What kinds of goals do you typically set for yourself? What behaviors do those goals drive, and how do they make you feel?
For 2014, I did what I was "supposed to do" as a new business owner: I set a huge revenue goal for my business. And I got busy doing all sorts of tasks that I thought were supposed to generate revenue. I spent a lot of money and a lot of energy doing a lot of things I didn't enjoy. Until...
I was sitting in my booth that I had rented as an exhibitor at a conference and watching person after person walk by. I didn't know how to engage them and I felt very out of place. I started asking myself what am I doing here? Since I had so much free time on my hands, I had a lot of time to reflect on how much money I had spent on how many different "revenue-generating" avenues. I realized that I was on the wrong path and needed to do something drastically different - and soon.
I had been under a lot of stress. I found myself working too many hours again and not having enough energy for my family - which were some of the reasons I started my own business in the first place. I decided that I needed to refocus on my core values and my life vision (how I wanted to be living my life, how I wanted to be known by others) to ensure that whatever goals I set going forward reflected those.
I realized that the revenue goal I had set for myself had been set under expectations about what it looked like to start and grow a business. No one told me I had to set a big revenue goal. I had created those expectations myself after observing the things other people did to grow their business. I was also operating under an old mindset that goals had to be money-driven and tangible.
Once I realized what I was doing, I threw that old goal out the window. Instead of focusing on revenue, my goal was to fully integrate my values into my life and work, make my passions my business, and earn revenue by serving those I was meant to serve.
That was such a game changer for me and was instrumental to much of the personal growth I experienced last year. I shifted my mindset from scarcity to abundance. I created stronger relationships. I still worked hard, but I also took time to enjoy life. I scheduled self-care days on my calendar, I enjoyed quality time with my family, and I experienced so many new and different things simply by being open to the opportunities around me.
And - I started to see momentum in my business, even though I wasn't necessarily focused on this.
I was over-joyed at the end of the year when I accomplished all three of the goals I had set for myself. In addition to the one I already mentioned, I also co-facilitated my first retreat with two amazing women and encountered over 60 new and different experiences (my goal was 40!).
My tips for you are to:
- Know what you want out of life. What is the vision you have for your ideal life. How do you want to be?
- Know your core values and priorities. What matters most to you? Are you giving enough time and energy to those people and things?
- Know who you really are. Don't set goals based on old beliefs, old mindsets, or misaligned expectations.