For years, I tried creating goals in my business and they just never really stuck. I would set a goal, work towards it for a short period of time, then I would get busy or lose connection to it, and the goal would fall to the side. Can you relate? I got to a point where I was just OVER it – I was so sick and tired of setting goals and not sticking to them. I wanted more for my business and my life.
So, I started digging into the world of personal and business development. I became a sponge.
And it paid off.
Today, my business is thriving. I have more weddings booked this year than ever before. I launched my dream business helping photographers grow their businesses. AND, I have accomplished a handful of goals in my personal life.
I’m not saying all of this to you to brag. I’m saying it because I know you’re a dreamer like me. I know you want MORE for your life and your business. And I want to teach you how to make that happen.
These are the 4 things that help me SET and STICK to my goals. If you do these too, girl, you’ll move mountains.
1. Take time away to visualize your future
Visualization is the foundation for creating goals that you feel truly aligned with and is absolutely pivotal to sticking to those goals. Without this piece, you will continue to set goals and lose interest over and over again.
The idea of visualization may seem a bit ‘woo woo’ for you, but here’s the thing:if you don’t envision what you want the future of your business and your life to look like, how will you know what to work towards?
At the start of this year, I took a weekend away from life and really honed in on what I want my life to look like. Not what I think I should do or what other people were doing, but what I wanted. This exercise allowed me to set tangible goals that are in line with what I want my future to look like.
Even if you can’t get away for day or two, you can set aside time to explore a new coffee shop or spend time outdoors and DREAM. Ask yourself questions like, how does my future self spend her time? What is she wearing? How does she feel? What does she want to accomplish? Where does she want to go? Visualize it, no matter how crazy it may seem, and write it down.
2. Write your goals down every. single. day.
Once you know your big dreams for the future, the hard part is over. YAY! Now, you can set tangible goals that are in line with that future you want to create.
It may seem like a lot, but I write my 10 dreams and the one actionable goal down every. single. day as I am drinking my morning coffee. This practice was created by Rachel Hollis in what she calls her Start Today Journal, and I swear by it. She goes into exactly how to do it on this podcast, so give it a listen.
My 10 dreams range from daily dreams I want to embody (like being an encouraging, patient, present mama) to big, somewhat crazy dreams that I want to achieve in the future. My daily dreams remind me to be the person I want to be every day, and my big dreams keep me moving forward in my business.
And to be completely honest, I was a bit hesitant about this practice at first, but the thing is, IT WORKS. I have already accomplished two (!!) of my big dreams on my list, and it’s only been three months!
3. Set your priorities for the week + stick to them
This is the least sexy of all of my strategies, but it’s what helps you get sh** DONE.
Every Monday morning, I get out my planner and I write out my to-do list for the entire week. (I’m a pen and paper kind of girl, but you can do this is on your laptop or on your phone). From that list, I prioritize and plan for the days to come.
Each day, I have one major task. Yep, just one. I refer to it as my most important task (M.I.T.). If I complete that one thing in the day, then I’ll feel accomplished. I will also jot down smaller, “secondary” tasks that I complete AFTER my M.I.T. for the day.
Here’s the kicker: I don’t check my email until AFTER I have worked on my M.I.T. for the day. Why? Because checking emails first thing puts your brain into a reactive state, rather than a proactive state. Starting your workday in a proactive state triggers your brain to be more focused and productive. This is a game-changer, sister. Lately, I’ll work on my M.I.T. for the day, then set a 25-minute timer of focused email time. After the timer goes off, I move to my secondary tasks. If time allows, I’ll spend another 25-minutes later in the day on emails again.
This piece is really important. As a photographer, there is always something you can do be doing for your clients. I know because I love doing it too! But here’s the thing: if you want to grow your business, you have to be strategic and not only move other people’s projects forward but also move YOUR business goals forward. And you do that by setting daily goals and knocking them off your list before moving onto the easier, “busy-work” type of tasks.
4. Create “due dates” for yourself
One of the best things about being a creative entrepreneur is well, you’re your own boss, RIGHT?! It also means NO deadlines set by other people. 🙂 This can be a blessing and a curse, though, when you’re trying to set goals for yourself that are outside your wheelhouse. I have been playing around with setting deadlines to create necessity around my business goals, and I encourage you to do the same. Put it on your calendar and plan your M.I.T.s accordingly.
Remember, YOU can move mountains. But you need a map to find those mountains (visualization) and you need the tools to get there (your goals, M.I.T.s, and due dates).
You got this sister.
P.S. I realize we just went through a LOT. So, I encourage you to save this post or print it off and revisit it over the next few days. If any questions come up, send me an email. I’d love to hear from you!