Have you ever done this thing where you sit down determined to map out your life, business, meals, only to find you’re not sure where to start? The first section in the Studio Planner is all about goals.
Or were you feeling more unsure and thinking…
Where do I start with setting goals?
If so, read on for a fresh perspective on goal-setting & 4 easy steps for setting your goal.
But before we get into those, here's why this topic matters so deeply to me...
We often hear about other people's origin stories and how they set those big goals. How they struggled big, were unsure they would make it until they did.
And our brain can bring us to a place where we think that after they reached their goal they now live in pure certainty and always have happy faces. But reaching a goal is not a be-all and end-all.
As people who create for a living, most of our time is spent in a beautiful place I call the In-Between.
The In-Between is where we learn new things, get inspired, fail, try a new technique, say the wrong thing, miss an opportunity, get a revolutionary idea, ship to the wrong address, make sales, give up, break a partnership, make a partnership, get our big break.
The In-Between is not always the most glamorous of places but it's always there.
And if we leave room for it when we set our goals we will avoid doubting ourselves when setbacks happen.
We'll avoid thinking worthless thoughts like, we're not 'there' because we're somehow faulty or incomplete or simply not good enough at what we do.
And because you don't deserve those unworthy thoughts I want to share with you 4 practical ways to set yourself up for goal success as you work through the goal worksheets.
Take these 4 small but mighty steps today
1. Commit to fighting unworthy thoughts
Goals require you to define a destination (or at least a general direction). They require you to plan ahead for HOW you'll keep going WHEN the In-Between doesn't feel so swell.
So instead of resenting those moments, accept them simply as part of the In-Between and offer an opportunity to change course. Plan to fight unworthy thoughts if they show up by coming up with reminders or affirmations upfront.
In your Studio Planner, you can write these important reminders in the Reflection section and review them as often as needed. Don't have a Studio Planner? You can use your Notes app or a notebook to keep track of wins along the way and thoughts to keep you going.
2. Share selectively
People react to your goals through the eyes of their own baggage, their own failures and successes. Their own need for rest and achievement. And those things don't always mesh well with what you have in mind because you are wired differently.
So before you share your goals with others, make sure YOU are happy with the direction it's going in. Take care to really know that your goals line up with your beliefs and values, that they allow you time for the things you find important.
I like thinking through goals with my husband, Sam because he shares my beliefs, faith and values around family. He can remind me of my limits and lift my thoughts when they turn unworthy.
If you have someone in your life that can help you think through those things as well, by all means include them in the thought process.
Maybe you have a business buddy who gets you, or a mom / sister / spouse / workout partner who is supportive then by all means involve them.
Your goals shouldn't be a secret but you can be selective who you invite into your vision.
3. Get the details sorted out
We can be tempted to 'sort out the details later' but the details can be more important than we give them credit for at the start of our goal's journey.
For example, when I created the Studio Planner, my vision was to create a planner that would cover all aspects of the creative business. But as everyone is different, I didn't want to be the only one to bring ideas into the planner.
So I worked out the details of how I could incorporate new worksheets based on feedback from users. I could have said at the beginning 'well, that's a detail to figure out later' but I decided to work out in great detail the system I would have for creating new worksheets.
And because I worked out the details of what the planner would need to do, I bought the printing and binding machinery and went a completely different direction than I had initially considered.
I'm so grateful for that decision to go into the nitty-gritty while setting goals because it saved me tons of time, effort and frustration.
But perhaps more importantly, knowing the details of your goal also helps you to visualize what you're working toward. To make it real.
It helps you prioritize where you'll invest your money, who you'll work with and which opportunities to say yes or no to.
If you own a Studio Planner, you can use the Product section to work out the details of your products.
4. Mark your milestones
With your details sorted out, you can break your goal into milestones, which are just like stops you plug into your navigation on your way to reach your destination.
Milestones give you moments to celebrate. They help you stay encouraged and remind you that you can do this. They make the whole goal manageable.
So how do you break your goals into milestones?
My favourite tool for this is post-its.
Yep, simple but so very effective.
You simply go nuts and let everything you need to do to meet the goal seep out on individual post-it notes. Big. Small. Insanely detailed. Pictures. Doesn't matter: just get them all down.
When you've got them all out on paper, you start grouping them and throwing away what's irrelevant. You might regroup a couple of times and that's totally fine. As you group, you'll see that something starts emerging. And once you feel like you have grouped the post-its into chunks that would require about 20-25% of the work you need to do to reach your goal, that's your milestone.