive goal is an action you want to perform; a negative goal is something you want to stop doing.” So, instead of setting this goal: I want to stop giving deep discounts to clients; try this: I’m going to charge what I’m worth, which is the carefully selected prices I’ve already listed. Focus on building new, positive habits.
Make your goals actionable
Realistic goals are actionable. You can start taking steps right now to move closer toward your desired success. In order to set actionable goals, make sure you are both clear on the goal, and also that the goal is measurable and concrete enough for you to build a plan around.
Be prepared and be patient. You will take baby steps towards your goal throughout the year, so don’t be hasty to get it all done right away, because you’ll overwhelm yourself and burn out, and then get depressed when you don’t reach your goal by deadline. Set a reasonable timeline.
But don’t procrastinate! Don’t say I will start this or that in three months. Set the goal, and start working towards it now, or you may lose sight of it.
Markman also suggests readying your environment. Maybe a step towards reaching your goals is setting up an office space to help you do quiet, focused work, or making a big one-pot meal that you can enjoy throughout the week, freeing up time for more client phone calls.
Choose resolutions that you want to do, not that you should do
The “shoulds” are those nagging feelings you get from reading too many business blogs and filling out too many business strategy workbooks. Your accountability partner is working on a strategy, so you think you should be working on the same one. Forget FOMO (fear of missing out), and avoid bright, shiny objects. As Linda Geddes says in her Guardian article: “This is important, because studies have indicated that people are more likely to succeed in changing their behaviour when they are motivated by internal rather than external forces.” Same goes for business goals.
If you’re feeling uneasy about one of your goals, dig into it a little bit. Maybe there’s a nugget of meaning in there that you can use to revise your goal into something more suitable.
Make your resolutions visible
Vision boards are awesome. I have mine sitting up in my bedroom so that I see it every time I pass through the bedroom doorway. I’m reminded many times throughout the day that all this extra work I’m putting in now is helping me to realize those visions. It’s also a good check-in to see if you’ve strayed, or if your goals have changed due to unforeseen circumstances.
Paint it, draw it, collage it, pin it—make it visible and put it up somewhere you’ll see it all the time. I’ve also heard of people making digital versions and saving them as the wallpaper on their smartphone or tablet.
Enjoy the process
One of the best things about setting goals is being aware of the little achievements (steps) along the way as they happen. Enjoy those moments and reward yourself for the hard work! You’re totally worth it, and when you do good work others benefit.
Here’s to an amazing 2016. Please, share more tips in the comments to help everyone out!